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Posts: 39
Registered: ‎04-20-2008
Location: Arlington, Texas
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Balloon symbols to left of forum threads on thread list - what do they mean?

[ Edited ]

Most are gray; a few are red - what's the difference?


Some ballons have a little glint on the upper left - what's that mean?


What does the little arrow under and to the right of some of the balloons mean?


What does the chain-links symbol that some messages have mean?


I've looked through the Help pages - oddly there's nothing there that answers these questions. A legend for the noted forum symbols seems to needed.



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Re: Balloon symbols to left of forum threads on thread list - what do they mean?


gary => normal/ regular thread

red => thread, where are more then 10 updates posted aka. Hot thread

arrow=> should be your thread, where you already responded to

chain => there should be an attachement in that thread


Some moderator could correct me if I'm wrong in some point.


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Re: Balloon symbols to left of forum threads on thread list - what do they mean?

[ Edited ]



interesting question indeed!


Thanks Herik, for the explanation of arrow symbol. Didn´t know it before.


The chain symbols seems to point out theres a hyperlink.

Hover over the symbols with your cursor, it will come up a short text.

Edit: edited for clarity.

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Re: Balloon symbols to left of forum threads on thread list - what do they mean?

And this is an improvement?

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Re: Balloon symbols to left of forum threads on thread list - what do they mean?



Improvement?  I don't know...   certainly different.


These changes came along with a recent code version update from Lithium, the SaaS provider of our forum platform.   The code upgrade was a necessary evolutionary step and will pave the way for some changes which will be substanative for members later this year. (support for new features / functions in the community)


Some of these minor style convention changes are, I think, industry influenced.    The prior icons with file folders etc, draw context from Windows, perhaps dating back to the Win 3.1 days...  


A lot of other forums, like PhpBB, Vbulletin, etc, use  or have used these general conventions.


But, in the last couple of years, the chat balloon icon has started to emerge around the web to symbolize online dialog.  There are lots of examples found on the various social platforms.  So, in a way, these become the default "language" cues of more online activity and it makes sense that they would carry over as defaults in more communities.


So, better today?   Probably not.  Over time, they may be more familiar to a greater number of online users and that should improve the intuitive usability of things.  


Best regards,




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