CrackBerry Forums How-To
If you are here reading this, congratulations! You have come across the best BlackBerry community on the internet. With community forums, news blogs, how-to articles, free ringtones and much more, CrackBerry.com is here to assist you with anything you might need that is BlackBerry related. If you are a new member learning the basics, an experienced user looking for tips to increase productivity or even a BlackBerry administrator seeking help configuring and running a server, CrackBerry.com will be able to help. Our forums have over 60,000 members and are growing each day. In this how-to lesson, we will walk you through registering on the site and using the CrackBerry Forums. Don’t worry, it's free and easy so let’s get started!
Table of Contents
1. Registering on CrackBerry.com
2. Creating Your @CrackBerry.com Email Address
3. Searching the Forums
4. Posting Replies to Existing Threads
5. Creating New Threads
6. Using Quick Reply
7. Subscribing to Threads
8. Editing Your Avatar & Signature
9. Advanced Search Features
10. Customize Which Forums Show in Today's Posts
Last edited by Trevor; 02-09-2008 at 04:17 PM.
Registering on CrackBerry.comYou can always browse the forums without registering, but in order to post, subscribe to threads, private message and use other forum features, you must be registered. (If you don’t know what those things I just mentioned are, don’t worry I will explain them in just a minute.) So, registering is where we will begin. When you first come to the CrackBerry.com site you will see a link on the right side of the horizontal navigation bar that says Register.
When you click that link, you will be brought to page where you may choose a username and password and fill in other registration information. Your username is like your nickname on the site. It is what you will enter to login and it is how others will address you in the forums. Think carefully when choosing a username as it cannot be changed. Also note that your username is not your email address. Unless you want all 60,000+ members on the forums knowing your email address, I suggest not using it as your username. In the account information block you will also choose a password and provide a valid email address.
Once you have entered your account information, you will be asked to enter some personal information. Don’t worry; it is just your name and gender. These will not be visible to regular users so you do not need to worry about privacy.
Finally, you will enter your device information. This will be displayed next to your name in the forums. It will aid other members in assisting you when you need help by allowing them to provide device specific answers. Don’t worry, if you are not a BlackBerry user yet, that is an option. Also, your device information can always be modified later if you upgrade your device. Once you have completed all forms, click the ‘Create New Account’ button.
That’s it, you are done! You are now logged in to your account and will see your account information.
This page is accessible at any time by selecting the ‘My Account’ button on the horizontal navigation bar when logged in.
Creating Your @CrackBerry.com Email AddressAlong with lots of other perks, your free CrackBerry.com account gives you the option of creating a free @crackberry.com email address. This address allows you to share an email address with friends without giving out your real email address. The way this works is by forwarding. When you create your CrackBerry email, you will be given the option of forwarding it to another email address. What happens is when someone sends an email to your CrackBerry address, it is forwarded to the email address of your choice. So let’s set this up. Login to CrackBerry.com then click the ‘My Account' link (located on the far right side of the main menu at the top of the site - it says Register Now When logged out). On the 'My Account' page, select ‘Create/Modify your @CrackBerry.com Email Address.’ This will take you to a page that looks like this:
In the above example I have chosen my email name and entered my example email address for this how-to article.
Once you have completed the fields, select save. Be sure your @crackberry.com email is the one you want as it cannot be changed once you click save. You can always change the address to which your email is forwarded by selecting ‘Create/Modify your @CrackBerry.com Email Address’ under ‘My Account.’ You are done! Feel free to share your CrackBerry email with friends and family or even with other CrackBerry members. Also, if you want to be able to send email from your CrackBerry Email address check out the forum post How to Send Email From Your CrackBerry Email Address.
Searching the ForumsNow that you have created a CrackBerry Account and email address, it’s time to check out the forums. On the horizontal navigation bar at the top of the page, click ‘Help & Discussion Forums.’ This will bring you to the forums home page. As you can see there lots of categories to choose from. These are called forums. The type of question you have will determine which forum you select. For example, if you have a question about Verizon, a US cellular carrier, you would select the Verizon Wireless forum under BlackBerry Carrier Discussion.
Once you select the appropriate forum, click it and you will be brought to a list of threads in that forum. A thread is a unique topic which contains a question or information posted by a user just like you. If you are looking for an answer to a question, the first step is searching. To search the forums to see if your question has already been answered, select the ‘Search Forums’ button and enter a search term in the drop down search box and press go.
In my example, the search term is “Verizon Plans”
Once you press go, the forum will search for information related to your search term(s). You will be taken to a list of threads related to your search. On the results page will be various information about the threads. The title of the thread is listed along with the person who created the thread under the title. The forum in which the thread is posted and information about replies and views is also displayed.
In my example, I want information about verizon plans. So I select the thread titled “verizon plan questions” So, now that we found the correct thread, check out the next post to see how to reply to an existing thread.
