Why are some blog entries and comment modules closed to comments?
All comment modules, whether on blog entries or other webpages, are automatically closed after a period of time to help reduce spamming and off topic discussion. The default duration that modules are open to comments varies.
Some modules may also be closed early, for example if the debate has changed, run its natural course, or is no longer topical.
The length of time modules are open to comments can likewise be extended, for example if the debate remains topical for an unusually long time.
In very rare cases a blog entry may never be opened to comments, for example if a story is so sensitive that commenting would put users or the BBC at risk.
Messageboard discussions are set to close automatically after a period of time. This is to help prevent spamming.
Discussions may be closed early if they have become off topic, out of date, or if the number of messages is so high that the discussion has become unmanageable.
They may be closed if the discussion as a whole is found to break the House Rules. If the first message of a discussion is found to break the House Rules the discussion will automatically be closed to further messages.
Imagine you are at a party and want to join in a conversation. If you just butt in, you could easily say the wrong thing and make a bad impression. If you listen to the conversation first, you get a better idea of how to take part. It's the same with online conversations; take your time, read a few discussions and get a feel for things.
The easiest way to do this is to join in an existing conversation. First look for a discussion on a subject that interests you. Then find a message you want to reply to and click on the 'Reply to this message' link. Always double check what you've written before you post, you can't change or delete a message later.
Your first few messages may not appear immediately. This is because all messages by new users are pre-moderated, which means that they need to be checked by a moderator before they appear. This may take a while (because the moderators read thousands of comments a day), so please come back later to see your message on the board and check the responses. After you have used the BBC messageboards for a while, you will become a trusted user and your messages will appear immediately - as long as they don't break the House Rules. For more on moderation, please visit our moderation FAQ.
When your message does appear it will be listed on your discussions page, which you can get to by clicking on the ‘My Discussions’ link near the top of the page. You'll be able to keep track of all of your previous messages and any replies by visiting this page.
Check that the board is open before trying to write a message. The messageboard has opening and closing times and they are subject to change. Times will be displayed on the front page of the messageboard.
Stick with the main topic of the discussion.
You're having a conversation, not making a speech, so don't make your message too long.
Use short sentences. It makes your messages easier to read.
Don't type your messages in capital letters as it LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE SHOUTING!
Every messageboard member has their own discussions page. Click on your display name or on the 'My Discussions' link near the top of the page to see your own page. Click on any other person's name to see their page.
It's created automatically when you register and is there to keep a record of all the discussions you have started or contributed to.
It is also there to advise you of new messages on those discussions or replies to your messages. When a discussion you have started or contributed to receives a new reply it will be bumped to the top of your discussions page and highlighted until you reply again.
Want to include a link to a non-BBC website in a message? To create a clickable link, copy the complete address into your message, like this: 'http://www.youtube.com'. The link will then become clickable but its length is truncated upon display e.g. 'www.youtube...'
To quote on the messageboard copy or drag the text you want to quote into a new posting window.
Surround the text with <quote> and </quote>
<quote>put the text you are quoting here</quote>
Add your own comments and then post the message, the text you are quoting will appear in italics.
Please note, be careful when you copy the text of someone else's message into your post, if you think their text may break the House Rules don't quote it. If their message is subsequently removed, yours may also be removed if it contains a copy of their removed text.
Our message boards indicate when you are signed in by placing two asterisks next to your display name (eg: Kate**). This helps other members users know if you are available for discussion and whether they might expect a reply to their comment. If for any reason you would rather not have others know when you are online, you should sign in only when you wish to post a comment - remember it is not necessary to sign in when simply reading other people's comments. Due to delays between servers, you may find that the asterisks are visible briefly after you have logged out.