Version 3.0 of the forum software (Discourse) introduced an enhanced sidebar menu to make navigating the site easier. It’s customisable - you can add and remove content to suit the way you use the forum.
I can’t see the sidebar, where is it?
It’s viewable from the ‘hamburger’ menu that’s next to the forum logo. Clicking pops out the sidebar. Clicking again will hide it.
What’s a sidebar, anyway?
Essentially it’s a menu of shortcuts that make it easier to access the parts of the forum that interest you or that you use most. It has four sections:
You can see by the little arrows or chevrons that these are expandable. Here’s what’s in each section.
Everything will take you to the default latest posts page that you see when you open up the forum. It does the same thing as clicking the logo. (You know about clicking the forum logo, right?)
My Posts jumps straight to the Activity section of your personal user page. From there you can see all your posts, topics you’ve posted in, and a few other things related to you. The activity pages were there before but it’s a bit easier to access them now.
More allows you to add another entry to the list if you want to. If you choose to add a shortcut from the available options it’ll appear under My Posts You only have one additional entry at a time.
Clicking on the plus sign next to Community is an alternative way to create a new topic.
This is the default list for everyone. Clicking on an item will show you all the posts in that category from newest to oldest. You may have an interest in some parts of the forum and not others. This is a quick way to jump to the areas that matter to you most.
Incidentally, if you want to see a sub-category (e.g. Bonneville under Triumph Motorcycles, one way would be to click the option in the sidebar then select the sub-category from the page you’re taken to.
Alternatively, if you jump to it a lot, you could add the sub-category to the sidebar. Customise the Category contents by clicking on the pencil icon.
If you do, you’ll be taken to the relevant section in your member page.
Pick and choose the categories, or sub-categories, that you’d like on your list. The order they appear in the sidebar is determined by the forum, so it doesn’t matter in which order you select them.
Any topic (not post) can be tagged, Some tags have already been set up to cover common scenarios. Mambers can add their own but there may be some curation in the background to keep things tidy.
Click on a tag to get a list of posts containing just that tag. This is a useful way to pull posts about (say) a particular bike model in which you’re interested but that may appear in different categories. For example, there may be Bonneville posts in the Triumph:Bonneville sub-categoty, but also in the Workshop:Restorations and Rebuilds area. If those topis are tagged you’ll see them all together.
As with Categories, you can add tags to the Sidebar if you want to keep a list handy that you use often. Alternatively, click on All tags to see a page with every tag that’s been used on the forum.
Your mailboxes for private messages and posts to groups can be accessed from here. If you’ve used email (and who hasn’t) then you’ll be familiar with the ways to view messages you’ve sent and received. Clicking on any ofthese shortcuts takes you to the relevant area of your member page
That’s it! You can’t break anything so you’ve encouraged to have a play with the new sidebar. If you still need help after reading this guide speak to the admin staff.