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What is HawaiiThreads.com?
HawaiiThreads.com is an open, general interest web forum allowing visitors to discuss, explore, and debate anything and everything about Hawaii. Also known as a discussion or message board, the structure of HawaiiThreads.com is designed to provide a venue for people to "talk story" about a wide variety of topics. While HawaiiThreads.com users may come to the site looking to discuss only politics, or only local celebrities, or only Hawaiian issues, the hope is that they will be inspired to read and participate in the open exchange taking place throughout the site.

Who is HawaiiThreads.com for?
Everyone! HawaiiThreads.com is open to anyone who would like to use the site to "talk story" online. Of course, given its name, HawaiiStories.com was created especially for people in Hawaii, from Hawaii, or with a particular interest or affection for the islands. Whether you're a local, an expatriate, a frequent or first-time visitor, or even a future resident, we'd love to have you on HawaiiThreads.com. Read, respond, ask questions, and most importantly, enjoy yourself.

Who else is here?
If you search the site, you might notice threads will come up that are in forum areas that aren't listed in the main HawaiiThreads.com directory. This is because HawaiiThreads.com also hosts forums for other groups. So there is often more talkstory going on at HawaiiThreads.com than meets the eye.

Currently, HawaiiThreads.com is the forum engine for the following groups: If you'd like to discuss how HawaiiThreads.com can foster your organization's online community, please contact us.

Why was HawaiiThreads.com started?
Hawaii people love to "talk story." And the Internet provides unlimited opportunities for conversation. Yet, in exploring the various online communities and other hideouts, something seemed to be missing.

USENET, when not overrun with spam (not the good kine Spam), is an excellent venue... but it's not the easiest neighborhood to get to. Same goes for IRC and other "live chat" channels  they're hard to get to, and it's hard to find a reliable group of other chatters, given the time zone bugaboo. Finally, of course, there are other discussion boards with setups just like HawaiiThreads.com. Dozens of them are out there... so what does HawaiiThreads.com bring to the party?

In a word, everything.

That's not to say HawaiiThreads.com is the biggest and the best  at this point, we're not even sure if the site will really take off. But we hope so, because one thing we couldn't find anywhere else was a forum that was open: open to a wide variety of topics (rather than just one specific subject or community), or open to a wide variety of perspectives (rather than just an echo chamber advocating one objective or point of view).

Example? HawaiiThreads.com's sister site, HawaiiStories.com, is a different kind of entry in the "talk story" tradition. While the topics vary, from food to politics, the participants are limited by design. HawaiiStories.com was a community site for weblog publishers, or "bloggers." An articulate bunch, but with a membership that tends toward the geeky. Not that that's a bad thing!

HawaiiThreads.com is open to everyone. Yes, you too!

How do I join in the fun?
It's easy, and free. All you need to do is sign up for an account. While you need to specify your e-mail address (so we can verify you're not a spambot signing up for hundreds of accounts!), it won't be displayed to anyone else  unless you want it to be  and you can use a nickname (alias or handle) as your identity on the boards.

Feel free to jump into any discussion you like: just click the "Reply" button and type away. Of course, if there isn't a conversation you're interested in, then start one! HawaiiThreads.com will only get better the more threads there are.

Of course, there's more to the HawaiiThreads.com setup than just "talk story." You can subscribe to discussions so you get an e-mail every time there's something new to read. You can set up a personal profile with a photo and an avatar (or icon) that gets included with each message you post. There's a private messaging system, allowing you to send and receive messages via the site (rather than giving out your e-mail address). There are polls, and there's a group calendar... there's a lot the HawaiiThreads.com software can do!

To learn more, you can just explore the site and your User Control Panel. Or, you can read the FAQ for vBulletin, the software that runs HawaiiThreads.com.

Why can't I post?
To join the conversation at HawaiiThreads, you must register, validate your account (to ensure it is linked to a valid e-mail address), and then request approval via an e-mail introduction.

Registration

Click here to create a new account.

Validation

Before you can post, you need to confirm that the e-mail address you provided during registration is valid. Within minutes of your registration, HawaiiThreads.com sends a message to that address containing a special link, and you need only click that link to complete the validation process.

Be aware that many e-mail systems have filters that "eat" this validation message. Users of Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, and other high-volume providers should check their "Bulk Mail," "Junk Mail" or "Spam" folders to see if that's where the validation message went. If you can't find it, you can have the validation message resent to you.

Finally, you may also be snagged by COPPA, which restricts use by people under the age of 13. While we'd love to have you join us, we need permission from your parent or legal guardian before your account can be activated. Review the instructions presented to you when you registered carefully, and contact us with any questions or concerns.

NOTE: Changing your e-mail address will require you to validate your account again.

Introduction

While we love meeting new people, we're also careful about who comes into our living room. Because all online communities, including message boards, must contend with spammers, trolls, and pranksters, we are currently manually moderating all new members. This means that after setting up and validating your account, you'll have to introduce yourself. After we've gotten to know you better, we'll allow you to reply to and start new threads.

In order to expedite this approval process, please be sure to tell us how you found HawaiiThreads and what you hope to contribute or learn from being a part of our 'ohana. While we don't require your real name, the more you can share the better. Where are you from? What do you do? As locals would ask, "Wea you wen grad?"

It would be especially helpful if you could tell us about your memberships and participation in other online communities. Whether it's a MySpace, Facebook, or LinkedIn profile, or an account on another social network or message board, please tell us about it.

