When starting a discussion on Diagnostic Network, you decide what kind of message to post, and there are several to choose from, including the Question and Bounty message types. Both of these are designed specifically to obtain help from other members, and require you to update the members with the outcome as soon as possible.
There are a few simple ways you can keep other members apprised of your issue, and each of these will effectively close your message, though you can always provide further details in the future, and continue to receive replies from other members.
- Award a Bounty. For bounties, you may award that bounty to any one reply, and we will automatically upvote and tag that reply as a resolution. (You have the option to undo the "resolution" status on the awarded reply, which will keep your issue open for further help.)
- Upvote and Tag Replies. If any replies helped you resolve your issue, you can upvote those messages (using the "up arrow" button), and select the Resolution tag when prompted. You can tag more than one message as a resolution, if appropriate.
- Post a Resolution. You can post a reply to your original message detailing the resolution, and select Resolution as the reply type. This can be done in conjunction with tagging any other applicable replies from other members as resolutions.
- If your issue is not yet resolved: please post a reply to your original message summarizing the status, explaining why it can't yet be resolved, and select the Delay reply type. You can always post a reply in the future with the ultimate resolution, if found.
In addition to closing your request with the above options, you can also choose to edit your message to clarify or correct any information, or reply to your original message with an update, which will notify all participants.
If you're interested in keeping tabs on a discussion, tap the button at the top of the discussion. You can then view your bookmarks at any time, and you will receive a notification when any new activity occurs on the discussion, such as when new replies are posted.
Members can post messages to Diagnostic Network with a reward attached, called a bounty. All members, even those that have let their subscriptions lapse, will be able to post bounties. Only members with current subscriptions will be eligible to capture bounties. Bounties are purchased using tokens. Using bounties, members can incentivize other members to help them solve problems, whether it be a difficult vehicle diagnosis & repair, locating a hard-to-find part or tool, or anything else requiring help from other members.
Within 14 days of posting the bounty, members are expected to award their bounties to the most helpful respondent. At any time during that 14-day period, the author can increase the bounty, and if they do, those subscribed to bounties will see a notification, just as they did when it was first posted. The increased bounty will also rise to the top of the bounties page. At any time, an author can change the type of any of their messages to a bounty, such as if they wish to bring visibility to a message and encourage more responses.
In the near future, we will support splitting awarded bounties to multiple members, as well as auto-rewarding bounties that have been left to expire. In addition, members may tip each other using tokens, even if no bounty was attached to a message, via the "Tip" button on every member's profile page.
Drafts of new messages are autosaved every few seconds seconds while you are typing. You can also press the "Save" button to close the message window, and save a draft immediately. You can return to edit your draft at any time, from any device you're logged into.
To edit a previously-posted message, select the button. When finished editing, tap the "Save Changes" button. When looking at an edited message, you'll see a designation near the message timestamp indicating that it has been edited.
Note that some Diagnostic Network employees are able to edit messages, as are third parties that are managers of custom message types. Diagnostic Network employees will only do so when it's deemed necessary to fix technical or metadata problems with a message, or to fix content in coordination with the author, and will never change the meaning of your message without your permission.
While drafts of new messages are autosaved every few seconds seconds while you are typing, no drafts are saved when you are editing a previously-posted message.
Planned Improvements: We are saving the revision history of all messages that are edited, including changes by our staff, and will eventually expose that so everyone can see what has been changed, and by whom. We will soon start notifying participants when a message they have replied to or up/down-voted has been edited. We also plan to allow members to work on multiple drafts at one time.
By default, the stream of discussions on our homepage shows messages from all topics and user groups by default, and all message types (except NASTF SIRs and Resources). You can select a different filter by clicking the stream title on the homepage. For example, you could select the Subscriptions filter to only show you messages posted in topics, user groups, and message types to which you've subscribed. You could choose My Discussions to filter down to discussions you have started. Or you could choose a specific topic, like Collision.
You can attach images, videos, documents, and popular automotive tool data files to your messages. (If you are having problems attaching any supported file types, please contact us with an example of the file, and a description of what generated it.) By default, files show at the bottom of your message. We allow members to download your original document and tool data files.
If you include a link to any of your attached files in your message, we will automatically embed a nice view of the file inline. The easiest way to do this is to click on the thumbnail of the file while composing your message, and select "Embed File." This will append a link to your file in your message. If you want more control over how you link to the file, click on the thumbnail and select "Copy Link" instead, and then you can highlight any text in your message, choose the link button, and paste the file link you copied.
You can also link to YouTube, Vimeo and videos on other popular services, and those videos will be embedded and playable directly from your message.
If you're using one of our recommended browsers (a recent release of Chrome, Safari, or Firefox), you will be able to utilize the rich text editing tools when composing a message. You'll be able to format text with bold, italics, bulleted lists, link text, and more. We recommend that you use these formatting tools carefully, as overuse could make your message harder to read.
