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post #1 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb MTF Tip Of The Week! Tips and Tricks to enhance your MTF experience!

I am going to share some things I have learned in my 4 years of being a regular vBulletin user, and frequent contributor here on My Tractor Forum.

I have been trying to figure out a way to share some of these features with our members, without cluttering up a thread and having the feature get lost in the replies, so what I will do here is post a new "Tip" every week (or at least I will try) in this thread, and you can use what you want, and ignore the rest. I am going to close the thread... it is not meant for replies, only to let you know what is out there and how you can use it.

If anyone has any idea's for future "Tips and Tricks" posts in this thread, please send me a PM (or any moderator for that matter) and we will address here so everyone can benefit!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V
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post #2 of 13 Old 02-04-2009, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Ignore List!

Tip 1

Do you have someone on this site that just drives you nuts? Maybe a nice guy, but you just don't like their way of thinking? Somebody picking on you?

Well... you have the "power" to deal with them!

Everyone has an "Ignore list".

Here is how it works.

To put someone on your ignore list, first click on their user name in any post they have made. (I am using "hillbilly" in this example because he is my favorite Brother-in-Law and he won't beat me up!) Click on where it says "View Public Profile".



On their profile page you will see a choice that says "Add (insert user) to your ignore list"




When you have done that, this is what you will see whenever you run across something that your "friend" has posted... anywhere on MTF!



If you ever change your mind, you can choose to remove that person by choosing the link the arrow points to in the above example!

Now, to save you the trouble... you cannot ignore me, or any other moderator! Sorry! I was going to use Ken-N-Texas as an example but the system would not let me!

On the positive side, I will let you know that my ignore list is EMPTY! (I removed hillbilly) I want to know what everyone is saying about me!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 02-06-2009, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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User Control Panel

Tip 2


Lets look at some options you all have in your "User Control Panel"


To get to your "user cp" just click on the link in the "Navigation Bar" (navbar) near the top of the page... any page you happen to be on.






On the right side of the page that will be displayed, you will see a link that says "Edit Options".






Now there are a few things that you can adjust here. Some of them can make a big difference on how MTF works for you.






Take a look around and try some different things.


Circled on the top left of the above image you will see where you can put check marks for showing Signatures, Avatars, and Images. By default the forum sets these to "show" when you sign up, but let's say you have a dial-up connection and pages take a long time to load. The Avatars (pictures members put under their username) take some bandwidth to load on the page, and you really don't have to see them. Turn them off, and it may speed things up a little for you.


You can also turn off "Signatures". This is the area under some members posts where they will frequently tell what kind of equipment they own, maybe a favorite quote, or like mine and clutter the space up with all kinds of stuff! While they give some "identity" to the member, they can be cumbersome, and again, use lots of bandwidth! Sluggish connection, or just plain don't want to see them? Uncheck that box!


The same goes for images. If you uncheck this box, you will no longer see pictures in any posts, weather they are attached images, or hosted images. This will really speed things up for you if you have a slow connection on picture heavy threads. IF you turn off images, you will be shown a link to the image instead of the image itself. You can click on the link and see the images you want to.


Another nice thing to be able to adjust is circled in the lower right area of the image above. This is the "Number of posts to show per page." You will see that I have my option set to 40 posts. That is the maximum allowed. What this adjusts is exactly what it says. Lets say you are looking at a thread with 100 replies. If you have this option set to "40", then the little box that lets you choose which page you are on...






Will show 3 pages (40 on each page) and in this case there would be 20 page 3. As the replies continued to pile up, when they hit 121 another page would be added. If you only are set to display 10 posts per page, then you are going to have 10 pages to go through!


Again, use smaller numbers and the page will load faster, but if you have a fast connection, setting his to 40 posts per page will let you do a lot more scrolling and a lot less clicking to the next page!


There are other options in this area that I will go into another time, but feel free to play with your settings and see what they change for you. You can always go back and change them to what they were, or set them to the forum default if you really mess things up!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:35 PM.
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post #4 of 13 Old 02-19-2009, 03:00 AM Thread Starter
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Collapsing Forums

Tip 3

Short one today...

If you have areas of the forum that you don't visit very often, for whatever reason... you can shorten up the forum home page dramatically by "collapsing" the forums you don't care to see!



Click on the little arrow (circled in the picture above) and the "parent" forum for that section of the board will "collapse" (as shown) and take up a fraction of the room, therefore saving miles on your scroll wheel on your mouse!

They can be expanded again simply by clicking on the arrow again!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 02-23-2009, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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Using The MTF Search Feature

Tip 4

Ever want to find something you know you have seen on this forum, but you can't seem to locate it?

vBulletin has an excellent search feature that almost guarantees you can find what you are looking for if you can remember even a few of the words in the post or thread. If you can remember WHO posted it, you can narrow the search even more!

As an example, I told a story on these pages many years ago. I remember what the story was about, but I cannot remember where I posted it.

First, Click on the "Search" link on the Navbar near the top of any page, and then click on "Advanced Search" in the popup that will appear when you click "Search".



