Anatomy of a post
Most people new to discourse find the interface somewhat unintuitive. This post attempts to go some way to rectify that.
Most of the images here will be based of this (somewhat GIMPed) image:
The highlighted area shows the entire body of the post.
In this case, we have a preamble (in this case indicating it's a continuation from another topic,) a quote from another post, and then the rest of the post.
Quote in Post
Here, the quote alone is highlighted. At the top left we have @ChaosTheEternal's Avatar (or icon) followed by their username.
At the top right we have two arrow icons.
- The down-arrow icon will in-place expand the quote to show @ChaosTheEternal's whole post from whence this quote came.
- The right-arrow will redirect your browser to the post itself.
Above the post body, we have the author's details. At the top left we have @PJH's Avatar, followed by their name. Occasionally there may be a Trophy, or Wand or other icon after their name. These are explained over in User Levels. These icons will only appear after post authors - they won't appear in quotes.
At the top right, we have how long ago, or when the post was created, depending on the board settings. If it is 'when' then at most only two degrees of granularity are given. (2 Mar, May 2013.)
Hover over the date to get a tool-tip giving the exact date.
Clicking the date will open a box allowing you to copy the URL which will take you to this particular post in the topic, and some share buttons to spam the post to Google, Facebook et alia. Duplicates the functionality of the chain in the footer.
TODO: Missing from this image is an indication that the post has been edited outside of the Ninja Editing window. This is a diagonal pencil icon that varies in color from red to gray, depending on how long ago the post was last edited; red indicating recently.
In the right gutter, we have indications of where links to and from this post have gone.
- right (outbound) pointing arrows indicate where this post has linked to. Typically it will be to an individual post which may be in the middle of a topic
- left (inbound) pointing arrows indicate posts that have linked to this post (or topic if this post is the first post.)
Numbers after the outgoing topic titles (roughly) indicate how many times those links have been clicked.
Finally there is a 'Reply as new topic' link which will open the post composition window allowing you to create a new topic, rather than replying within the current one.
Starting from the left:
- If present, a button indicating that there are replies to this post. Clicking this will in-place expand the posts. Those posts will have a down-arrow that will redirect you to the reply.
- A heart: to indicate that you 'Like" the post. You cannot like your own posts.
- A chain: will open a box allowing you to copy the URL which will take you to this particular post in the topic, and some share buttons to spam the post to Google, Facebook et alia. Duplicates the functionality of clicking the time in the header.
- A flag: allows you to flag this post. Depending on the type of flag subsequently selected, it will send a message to either moderators (with a quick choice of 3 presets or a fourth option with a free-form box) or to the message author.
- A pencil: if visible, allows you to edit your post.
- A 'bookmark': Allows you to bookmark a post for whatever reason you wish. Bookmarked posts will have this icon in blue. Otherwise it will be grey. You can easily find all your bookmarked posts from your profile page.
- A trash can - if visible, allows you to delete your post.
- A spanner - unless you're a staff member, you won't see this.
- A reply button - this allows you to reply to this post.
Although not too evident from this image, there are in fact two links here: 1 person liked this and Like it too. Clicking the former will show a list of avatars of those who've liked this post, the later serves the same purpose of the heart in the post footer.
First Post Footer
Shows some largely self explanatory statistics about the topic. Avatars listed are the top posters (with counts) of those who've posted in this thread.
Clicking the down arrow produces....
Expanded First Post Footer
More self explanatory data. All(?) posters and their counts are listed, then all outgoing links from this thread, with a (rough) count of the number of clicks each has received.