Using Caucus the First Time

The first time that you use Caucus, you will probably have been invited to join (and participate in) a particular conference.  Typically, the most popular or important conferences will be listed on the Caucus Center page.  To join a conference, just click on its name.

If you don't see the conference you're looking for, click on the link that says "See a list of all conferences on this host".  Once you see the name of the desired conference, click on it to join the conference.

Most Caucus hosts will also have a special conference for people who are new to Caucus.  Sometimes this is called Demonstration.  (Check with your local Caucus manager, or the person who introduced you to Caucus, for details.)  This is a good conference to join, whether or not you have been invited into any specific conferences.  The Demonstration conference contains items that introduce Caucus and its capabilities, along with a "sampler" of items from real-world Caucus conferences.  This is also a good place to "try out" Caucus and practice adding some responses of your own.

The first time you click on a conference, you will see a page describing the purpose of the conference, and you will be asked if you want to become a member.  If you answer Yes, you'll be taken to the Home Page for that conference.  From there you'll be able to read some or all of the items with a single click.

Using Caucus the Second Time

Once you've joined and begun participating in some conferences, you'll notice that they appear near the top of the Caucus Center page, as part of your Personal Conference List.  This list shows your favorite conferences, along with a quick summary of how much new material there is in each conference. 

At the top of your Personal Conference List is a link that says Read all new discussion.  You can click on this link to read all of the new discussion in all of the conferences in your personal conference list.  Or, if you wish to be more selective, you can just read the new material in a particular conference, by clicking on the link next to the conference name, under the column labelled "# of items with new discussion".

This may seem like a lot to remember, but don't worry about it.  Here's the most important part: throughout Caucus, to click on a thing is to see that thing.  Click on a conference name to see the conference Home Page; click on an item title to see the item; click on listings of new material to see the new material.  You can even click on a person's name to see more information about that person, and so on.

In fact, once you've joined some conferences, you'll find that 95% of the time, you'll just click on Read all new discussion and let Caucus take you from there.  Reading the new material and writing your own responses is primarily what conferencing with Caucus is all about.

(Last section: Writing your own responses.)