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FAQ and overview for new and intending forum users
Who is this forum service for?
This forum is intended for the private use of registered architects, employees of architects, graduates, students, retired and academic members, as well as members and employees of the NZIA.
While we believe the value to users is high, there are no plans to charge for this service.
What is this service for?
This is designed as a safe ‘in house’ space for fostering an online collegial culture that supports the practice of architecture and registered architects across New Zealand. For many years, members from all types, modes, and sizes of practice nationwide have been using this forum to share insights, commiserate, post questions and propose and discuss possible answers on a wide range of architectural topics.
With ‘social distancing’ and remote working now a day to day reality for many practitioners, this is a medium whose time has come.
Is this just another messaging or social media service?
No. Frankly, this service is to Facebook and Twitter what a fine wine is to mouthwash. It utilises the next-generation, industry leading ‘Discourse’ forum technology; and is ergonomically designed to facilitate meaningful, civilised, fluid and yet highly structured and searchable discussion, within a straightforward, unobtrusive and very easy to learn environment for users. More information here https://www.discourse.org/features
Logged in users can also initiate or participate in impromptu or prearranged online video conferencing events, SPG or working group meetings and the like with peers anywhere around the country, without the time limits, subscription costs or software impediments of other platforms. New functionality is explored regularly.
Does the NZIA own or control this forum service?
No. This forum is the successor to the ‘Yahoo Chatlist’; a very basic Email based format that was originally set up and run by the NZIA, but that proved problematic in administration and disruptive for many in operation, and that was ultimately discontinued by NZIA on general legal advice.
While the forum still shares a focus on supporting New Zealand architects with its predecessor, and still treats NZIA membership as a qualifying characteristic for users, it is no longer in any way affiliated with or controlled by the NZIA, and NZIA are in no way responsible for the forum content, or its management.
What topics are discussed?
Topics range from mundane day to day queries, technical, local authority and consenting issues, BIM and other information technologies, business, practice administration and contractual issues, client-architect relationship challenges, legislative and regulatory issues, environmental and sustainability issues, invited design critiques, urban planning and landscaping issues, as well as broad philosophical discussions and debate. The tone is informal.
Thoughts and ideas can be floated, tested and collaborated on here - before they are necessarily ‘polished’ or complete, in an environment that is supportive, and where respondents are straight-talking, and constructive.
What topics are not discussed?
No topic is ‘off limits’ so long as it has some bearing on architecture, however all the norms of civilised discourse apply;
What if I posted in haste?
Any forum user can log in and subsequently edit or delete their own posts and content, at any time, whether days or years later. In fact, updates are encouraged if mistakes are found, or a situation changes.
Who is responsible for forum content?
Every user must accept sole responsibility for their own contributions. This is a condition of use.
That said, readers of the forum must also accept as a further term of use, that the content here is of a fundamentally informal, impromptu and exploratory nature, and nothing posted should be relied upon as being accurate or taken as professional advice without independent verification - ‘take everything with a grain of salt, and use at your own risk’ in other words.
What if I can’t log in?
Simply click the ‘I forgot my password’ link in the login dialog to make a new one. You can also try the ‘By Email’ button, a social log in button, or contact the administrator if you get stuck.
What if I prefer to read or post by Email rather than logging in each time?
This is now possible. Users who opt for this will be automatically Emailed each new post and can reply from their preferred Email application. To start a new topic, you just send a fresh message to firstname.lastname@example.org with a descriptive subject line. Please don’t reply to an existing topic if you intend to change the subject (this makes life harder for others) – just post a fresh message, with its own subject line to email@example.com instead.
What if I don’t want to be bombarded with email?
Live message exchanges can generate a lot of email, so users who don’t want this can easily switch it off (untick ‘Mailing list mode’ in your user email preferences menu).
Users can separately choose whether to receive periodic summaries or digests of topics discussed, or to be notified if someone mentions them by name, or if there is a reply to any message they have posted. Users can in fact switch off Emailed notifications entirely and only log in to check or contribute to forum activity as required.