Last edited by Trevor; 01-25-2008 at 06:55 AM.
Posting Replies to Existing ThreadsThe above thread answered my question and since it was helpful I want to post a response saying thanks. To post a reply to an existing thread you must be in that thread. Once you are in it click the ‘Post Reply’ button in the top left hand corner.
You will be brought to the reply page where you can type in your reply. You have the option of entering a title to your reply and the body of your reply.
Once you are satisfied with your reply click the ‘Submit Reply’ button. After clicking the ‘Submit Reply’ button, you will be brought to your reply at the bottom of the thread that you were replying to.
Creating a New ThreadSometimes after searching the forums, you will not find the answer you are looking for or you will need a more specific answer. If there is a similar thread that came up when you searched, you may post your reply in that thread and wait for a response. If you cannot find an existing thread, it is time to create a new thread. The first step in creating a new thread is choosing the appropriate place to post the thread. To do this, go to the forums home page by clicking the ‘Help & Discussion Forums’ button on the horizontal navigation bar at the top. Quickly look over the categories and determine where the new thread should go. For my example, I want to post a thread asking if anyone knows when the new 9xxx series devices are coming out. So I would select the forum called “BlackBerry News & Rumors.”
Once you select the appropriate forum, you need to select the ‘New Thread’ button in the top left corner.
After clicking ‘New Thread,’ you will be brought to a new thread page. Here is where you will enter a title for your thread and enter the body of the thread. It is important that when naming a thread you use a descriptive title. Titles such as “Help” or “Question” are not acceptable and will inevitably be changed by a moderator. When choosing a title, remember, you want others in the future to be able to find your thread, so post a descriptive title that will make it easy for others to find your thread and understand what it is about. Also, when typing the body of your thread please remember to use punctuation and not too much internet language; it makes it much nicer for people who are reading your thread.
Once you are finished creating your thread, click ‘Submit Thread.’ You will be brought to your posted thread.
Congratulations! You just made your first thread. Now you can sit back and wait for people to respond to it.
Last edited by Trevor; 01-25-2008 at 11:50 PM.
Using Quick ReplyNow that we have covered the basics, we will now be covering more advanced forum features. Today we are going to look at the quick reply box. The quick reply box allows you to do just that. It is for quick replies to threads. Whenever you are signed in and viewing a thread, the quick reply box is located at the bottom of the screen.
You simply type your message in this box and click post. That's how simple it is. But, the quick reply box is limited in features. You can edit font style and color and insert urls/images. But, the smilies are not available in quick reply and subscription options are also not available. If at any time you need the normal post box, click 'Go Advanced.' This will take you to the normal reply box.
That's about it, the quick reply box is simple to use, but can save you lots of time for those short and to-the-point replies.
Last edited by Trevor; 01-28-2008 at 11:33 PM.
Subscribing to ThreadsSometimes you want to stay on top of what is happening in a particular thread. Of course, you could just check back every so often to see if there are new responses, but the forums have a subscription feature that will notify you when a thread you are subscribed to has new replies.
To utilize the subscription feature, while in a thread click 'Thread Tools' in the upper right hand corner of the forums, then select 'Subscribe to this Thread.'
You will then be taken to a subscription options page. Here you can select the type of notification you would like from the drop down menu. The available options are no notification, instant, daily, and weekly notification. Instant means you will be emailed instantly when someone replies to the thread you are subscribed to. Daily and weekly are rather self explanatory. Once you have subscribed to the thread you will be returned to that thread.
To modify your subscribed threads or view updates to your subscribed threads select 'Quick Links' and choose 'Subscribed Threads.' Here you will have the option to change or remove your subscription options for each thread by selecting the drop down menu as seen in the picture.
You may also choose to specific type of subscription for every thread you reply to if you choose. To access this option, select 'Quick Links' then 'Edit Options.' On the next screen scroll down to the section called 'Default Thread Subscription Mode.' From the drop down menu, you may select the default subscription for threads you reply to. When finished scroll to the bottom of the page and select 'Save Changes'
Well, that's it. One more forum feature down. Now you are getting to be quite the pro at the CrackBerry Forums, so in the next lecture we will look at some "fun" features to personalize the way you appear on the forums.
Editing Your Avatar & SignatureNow that we have covered all the basic and even a few advanced forum features, we are going to look at personalizing your account. On every post you make in the CrackBerry Forums, your signature and avatar will be displayed. Your avatar is a small image of your choice which can represent you or can be completely random. That's what makes it fun! Your signature is just like a signature in an email. It is tacked on to the end of a post. You can put lots of things in your signature. A link to another website, your name, or even your CrackBerry email address. It's up to you. However, there are some rules and guidelines for signatures and avatars.
- Signatures may only contain one url.
- Signatures may not be excessively long.
- Fonts over the size of 4 should not be used in signatures.