To format text, just select it. A menu will appear to let you choose what kind of formatting to apply.
A message's type defines what kinds of information it can include, and dictates where and how we display it. You can read more about the available message types, and choose how they affect your subscriptions and notifications, on the Message Types subscriptions page.
Some message types of message are "closeable" — like Bounties, NASTF SIRs, and Questions — and the author and managers of these message types are able to update the status of the message, as described in our section on asking for help.
Message types enable us to provide incredible flexibility when communicating, enabling rich metadata to be attached to messages. Custom types can open up a big opportunity for your organization, especially when used in conjunction with your own user group. Please contact us if you'd like more information on how you can use custom message types and user groups to provide your employees and customers with a great communication platform.
Refer to the topics, user groups, and message types pages to adjust your subscriptions, and your notification preferences if you want to adjust which types of subscriptions trigger notifications to you. By default, you'll receive notifications when new discussions are started in any of your subscriptions.
To further filter the stream, while on the homepage, tap the magnifying glass next to the button to show the search form. You can then enter keywords and/or choose a specific make or family of makes to filter the discussion stream further. We'll be adding many more features to the search engine over time.
Normally we require members to be working in (or retired from) the vehicle service industry. One exception to this is for those studying to enter into our industry in the near future. Student members are eligible to join and read all discussions. However, they cannot participate (post, reply or vote) in discussions, except for user groups that have been explicitly designated for their experience level.
We will also be glad to work with any educator that would like to setup a user group for their students to use, just contact us. Once you have a user group setup for your students, it's easy to invite them to join.
Every member of Diagnostic Network has a wallet for storing and using Diagnostic Network Tokens, also called DNT or Ð.
Tokens can be purchased for USD $10.00 per token, via credit card, and then used in a variety of ways:
- Bounties can be purchased using tokens, and posted to the community, allowing you to offer a financial reward for help resolving a problem.
- Diagnostic Network subscriptions can be paid for using tokens.
- You can send tokens directly to other members, via the "Tip" button on their profile page.
- Tokens can be withdrawn to bank accounts in some countries. Currently the exchange rate is USD $7.50 per token.
We occasionally have promotions that result in tokens being sent to your wallet. These promotional tokens can be used for buying bounties and subscriptions. However — unlike tokens you are awarded via bounties and those purchased directly — they cannot be withdrawn.
We have a wide variety of topics to help organize discussions. You can select up to two topics when starting a discussion. If you would like to add a second topic, click in the topic box again after selecting your first topic, or begin typing the name of the second topic, and select it from the list that appears. You can also cross-post your message to user groups to which you've subscribed.
User groups are managed by our members and partners, and can be open, closed, or private. Any member can create a user group, effectively creating their own community within Diagnostic Network, with one of three levels of visibility:
Open groups are completely visible to all members, including any replies to discussions made in the group. Partner user groups are also considered open groups, available to all members. You can post to multiple open user groups at once, and optionally up to two (2) discussion topics as well. Create an open user group.
Closed groups are partially visible to all members, allowing any member to see the title and opening post in a discussion, but none of the replies, nor the full names of any participants. Subscription requests for closed groups must be approved by one of the group's managers. You can only post to a single private group at a time, though you can also add up to two (2) discussion topics as well. Create a closed user group.
Private groups are completely invisible to everyone, except those that have been invited to subscribe. Once you've been invited and subscribed to a private group, you can read, reply and start new discussions. You can only post to a single closed group at a time, though you can also add up to two (2) discussion topics as well, though only other members of the private group will see your message, regardless of any topics added. Please contact us if you'd like to create a private group.
Any discussion that is related to a specific vehicle should have a vehicle attached to it (as well as any DTCs or symptoms related to the issue). We have a VIN decoder in place to help with building a vehicle to attach to your discussion.
You can also build the vehicle manually by typing in the year followed by the make or model, then choose the correct vehicle. In the future, these vehicles, DTCs and symptoms will be searchable, allowing you to pull up past discussions on specific or related vehicles.
Our goal is to use message voting to incentivize beneficial discussions, and disincentivize negative ones, while enabling our staff to focus on improving the community instead of intermediating conversations. Over time we will use up- and downvotes as signals to help members improve their questions and contributions, and to allow us to reward positive contributors. Messages that receive too many downvotes will be hidden from view by default, but will be able to be surfaced if the reader so chooses.
You can upvote or downvote any message except your own. We encourage upvoting messages that you think are positive, and downvoting messages that are not. Soon we will expand this functionality to allow you to signal why you are up- or downvoting the message, so that we can relay this information to those contributing to the discussion.
If a message is not harmful and you simply disagree with the author, please respond and respectfully explain your position, instead of downvoting.
We'll keep tweaking our voting formula over time to foster civil and respectful discussion among members.