The DansDeals Forums, or DDF, can be a bit of an intense place, but it’s worth the learning curve. Sit back and read through posts, use the search engine, and once you’ve become acclimated, start posting. That way nobody will bark at you for posting in the wrong place or for not finding an existing thread on the topic.
One of the most important things to understand about the forums is that we give AND take here. Don’t expect to be spoon fed!
Members on here have spent hours upon hours figuring out tricks and tips, and when brand new members ask for it all on a silver platter, senior members become frustrated and will often take that frustration out on the unsuspecting new member. You don’t want to be in that position – it’s not fun!
Instead, share your own experiences and knowledge, make new friends, and before you know it, others will be more than happy to share back.
We've all been in the newcomer position at some point, but don't worry, you can push through the early challenges and become a regular DDFer in no time!
So… Learn the ropes. Try things out yourself. Test the waters. You’ll even have fun doing it!STEP 1: FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH THE FORUMS
We cannot stress the importance of reading and more reading on the forums! Sure, some of the threads are tens or even hundreds of pages long, and can seem overwhelming at first, but the more you read, the more knowledgeable you will become and the more knowledge you have, the more respected you will become.
-As you will notice, there are senior members with more experience and knowledge than the average DDFer. If you ever expect their help or don't wanna get ignored forever: have respect.
-And of course, total respect is expected towards high ranking members - such as admins, founder and mods.
Let’s start with how the forums are laid out. On the main page, you'll see 10 topics to click on. Each of those focuses on a general subject and is called a "board". Once you open a board, you'll see hundreds of more specific topics to click on - those are called "threads". Once you open a thread, you'll see the long conversation about that topic. Comments are listed in chronological order and each time someone posts in a thread, that thread will be bumped up to the top of its board - meaning that threads are listed with the most-recently-commented-on first. At the top of a board are usually a few "stickied" threads that always stay at the top as they contain rules and useful information. To the far right of each thread is a little square with an arrow - click it and you'll be taken the most recent post in that thread!
Seeing 10 boards may be daunting, but if you understand how they're organized, you'll feel a lot more confident in knowing where to look/ask for something. Here's a quick explanation of each one:
1. “Start Here” This is the board where you’ll find the most helpful threads for beginners, including ones with links to the most popular threads, and of course, the forum rules. Make sure to abide by these rules so you don’t get flak from some long-standing members!
2. “General Discussion” This is the board where members have real life discussions that don’t belong in one of the following boards.
3. “Tech Talk” This is the board with threads about cell phones, computers and other techie related discussions and questions.
4. “Destination Guides And Trip Planning Advice” This is the board where members talk about specific locations (almost always organized into master threads by location) and offer advice for planning a trip. A very valuable board if you’re planning a vacation!
5. “Trip Reports” This is the board where people post trip reports of their travels. Also, a great board for getting trip planning ideas.
6. “Up in the Air” This is the board for air travel discussion.
7. “On the Road” This is the board for road travel discussion, including rental cars and hotels.
8. “Credit Cards” This is the board where we talk about credit cards, banks, and all other financial topics. (This is what we're famous for
and where you'll likely go after reading this tutorial.)
9. “Deals/Deal Request” This is the board where members post about deals that they have come across and would like to share with others.
10. “Just Shmooze” Exactly how it sounds
11. “Goods for Sale” Have something to sell (other than miles!!)? Go ahead and do it here.
12. "DDF DO Board" Meet up with other members from the forum!
Although you shouldn't really be starting new threads too often (even the pros try avoiding it), if you find that you started a thread on the wrong board, you can always RTM (report to moderator) it by clicking on the words “report to moderator” located on the bottom right of your post, and ask a moderator to move it to the correct board.
Again, (we really can't stress it enough) read, read, read! The longer time you spend reading and lurking around before you post, the easier time you'll have integrating into the incredible DDF community.STEP 2: SEARCH
How to search:
A good place to start is by learning how to maximize the benefits of the search button. There’s a “smart” search engine on the forum for you to look up topics that have been discussed in the past.
-If you’re on the home page the search engine (top right corner of your screen) will search everything on the forum.
-If you’re in a specific board it will only search within that board.
-If you’re in a specific thread it will only search within that thread.
Easy as 1-2-3!A few searching pointers:
-Sometimes you may have to play around a little when it comes to searching… having issues finding more information about Chase Reconsideration? Try “recon” instead. Nothing coming up about that Annual Fee you were wondering about? That’s because most members will refer to it as “AF”
-Try searching in "quotes".
-You can also use advanced search found via this link
If you can’t find the thread about the specific topic you’re looking for, try asking in the Help Me Find It! thread if such a thread exists. We’re all happy to point you in the right direction!STEP 3: POSTING
To an existing topic:
1. If there is an existing thread about the topic you're looking for, that’s the best place to ask your question. For example, say you want to know where the best place is to eat in Los Angeles. Head on over to the Los Angeles Master Thread! Have a comment of absolutely no value? Go ahead and post in our “Random Posts” where our resident Meshugener used to dwell
2. Once you've found the thread, check if it has a WIKI and go ahead and read that first! If a thread has a wiki, it can be found on the first page of the thread or on any page of the thread by clicking on the little + sign on the top right of the page. Wikis are basically summaries of the main concepts of a topic and have tons of valuable information - you may very well find that your question is answered in there!
3. If the Wiki has a format for how you should post (for example, this thread), make sure to follow the format so you get an answer.
4. Once you're ready to post, click the blue "reply" button found on either the top or bottom of the page, write your comment and click post!
5. A lot of comments have blue boxes with a quote of someone else's comment in them. Quoting someone else is very useful when you're having a conversation or trying to respond directly to someone's post. On the top right corner of the post you want to quote, simply click "quote" and the post will be automatically added to your comment box!Starting a new topic:
Ok, you’ve searched, you’ve read, and now you’re convinced that your question/topic deserves a new thread. What do you do?
1. Determine which board it belongs in. Is it a technical question? Post in “Tech Talk”! Are you trying to sell your unlocked iPhone? Post in “Goods for Sale.”
2. When you're in the board you want, click the blue "New Topic" button that's in the place of the regular "Reply" button.
2. Create a thread subject that succinctly describes what you’re trying to say. Rather than titling your thread “HOT!! GREAT DEAL ON IPHONE!” write “Unlocked ATT iPhone 4s for sale $200” so people can get the gist of what you’re saying without having to open the thread. It’s very frustrating for members when a thread topic is misleading!
3. Go ahead and post!Editing/deleting your post:
Let’s say you post a question about renting a car but forgot to mention that you’re under 25. So you create a second post saying, “Oops, forgot to say… I’m only 24.” A minute later you realize, wait, your birthday is next week and you actually will be 25 before your rental date, so you create yet a third post saying, “Oh, wait, never mind… I’ll be 25!”
Seems kinda tedious, right? And believe me, no one here wants to read all those posts either!
Instead, you can simply edit your original post (or even delete it). On the top right of your post you'll notice a “Modify” button which will let you make changes and a “Remove” button which will let you delete your post altogether. A few other posting pointers:
1. This is an open forum, not a text message. Please try to use proper spelling and grammar. This is not the place for “u2” and “wats up” lingo.
2. The longer your post, the less likely members will be to read it.
3. The more questions you ask in one post the less likely any will be answered.
4. Don't write really long paragraphs. No one likes to get dizzy.