If you are using a free e-mail provider such as Yahoo!, Hotmail, or GMail, we'll unfortunately require at least some of the above credentials. Unfortunately, these e-mail services are too easy to abuse.

We know that this introduction process is a bit of a hassle, and more than a little nosy. We apologize. Unfortunately, past troubles with spammers and trolls have required us to take this extra step.

I hope you'll find it worthwhile, however. Think of it this way: you'll have a head start on your public introduction on the site.

Do you have rules?
Sure. No make huhu. That is to say, the standard guidelines of online communities apply.

There are three key considerations. First, no posting obscene, illegal, inflammatory or libelous content. Second, all outside announcements and promotional material (be it for a business, non-profit community group, or private project) should be relevant to Hawaii and limited to the "Hale Ku`ai" (Marketplace) section. Finally, no personal attacks: discuss, debate, and dissect ideas, not each other.

Hint: Just don't post when mad, or just to get someone else mad. Rising blood pressure is a good sign that it's time to step away from the keyboard for a while.

HawaiiThreads.com is designed to be one big `ohana. Though we're sometimes a dysfunctional family, we're always an open and creative one. If the "aloha spirit" truly is everywhere, even online, let's prove it.

Legal Stuffs: The material published on HawaiiThreads.com represent solely the views of the individual user that posted it, and not neccessarily that of the HawaiiThreads.com community at large, nor its moderators and owners. Questions and concerns about HawaiiThreads.com content are promptly addressed. Contact us.

Any guidelines or tips for new users?
Yes. In addition to the three quick and easy "rules" above (keep it legal, don't spam, and don't get personal), there are a number of useful "hints" that can make HawaiiThreads.com a more enjoyable and pleasant experience for everyone. Most of these are common guidelines at other discussion forums, message boards, and online communities, so learning them will also help you elsewhere on the web.
  1. Search before you post. This is "rule number one" on many message boards. Before starting a new topic, it is important to be sure that the topic hasn't already been introduced. There may be an older thread that is very relevant to what you want to address, and your new contribution will only be strengthened by reviving the existing conversation. It's natural to think that every new development warrants a new thread, but try erring on the side of keeping related messages together. If you absolutely must start a new thread, please start off by referencing and linking to the older one.


  2. Learn how quote. Just like most e-mail programs, the HawaiiThreads.com software makes it easy to reference a message that you're responding to as you write. However, you usually do not need to quote the entire message, and in many cases, it isn't even necessary to include a quote at all -- especially if your reply immediately follows the post you're responding to. When responding to a message point by point, you should quote the relevant statements as you go. When using quotes, make sure you use both the [QUOTE] and [/QUOTE] tags to mark where your quoted text begins and ends. Deleting or omitting one will break the formatting.


  3. Use helpful thread titles. While it's hard to resist being clever or cryptic sometimes, for the most part the threads you start will do better if you succinctly explain the subject in the title. For example, if you've been thinking about painting your house, don't use "I've been thinking about something" -- use "House Painting" instead. When posting a review of a movie, don't use "Movie review" -- just use the title of the movie. Think about how your thread could evolve or be referenced later. The better it is described, the more inviting and useful it will be.


  4. Stay on topic. We know this is hard, especially with the way talkstory sessions go in real life, but try to remind yourself what the thread is about before you add your reply. If something someone wrote sets off a new thought or remembrance, run with it in a new thread. For example, if someone mentions food in a discussion about politics, refer to that tangent in a new topic in the food section. If you just want to banter back and forth with another member, take it to Private Messages, IMs or e-mail.


  5. Excerpt and summarize, but don't copy and paste. Very often, a news article or website can spark a great discussion. However, do not cut-and-paste the text of an article or reproduce other material in its entirety in your posts -- this often runs afoul of copyright rules. At most, quote one or two paragraphs that you think are the most interesting, then provide the link to the source for those who want to read the whole thing.

  6. Link with care. The beauty of an online conversation is that you can easily direct readers to more information while crafting your own message. By linking to other sites, you can back up an assertion you make in a debate, or let people see for themselves what got you thinking. But when directing people to other sites, please include some information about the destination. Instead of posting just a URL, or a message with a generic hyperlink like "click here," include some context, like, "Check out this great Hawaii message board." Please post links to web pages rather than directly to multimedia content (i.e. Flash, video or audio files), and include a warning if the site includes multimedia content or content that may be considered objectionable or inappropriate for children or workplace viewing. Finally, please don't use tools or tricks to obscure the real destination of your link (like TinyURL).

Who is in charge here?
The founder of HawaiiThreads.com is Ryan, who wears two hats in the forums. As "admin," he speaks for the site as a whole, answering questions about HawaiiThreads.com and, if neccessary, steering threads back on course and generally keeping order. As "pzarquon," he speaks solely for himself, as just another member of the `ohana: joking around, expressing opinions, taking sides. He will try, but may not always succeed, to remain objective and reasonable as "admin," and won't "pull rank" as "pzarquon."

In moderating most of the site, he is assisted by Helen and Mel. Their assistance is usually only required in significant emergencies, such as a spam attack, a flame war, or the posting of blatantly inappropriate material.

If any moderating activity is taken, you should be notified, or a note should be posted disclosing as much. If there are any questions or concerns regarding moderation on HawaiiThreads.com  which is, admittedly, occasionally on the strict side  please contact "admin" directly.

Important Exception:

The "Hawaii Media" section of HawaiiThreads.com is actually a semi-independent set of forums linked to the Hawaii Radio & TV Guide site, run by Mel. He has primary control over the section, and moderates it independent of the rest of the HawaiiThreads.com site.


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