Recently I was talking to one of SupportRepublic’s contributing writers, and he said, “Hey, what does the red flag mean beside my article title?” I took that conversation as my cosmic cue that it must be time again to run a short primer on the interface. For those of you who are new to the site, here are some important features to keep in mind.

The green key means members only
All of the content we publish on is free, but a green key appearing beside a title indicates that only members can obtain access to that article. It’s easy to join TechRepublic—just click the Login link in the left navigation bar and register for a passport.

The red flag means a favorable rating
We invite you to share your comments about everything we publish on One way to voice your opinion is by clicking the Post a Comment link and adding your two cents to the discussion thread at the bottom of an article. And you can always click the Contact Us link and send us a note.

Another way to let us know what you think of our content is to rate an article. To do so, you use the right navigation bar’s Rate an Article tool, as shown in FigureA.

Figure A
Use this tool to let us know how you like a particular article.

Just click the drop-down lists, choose a number (5=most useful), and click the Rate this article! icon. When you submit your rating, we’ll show you the cumulative rating for that article, as shown in FigureB. If enough members have rated the article (we increase that number periodically), and if the average rating is high enough, the article earns the red flag of approval, like the one shown in FigureC.

Figure B
After you rate an article, you’ll see the average score given to that article by your fellow TechRepublic members.

Figure C
The red flag will appear next to the title of an article that has been rated a minimum number of times and whose average rating is at least 4.0.

Two ways to browse the archives
If you’re looking for articles on a particular topic, you can always use the site’s Search feature to ferret out articles that contain a particular word or phrase. In addition to the basic keyword search, we provide a flexible and powerful advanced search utility. You can limit the scope of your searches to a single republic or to any combination of republics.

But what if you’re interested in taking a look at material we published a month ago? Or in the last six months? One way is to click the Browse Republic Articles link that appears at the bottom of every republic home page.

Another way is to use the Channels links. In each of the republics (Home, CIO, Manager, Admin, Support, and Training), you’ll see a slightly different set of channels listed in the left navigation bar. When you click on one of those channel links, the resulting screen shows a list of articles that we’ve designated to “fit” in that channel designation. FigureD shows the channels available in SupportRepublic.

Figure D
One of the best ways to browse our archives is by clicking a link under Channels.

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