Community Forum Walkthrough

Forums can be a little tricky to use, but with some guidance, anyone can become an active participant. 

In this walkthrough, I’ll be taking you through the steps on how to register, sign in, and use the VeganOstomy Community Forums! Fun times are ahead!

UPDATED Jan 15, 2022


You’ll need to register for an account before using the forums.

The registration process is easy and should give you access in a matter of minutes.

You can register by clicking on the REGISTER button in the forum menu. You can also register by accessing the forum registration page HERE.

Note: Usernames should be simple letters and numbers up to 15 characters long. If you use special symbols like $%^* and so on, you’ll get a notice to try again.

VeganOstomy registration form May 2018

Once you’ve filled in the required information and submitted it, you will be logged in automatically.

Logging in

Forum login April 7, 2017 small

You can log in by clicking on the LOGIN button on the forum menu or by accessing the forum login page directly HERE. You can also find a login forum already at the top of the forums if you aren’t already logged in.

You can use either your username or email address to log in, and the password that you’ve assigned.

If you’ve forgotten your password, you can reset it from THIS page, or click the “Forgot your password?” link on the login page.

Navigating the forums

The forums have been set up to be easy to navigate and interact with.

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Basic layout when you’re on a desktop system.

Both mobile and desktop users will see a forum menu near the top of their screen.

Note: This will be different from the VeganOstomy site menu, which will always be at the very top.

You can use this menu to take to back to the main forum page, view registered members, access your profile and activity feed, or register/login/logout.

The main forums page will show all the available categories and forums that you can view or post in. You may also notice sub-forums under main forums, which you can post under for more specific topics.

When you click on a forum, you’ll be able to see all the topics within that forum.

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Basic forum layout.

“Sticky” topics will always be at the top of the forum. These topics have been marked as important by the admin, so please don’t ignore these.

Below each topic title will be a “First post and replies” button, which expands when clicked to give you a quick view of the topic. You can click on the topic title to view all replies and to post your own reply.

If you are on a desktop PC, you’ll see a sidebar that has a forum search, online members widget, a list of recent posts, and a list of recent topics. This can be a handy place to find out what’s new without digging into each forum.

Recent Posts Page (New Feature Dec 2017; Enhanced Sept 2018)

You can now gain access to a recent posts page using the button in the forum menu.

Your unread posts will be shown in bold and this will be an easy way to see what you’ve missed since your last login. If you use the same device, then it will remember which forums you’ve visited/read and will highlight these accordingly on the recent posts page.

Note: Previously, this feature relied on browser “cookies” to keep track of the posts you’ve read. This meant that every device you use would be treated as a different “user” so to speak. As of Sept 2018, read posts will be tracked across your account, regardless of the device you use, as long as you are logged in.

Posting a new topic

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Starting a new topic is as easy as a push of a button :)

You can post a new topic by clicking on the “Add Topic” button within a forum.

After clicking on the “Add Topic” button a forum will open up and you’ll be able to title your new topic and write the content in the editing screen.

Forum post new topic-small
You have several options at your disposal, but you really only need a title and body then hit submit.

You have many formatting and styling options available, but you don’t have to use them if you prefer not to.

You’ll see an option to mark a post as a “private topic”. This means that only admin and moderators (and you) can see the topic. Please use your best judgment when marking a topic as private.

Below the editing window, you will also see an option to attach a file, but this feature may not be immediately available to brand new users in order to help cut down spam.

Once you are done writing your new topic, you can submit it to the forums by clicking the “Submit” button.

Note: These forums are equipped with an anti-spam feature that may block posts or remove them if they have been flagged as spam.

Moderators will be notified if this happens, and it may take a short while before that post becomes public (if it’s a legitimate post!).

Please don’t post the same topic twice, or you will trigger the spam detection.

Note: You will automatically receive email notifications for new topics that you start. You can disable this by unchecking the “Subscribe to this topic” box which is below the editing window.

Replying to a topic

You can reply to a topic by clicking on the “Reply” button below the post window.

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Use these buttons below a post to interact, reply, report, etc.

Once you click on that button, you’ll be given an editing window to create your reply. When you are ready to post your reply, simply click the “Submit” button.

Note: As of May, 2018, you will need to manually subscribe to a topic to be notified of any replies. You can easily do this by checking the “Subscribe to this topic” box, which is below the editing window.

Remember, if you do not subscribe to a topic that you have posted in, you will not be notified when someone replies to your comment unless you manually check the forum.

If you’d like to quote a specific person, you can use the “Quote” button to quote what they said in your reply. This can come in handy if you want to reply to a specific thing that another member mentioned.

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You can quote another member’s post by hitting the “Quote” button. Your message can be written below it.

Tip: Its common courtesy to keep your quote box small. If someone posts a very long comment, and you quote the entire comment, other users will have to scroll down a lot of text. Quote only the text that you want to focus in on.

Alternativly, you can also highly text from another comment and click on the quote icon to add that text (as a quote) to your reply. This feature was added July 11, 2019)

User Mentions (New Feature introduced Dec 2017; enhanced July 2019)

The initial release of this feature allows you to mention another user in a post by using @username (whatever it might be).  Their “@username” will be under the username beside their avatar – note that it may be different from their actual username depending on how they registered.

Veganostomy forum mentions
The user name needed for mentions are shown with the @ symbol.

Note that you have to enter the full @username as it doesn’t auto-complete right now.

Note: Users who are tagged will be emailed by default. If I find that this feature is being abused/overused, I will disable email notifications for tagged users, so they aren’t bombarded. Please be mindful when tagging someone.

In July 2019 an update was published for this feature and the @username will be added when you use the “reply” button under someone’s comment. 

