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Welcome to the ACGA Forums (READ THIS FIRST)

Posted: January 17th, 2009, 8:05 pm
by Rudy Ramsey
Welcome to ACGA!

Welcome to the Forum Site of An Comunn GĂ idhealach Ameireaganach (ACGA), the American Scottish Gaelic Society. It's nice to have you here. :)

Our mission is to promote and preserve the Gaelic language and culture by supporting Gaelic language study and interest in Gaelic literature, song, music, art and history in North America and the world. In addition to this forum site, we have a website at That site is relatively static, but has lots of information about our organization, events, learning resources, scholarships, our GĂ idhealtachd Support program, and other good stuff. That's also the place to go if you're interested in joining ACGA.

About These Forums

This Forum Site consists of a collection of Rooms, each containing multiple Forums. Each Forum is a place in which multiple Topics can exist. Each Topic is a series of Posts, or messages, placed there by our participants. So the whole site is really a way of allowing communication among our participants in an organized way. If you understand how the whole thing is structured, you can easily find your way to the material that interests you, and you can subscribe for email notifications (by Forum or by Topic) whenever something new is posted that might interest you. That's a powerful capability; don't fail to at least consider making use of it.

There are well over 20 separate forums here, divided into five Rooms:

    The Board Room -- A private room used for the business of the Board of Directors.
    The Committee Room -- Containing a separate, private forum for each of the ACGA committees.
    The Members' Room -- Containing forums intended for use by our members. These forums are visible to registered non-members, but only members can do posting here. We post our news and announcements, and have an ongoing auction of Gaelic materials here. There's a forum devoted to Gaelic-only conversations, and whatever else we think of that's of benefit to our members. If you're a guest, and you want to see the material posted here, you'll need to register. It's a simple process and it's free.
    The Classroom -- Containing forums devoted to particular forms of Gaelic learning, such as translation exercises, as well as a forum for discussion of Gaelic teaching. This room is also visible to registered non-members, but not unregistered guests. Only members can post here.
    The Public Room -- Where you are now. The forums in this room are visible to all, but posting requires registration. Again, that's simple and free. You need not be an ACGA member to register as a member of the board and post messages here.

Tips for Using This Site

Following this post is a series of tips for use of the forum site. Each of them is a separate post. We'll try to keep them short and sweet, and my suggestion is that you just read through them. For ease of reference, though, here are links to the individual tips:

It's my intention to keep this topic clean, for quick and easy reading and reference. If you have questions or suggestions, you have three options. You may post them here, but I will delete them after reading and acting on them. That would be good for suggestions for the tips here, for example. You may post them in the Chatter (Other Stuff) forum here in the Public Room if you would like others to be able to see them and respond, or you may send them to me as a private message.

Navigation Tips

Posted: February 19th, 2009, 2:45 pm
by Rudy Ramsey
Navigation Tips

The forum software we're using, phpBB, is rich in navigation aids, and it's worth spending a few minutes to familiarize yourself with how to get around. I'll call your attention to a few of the more useful features in this post.


In the upper-left corner, below the ACGA logo, you'll find six useful "buttons" (actually text links, but they behave like buttons):

    User Control Panel -- Click this to manage your own account, including contact information, preferences, and other stuff.
    new messages -- This shows whether or not you have any new private messages; click on it to view them. This won't turn red, as shown here, except when you have your cursor over it.
    View your posts -- Click here and you can see all the messages you have posted in the forums.
    View unanswered posts -- Click here to see posts by anyone that haven't been answered.
    View new posts -- This one is particularly useful. If you form the habit of clicking this whenever you come into the site, you'll see all the new posts in a single list.
    View active topics -- Self explanatory.

When there's a new post in a forum that you haven't seen, you'll see an attention grabbing red disc like this:


As you can see, there's one or more new post(s) in the Finance Committee forum in this example.

If you select that forum's name, you'll enter the forum and see something like this:


Here, the red disc indicates a new post in the topic "PayPal". You can click on the name of that topic, and you'll enter the topic at the top.

But notice the small red square between the red disc and the topic title. If you click on this little symbol, instead, you'll be taken to the first post you haven't already seen. That's very handy!

There's one more, similar navigation aid. Over on the right side of the window, you can see information about the number of posts, number of views, and the name of the user/member who posted the last message in this topic.


For "PayPal" (the second topic) the last post was made by Rachell Blessing. Notice the small white square next to her name. If you click on that, you'll be taken directly to the last post in the topic.

Subscribing to Email Notifications

Posted: February 19th, 2009, 2:47 pm
by Rudy Ramsey
Subscribing to Email Notifications

A particularly important capability of our forum software is the ability to subscribe to a topic or a forum. Please don't overlook how important this feature is for those who wish to be active participants in our ACGA forums.

When you subscribe to a forum, you'll receive an ordinary email message when a new post is made in that forum. If 25 new posts are made in that forum, you'll still only receive one email message, so it won't fill up your inbox. But it will help you notice when there's something new you want to see. Once you've visited the board the next time, the subscription service will reset, and you'll be notified again the next time there's something new in a forum in which you have an interest. This solves the "out of sight, out of mind" problem without being overly obtrusive.

In my opinion, subscribing to a forum is more useful than subscribing to a topic, but the choice is yours. I'll show you how to subscribe to a topic first, because you're already in the right place to do that.

Subscribing to a Topic

You're now looking at a single topic. If you scroll all the way to the bottom of the window, you'll see something that looks like this:


Notice the words "Subscribe topic" near the bottom of the window. That's a clickable link (you might think of it as a button), and you must click on it if you wish to subscribe to the current topic. Don't be misled by the checkbox next to it. It's misleading, and I've reported it as a problem to the developers. Just pay attention to the words. If you see the words "Subscribe topic", you are not currently subscribed, and you're being offered the opportunity to subscribe by clicking those words. Once you've subscribed, the display changes to look like this:


If you change your mind and want to unsubscribe, just click on "Unsubscribe topic".

Subscribing to a Forum

Subscribing to a whole forum works the same way, but you need to be in a different place in order to do it. Take a look at the image just above (the one that said "Unsubscribe topic"). A little bit above that, you'll see a text button that says "Return to About ACGA and These Forums". If you click on it, you'll be looking at the entire forum, rather than at just this one topic. Once you're there, you have the opportunity to subscribe to the entire forum. Here's what you'll see at the very bottom left of the window if you scroll down:


And, of course, you click on "Subscribe forum" if that's what you want to do. :)

Registering for the Site

Posted: February 25th, 2009, 10:39 pm
by Rudy Ramsey
Registering for the Site

In order to gain access to more than just the Public Room, and to gain the ability to post here, you'll need to register as a member of this forum site.

In general, we're trying to use real first and last names as our login names here, at least for ACGA members. It isn't required, but it's nice for a group like this to be able to recognize one another here on the forum.

We would prefer to be able to allow users to create their own accounts here. However, with the best security features available to us, we've been getting more than 100 spam-robot accounts created per day. Deleting all of those is an intolerable workload, and it's hard to notice real people who are trying to join the forum. So we've disabled that feature.

If you would like an account here, please send an email to

identifying yourself by name (first and last) and location, and using an email address that will reach you. It will also be helpful if you'll say a bit about your involvement/interest in Gaelic. If you're an ACGA member, say so, and we'll know to give you member privileges. We'll create an account for you and notify you by email. If you don't hear from us within a couple of days, please feel free to repeat this procedure; we'll try to insure that that isn't necessary.