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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I delete comments?

This particular functionality has been disabled for reasons such as thread continuity. All members have 30 minutes to edit posts and comments, so use your time wisely! Please proofread your posts and double check the content before you enter them. Members may also use the "Preview" function to view messages in a pseudo-final state before entering them permanently.

How do I contact a staff member?

To contact staff, you need to start a conversation with them.
If you know the name of the staff member you wish to contact then you should open your conversations page and type the staff member's name into the recipient box.

If you don't know the name of the staff you wish to contact, you can either find the online staff on the forum list page, or preferably, you can navigate to the forum relevant to your issue and click the Staff List link. This link is above the thread list of all forums.
The list of moderators shows the most recently online at the top. Start a Conversation with one of the staff members in the list.

How do I change my username?

Contact any staff member and they will be happy to help you. Per the rules of this board, your username should be your proper name or a variation thereof: John Smith, J. Smith, John S.

Easily quoting multiple posts

The + Quote button allows you to select various posts (from different threads if you wish) to be quoted in a reply you type.

To select a message to be quoted, click the + Quote button. Note that the plus sign + changes to a minus sign - which indicates that you have selected this post to quote. Click the - Quote button to deselect it.

When at least one post has been selected for quoting, an Insert Quotes... button will appear below the reply text box.

Clicking the Insert Quotes... button will activate a pop-up window allowing you to confirm which of the selected posts you wish to quote in your reply. Select the required quoted posts and click the Quote These Messages button.

The posts will all be inserted into the reply box ready for you to add your comments.

Do I really have to use my full name?

Yes, or some variation of your proper name. The reasoning is simple, proper names are tied to accountability and we like accountability around here. Now, for those of you paranoid about the putting your full name on the internet, here are acceptable variations:
  • John Smith
  • J Smith
  • John S

Chase topic minefields

We thought it might be beneficial for newer members to see a list of topics that are almost guaranteed to elicit a negative response on the forum and on social media. This isn't to discourage the discussion of these topics, just to prepare the poster for some of the responses. In other words, if you talk about doing any of these things, you need to expect criticism and have some thick skin in preparation.

Vehicle topics:
- Lightbars and flashing lights: strobes, rotators, wigwags, arrow sticks, etc
- Weather stations and instruments: Davis/OS home stations, custom builds, etc
- Logos and graphics: wraps, magnets, banners
- Anything with the intent, or appearance of intent, to drive into tornadoes: armored vehicles, etc
- Any accessory that is "over the top" or having the appearance of attention-seeking rather than actual function

Driving topics:
- Excessive speeding
- Passing in no-passing zones or on blind curves/hills
- Stopping in the road
- Standing in the road or setting tripods up in the road
- Tailgating
- Driving slow on a 2-lane road
- Hanging out of vehicle window to shoot pictures/video

Media/Photography topics:
- Giving video/photos away to media companies/networks for free/cheap
- Photographing fresh damage and tornado victims
- Copying other chasers' images to your web site/social media pages
- Celebrating while shooting a destructive tornado

Social Media/websites/blogs:
- Posting weather hype/outlandish model graphics
- Publishing own watches/warnings

Chasing goals:
- Research
- Saving lives
- Making it a career
- Getting too close/getting "extreme" video
- Not stopping when first on the scene of damage

Weather topics:
- Global warming
- Monetizing storm chasing (video sales, sponsorships, Kickstarter campaigns, etc)
- Conspiracy theories

I'm sure there are others, but that should cover most of them! Feel free to add more if you think of any.

This list was originally created by Dan Robinson.

About forums, threads and messages

What is a forum?
A forum is an online discussion site. It's sometimes also called a 'bulletin board' or 'board'. It may contain several categories, consisting of forums, threads and individual messages.

How is all this structured?
The forum as a whole contains various categories (broad subject areas), which themselves contain forums (more specific subject areas) which contain threads (conversations on a particular topic) which are made up of individual messages (where a user writes something).

Threads are also sometimes called 'discussions'.

Messages are 'posted' to the forums and are sometimes called 'posts'.

About Threads
When you click on a forum's name, you are taken to the list of threads it contains. A thread is a conversation between members. Each thread starts out as a single message and grows as replies are added by different members.

To start a new thread simply click on the 'Post New Thread' button towards the top-right of the page (if there is no such button, it means you do not have permission to post a new thread).

Threads can be ordered in many different ways. The default is to have the thread with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the thread with the most messages at the top, or the most views. Simply click on the appropriate column heading at the top of the list of threads. You can also reverse the sorting order by clicking the heading again. (Note that 'sticky' threads will always be at the top no matter how you change the viewing options).

Multi-page views
When there are more threads to display than will fit on a single page, you may see the 'Page' navigator top-left of the list of threads, which contains page numbers. This indicates that the list of threads has been split over two or more pages. This method of splitting lists of items over many pages is used throughout the forum. If there are lots of pages, you can click a small arrow to change the displayed page numbers to find the page you want.

What are sticky threads?
'Sticky' threads are created by forum staff, and remain 'stuck' to the top of the listing, even if they haven't had any messages recently. Their purpose is to keep important information visible and accessible at all times.

How do I read a thread?
To read a thread, click on its title. Each message in a thread is created by a member. You'll see some brief information about the member who created the thread to the left of the first message.

How to I reply to a thread?
To post a reply to an existing thread, type your reply in the box at the bottom of the list of messages and click on the 'Post Reply' button. If the 'Post Reply' button does not appear, it could mean that you are not logged in as a member, or that you do not have permission to reply, or that the thread has been closed to new replies.

The 'More Options' button gives you more options when replying to a thread.

Is there a faster way to get to forums?
If you know which forum you want to go to, you can use the 'Forum Jump' control, which appears to the right of the breadcrumb.

How do I find out more about members?
To view information about a particular member, click on the user name. This will take you to their public profile page.

The image below shows the anatomy of a typical thread.

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