The message boards are the heart of the Toshiba Forums. If you're comfortable using forums in general then feel free to just dive in without reading any further. If you'd like a bit more of an overview of how to find and create messages then read on.
Message Board Basics Message boards are grouped in categories and named for the general topics they're intended to contain. You can link directly into specific message boards, such as the 'Forum Guidelines & Tips' board that you entered to read this message, from the Forums.Toshiba.com homepage.
Once within a message board, you will see a list of "topics." A topic is a new message or set of messages on the same subject. (Experienced users of forum software may use the term "thread." This is the same as a topic.
When a forum member creates a new message subject, that is the beginning of a new topic. As other forum members reply to that original message, and to each other's replies, the topic grows into a set of related messages which are all part of the same topic.
By default, the topic list of a message board is sorted by date, with the newest topics on top. To read the messages in a topic, click a Subject. When viewing the messages in a topic, the first or root message will be on top, with replies listed below by order of when they were posted. By the way, the forum member who starts a new topic is sometimes referred to as the "OP" (original poster) of that topic.
Searching One way to think of the messages in these forums is as a searchable knowledgebase of information about Toshiba computers and consumer electronics. If you have a question, you may want to try searching the forums before asking a question by starting a new topic. By searching the forums first, you may find what you're looking for without the need to compose a message and wait for a reply.
Posting New Messages If you can't find the information that you're looking for, or if you just want to share a tip, go into an appropriate Message Board for your topic and click 'New Message.' When you create the Subject of your message, try to include key elements of your question or tip. Keep in mind that the subject is all that others will see when deciding if they can help you or if they are interested in reading your thread, so give some thought on how to best summarize your message. Sometimes it's easier to define the subject after you've finished writing the main body of the message.
The message editor provides rich-text editing features for controlling font and formatting options, but it is generally recommended to just use default fonts and simple paragraph formatting. Overuse of formatting features can make it more difficult to read a message and may result in other forum members skipping over your message rather than reading and responding to it.
Aim for Simplicity and Clarity For every message posted in the forums there will be hundreds of other forum members and visitors who will search or browse through the message boards looking for the same information. So when answering a question on a technical issue, try to explain your answer in straightforward language, avoiding technical jargon whenever possible, even if the question was phrased in a way that suggests a high level of expertise. Using straightforward language will help to ensure that your message can be understood by everyone who may read it.
Not only Questions and Answers By the way, you don't need to ask or answer a question to participate in the forums. Another way to join in the discussions is to share a tip with others.
If you're new to the Toshiba Forums, what better way to get familiar with the message boards than to introduce yourself to other forum members in the 'Introductions' message board?