- Avatars may not contain explicit or pornographic content.
Users should also note that the CrackBerry Staff reserves the right to change or remove inappropriate signatures at any time.
Now, let's look at how to choose an avatar! To edit your avatar you will need to enter the User Control Panel. There is a link to this located in the top left hand corner of the forum window, it says 'User CP.'
Once you are in the control panel select 'Edit Avatar' from the menu on the left.
At the top of the page, your current avatar will be displayed. Below that is your preloaded avatars.
There is also an option for a custom avatar. A custom avatar allows you to upload your own image from another location such as your computer or an internet web site. CrackBerry.com does offer a selection preloaded BlackBerry avatars to choose from, but if you choose to upload your own, you should note that the maximum size of your avatar is 80 by 80 pixels or 19.5 KB (whichever is smaller). So, choose an avatar you like and let's move on to signatures.
Editing your signature is easy. To do modify your signature, simply enter the user control panel as shown above. The box where you type your signature is very similar to creating a post, so you should be familiar with that. When finished entering your signature click 'Save Signature.'
That's it! You have now set your custom avatar and signature. Let's take a look at what it will look like when your post.
Last edited by Trevor; 01-30-2008 at 03:41 PM.
Advanced Search FeaturesSearching the forums before posting is always best. But, sometimes a basic search just won't find what you are looking for. This is when the advanced search features come in handy. First you will need to access the advanced search page. To access the advanced forum search page select the 'Search Forums' button on the forum navigation bar and then choose 'Advanced Search.'
Now that you are on the advanced search page, you will see how many options there are to help narrow your search. Two of my favorite are 'the 'Search by Keyword' and 'Search by username.' Below the search by keyword box is a drop down menu which defaults to 'Search Entire Posts.' If you select the arrow there is also an option to 'Search Titles Only.' This is very useful when searching for very specific information and you do not want threads where a topic was simply mentioned, but a thread dedicated to what you are searching for.
The next advanced search feature which sees a lot of use is the search by username. If you want to find a post by a person begin typing their name in this box and after you type the first few letters, several user names on the forum will be displayed. Choose the one you want and you may find posts by that person.
In the lower left hand section of the advanced search page are some other general search options. You may choose to find threads with at least or less than a specified number of replies and posts within specific time ranges. You may also choose how your search results will be displayed. They may be displayed as threads or as individual posts. You may also choose to sort the results by number or replies, relevancy, title, date, username, etc. If you can think of a way to search for something, the advanced search page should be able to do it.
Finally, in the lower right hand section of the advanced search page is the individual forum search box. This panel allows you to select which specific forum(s) to search in. You may select one forum by clicking it or multiple forums by holding control which clicking. Below this panel is a radio box that says 'Also search in child forums.' This means that the search will also take place in forums located "beneath" the forum selected. For example, in the picture below my search would take place in the General BlackBerry Discussion Section and the BlackBerry Device Help and Discussion Forums. This includes the BlackBerry Discussion, BlackBerry News & Rumors, BlackBerry Curve 83xx, BlackBerry 8830 WE, etc.
This concludes lesson 9. With all these search skills under your belt, you will be a more productive forum user and be you will be able to utilize the wealth of information available on this site. In the next lesson I will be showing you how to keep CrackBerry.com a spam free site by showing you the report post tool.
- 11-22-2008, 07:27 PM #11
Customize Which Forums Show in Today's Posts
CrackBerry.com offers two links for viewing Today's Posts..
Today's Posts (BlackBerry Forums)
Today's Posts (All Forums)
These links are located on the main website under the "Help & Discussion Forums" drop down on the main menu, and are also links at the top of the mobile forums site (http://wapforums.crackberry.com)
The default query is to view All Forums. This link/URL is actually a database query which fetches and retrieves the latest forum posts for all forums. For Today's BlackBerry Posts, we have simply excluded the CrackBerry Cafe Social forums and some of the lesser forums (i.e. Site Bugs & Reporting). This keep the "BlackBerry Posts" relevant to the topic of BlackBerry stuff.
Customizing Today's Posts for your own Needs
If there are certain forums you want to exclude when viewing Today's Posts, you can actually customize this query statement and bookmark it for your viewing pleasure.
For example, the default querty for Today's Posts looks like this:
while the Today's BB posts, features the forums to be excluded:
When you scroll over the forums on the homepage, pay attention to the status bar on your web browser. You'll be able to see the url for each forum, which at the end contains that forums #. Any forums you don't want to see, simply list them in the exclude statement per the example of.
So if for example you want to view Today's BlackBerry Posts, but want to EXCLUDE The Storm forums, you would just add ,86 to the statement above:
http:// forums.crackberry.com/search.php?do=getdaily&exclude=36,19,47,39,99,51,8 6
You can check it out in action here: Today's BB Posts (minus Storm)