Fractal Future Forum Help

This thread is for helping you using this forum in the best way possible. It’s a user guide that is improved and updated collaboratively again and again.

Useful sites and pages


You can either start a new topic with the “+ New Topic” button on the top right, or you can reply to an existing topic with the “-> Reply” buttons. Note that you can either reply to a specific post, or to the whole topic. The “Reply” button for the latter is always at the end of the topic.

Reply as linked Topic

There’s a great feature to write a reply as new topic. It’s to the right of the post you want to reply to. The function is called “+ Reply as linked Topic” and appears where you hover your mouse over the seemingly empty space to the right of a post. The original post will be quoted and you can keep the main topic clear, if you think your reply is important, but too “off-topic” for the main topic.

Titles, Categories, and Tags

When you start a new topic, it should have a title that is longer than 15 characters – ideally try avoiding typos in the title, because those will also appear in the URL of the topic, which usually won’t change in the future!

Then decide the category in which the topic is to be placed in. Note that this is not a critical decision, since it can be changed later on.

While you start writing your new topic, similar topics will be displayed about the editor. It might be a good idea to research those topics before you go ahead with actually starting a new topic. Perhaps your questions are already answered in one of the other topics, or what you want to write would fit nicely as a reply in one of them.

You can use tags to specify the kind or contents of the topic you are creating. As normal user you only can use the tags that already have been created by the high level members of the forum. If you are level 3 or higher (“high level”), then you can create new tags. Please be mindful about doing that, though.

Editing posts

Whenever you see a pencil logo, and you click on it, you can edit a post that you have already posted. Note that moderators can edit any post, now only their own. If the post is a wiki post, you can use the paper and pencil logo in the top right to edit it (if you have user level 2).


This forum supports markdown syntax, which enables users to format their posts quickly.

  • Make list items with “-” or “*” (needs an empty line above the list). Note: For this to work reliably there needs to be an empty line above the list!
  • Indenting a line will indent the corresponding list item (create a sub-list, so to speak)
  • Starting a list with “1.” will turn it into an enumerated (ordered) list.
  • Made headings with "#"s.
    # = biggest heading
    ## = bigger heading
    ### = big heading
    #### = small heading
    ##### = smaller heading
    ###### = smallest heading
  • Emphasize words or paragraphs by writing "*"s or “_” around them.
  • Make words bold by writing "**"s or "__"s around them.
  • Links with “http” or “https” are automatically turned into working hyperlinks
  • Alternatively you can write the link text in brackets “[]” and the link URL in parentheses “()” behind it
  • Or you simply use the link icon (the 4th from the left) from the toolbox for creating links.
  • Write ">"s before lines you want to quote. In a text paragraph, it suffices to write one “>” at the beginning to quote the whole paragraph
  • Everything that is indented by 4 spaces or surrounded by "`"s (backticks) will be interpreted as preformatted code

For more details and a video tutorial on markdown see

Embedded videos

When you copy a URL of a YouTube (or Vimeo) video into its own line, the corresponding video will be embedded automatically!


If websites support Open Graph, then Discourse will turn a normal URL that is written in a line on its own into a “onebox” that displays a picture and descriptive text of the link. This works really nicely for Wikipedia articles and some high quality blogs. It also works for Discourse threads. Most websites still don’t support Open Graph however, so trying to do this will more often fail than succeed.

Note: For this to work reliably there needs to be an empty line above the link!


When quoting text from a Discourse post, you can select / highlight the text you want to quote. A “quote reply” button should appear above the selected text. When you press it, the selected text will be added as quote into your post.

Note that this method can’t be used for stacked / meta quotes! If you want to quote a quote in a quote, you need to use multiple ">"s for that.

Attention: When copying content from other websites via “copy and paste”, for some reason Discourse will include unnecessary line breaks in the quoted text. To avoid that, you can first save the copied text in a regular .txt document and then copy the content of that .txt document into your post. This way, no extra line breaks will be included.

@name mentions

When writing an “@” Discourse will automatically search for user names. Selecting or writing out a user name after the @ will create an “@name mention” that will notify the user about having been mentioned in your post. This is great for quickly drawing attention towards a specific subject.

Uploading files

You can upload files into a post with the “harddisk” icon that’s pretty much in the middle of the toolbar. If you upload images, they will be embedded at the current position of your cursor. Other file types are added as attachments to the post. Note that this forum currently one allows a certain number of file types. If you need support for a file type that isn’t supported, yet, please feel free to contact me about that!

Simultaneous browsing

While you write your reply to a topic, you can indeed browse to other topics in this forum without losing the reply you are writing on. It stays in the lower part of your screen regardless of the topic you are currently visiting! This is a really useful feature of this forum.

HTML support

This forum also supports basic HTML tags, if you need them. Some “advanced” tags may not work, though.


You can turn your posts into wiki-posts, which can be edited collaboratively!

To change your post into a wiki-post click on the “pencil and paper” :pencil: symbol at the bottom right of your post. Note that unless you are a staff member, you can only wikify your own posts.

If you want to edit a wiki-post, you can click on the “pencil and paper” :pencil: symbol in the top right of a wiki-post. By clicking on the number next to that symbol, you can see the previous revisions of that wiki-post.

If you start a new topic with a wiki-post, please add the tag “wiki” to your topic.

