Introduction


Why use this site?

There are many details to consider when thinking about re-opening BSUC during the pandemic.

Previous discussions have used long group email discussion chains on a range of topics. These can be difficult to follow and are subject to getting lost amongst the other mails in a participant’s inbox. This site uses a blog (web log) to try to address some of those difficulties.

A blog is an organised and searchable discussion space that users can contribute to.

The blog on this site is completely public. No user account is necessary. Please bear that in mind when contributing and avoid including sensitive details. You can participate anonymously, via a pseudonym or using your real name as you prefer.

Martin has admin control of the site and can moderate/delete content, take the site offline or even delete it completely as necessary.

This whole site and all its content will be deleted when the related questions are resolved.


What is a blog?

A blog is an ordered set of user created entries (a.k.a. posts), each with the facility for users to submit comments and replies to comments. Some general info on blogs can be found here and here.

The layout is typically indented hierarchically to make it visually simple to identify which replies relate to which comments. The blog plugin used on this site (wpDiscuz 7) supports three alternative comment layouts.

Currently this site uses layout #3. More on comment layouts here.

wpDiscuz 7 supports lots of extra functionality, including comment upvoting and collapsible replies. You can ignorepending much of these fancy extras and still contribute to the discussion by just creating new posts and/or comments/replies.


How to participate in this blog conversation

How to look at existing posts, comments and replies

Go to the blog posts page and use the “Read More” button associated with a post.

How to create a post

To create a new post, use the form on the create new post page.

How to create a comment on an existing post or reply to an existing comment

To create a comment on an existing post, or a reply to an existing comment, go to the blog posts page and use the “Read MoreCoronavirus Advice” button to open a post. Then …

Whether commenting or replying, an author ‘name’ field will appear. Leave this blank or use a pseudonym if you want to remain anonymous. Whether commenting or replying, an author ‘name’ field will appear. Leave this blank or use a pseudonym if you want to remain anonymous.


How to search this site

How to search using the blog post category links

A post can be associated with any number of pre-defined categories. The list of these categories, appearing on every page and post of this site, can be used to find the associated posts.

Normal users can’t create new categories. If you think of one you would like added, ask Martin as webadmin to do it for you.

How to search using the “Search this site” tool

The “Search this site” tool appears in every section of this site and is a VERY powerful tool for finding things quickly.

It searches all content, including pages, posts, comments and replies for complete (NOT part) words containing two or more characters .

After the matching content is returned, it’s sometimes helpful to use the web browser’s separate find in page search tool (typically opened using the key combination Ctrl-f) to identify the exact location of the matches.

Example showing how to use Search this site to find content with the word cleaning, followed by the browser’s find in page (Ctrl-f) tool to find individual matches. This shows the Firefox browser. A similar technique applies to others.

Multi-word search and workaround

“Search this site” also supports multi word searches, but this doesn’t work as many users would expect.

Target words are found regardless of their order or the number of other words/spaces between them. For example, a search for clean surfaces will find all content containing any of the following …

  1. It’s hard to clean surfaces
  2. It’s hard to clean surfaces
  3. Keeping things clean is difficult for soft fabric surfaces
  4. For surfaces, keeping them clean is an issue

As a workaround for this potential difficulty, in order to find only the words exactly as the user entered them, they should be surrounded in double quotes as in “clean surfaces”. In this case the search tool will treat the enclosed pattern as a single word (including the space) and will only find content containing pattern “1” above. This is a useful technique in its own right. Note that the number of spaces between words entered this way matters.


Finally

Contact Martin for any questions related to this site.

Alternative group discussion tools

There are alternative group discussion tools such as Disqus, Google groups, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Facebook Workplace. These would provide a cleaner and more efficient interface for sharing thoughts and questions, but they all have the drawback of requiring users to have their own (free) account.