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Community Manager
Community Manager

How To Start a Topic

To start a new topic, you must be an AARP registered user and be logged in. Once done, navigate to  the Discussion list on the right side of the page  and scroll down to the desired category by clicking the Category name (eg. ‘Money’) or the black arrow (>) to the left of the Category name. (See screen capture, #1).


Once at the Category of your choice, you have two options, i.e., either click on the category name and be directed to the Category page or, click on the black arrow toopen a list of all the forums under that particular Category.


OC Discussion Tree.png


You can also navigate to all the forums by clicking the Forums link just below the search icon (magnify glass) in the red toolbar of the AARP Online Community (#2)



To View All Forums.png


Your ability to start a conversation is available at the top of every forum, just under the forum's name.  The example below is using the About Our Community forum (#3)


Click the START A TOPIC yellow button.



start a topic.png



Once you have selected the Start A Topic button, a  New Message screen opens, allowing you to craft your post. (See New Message screen below).


In the Subject field (1), enter your topic title.  Clear and concise topics are important, as they are the only part of the topic that shows up on the main forum page listing.


In the Body field (2), compose your post.  Personal information like your phone number, address, or email should not be included for your privacy.


The toolbar (3) also provides additional formatting options.  Click the elliptical (3 dots) just to the right of the camera icon to access features such as Bold, Italics, underline, inserting web links and photos.


Adding a tag to your posts is important, as it helps other users discover posts of interest to them by grouping like content together. The tag area is located to the right of the New Message screen. (4)

What is a tag? It is  a single keyword or phrase that describes the topic, theme, or subject of a post. You can add as many tags as you want, and should be separated with with a comma. 


When done composing your message, click the yellow POST bottom, bottom right. (5)



Community Manager
Community Manager

@GailL1, when starting a topic you get the Post button.  When replying to a topic that already exists, you get the Reply button.  When taking a post from your drafts, the system thinks it's a new topic. This is why you're seeing the Post button.

Honored Social Butterfly

OK, @sandy I am clear on this REPLY / POST button in the normal course of posting.

The problem occurs when I am replying -

  • For whatever reason, when I am replying to an existing post, I start getting these error messages.  1st, the HTML error message.  Then I hit REPLY again and I get the Flooding error message. 
  • There is no way that my reply post is gonna go through after that but I do NOT "CANCEL" (another button) it.
  • It ends up in my DRAFT folder - and I can post it from there - but like you said at that time it is a POST and not a REPLY so the queue is out of sorts.

Am I doing something wrong here?  It is the error messages that are the problem - I do not know why they are occurring. 

Why am I getting the HTML error message?

Why am I getting the FLOODING error message?

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Honored Social Butterfly

You will have to read my (2) replies here in reverse order.


This is the one that I loaded from my "DRAFT"

Notice the ( #5) button now says "POST"

begin screen shot


Screenshot_2020-10-23 How To Start a Topic(1).png

 end screen shot


Why this MAY matter - when I was having a lot of trouble posting the other day - I could post my reply from my DRAFT but not directly from the reply.

Hope this makes sense.

Using Windows 10 / Firefox



It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Honored Social Butterfly

# 5 - My button never says POST if replying directly to a thread or comment within a thread.  IT SAYS "REPLY".

However, this differs when I am posting from one of my DRAFTS - then when the draft is loaded, the button then says "POST".

Here is a screen shot of what I am seeing right now in this reply to you - directly from your post.  See the button says "REPLY" NOT "POST"


begin screen shot -

Screenshot_2020-10-23 How To Start a Topic.pngend screen shot ~


My next reply will be one that is done from my DRAFT file.

It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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