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October proved to be another month full of "newness" - from new Moderators to new styles to new features - you'll find details of all these in this month's Newsletter.
It was also a month for Forum records being broken. For the first time ever we have over 3,000 active Members (that's unique Members who have logged in over the last 30 days), we had the most number of Members visiting the Forum in one day (1,570) and the most making a post in a single day (648), even guests visiting the Forum in a day reached its highest ever number (10,610).
I've also been looking at some other Forum statistics over the last few days so I thought I'd share them with you. Since the start of the year there have been 882,894 posts which works out as an average of 2914 posts a day (for the same period in 2006 the figures are 697,219 posts / 2301 posts per day).
From the many of you that volunteered to become members of the Moderating Team we eventually decided to ask Brodski and Cuddles to join the Moderating Team last month. With these appointments the team is now up to full strength and I'd like to thank everyone who volunteered. Once Brodski and Cuddles are up-to-speed we will be making a further announcement regarding the details of the second stage of the Mod team re-organization and we hope to have this in place before the end of the month.
A long time ago, when we introduced the new "JREF" style for the Forum and took Members feedback on board, we said we would try our best to give Members the option of using other colors and October saw the introduction of some new experimental styles and I'm glad to announce that these will be made permanently* available. These are:
(If you want a style that uses the background colors of a standard vBulletin forum select "True Blues".)
You can swap to these new styles by going to the bottom of nearly any page and using the drop down menu that appears at the bottom left, however the best way (for technical reasons) to make a permanent change to your preferences is to go to your UserCP and change it from there:
Some areas (such as the Forum Homepage) will still use the "JREF" style no matter what color choice you make for the rest of the Forum and if you use anything but the "JREF" style when viewing the Member only sections you will no longer see the small M graphic () in posts (but it will still appear next to the thread title when you click on "New Posts").
(* By permanently I mean until the Forum software developer makes major changes.)
We'd like to start getting your feedback on the new section, "Business Skepticism" and the split of the old "Politics, Current Events and Social Issues" section into "Politics" and "Social Issues and Current Events" e.g. is it useful, is it interesting, does it make finding topics that interest you easier/worse and so on.
TAM 6 Scholarship Auctions running!Kittynh has started running auctions to raise funds for scholarships to TAM 6, if you're not aware of this it's a scholarship program run by volunteers that tries to help as many people as possible with some of the costs associated with attending a TAM. Anyone can apply for the scholarships and in the past it has helped students and people with medical problems attend a TAM.
Many of the auctions are time limited and quite a few are ending in just a few days time so if you want to bid you better be quick. Here are just some of the auctions currently running:
Stunning Nature Prints Best to let the prints speak for themselves!
Phil Plait (The Bad Astronomer) signed photographs! (Ends Nov 2) Phil Plait has donated and signed two magnificent photographs taken by the Hubble telescope.
If you're up to something unusual or different and it's Forum or JREF based and you'd like me to mention it in the next Newsletter drop me a PM.
Old stuff you may not know about Part III
Members (even long-time Members) occasionally come across a feature that they were not aware of. Several Members have suggested that we remind people of some of the less obvious features we have installed on the Forum.
Even after posting a thread you have a short time, 10 minutes, to edit the thread title. There are two ways to edit a thread title, the first is to double click in the thread title box, which will allow you to directly edit your thread title:
The second way is to edit your opening post in the thread, click on edit and then on "Go Advanced":
And simply edit the Title of the thread.
You only have 10 minutes to make such an edit. (Remember outside this time limit you can always click on the report button, , and "report" your thread to request a correction or change to your thread's title.)
A quick note about the new look to the JREF website. This has been re-vamped over the last few weeks and there is now an option that allows people to add a comment to Randi's SWIFT columns. This option requires a log-in, but this is not your Forum log-in. You'll need to register a new separate account if you want to add a comment.
November will also see the trialling a few new features during November including adding an "edit history" to posts that will let a Member can see what edits they (or a Mod) have made to a post, a "key word" notification that means Members will be able to enter a few words that if they appear in a new thread's opening post they will receive a notification and also improving on the tags that let you embed a YouTube or Google video clip into your post.