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The Quick Guide to The D-Word

For our core of active members, reading new posts at The D-Word is a regular habit like checking your email. Over time, you will likely learn about and want to utilize a variety of the available features. Many of these tools enable you to individualize your experience of The D-Word. But, you do not need to know most of the information below in order to navigate, read and post. It only takes a few visits to become familiar and comfortable with the basics.

Navigate The D-Word
Read what's new
Navigate through posts inside a Topic
Write a post
Link to other posts
My Topics
My Profile
My Pictures
My Settings
Further recommendations
Common acronyms
Any more questions?



Well, there aren't a lot of rules here, but there are a few very basics. Quite simply, don't be an A-hole. We welcome debates, disagreements and even the occasional flame, but please no unnecessary rudeness. Assume goodwill.

Do not use The D-Word only to pitch your product or service. Feel free to recommend products and services in the course of conversation, but do not offend other users by coming in only to sell something.

Also, in the tradition of other virtual communities, we have a copyright policy in effect here. Which means, you own your own words. If you write something here, consider it copyrighted. If you take someone's writings or material from here, consider it stealing.



At The D-Word, there are three types of users:

Guests (not logged in): They can only read our Public Topics, that's all.

Enthusiasts (registered public users): They can post in our Public Topics and read public discussions in our Archived Topics.

Professionals (Full D-Word members, documentary professionals): They can post in all Public and Members-Only Topics, and they can read all of our Archived Topics.

In other words:

If you don't have an account at all, please use the link to Register for The D-Word, which will give you Enthusiast status.

If you have Enthusiast status and you're a documentary professional, please use the link to Become a Member of The D-Word. Update your profile and submit your application for consideration by the hosts. There is no membership fee.


Navigate The D-Word

Every page has a menu on top that lets you navigate the core sections of the site: Our discussion Topics, Tags to mark important posts in the discussions, People for listing and searching all users, some information About The D-Word and its story, and the Help section you're reading right now. More sections are to follow soon, such as Films by our Members and Film Boxes that they share.

The top right always shows you if you're signed in, and what user you're signed in as (important if you're sharing a computer with other users). You'll also have see a link to log in or log out. Logging out is crucial if you use someone else's computer, as you don't want other people to access The D-Word in your name.

The Search box lets you find earlier posts very quickly. With the results, advandced search options will become available to narrow down what you're looking for.



The Topics page is our home page, as it's our discussions that we're all about.

This page has a sidebar on the left that draws your attention to things you should do, such as read postings that are new for you, introduce yourself, or update your profile. Below, What's new at The D-Word features interesting ongoing discussions or upcoming events. Underneath, My D-Word lets you easily edit your profile, pictures, and preferences.

As for the actual Topics, you can organize them by category, by posting date, or by Topic name. For newcomers, the category view will work best. It shows you groups of Topics sorted by their main theme (Public, Business, Creative, Social, Technical Topics). The top right of every category box will tell you whether it contains Public or Members-Only Topics.

Remember that with Enthusiast status, you'll only get to see Public Topics. If you're a documentary professional, you'll need to follow the instructions described at the bottom of the Topics page to become a full Member of The D-Word.


Read what's new

It's totally up to you how to navigate new posts at The D-Word. These are some of the most convenient ways, starting on the Topics page:

Read ### posts in ## Topics: This will let you cruise through all Topics that contain new posts, and it'll take you directly to the pages with the latest additions, als o displaying a set number of previou s posts for context (change this number under My Settings). Once you have read all the new posts in a topic, click "Go to next Topic with new postings" at the bottom of the page. At the end of your trip through the topics, a link at the bottom will take you back to the Topics list. This is the most efficient way to read everything you haven't seen yet. If you don't want to go through all Topics on this cruise, you can make a personal selection under My Topics.

Read ### posts after yours in ## Topics: Same thing as before, but will only take you to new posts that have been made in Topics where you last posted. Use this if you're time-challenged any you only want to know how people reacted to what you last said.

Click on the name of a Topic in the list: This will take you to the latest posts in that particular Topic.

Follow the recommendations of the hosts: Check what's featured in the "What's new at The D-Word" sidebar.


Navigate through posts inside a Topic

The top right of each Topic will remind you if this is a Public Topic or a Members-Only Topic.

When accessing a Topic, you'll be directly taken to a page with the latest posts, or to a page with the post that contains keywords you searched for. A page typically shows up to 25 posts (change this under My Settings). Page icons at the top and the bottom of the Topic let you to navigate through the pages. All of our discussions are strictly linear, so you'll only be able to add a post if you're at the bottom of the newest page of the Topic you're reading.


Write a post

Type your post in the text box at the bottom of the last page of the Topic this post is relevant to. In the box on the top right, you can change your current location (documentary professionals tend to travel a lot). HTML is not allowed. However, basic formatting is possible. For help with formatting, the question mark on the top right will expand a help section.

If you're writing a very long text or pasting it from elsewhere, please put this into a hidden section added to your posting. Click the link and you'll see the text box for the hidden part. The text in the top box will still be visible and should contain a short description of the hidden part that other users will only see if they choose to do so.

You can attach files to your posting. We reserve the right to limit file types and size, but all common formats will work. Picture attachments will also produce a small preview of the actual attached picture.

