Discussion Boards Help

The UK Discussion Boards have closed to new messages.

There are several hundred discussion boards on the Motley Fool UK covering virtually every subject under the sun. As well as investing and personal finance, there are boards for subjects such as current affairs, music and sports to name but a few. There’s something for everyone.

However, at first sight it can all be somewhat daunting, especially when you see some users whizzing around seemingly conducting a dozen conversations at once. But hopefully this guide will soon have you striding across the boards like a pro.

By the way, in order to read individual messages or post your own messages you need to be a registered user of our site. Registering is very quick and easy. If you ever forget your password, don’t panic! We can send you a link that will let you set a new password.

Here are the areas we cover in this help guide:

Each discussion board sits in a folder. The main boards or folders page has a summary of all the main folders that are available, as well as some other links you may find useful. Most of the folders are self-explanatory but they each have an explanation of what you can find in them. Simply click on the folder title to see a list of discussion boards within that particular folder. The one exception is the “Sectors & General Shares” folder that, because of the number of boards within it, has a number of sub-folders for industry sector discussions, shares beginning with A, shares beginning with B etc.

If you can’t find the board you are looking for you can use the search mechanism. Go to the bottom of any boards page and you’ll see three boxes labelled “Epic”, “Board Name” and “Author”. If you know a company’s EPIC or ticker code enter it in this box and you’ll be taken direct to that board. You can enter part of the company name or topic you are after in Board Name box and this will return the closest matches. The author box allows you to view a user’s profile by entering their username.

Reading The Boards

Once you’ve clicked on the name of the board you’ll be taken to a list of the most recent messages. Each message has a number and shows you the title of the message, who wrote it and how many recommendations it has received. The recommendations system is a useful method for singling out which messages our community thinks are the most helpful and/or useful. If you like a message then simply click on the “Recommend it!” link in the top right hand corner of the page displaying that post. You can only recommend each message once and you can recommend up to 30 posts in a day.

You can also sort the list of messages various ways. You can click on “Author” or “Recs” near the top of the page to sort messages of this basis. You can also view the list on ‘Threaded’ or ‘Unthreaded’ mode. Threaded mode groups together replies to a particular post. Unthreaded mode lists them in chronological order. You’ll see that replies to individual posts are marked “Re:” followed by the title of the initial message.

There are also some advanced viewing options. You can choose to hide a thread from your view using ‘Ignore Thread’ and ‘Unignore Thread’ by clicking on the greyed-out text or you can look at all the messages in a thread on one page using the ‘Whole Thread’ function. You can even choose between a serif and sans-serif font for the text of each message by using the button labelled ‘Message Font’ that sits near the top right of each message.

When viewing an individual message you don’t have to return to the main list to view another one. You can simply click on “Prev” or “Next” (or use the keys as shortcuts). You can also move to the next or previous thread as well.

Next to the recommend button you also see one marked “Report This Post”. You can use this if you see a message that you think breaches our terms and conditions or that is taking liberties with our posting guidelines. It enables you to send an e-mail, with accompanying notes if you think it is necessary, to our board strollers who will then deal with the situation and take action if they think it is appropriate. In almost all cases it is better to use this feature rather than confronting someone on the boards. This feature has been instrumental in making our site one of the most pleasurable and respected discussion forums on the Internet.

Lucky Charms

Next to the author’s name, you may notice some little icons. These are Lucky Charms, a badge of sorts. These badges are based on the number of posts someone has made in our forum.

Icon Meaning
1 star One star for 50 posts
2 stars Two stars for 250 posts
3 stars Three stars for 500 posts
Red star A big red star for 1000 posts
Gold star A big gold star for 5000 posts
Green star A big funky green star for 20,000 posts
Trophy Trophy for the 50 most loved Fools
Crown Crown for the top 50 Rec-to-Post ratio
New New poster – appears for 60 days following someone’s first post
Balloons Balloon bouquet to celebrate your Foolish anniversary
3 stars  Balloon bouquet to celebrate a 10+ year Foolish anniversary

These charms are guides to help new users identify the longest standing and most respected posters in our community. But they are also just meant to be a little bit of fun.

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