The Tour Egypt BBS
I am the webmaster of Tour Egypt, and in my opinion, we have no better resource on line then our Tour Egypt BBS. There are a number of different reasons I would make such a statement, but most revolve around the variety and quality of our regular visitors.
The Tour Egypt BBS is a real time messaging and chat system, and has been on line for a number of years. It is consistently frequented by a number of people who like Egypt, travel there often, have a varied interest and expertise on Egyptian antiquities as well as travel. In addition, we also have our Egyptian nationals who visit the BBS, as well as a number of ex-pats currently living there. Here, one will find many of the people who write for Tour Egypt.
Basically, there is a lot of expertise on the BBS on just about any subject related to Egypt, and best of all, these people almost always answer any question put to them on just about any Egyptian subject. In fact, it goes much further then this. Many potential visitors end up making friends on the BBS, and very often meet up in Egypt with those living there. Others find travel companions.
For most, the BBS ends up being a place where they can meet up with people who have a similar interest in Egypt. It has certainly become a virtual community, and many have become lifelong friends with people who, often as not, they have never met in person.
Operationally, the BBS does take some getting use to, though it is not unlike many similar programs. One must log in and establish a user name and password to post, but this is a minimal task. There is very little information required, and we do not use the information for mass mailings, nor do we allow anyone else to. Alternatively, you can log in as a guest, but you will not be able to post questions or information.
Once you have logged in, if you allow the use of frames as most do, there are two important control areas, consisting of the black menu bar at the top of the screen, and the conference list on the left.
You may open up any conference by clicking on its name. A number of "threads" will appear under the conference name after you click it. Most of these are not single messages, but threads of messages on a specific topic. They will have a + to the left. Clicking on the plus sign will open up the thread of messages. You can read the individual messages by clicking on them.
Once a message is opened, it appears on the right side of the screen. At the top of the message are various options. Clicking "post" will post a new message to the conference. Clicking reply will post a reply to the specific message. You may also post a new message to a conference by clicking on the conference, and then the "post" on the black menu bar at the top of the screen.
Another very useful tool is the search button. This allows you to search for specific topics that might have been discussed.
Anytime that you enter the BBS, you will see any new messages that have been posted since you last marked the message as read. To mark all messages read, click on the "Mark Read" button on the top black menu bar.
There are many more options and commands, including chatting, paging and others, but these basic steps will get you going. Enjoy the BBS, and the friendly people who inhabit Tour Egypt's Virtual Community.