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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about The Survival Podcast Forum


Mr. Bill:

Where can I find the forum's rules?

* Here: Terms Of Use And Policies.  Also please see: The Primary Role of The Survival Podcast Forums.
A moderator gave me a warning, but I can't find any rule that I violated.  Can he/she do this?

* Yes.  It's impossible for us to write rules for every situation that might possibly occur on the forum.  Moderators may (and frequently do) issue ad hoc rulings or warnings to deal with specific issues.  These have the same force as anything written in the Terms Of Use And Policies.
What sorts of posts are restricted to the Swap Meet board?

* All commercial transactions, including:
* Offers to buy, sell, or trade any goods or services.
* Organizing a "group buy".
* All housing or real estate offers (roommate wanted, land or housing for sale or rent, members wanted for a homestead cooperative, etc.).
* Investment offers, Kickstarter funding requests, business partners wanted, etc.


How do I search for topics?

* You can do a simple keyword search of the entire forum using the Search box at the top of every page.  Or, click "Search" in the top menu -- this will bring you to an "advanced search" page where you can select specific boards to search, date ranges, etc.
How do I read recent posts?

* Several different ways:
* To see new replies in topics where you have posted, click "Show new replies to your posts" at the top of the page (or the "Replies" button in the top menu).
* To see recent unread posts in all topics, click "Show unread posts since last visit" at the top of the page (or the "Unread" button in the top menu).
* To see recent unread posts in a particular section of the forum (e.g. Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics, or Finance and Economics), find that section on the forum homepage and click its "Unread Posts" link.
* To read the latest 100 posts on the forum, go to the bottom of the forum homepage under "Forum Stats" and click "View the most recent posts on the forum".
I don't want to read any posts in a particular board.  But they're cluttering up my "unread posts" listing.  How do I get rid of them?

* Instructions are here: "Ignore Boards" (new feature)
A particular member's posts really annoy me, and I don't want to see them.  Can I make them invisible?

* Instructions are here: How to ignore posts by one (or more) member(s)


Some of the boards on the forum are off-limits to me.  Why?
I can't use the Chat Board, can't send Private Messages, or can't use some other forum feature.  Why?

* Usage of some forum areas and features is restricted.  In brief:
* We want to get a chance to know you better before we give you access; and
* Access is given in recognition of your participation in the forum.Most members are automatically granted access to these boards and features after making a specific number of posts.  (The exact numbers are secret, and we change them occasionally.)  Rarely, a member will be granted early access, or will be denied access regardless of the number of posts made.
I posted about political news or political philosophy, and my post was deleted or moved to a board I can't access.  Why?

* TSP Forum is primarily about prepping and survival, not about political news and debate.  For that reason, new members do not have access to the politics boards and may not post on these topics.  This is to discourage people who are here only for political argument.  More information: The Primary Role of The Survival Podcast Forums.
I've contributed financially to TSP (joined the Members Support Brigade, made a donation, purchased items from the Gear Shop, etc).  Can I get early access to the restricted boards?

* Thank you very much for your support! :)  But the restrictions are based on our experience of what works best to keep the forum running smoothly.  Also, this is a free forum, and we don't want to grant or withhold access to forum features based on your ability to pay.


I'm having a problem using some feature of the forum.  Where do I go for help?

* Check the Tech Support and Forum Bugs board -- your problem may have been solved already.  If not, feel free to post a request for help.
How do I report an inappropriate post?

* Click the "Report to moderator" link at the bottom of the post, and write a short explanation of what the problem is.
I forgot my password!

* Click here to e-mail yourself a password reminder or a new password.

Mr. Bill:

What personal information do you have about me?

* The data you supplied when you registered here (username and e-mail address).
* Any extra info that you added to your profile (location, age, gender, website, etc.)
* Obviously, any info that you've posted about yourself on the forum.
* Your IP address, which is automatically recorded by the forum software.  This can be used to identify your Internet Service Provider and approximate location (unless you are using a proxy server to hide your real IP address).
Who has access to my personal information?

* Forum staff (moderators and administrators).
* Law enforcement, if we volunteer the data or are legally required to give it to them.
* Hackers who breach our security.
How private are Personal Messages?

* Under normal circumstances, nobody will see your Personal Messages except you and the recipient(s).
* Personal Messages are not stored in encrypted form, and can be extracted (with some difficulty) by anyone with access to the forum database.  This includes forum administrators and (possibly) law enforcement and hackers.
* When you receive a Personal Message, you may also receive a copy of the message via e-mail.  If you reply to this e-mail, your reply will go straight to the forum administrators, and not to the person you intended.  So don't do that.  If you want to disable these e-mails:
* Click on Profile in the menu.
* Select Modify Profile > Personal Messaging.
* Notify by email every time you receive a personal message: change this setting, and click the Change profile button.
How private are my forum posts?

* This is a public forum, so nothing you post should be considered private.
* Some parts of the forum are visible to unregistered guests.  We believe that these are the only areas visible to Google and other search engines, but we can't guarantee this.
* Other areas are only visible to registered, logged-in members, and some areas require a minimum postcount or other special permission (e.g. moderator status) to read.  If you post in one of these restricted areas, we do not guarantee that your post will retain its restricted access:
* We may move your post to an area with different restrictions.
* We may change the restrictions for the area where you posted.
* A member might quote your post in an area with different restrictions.

Mr. Bill:

What's with all these ads, anyway?

* We display ads from Forum Sponsors.  Click here for more information about sponsoring TSP Forum.
* We also display a few fundraising ads, e.g. invitations to join the Members Support Brigade.
* Some of Jack Spirko's podcast sponsors are given the opportunity to moderate sponsored boards on the forum.  This is separate from our Forum Sponsors program.  If you're interested in becoming a sponsor of The Survival Podcast and possibly operating a sponsored board, click here for more information.
* Forum members who have a history of substantial participation on the forum are allowed to post their own ads in the Swap Meet board.  Please see THE RULES, above, for more about the Swap Meet.

Mr. Bill:

How do I change the layout and colors I see for forum pages?

* In the top menu, click Profile.
* Under Modify Profile, select Look and Layout.
* Current Theme: shows your current setting.  Click (change) to pick a new theme.
* Select one of the available themes, and click [Use this theme] to use it, or [Preview theme] if you just want to try it without making a permanent change.
What are the available themes?

* Forum or Board Default is the default theme your admins have selected; it's currently set to SMF Default Theme - Curve, which is the old standard dark text on a light background with grays and blues.
* Ambassador is a dark theme with orange highlights.  Try this if you find it easier to read light text on a dark background.
* Mobile is a simple layout in a narrow column.  It's designed especially for use on smartphones, but it also works on larger screens.
* Iceland is a light theme similar to the default, but with pastel colors.  Easy to read for most people, but I'm told it's difficult for colorblind users.

Mr. Bill:

The forum is hard to use from my smartphone.  Help!

* You might want to try the Mobile theme.  It's designed for small-screen devices, and it looks like this:

* See the post just above this one for instructions on how to change your theme.
* (If you're a moderator or administrator, the Mobile theme probably won't work well for you.)
How do I improve forum login, since it uses only the default theme?

* Try bookmarking our login page, instead of the forum homepage:
It has a narrower layout and bigger text boxes:


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