Jane: “Oh my goodness Michelle, did you make it to Fry’s today for the free Cottonelle toilet paper and Suave deodorant?”
Michelle: “Free toilet paper and deodorant at Fry’s? I didn’t see that on the shopping list! What are you talking about?
Jane: “I’m talking about the unadvertised deal at Fry’s for toilet paper and deodorant that Lisa posted this morning in the Great Deals folder!”
Michelle: “Great Deals folder? What’s that?”
Jane: “I’ll be right over!”
If you’re like Jane, you’re making the most of your subscription to Coupon Sense by taking advantage not only of the powerful Shopping List, but also by using the Message Boards which are a FREE BONUS to your monthly subscription. But if you’re like Michelle, you’re missing out on a treasure trove of goodies! The Message Boards are the Coupon Sense community’s version of Wikipedia where you can find information on just about every topic under the sun. Let’s take a quick look around.
A Message Board is basically a big community of people with similar interests who get together to share all kind of information. Whenever you have a lot of people sharing information you have to find a way to sort and organize that information so that readers can easily find what they’re looking for and that’s just what the Forums do.
- Community Forums: In addition to the General Discussion forum where we chat about almost everything, we’ve also got forums that offer support when you’re feeling down (Rainy Day), encouragement to reach your goals (Buddy Board), help you track all of the great blog deals that are published online (Blog Czar), provide opportunities to serve your community (Trading Graces), offer tips on how to live on a budget and give you places to brag about how much money you’ve been saving.
- Coupon Forums: Here you can talk about different ways to organize your coupons, find internet coupons to print, and trade away coupons that you won’t use for coupons that you will use.
- Grocery Stores, Drug & Merchandise Stores & Deals Forums: This is where you’ll find the Great Deals folder that Michelle needs to visit! Stores have thousands of items on sale every week and just a few hundred make it into their published ads so the Store and Great Deal folders is where people share information about unadvertised deals that they’ve found while they were out shopping.
- HELP Forum: This one’s self explanatory.
- Food Related Forums: Here you can find and share recipes, find support for your efforts to shop and cook using whole and/or organic foods, how to eat right on a diet and how to grow your own food.
- Marketplace Forums: If it can be bought, sold, or traded, this is the place to find it or list it!
- Vacations on a Budget: Our favorite locations have their own forums (Disney, Rocky Point and San Diego) and then there’s a general vacation planning folder where you can find and share ideas about how to get there, what to do while you’re there and where to find great deals on room, board and travel.
As a community member, you can personalize your profile with a signature that will appear at the end of every post you write, add an avatar that will appear in each of your posts and add a photo to your profile page. When you visit your User Control Panel you can use the Settings & Options to customize your Message Board viewing experience and make all of the information that you want come to you instead of you having to go to it.
To begin personalizing your Profile, click on the User Control Panel:
Let’s take a brief look around the Control Panel to see what we can do (click pictures to enlarge):
Now let’s talk a little more specifically about how to build your personalized Message Board with just your favorite Forums and the specific conversations that you are interested in. Time is valuable and although I’d love to spend all day reading the dozens of forums on the Message Board, on any given day I only have time to read my favorite three so I’ve subscribed to those forums. When you subscribe to a forum, it will be listed for you in your User Control Panel. When I visit the Message Board, the first thing I do is click on the User Control Panel so that I can immediately limit my view to JUST my favorite forums.
In addition to subscribing to my favorite forums, I’ve also chosen to subscribe to any conversation (thread) that I’ve written or that I’ve taken part in. When I want to see if my question has been answered or if more people have taken part in the conversation that I was watching, I go to my User Control Panel and any new replies will be right at the top waiting for me so that I don’t have to track them down in the forums themselves. Let’s take a look at what that looks like in your Control Panel (click picture to enlarge):
That looks great right? So how do you subscribe to a Forum? Easy! Simply go to the Forum that you want to subscribe to, click on the Forum Tools and select Subscribe to This Forum from the drop down, select the notification method you want (if any) and then click Add Subscription. Repeat the same steps in each Forum that you want to subscribe to and you’re done! Now that that’s done, how do I subscribe to each thread that I write or reply to? Just as easy!
From the User Control Panel:
- Select Edit Options
- Scroll down to Messaging & Notification
- Under Default Thread Subscription Mode select the type of notification that you want.
- Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page an hit the “Save Changes” button
- You’re done!
This article just scratches the surface of what you can do on the Message Boards. If you’d like to learn more, please visit the Message Board Tutorials by clicking here.