Here's what I wrote to another cl who was struggling with the format. I have to say that the new format lends itself to someone who reads the board both daily and selectively. The way we can scan through the board now is pretty much lost, even in the outline view to a degree. But here's what I have learned:
I have been really struggling to learn this new format, too. I have had the luxury of spending a lot of time on it...neglecting other things in my life, of course, but not too badly. I am worried about my board, too. Our kids are all special needs and the last thing they need is to have to spend tons of time figuring this out. So, if it helps, here's what I have learned....
First of all, think of the folders as boards within boards. My board has never pre-set up threads except for roll call but some boards' cl's start each new board with threads for roll call, prayers, brags, vents, etc. Board members are expected to post brags to the brag thread rather than in the body of the board. I am assuming that is the logic behind the folders. Also, it seems that the term "thread" has been replaced by the term "discussion" in this new format. Anyway, to post to a folder, you click "start a new discussion" next to the folder name and write your post. Now here's the rub...your post will "float" up and down the folder depending on the date and time it is posted AND the subsequent date and time of the last time someone replied to it. So, right after you post it, it will be at the top of the folder. (I seem to have to refresh my browser to see it there, though) The next day, if no one has replied to it and there have been 10 new discussions OR replies to previous discussions within the same folder, your post will have drifted out of sight in the main folder view.
Now on to outline view....The outline view looks a little like the old boards in that it shows the start of each thread and the first line of each reply. The outline is in order of the folders, so here on the team board you'll see the threads of "Hellllp me...I'm lost" first, then "general discussion" etc. If you want to see a post in its entirety when viewing the outline, you just click on it. The trick, though, is that it will show up in the browser window that you are using for the folder view. Some people have complained that they get a new window for each post that they click on in outline view...I'm using windows 98 and netscape version 7 and I don't have that problem so it must be operating system and/or browser dependent. It is a pain to go back and forth between the outline window and the folder view window, but that's how it works. Also, the threads float in outline view in the same way that they do in folder view. However, more of the threads appear in outline view. I'm waiting for an answer to my question about just how many posts appear in outline view...looking at the one for this board, it seems to cover about two days worth. Of course, this board has been VERY active in the past few days. The thing I don't understand is where the posts "go" when they no longer appear in outline view OR folder view. The boards don't archive the way we are used to, but I'm not sure how to see the posts other than to use search function or to use the "show me" function in folder view to see posts you have read or haven't read. Even then, I don't know how far back that will go.
The thing that is also very different is reading threads/discussions and their replies. When reading the first post of the discussion or a message in the discussion, you'll see at the bottom, "messages in this discussion 1,2,3 read next>" or "next discussion" if you are reading the last message. The list of numbers is chronological starting with the post that started the discussion as the number "1". So, if there are six messages, it could be that the sixth is a reply to the third, but it appears as number six. If you want to see who is replying to whom, you need to look in the outline or at the top of the message it will say to whom it is replying by name and number of the post...not very helpful.
Finally, if you want to find a specific discussion in the outline view, you need to use control-F to get a "find in this page" window and then type in a word from the title of the discussion. If you were looking for this post, for example, you could type in "idiot" and then it will bring you to this post in the outline. Also, to refresh the outline, do a right click and then choose "reload" or hit F5.
I hope all this helps. Feel free to copy it for your boardies...since I have spent the time writing, I plan to copy it for them once they see the new format. I don't think they can truly visualize it in advance so I'm waiting until it all goes live.
Meredith, cl-child hypotonia