You can preview the resulting post and decide to edit it again or post it like it is. Previews won't show any attachments, but they'll still be there once you click Post.

Or you can post directly without a preview. For a short time, you'll be able to edit (pencil icon) or delete your post (trashcan icon) -- but as soon as someone posts after you, these options will be gone.

In any case, don't forget to press Post when you're done writing, previewing, and attaching files. A successful post will be shown at the end of the discussion, and not marked as preview.

In the event that someone else posted at the same time while you were still writing, you'll automatically get a warning message, and you'll need to read the other post before deciding to go ahead with yours or adjust it to what's just been added ahead of yours. You then need to press Post again before your post is actually added (unless someone else was faster again, but that's unlikely to happen -- we're not in a live chatroom here).


Link to other posts

We believe in ongoing conversations between peers, not in anonymous issue-oriented threads. That's why we don't split up our Topics in a bulletin-board style. If you have something to add to an earlier post, and the discussion has since shifted elsewhere, you can use easy links to refer to the previous post.

Link to a post within the same Topic: Click the blue Reply arrow at the top right of the post you're referring to. A link will appear in the text box of the post you're writing.

Link to a post from another Topic: Go to the post you want to link to, and right-click the chain-style Link button in order to copy the link to your clipboard. Then navigate to the Topic you want to post in, and just paste the link into the text you're writing.



The Tag icon on the top right of each post lets you add a Tag to any post. Tags are like bookmarks named with short keywords describing the contents of the post. You only use them if you find a post particularly important or valuable.

Tags are anonymously shared. So the Tags page will show you, in alphabetical order, both Tags you added as well as Tags others added (you can switch between these views). Clicking on a Tag will show you search results of all postings marked with a Tag containing this keyword.



The People section lets you select views of All Users, Professionals, Enthusiasts, or Hosts. Only Professionals have full profiles with all their info. They can decide to share this profile information with the public. Some will have a "Public Bio" visible to everyone in addition to a more detailed "Members-Only Bio".

Click on Advanced Search to find users by country, profession, or other criteria.


My Topics

The standard view of the Topics page will list all available topics. In the My Topics list, there's two checkboxes after each Topic. The first allows you to make it visible or invisible on the Topics page and on the "Read new posts" cruise. The second one will trigger email notifications about any new posts in that Topic.

Don't forget to click Update My Topics to save your settings.


My Profile

Lets you edit all the basic information you want others to see. Unless you select the checkbox to make your profile public, only very basic information will be publicly visible. If you opt for a public profile, you'll see two Bio boxes: Your "Public Bio" should be more general and will be visible to everyone. Other members will get to see both your general "Public Bio" and a more personal Members-Only Bio".


My Pictures

Allows you to upload still pictures of yourself, your films, your equipment, your cat. Choose a picture as default that will be displayed next to your name on Topic and People pages. Smaller, cropped versions of your pictures will also appear on the right-hand side of your profile.


My Settings

All your general preferences in one spot. They're all explained on this page.


Further Recommendations

Make sure to introduce yourself to our community. The "Introduce Yourself" Topic is a Public Topic, as both Members and Enthusiasts will post in Public Topics.

Make sure your post fits the Topic you're posting in. Else the infamous Topic Police will be after you. Stuff that doesn't fit into any other Topics should be posted in the Bar.

Don't double post in more than one Topic. In other words, don't post the same post in, for instance, the "Editing" and the "Final Cut Pro" Topics - given the way The D-Word works, we read all the posts in each Topic, unlike bulletin-board communities. It's mostly clear where a post belongs, but on very rare occasions the Hosts may move a post to another Topic if appropriate. The one exception to the double-posting rule is the "Public Classifieds" and "Members Only Classifieds", where you may post in both to reach a wider audience.

Log on at least once a week. Else the number of new posts may overwhelm you. However, there's an easy fix if you've been away for too long: Just click the Reset Counter in the sidebar on the left, and only posts made from this moment on will be displayed as new.

Don't log on more often than once a day. Else you'll get addicted, or you may dominate the discussion to an extent that will irritate other users.

Get to know your fellow users. Check out the profiles of Enthusiasts and Members by clicking on their name or their picture. Get some background info on who you're talking to, and you'll understand them so much better...

No need to sign your posts. Your name and picture will appear automatically with your post. And we're having ongoing discussions, not an email exchange. So we usually don't say hello and bye.


Common Acronyms

AFAIK - As far as I know
AKA - Also know as
ASAP - As soon as possible
BRB - Be Right Back
BTDT - Been There Done That
BTW - By the Way
F2F - Face to face
FAQ - Frequently Asked Question
FWIW - For what it's worth
FYA - For your amusement
FYI - For your information
IAE - In any event
IANAL - I am not a lawyer
IDK - I don't know
IMHO - In My Humble Opinion
IMNSHO - In my not so humble opinion
IMO - In my opinion
IOW - In other words
J/K - Just kidding
LMAO - Laughing my ass off
LOL - Laughing Out Loud
OIC - Oh, I see
OTOH - On the other hand
PD - Public domain
ROTFL - Rolling on the Floor Laughing
RTFM - Read The Fucking Manual
TIA - Thanks in advance
TIC - Tongue in cheek
TTYL - Talk to You Later


Any more questions?

Please use the Help Topic if you need further assistance.