Reading and responding
Each topic contains a series of responses. A response, or post, is a single comment in the discussion. Responses are posted chronologically, one after another, like dialog in a play. Read together, the responses are an ongoing conversation.
Each response in a discussion is separated from the other responses by identifying information:
When you arrive in the middle of a conversation, you will find that just above the first response displayed to you, there are links to earlier posts in the discussion. Use these links to move to any point in the discussion.
Tip: If the input box is left empty, the Jump! button refreshes (reloads) the page to display the latest responses, including those posted since you started reading the topic. In a fast reading topic, this lets you refresh after reading a long segment.
Suppose you want to temporarily remove a topic from the list you see when you enter a conference:
To remember a topic you have previously forgotten, click Forgotten in the Browse Bar above your topic list in a conference to see the topics you have removed from your list. Open a topic you wish to put back on your list. Click Remember or Remember everywhere at the top of the page. Click Recent in the Browse Bar to return to display in your topic list in the conference.
Unless a topic has been frozen (made read-only) by a conference host, you may post a response in the topic.
To post a response:
Clicking Post adds your response to the discussion and reloads the browser page showing your response posted to the topic. To move on to another topic, you must then select Pass.
Clicking Post and Go posts your response to the topic and exits the page so you can move on without displaying your own post again.
To leave the topic without posting, click Pass.
While you are reading a topic, other participants may be posting responses to it. If another participant posts between the time your browser displays the content and the time you post a response there, you will be notified that responses have slipped in to the topic. When another response slips in, you may post your response as is, either edit it so that it makes more sense considering what has just been said, or discard it by simply deleting the text in the Response box, then clicking Pass. WELL members using PicoSpan, the older text-based interface of The WELL, are only notified of slips after they have posted, so they sometimes post again, indicating that there was a slip, especially if their posts might be misunderstood because of the inserted content, or if the juxtaposition is funny.
In the unlikely event that you see a message that you have been restricted from posting in a particular conference, that means there has been a temporary change to your posting status, made by the host or hosts of that conference.
You may contact the host or hosts of a conference if you have questions about why you have been temporarily restricted from posting there.
If you see that a Topic has been "frozen," then it has been made read-only for all participants. Often after the topic is frozen, a new Topic is started as a continuation on that or a similar subject matter. The host(s) of that conference can also tell you more about why a Topic is frozen, retired or deleted.
Once you have posted your response, it becomes a permanent addition to the topic and the history of the discussion. It cannot be edited. However, you can change the visibility of your response in two ways: Hide and Scribble. The author of a response and the host of a conference can change the visibility of the response.
To change the status of any response you have authored:
To confirm the new status of your response, refresh your browser display.
The Hide command conceals your response from immediate view by replacing it with a hypertext link. Participants who wish to read your response may click on the link.
It is sometimes polite to hide an exceptionally long, detailed, or tangential response. By posting the response and hiding it, you do not disrupt the flow of the conversation but allow interested readers access to your contribution.
TIP: A hidden response is reversible, it can be "unhidden" by its author, or a host, at any time.
The Scribble command deletes the content of a response from the conversation, leaving only the response header as a placeholder. A scribbled response cannot be retrieved.