by mark sletten
We've gotten more than a few emails from members about the new LancairTalk online forum. If you don't know what LancairTalk is you're really missing out. LancairTalk replaced the primitive Lancair Mail List (LML) last year, and serves as the primary means of communication between members of the Lancair community. LancairTalk offers many, many improvements over the LML, but as is often the case with technology, along with increased capability comes increased complexity.
The common issue for many seems to be the fact they no longer receive a daily digest. The LML offered users a choice between receiving an email every time someone posted to the list, or a daily (or sometimes less than daily, depending on how busy Marv was) digest of all posts. Several members have commented how much they miss that capability with LancairTalk. Well fret no more, because LancairTalk has ALWAYS offered that capability, you just have to know where to look for it!
How To Get It
NOTE: The information in this post assumes you have subscribed to LancairTalk.net. Although LOBO offers a link to LancairTalk on our site, we do not own, run or moderate LancairTalk. LOBO membership and registration at LancairOwners.com does not mean you are registered at LancairTalk.net--you still must register and get a username/password there. We realize this might be confusing for some, but we believe in the importance of communication in the Lancair community, and that facilitating communication with a link to LancairTalk is the right thing to do.
Click on User Control Panel (left arrow in example) to open a page with site management options. Across the top of that page is a row of tabs. The last tab (right arrow in example) is labeled Digests.
Click Digests to open a page where you can set options to receive a digest of all site activity. The digest will come to you as an email containing of all the posts made since the last digest you received. Depending on how you configure your user settings, the email you receive may include a Table of Contents, with internal links to individual posts in the email. Assuming your email client is properly configured (more below), these internal links make it easy to go directly to the parts of the digest in the email you wish to view--all you have to do is click them. In addition the digest will also have links directly back to the actual post at LancairTalk (more below).
Setting Up Your Preferences
The tabs on the left of the Digests page offer several ways to control the digests you receive. When you click each tab a page with settings will appear. Each page contains detailed instructions on what the settings control, but I'll cover some highlights here just to tell you what to expect.
On the Basics tab you select the frequency, format and time LancairTalk will send your digest.
NOTE: If you want a table of contents in your digest select one of the HTML formats, and make sure your email client (the program you use to read your email) is set to view/send in HTML. The security settings of some email clients turn off all links and other useful HTML capabilities in received emails by default. If you want to take advantage of the capabilities of LancairTalk digests you'll need to adjust the settings on your email client to allow HTML content in emails from LancairTalk. Since each email client is a bit different, you may have to play with different formats until you find one that works for your client. I use gmail, and the default HTML format works well for me.
On the Forums Selection tab you may select which forums you want to see posts from. By default all forums are selected, which means you'll see ALL posts made to LancairTalk during the period covered by the digest. This is what people who opted to receive the LML digest used to get.
The Post Filters tab offers more tools to control the digest content. You can limit the number of posts, or automatically delete posts (they simply won't appear in your digest) containing fewer than a set number of words. You can also tell LancairTalk to keep track of what you view while you visit the site and delete anything from the digest you viewed while visiting.
The Additional Criteria tab allows you to control several important things, like the order posts are sorted and whether your digest will include a table of contents.
How to Respond
So, once you get and read your digest you'll be dying to join the conversation. This is where the links in the digest come in handy (and why you want to receive the digest in HTML format). When reading a given post you'll see links labeled Forum and Topic. The Forum link takes you directly to the forum on LancairTalk where the post appears. From there you'll still have to drill down to the topic to find and respond to a given post. If you want to respond to a post, the Topic link is much handier. This takes you directly to the forum and topic at the site containing the post you were reading in the digest. From there, just click the Post Reply button to get involved in the conversation.
So that's pretty much it. I strongly encourage you to commit an hour or two of your time to exploring LancairTalk. The site offers a plethora of ways to communicate with your fellow Lancairians. The site administrators and forum moderators are very involved in ensuring the content is accurate, respectful, reasonable and applicable to the topic being discussed. What's more, they are more than willing to answer any questions you might have about how the site works, or how you can configure the settings to best suit your needs and desires. Contact Mark at m.sletten [at] lancairowners.com (subject: I%20have%20a%20question%20on%20your%20post%20about%20LancairTalk.)
if you have questions or comments regarding this post. Send an email to admin [at] lancairtalk.net (subject: I%20have%20a%20question%20about%20LancairTalk.)
for more information about LancairTalk.net.