Most of this is copied from the Vanilla boilerplate. I'll probably change and adapt as we go along.
- Make the discussion title or question as descriptive as possible. A good discussion title is a short preview of your post and is what gets people to click and read. A well written title is also going to help search engines better index your post which will bring more people into the discussion. For example, instead of ‘Won’t Connect’, try ‘Help, I’m having problems getting my Acme modem into bridge mode.’
- Proof read. Spelling mistakes, typos, and bad grammar will distract readers from the point you’re trying to make. Vanilla automatically saves drafts as you type. If you’re writing a long post, save it as a draft and come back to it after a few minutes or as long as it takes your brain to forget what you had written.
- Use tags. Tags are helpful for others to find keyword related posts. It also helps the site admins get a sense for what topics are popular.
- If you want responses, ask for them. In marketing this is called a ‘call to action’. If you want others to comment, you can encourage them by asking them to do so. If your post is just an FYI then don’t.
- Add an image. Images add visual interest and make your post look great when shared to social networks. You can embed an image using the button bar or you can upload one from your desktop or phone.
- Mention others. Credit other members if you are building off their previous comments or if you want to draw them into the discussion. Put the @ before a username to mention someone. They’ll get notified when you do. (I've tried this and just typing the first few letters of a username brings up that person in a tiny modal box, which is handy. —Ken.)
- Use the reactions. These let you share how you feel about other’s comments. The most liked content shows up on the Best Of page. (No reactions yet, so this page is 404 for now. —Ken.)
- Update your notification preferences. You’ll receive a notification if someone mentions you or posts to a discussion that you’ve bookmarked. You can set notifications from the Edit Profile page.
- Send messages. You can private message members by going to your inbox, or visiting their profile page (click their username anywhere).
- Don’t want to see everyone’s signature? You can hide signatures by going to Edit Profile > Signature Settings.
- Check out the forum from your mobile phone. Just go to the forum URL in your browser - no need to download an app. (I've tested this and it works great! — Ken.)
- Want to embed a YouTube video, a Pinterest Pin or a Tweet? Just paste in the link. Vanilla will handle the embedding for you!
- Check out what’s going on with other community members on the Activity page.
- Take ownership. Most important of all, take ownership of the discussions that you have created. Respond to comments promptly and thoughtfully. Thank others for commenting on your discussion and help with moderation if things get heated.
Thanks for posting! Have fun!