Subscribing to a forum/topic

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You can subscribe to a topic/forum via email notification or RSS feed!

Above the topic list, you will notice an RSS button. If you use an RSS reader then this can be a handy way to view new posts while you’re away from the forum.

If you are viewing a topic, you’ll notice that it also has an RSS button near the top (in a different location), but you’ll also get a “Subscribe for new replies” link.

When you click on this link, you’ll receive an email every time a new reply is made to that topic. Depending on the forum settings, you may need to confirm this subscription through an email link.

Unsubscribing to a forum/topic

If you’d like to stop receiving notifications for a specific topic, simply click the “Unsubscribe” button at the top of the topic.

You can also view a list of your subscribed topics and quickly unsubscribe to them by viewing the Subscriptions page in your profile.

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You can unsubscribe from any of the topics/forums you follow.

Accessing your account settings

Your account settings allow you to change your display name, email address, password, avatar, and more.

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This menu gives you all your profile and account options.

You can access these settings by click on the “My Profile” button and then the “Account” button, or by selecting the “Account” button directly from the menu.

Once you are on your account profile page, you can edit things like your social media profiles, signature, and more!

Forum Account settings 1-small
Your contact details and social media profiles go here.
Forum account settings 2-small
Your signature and bio go here. You can also change your password at the bottom of your account page.

Changing your avatar

Avatars (the photo used for your user account) is set in three different ways:

  • Automatically using a randomly generated character face.
  • Using an image from a specific URL.
  • Uploading your own file.

The randomly generated avatars look like this:

Cute, but not very personal.

I recommend uploading your own image as it makes things more personal, and it avoids any problems associated with “hotlinking” (using an image from a URL).

You can do this by going to your account options and heading to the Avatar section.

Forum Adding avatar small

Please note the following when uploading your own images:

  • Keep the file size as small as possible (use a JPG file with moderately high compression).
  • Keep the image size under 150 x 150 pixels.
  • Make sure it’s rotated before uploading.
  • Keep it “PG” (no nudity or offensive images, please).

If the image uploaded is too large, rotated incorrectly, or isn’t compressed, I will generally try to adjust it myself, but this is time-consuming and it’s better if they are uploaded properly the first time.

Sending a private message

Members can send private messages to each other or to a group of members.

You can do this several ways:

  • Through a member profile by clicking on “Send a Message”.
  • Through the member list by clicking on the mail icon beside the member name.
  • By clicking on the mail icon below the user’s Avatar/statistics.
  • By accessing your message screen through the Private Messages menu.
  • Through the messages screen which can be found on the tabbed menu while viewing your profile, account settings, activity, or subscription screen.

If you are starting a new conversation through the messages screen, you can type the name of a user, and it will automatically display for you (handy if you don’t know the full username of the person you’d like to message).

Note: There may be limits to how many people you can message in a day or how many messages you send in a day. These limits will be adjusted according to feedback, and they’ve been put into place to cut down on spam.

Please keep in mind that private messages may be abused by some users. If you are receiving threatening messages, being harassed, receive commercial messages (i.e. “buy my product”), etc., you can report the user and/or block them by selecting the menu button next to their name.

Tip: Never give out personal information through private messages to someone you don’t personally know.

Need more help?

If you’re still having trouble with the forums, either leave a comment below or contact me.

13 thoughts on “Community Forum Walkthrough”

  1. Can’t register for the forums. I get a response that I have an invalid email address. It’s a addy. Maye your forums are not available after dark!

  2. I am just learning how to use this I wanted to respond to sleeping which I have a lot of trouble with . I have a colostomy and my problem is pancaking when my stoma starts to work usually around 3am I usually wake up at that time but on the occasional night I sleep the pancaking will push the flange off of my body.when I am awake I spend most of the night pulling the stool off my stoma . This has also happened to me whe I have been out I very seldom have liquid stool and have tried several different gel products that don’t help .I am pretty lucky I have not had any major leaks and am still trying new products I had my colostomy since March 2018 . I don’t think I posted this in the right spot but I will keep trying.

  3. Hi Eric,
    I am still having trouble with logging in to my account. I have tried to change the pass word but that has not helped.
    I have a suggestion also…have you considered inviting members to tell there whole story, from the time they first noticed trouble to the …what ever end they are at presently? I know that my trouble started at the age of ten years old.
    Also, I am sorry but I badly need your help in finding whatever I can find on Patient rights while in hospital regarding everything. From usual meds. to the changes a ER Doc. makes and messes with your system something fierce. This would be for British Columbia Canada. I am badly malnourished and am heading to hospital yet again.
    I can hardly concentrate on anything. I have numb hands and feet, am B12 deficient, Potassium is all gone, anemic and so very drained. Just emptying my bag is a major chore. I would sure appreciate the help.
    I look forward to hearing from you. I left a similar note under your events from the Chrohns also. I am sure it is in the wrong place. Sorry about that.
    Thank you….

    • Hi Linda,

      Send me an email and I’ll try to sort out the log in issues.

      I’m so sorry to hear about your continued health struggles. Do you have any advocacy groups out there that could help you? I don’t really know what’s available in BC.

  4. Hi Eric
    I wanted to add a new topic – I couldn’t find an existing one on how pouches seem to create a vacuum and then adhere to the stoma and stop it from discharging feces. I had that problem with the Sensura Mio and Coloplast suggested the model down from that – with the odour ring all around the stoma but the same thing happens. When I open the bag and pull on the top of it to let air in and massage my stoma area then my stoma starts to work again. It is tedious though. This coloplast model has less convexitivity than the sensura mio I used with deep convexivity and my ET nurse isn’t very happy about the change. I am on a trial therefore and have my 4 th bag on using thin Hollister rings. But this suction thing is a huge problem. Thanks for your help.


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