Now, I remember I told a story about a "long string" and of course I know I posted it. It would show up even if I only entered "long string" in the "Keyword" field and nothing else, but since I know I posted it (could have been anyone) I entered my user name in the "Search By User Name" field.

Since I don't know for sure where I posted it, I chose to search "All Open Forums" but I could have many choices where to search if I thought I could narrow it down a little more.

After you complete all the desired fields, click "Search Now"



Here is the results of my search! Only took a few seconds!!



The thread I was looking for is the second one listed (though they are both excellent) I cannot believe I told that story nearly 4 years ago! Also interesting is that all the contributors to that thread are still active here!

Do a search for it yourself, and enjoy the story!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:36 PM.
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post #6 of 13 Old 02-27-2009, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Searching The Archives!

Tip 5

This tip comes from Ken N Tex!

I have never used this before, but on Ken's suggestion I investigated it and it is really cool! Even a Moderator can learn something!

Want to search MTF or a specific forum on MTF and see what has been posted since the sites inception?

Try this!

On the bottom of every page in the lower right corner, you will see a link named "Archive".


When you click it, you will be taken to a page with a little different format, without all of the graphics. Sort of an "outline". Scroll through it and it will look familiar to you. It is the layout of the forum home page! Lets take a look at the Craftsman sub-forum (under the Lawn and Garden Tractor "Parent forum".)



Click on it and you will see EVERY thread posted in that forum going all the way back to the first day MTF went live! The first listed is the newest thread. In this case there are 62 pages of threads! If you click on page 62 you will see the very first thread ever posted in the Craftsman Forum by Greg... way back on March 20, 2005! There are 2139 threads (to date) in that forum since MTF started! Interesting, huh?!



In the image below, note that you can click on "Craftsman Forum" (top arrow) and it will take you right to the Craftsman Forum you are used to looking at on MTF... The full version.

Lets click on the link titled "Check out this mower I just picked up".




Now (below) you will see the content of that thread, however there will be no attachments, signatures, or linked photos. Only the text will show up in this "hybrid" format. But wait! Find something interesting...? You can click on "View Full Version" link (arrow) and be taken right to that thread in the normal MTF format!



Thanks for this weeks tip Ken! Looks like a new way to make your MTF experience a little more adventurous!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:37 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 08-18-2009, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Subscribe To Your Favorite Forums!

Tip #7

Do you have a favorite "Forum" on MTF? One that you want to read everything that is submitted? Don't want to miss a thing?

It's easy! All you have to do is subscribe to that forum! Here's how...

First, go to the forum you want to subscribe to. You don't want to open any threads in that forum... just click on the forum name. You will see all of the threads listed in that forum, as well as a "Forum Tools" selection in the header. Let's use the Craftsman forum as an example.



Pull down the "Forum Tools" menu, and you will see a "Subscribe to this forum" choice.



Click on "Subscribe...." and you will get a choice of notification methods.



If you choose "Daily Notifications" MTF will send you an e-mail daily notifying you of the activity in that particular forum in the last 24 hours! That e-mail will tell you of any new threads, as well as activity in any older threads that have new posts.

If you change your mind, you can use the same methods to "unsubscribe" at a later time.

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:38 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 01-16-2010, 09:34 PM Thread Starter
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Dealing With Bad Posts!

Tip #8

From time to time you might find something in one of the forums that you don't think is appropriate, spam, rule breaking, etc.

There are a number of ways to handle this situation.

First off, you can check the bottom of the page in every forum and see who the moderators are for that forum.



You can click on any of the moderators names and choose to send them a private message and let them know of you concerns. Not all moderators can work in just any forum... we are assigned forums by the Super Moderators and Administrators, usually by areas of interest of each moderator, so there is a good chance that one of the mods listed there can answer any questions you might have.

Another way is to use the "Report Post" button that is on every post under the user information for that particular poster.



Using Jim as an example here, (not that he has ever made a bad post!) just click on the little "warning" sign that I circled.

When you do this, a new window will open that looks like this...



You enter your reason(s) you think the post is bad and click the "Send Report" button.

After you do this, ALL of the moderators for that particular forum, as well as all of the Super Moderators and Administrators get a notification via e-mail that there is a problem. That e-mail contains a direct link to that post / thread as well as the reason you entered for reporting the post.

In most cases, one of us is on line to investigate the report, and it is dealt with right away, or brought to the moderators forum for further discussion.

We all want to be able to enjoy the site and we have relatively few reported posts in a week, but feel free to use this tool if you think it is warranted. That is what we are here for!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 01-16-2010 at 09:39 PM.
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post #9 of 13 Old 02-16-2010, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MTF Tip Of The Week! Tips and Tricks to enhance your MTF experience!

Tip #9

From time to time I get idea's from seeing what members are asking questions about. littletractorguy gets the credit for this tip!

