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Once you get to know your way around the website, nothing could e easier that starting discussions or contributing to existing debates. However it can all be a bit challenging for new arrivals so here are some common questions and their answers.
Do I have to register to read the posts?
No. Anyone can read the posts but you have to be registered and logged in to start a topic or respond to an existing post.
OK, I’ve read the topics I’m interested in and I want to ask a question.
If you have a question and you need answers, first do a search just to make sure your question hasn’t been asked and answered already (See the topic “Searching for answers”). If you can’t find what you’re looking for, you need to register and log in (see post above on how to register).
Register AND log in? Aren’t they both the same?
No. Registering is the process by which you tell us who you are and we use very simple methods to establish your bona fides. For instance, we’ll send you a password to the email address you provided. If the email address is fake, you won’t get the password.
Once you have registered, you don’t have to do that again, ever. However, you need to log in using your username and password whenever you want to post material on the forum at the start of your session.
Some browsers will log you in automatically but if they don’t you have to do it manually before you can participate.
Why do I have to register?
Mainly because there are all sorts of Internet nasties out there who want to infect websites with malware or just bombard us with spam, either for their financial benefit or to mess us up out of pure malice. We need to know you are a real person and not a spambot or smartypants hacker with bad intentions. There’s a happy medium (we hope) between your convenience and our security – which is also your security – and we just have to do what we can.
The other websites I visit don’t have these problems
Good for them … they probably never get two or three thousand visitors a day. We are far from the only website that takes these precautions … but we are one of the more heavily trafficked so we have to be vigilant.
I have registered and I got my password but I can’t post a question or respond to someone’s post. What the …?
Have you logged in? This is the most common frustration for new members. They register but don’t realise they have to log in too. The good news is that you only have to register once and even though you should log in at the start of every visit, your browser will probably allow you to save the username and password for the next time.
OK, I’m registered, logged in and ready to post – what next?
First find the general area that you are interested in and click on the headline to open up that sub-forum. If it’s a parking issue, it will be “Parking Peeves” if it’s something to do with being a tenant or a landlord, try “Rental Rants”. If you can’t find anything suitable, try “Another Day In Paradise”.
Once you have clicked on the sub-forum title it will open to reveal all the previous topics. Immediately above the list of topics, you will see the words “Create new Topic”. Click on that and it will open a panel for you to type or paste your question.
When you are done, click the “submit” button at the bottom and your post will go on to the queue for moderation. We tend not to edit or censor posts, unless they are particularly abusive, potentially defamatory or an attempt to sneak in free advertising.
I want to answer or comment on someone else’s post
Couldn’t be easier – there’s a panel below the last post in that topi ready and waiting for your response.
Can I edit my post after I submit it?
You can go back and edit your posting (provided you are logged in) – but only before someone replies to it. After that, a polite and ingratiating email to the webmaster often works wonders in removing embarrassing mistakes.
Can I cut and paste material written in another program?
In a word, yes (I’m doing so right now) although older versions of Apple software sometimes produce files with weird coding. To be safe, write in “text only” and the software will cope with whatever you paste.
I can’t read the website. The words are too small
Click on CTRL and the plus key (+) and the window and words will get bigger.
Will I be anonymous?
Preferably, yes. You don’t want to be identified, so make sure you remove anything that might identify you or your building, even indirectly (such as its specific size, age and location). A 132 unit building in Kings Cross Rd built in 2001 would be immediately recognisable to the people who live in it. A modern 100-plus unit block in Darlinghurst less so.
Likewise, avoid using the names of individuals, companies or strata professionals with whom you are in dispute. We change contentious posts that go out under a poster’s real name because that, and a specific set of circumstances, could lead to the person or company you are complaining about being identified. Give yourself a short, snappy screen name and you can keep coming back here to ask questions and help other people with their problems.
What about location?
Don’t be too specific but, if you are living outside of NSW please make that clear in your postings . Strata law differs to an incredible degree from State to state so what applies in NSW may very well not be the case where you are. However, professionals who know about the law elsewhere read this so do ask your question, wherever you are from.
How do I keep track of posts
There are three different options. SUBSCRIBE means you receive email notifications of any new posts specific to the topic that you are on. When you get the email, you can then log on to the Forum and read the postings. This is the one I would recommend to most users.
Alternatively there’s a button at the foot of the posting window that, when clicked, means you will be alerted to any other replies or responses in that topic.
Finally, you can click on Favourite (beside the subscribe button) and the Forum will save posts for you until the next time you come on board.
What acronyms and initials can I use?
As few as possible. This Forum is about spreading knowledge and understanding, rather than confusion because some posters want to show off their superior knowledge.
So please don’t assume other people have the same level of knowledge as you and keep initials and acronyms to a minimum. In one week recently I found LEP, DCP, LPI, L&E, POEO, OP, PP and SSMA scattered through just a few posts. Even I didn’t understand them all. So please spell out the name of the body first before using initials, as in “Land and Environment Court (LEC)”.
I’ll make an exception of Owner’s Corporation (OC), Strata Committee (SC), and the NSW Civil Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) because we use them all the time. Otherwise, using stacks of initials isn’t a sign that you are well informed – just that you are lazy.
What if the other posts are stupid and wrong?
OK, point out where and how, but keep personal abuse to yourself. The only idiot in this forum is the person typing this right now.
Any other tips?
Keep your topic headings sort and snappy, don’t refer to “the strata” when you mean … well, what do you mean? The strata manager? The executive committee? The owners corporation? Similarly, “the manager” could mean anyone from the building manager to the caretaker.
And that’s it. Email us if you have any concerns or if some of this doesn’t make sense and we’ll try to sort you out.
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