Am I the only one confused?

Am I the only one who is totally confused by this new site? I can log in, I can post, and I can read posts…sort of. But it all seems terribly random and confusing to me. For example, I have my opening page set to “latest” all topics. Previously the new topics would be on top and then chronologically ordered with “latest reply” indicated. So I would just read new topics or “latest replies” until I came to what I had already read. Simple. Now I get a number on top and am able to click on " 6 new topics" and then it gets confusing. There are all the threads listed with some having “new” next to them. New to me? It must mean that as I’ve seen them before and some of them didn’t interest me so they are unread. Then some have numbers next to them but the numbers are usually much more than the number I’ve seen as new. I then get sent to a chunk of a thread with no ability to see what came before or after. I do see the tab where I can click up to the top or the bottom and then it “loads” as I scroll (which is annoying). I’m not sure I’ve explained this very well. I find it so confusing I can’t even ask a good question!

Also where is the e-mail inbox. I don’t see it anywhere?

Am I alone? Everyone seems to be asking very specific very technical questions. Not general “how does it all work” questions. Are the regulars even on the board yet? I got one e-mail from a regular who hadn’t even been able to sign in. I haven’t seen many regulars posting. Is this still a work in progress?

You are not alone. I’m still feeling my way through the site like a blind man who’s had all the furniture in his house rearranged to “improve” his living.

I’ll learn where everything is eventually… :smile:

Thanks, Dave. Hearing that I’m not the only one helps more than I thought it would. Good description.

I have my link to the site set to be “discussion groups” and seems to work fine.
I check the site often enough that I know which threads I am n they are near the top of the discussion groups page so its pretty simple. if I were not to be checking the site very often then any discussion that I have an update for a long time will be way down the page but then that’s a discussion that probably isn’t something I need to be all that concerned about

I was a regular but my name changed on the new site. I have learned how to maneuver around the seemingly ever moving furniture, And I just ignore the blue circle numbers and numbers that appear on my cartoon message indicator. You are not alone, Zoe!

Zoe -

I have my profile set so when I log in I click on discussion groups, then under that banner shows “Latest”, “New”, and “Unread” of the discussions that I have yet to read or updates to discussions that I have read or replied to recently.

I hope this helps. Here’s a picture I captured with the snippet tool.

zoe, thats the same way I look at this forum, as I described above. ie, I simply have “discussion Groups” set as my link in the browser, which takes me to the same page you showed in your graphic.

The link to that page is this:

And one thing that might get you to just the newest stuff is to edit your preferences options:

Consider topics new when created since I was here last

Automatically track topics I enter
just select the option that meets your request

Thanks, Karen. I just changed my preferences to try that.

Thanks everyone, all your replies help, both emotionally and practically!

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Discourse is about as diametrically the opposite from “random and confusing” as the folks who designed and wrote the code could make it. I am sure they gave … and continue to give … a lot of thought and refinement into deciding how Discourse functions. How to make a lot of information and capabilities available to you if you want it, while also not annoying you with it if you don’t.

One of the founders, Jeff Atwood, has had enough previous success as one of the founders of the Stack Exchange Q&A sites that he probably could have done just about anything else including just staying at home and playing with his kids. But he was frustrated with the lack of consistency and utility in all the discussion board platforms he bumped up against.

When I get frustrated and annoyed, I grumble a lot and then eventually forget about it and move on. If Jeff gets frustrated enough and he thinks he could do better, he founds a company and tries to do so. Or at least that’s my guess as to how Discourse probably came about.

Why don’t we try starting with the attempts to offer some insight into using the site and then move on from there. Has everyone read Emily’s Getting started on our New Website! post? Did it help? If not, which parts did not help?

What question do you have which you most want answered? What’s the second most vexing question?

Maybe we could help if we approached it this way it might be of some help?

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Discourse does not use the label “inbox”. It refers to Personal Messages as “Messages” You can view them by selecting one the filter buttons under “Messages” on the left hand side of your profile page.


Thanks for that information.

I think you are referring to the “topic progress” bar which appears on the lower right hand side when you are viewing a topic (aka “discussion”). It is supposed to change as you scroll up or down. It shows your current location relative to the posts in the “discussion”, so when you move from post to post in the discussion it changes to reflect that…

For example, when you are at the first post of thirteen in a discussion it shows

If you scroll down to the sixth post both the number and shaded portion change to show the new location.

The above examples show the usual, collapsed view of the progress bar. If you left click on the bar then it expands to expose the navigation tools.

If it expands “accidentally”, left click on the progress indicator at the bottom you to dismiss it.

I use it to quickly go to either the top or bottom or, occasionally, a specific post (number) in a discussion.

how are you copying elements from the screen, john?

Thanks. By “loading” I mean when you do it the old fashioned way and use the scroll bar to quickly look through posts or lists of threads it loads as you go, kind of like it you are downloading a very large pic with slow internet.

I’m an old dog and don’t like new tricks. This site is confusing enough that I just want to give it up and stop coming here.

again, just go to

I feel the same way, Roxanne. Earlier I brought up the list of topics the same way I always do and there were topics on top that hadn’t been commented on in 3 years. I re-booted and they were gone, then just now there they were again. I’m not ready to give up because this site has meant so much to me for so long. I wish it had never been changed. “If it’s not broken don’t fix it.” The techies might love it, and I don’t know what percentage of members that is, but a lot of us don’t fit into that category


That link just leads back to the topic list. The same one I used to click on this thread.