Stumbled on this question today... Ken N Tex answered him in the thread, but here it is for the rest of you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by littletractorguy View Post
Also it'd be kinda nice to have some sort of "forum-user" rating system for valuable posts on common topics people have found... You know, that post you just read by accident when you were cruising Active Topics or New Posts and it made go "AHHH! NOW I get it!"... Some forums I'm on do that by having a user-vote system... Not sure if we have something like that here.
Really simple to use this one...!

When you are looking through the forums on MTF, you can sort them by a number of different ways, one of them being by rating.

This is a screen shot of the Cub Cadet forum (picked at random) and what you might see as you are looking through one of the many pages in that forum.



Note the circled stars. This thread has been given a 5 star (the best) rating by those who have voted on that thread... any member here can rate a thread!

To rate a thread, just pull down the "Rate Thread" menu and make the choice how good you think the thread is!



As members rate the thread, the votes are tallied and an average is arrived at by the forum software.

Let's say you want to view all of the top rated threads in any given forum...

Click on the "Rating" link on the top of the page of that particular forum,




and you will see (in order) the top rated forums!



Thanks "littletractorguy" for the idea for this tip!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V
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post #10 of 13 Old 02-19-2010, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Re: MTF Tip Of The Week! Tips and Tricks to enhance your MTF experience!

Tip #10

From time to time we get questions from folks who have never posted a new thread before asking how that is done.

The process is really quite simple... as simple as posting a reply!

The first thing you should think about is what forum to post in. Posting in the wrong forum can severely limit your answers, and the number of people who will view your thread. If you have a question about a Craftsman garden tractor, you should put that question in the Lawn and Garden Tractor forum, under the "Craftsman" brand forum! If you put it in the Cub Cadet forum, you will not likely get any good answers!

Lets look at the examples below...

You can see that I have circled the "Craftsman Forum (sub forum)" in the "Lawn and Garden Tractors By Brand" forum. Just click on the Craftsman Forum.



Now click on the "New Thread" button!



Now comes the part where you need to think just a little bit! Take a look at the picture, and read the comments below it...



It is important when you choose a title for the thread to be as direct as you can as to the subject of your thread.

Let's say you want to ask a question about how the deck belt is routed on a GT-5000 tractor with a 46" mower deck.

Some examples of bad titles...
  • Question about mower
  • Question about belts
  • How do I put my belt on?
  • Belt question

A better choice would be...
  • Belt routing question for GT-5000 / 46" deck combo.

The reason it is important for you to catch the readers attention with your title is because MTF has literally hundreds of new threads every day competing for readers attention! It is nearly impossible for anyone to read them all! If someone is browsing through the Craftsman Forum and sees a title like "Belt question", they are likely to blow right by it. If your title says "Belt routing question for GT-5000 / 46" deck combo" and I see it... I am going to think... Hey! I have one of those, maybe I can help this guy!

When you enter your message, it is best to be direct and to the point! Don't go into some 4 paragraph long diatribe about how your mother got sick and you went to mow her lawn, and she never appreciates it, but you do it anyway, and you ran over the neighbors lost football, but you never got along with them anyway, and you through your belt and now you don't know how to put it back on, and your sick mother never was any good at keeping manuals...

You get my point! While a rambling message might be therapeutic for you, when another member sees that it is 1500 words to ask a 50 word question, they are likely to move on. Be considerate of others time when you post!

After you get your message and your title entered, you have 2 choices at the bottom of the page. "Submit Reply" and "Preview Post". If you want to see what your post is going to look like before you make it available to everyone, choose the "Preview Post" button. After you preview it, you can use the "Submit Reply" button to make it live! (You can submit it without previewing it too if you wish!)

You will have a few minutes to edit your post once you hit the "Submit Reply" button, but after that if you desire to make any changes, you will have to contact the moderator of that particular forum to make the changes for you!

Try your hand at posting a new thread! You cannot break anything on MTF, and if you do make a mistake that you cannot figure out how to correct, the Moderators are all here to help you out!

Mark

Fargo, ND

Where are you from? VOTE HERE! To represent your state!



2004 Craftsman GT 5000 1962 Cub Cadet 1944 John Deere B 1954 John Deere R Diesel
1945 VAI Case 1998 Dodge Ram 2500 4X4 / Cummins 24V

Last edited by mbkerk; 02-19-2010 at 12:44 PM.
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post #11 of 13 Old 05-06-2011, 06:14 AM
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Re: MTF Tip Of The Week! Tips and Tricks to enhance your MTF experience!

Any questions, ask a Moderator or post a new Thread.

R.I.P Durwood
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post #12 of 13 Old 07-16-2011, 12:15 PM
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MTF Tip Of The Week! Tips and Tricks to enhance your MTF experience!

TIP #11
We have a new Google Custom Search Box that works really good. Type in what you want to Search for and it brings up all the Threads with your word terms in it.






RIP Sonny T.
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post #13 of 13 Old 07-16-2011, 12:19 PM
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Re: Tip of the Week Testing

TIP #12
If a member posts a Link to a single window for a reference,
Firewall Foam
You can read it and then if you would like to read the whole Thread, in the upper right hnd corner is a link to the whole thread that if you click on it, then the whole thread opens for you to read.






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