The Shoutbox

The shoutbox is a semi-persistent public chatroom that you can enter by clicking on the loudspeaker symbol on the top right. What you write there will be visible by all users who are logged in. Your entries in the shoutbox will be displayed until there are so many new entries that the old entries won’t be displayed. Admins can see the last 1000 entries, but beyond that, old entries get deleted!


Discourse has a very good search function. It’s usually the best way to find specific topics and persons.

The hamburger menu

This menu with the three horizontal lines can be used to navigate the forum. Note that this menu also grants you access to

  • Your forum badges
  • A list of all forum users
  • keyboard shortcuts

The user menu

From this menu that you can access by clicking on your profile picture in the very top right you can enter

  • Your user profile
  • Your user preferences (those are pretty important and useful)
  • Your notification history
  • Anonymous mode
  • Your list of forum bookmarks

Forum plugins

This forum currently uses the following plugins for improved functionality:

  • Babble: This enables the shoutbox on the top right.
  • MathJax: With this, you can use $\LaTeX$ code in posts. This is mostly useful for displaying mathematical forumulas. For the $\LaTeX$ syntax, see for example this guide.
  • Spoiler Alert: Enables hiding parts of the post content with a spoiler function.
  • Poll: Enables users to create polls.

Do you have a Twitter account? Facebook?

My personal Twitter account is @Radivis. And on Facebook I use my real name Michael Hrenka. At the moment there are no Fractal Future Twitter or Facebook accounts. The Fractal Future Network might profit from having a Facebook page, I think. Do you have experience with using Twitter for organisations?

1 Like

##Forum Education
I feel more educated after reading the forum help - could in future be some kind of accomplishment medal after reading - like a tick box. Kinda sounds a bit crappy but just a tick list and box ticked could be somewhere instead of ‘medals’ (which is more a war type symbol). Definitely another skill formatting things nicely and I did miss the value of it on first posting (could be added to the guidelines pop-up too I would say).

  • On a practical level it may help those expressing first time, should there be something really important or sensitive (for either writer or reader) in a clearer and well thought out / structured process (if for you these bullet points and headers help)
  • It may also serve those in “I’m bored” mode or “give me something to do” “I’m not in any rush anywhere”. And can help a little to in some way to improve themselves / have something to read. By saying this I might have missed other things so I’m off to read more and edit this before you get here!

The keyboard short-cuts (at the bottom after clicking the hamburger icon) are interesting, Try them!

##I think the rest ignore for now, or I’ll prep this post for a seperate page… (I started writing too much, sorry and it’s another thing to make sure of a good topic header somehwere).


  • Every point and click can contribute to losing something - a lot of people under-estimate the taking of something free, it can occupy one’s hands and prevent you doing other more useful processes.
  • gaining friends this way, can be just a token gesture for this kind of data and exchange into people’s lives that previously would have turn business away would it have knocked on the door and asked to come in.
  • If you’re not sure what it’s building or it’s not certain (business can change focus or be replaced/bought) then it’s bound by usual business practices (may of whom are yet to understand it) to result in more expense of the human colony even if people can feel like it’s ‘solving the world’ but only replicated those processes very well.
  • Anything that needs more energy and time to survive (any business not minimising or putting profits back) is almost certainly a lost cause looking at the physics level energy consumed and converted/enegy lost. Fast and furious is my term for how quickly is it a bad / devaluing process and losing game in terms of real change (unless you mean change for business!). It’s not possible for ‘us’ with different objectives.
  • Eventually businesses tend to take the approach to at sacrificing pieces of itself when it too has it’s time to change because of being eat or other type of competition.
  • Even if not FBIs not evil it’s just lots of something else with devaluing potential (and foundations if you believe it’s too tempting not to be used)… call it waste of time if you wish / non-constructive or towards exactly what we could / should do without and more to the point maintain ourselves… that’s ultimately the best reason to stay here either way.
  • Some friends and easy access is maybe what you’ll get… but ultimately compromised by default and need more time to read terms and conditions or ignore them without using them.
  • The very same system and storage will ‘expose’ you faster (unless you have a good way of converting and convincing those against you or in some other business.
  • Some ‘friends’ will obviously turn out to be enemies and spies, bless those active go getters / head hunters…this counts for heavy losses to any good it may have done.
  • Anything that keeps what you say, can be used against you now and the future, no matter how you’ve changed in a court of law. The past is holding on to us in the worst ways and the present and future had enough of it already and want change!

I like the ‘armchair critics comment on this page link which may sort those helping and those not. And anyone else will probably be a bit if a die-hard anyway and not join anyone!

  • There isn’t enough F’s in the fold for fe bowff of fem !.
  • :hamburger: <— symbolises the ‘fast food’ type of social media, where you get what you want but not what you need. If you’re happy it’s healthy all-round fill then consider it just me who doesn’t thing it’s fulfilling in a manner overall gaining with experts much faster than us and with more resources :slightly_smiling: I also remember starting to buy 2 hamburgers so that’s my analogy to how it doesn’t satisfy very important points!
  • If you want fries with that I suggest cooking from a big bag of potatoes, which are more effort, but cheaper in the long term and maybe to you’re own taste / less dangerous overall.
  • ‘Selling-out’ term may refer to how much you value and understand communication in commercial hands and on their own terms and conditions / legal jargon.
  • Lots more difficult to pin ethically here but technology overall finds it hard to satisfy everyone… data harvesting techniques seen here for those that are interested…. Not jumping up and down about this too much - if this is fairly new forum then it’s worth a saying or adding to some kind of reasons page as it’s bound to come up again)
1 Like