There are dozens of forum applications out there and many of them work differently so I thought I would write some pointers on using this particular forum software, especially if you've never used SMF.
Once you become a member you'll see two links at the top:
Show unread posts since last visit. - This is essentially a rolling list of posts. The name is a bit misleading because it's not since your last visit, it's just all posts for the last 6 or 7 days that have been added to the forum and you have not yet read. The url for this page is: https://xcrforum.com/index.php?action=unread What I do with all the SMF forums I frequent is book mark this URL instead of bookmarking xcforum.com directly. If you don't plan to read the forum very often then the next link might be better.
Show new replies to your posts. - This will show any updates to posts you have started or responded to. This page does not have any time limit (unlike the one above). So if you don't have a lot of time to read the forum and just want to see if people have responded to a question thread you started then this is the best place to go.
I would experiment with both until you get a good idea of how they work.
If you have any other questions about SMF let me know. Personally I think it is the best forum software out there 8)
Also, just a feature fyi, when you can create polls pretty easily. Instead of clicking "New Topic" chose "Post New Poll" to the right of it and off you go. A lot of other forums don't offer easily creatable polls.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination are omnipotent. The slogan press on has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race. No person was ever honored for what he received. Honor has been the reward for what he gave." -- John Calvin Coolidge