SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

The Blue Board: Beyond the Basics

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In addition to the Welcome email, there are many admin- and mod-created posts that give the official rules of the Blue Board.  But we wanted to open up a general thread to members, listing various things they have learned about the Boards over the years.  Do you have a favorite thread you frequently refer to?  A hint about formatting posts or using polls?  Or a thought on board etiquette?  (Remember to play nice!)  We especially want to hear from long-time members.  What do you wish you'd known about when you first started to use the Board?

Here's my first thought:

One thing I love about the Blue Board is the levels of privacy it offers.  There are some boards you can only see if you are logged in, and some that are viewable to the public--including Google and bots.  If you want some privacy, be sure to post in one of the boards that you can only see when you are logged in.  (If you're not sure, log out before you post and visit the site to see which boards are now hidden.)  The ultimate in privacy is the Anonymous persona.  But be careful, even when you use Anonymous.  The kidlit world is a small one, and you never know who is logged in and reading your posts.  If you post anonymously, be vague--people may be able to put together the details and figure out who you are or who you're talking about.
#1 - September 17, 2011, 09:50 AM
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 09:54 AM by Amanda Coppedge »
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
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Another thing to remember if you post anonymously is that the administrators of this message board know who you are, even though you are anonymous to the general membership.
#2 - September 17, 2011, 10:46 AM
Verla Kay

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Something that I had trouble with when I started out here, and still do occasionally: the use of abbreviations. WIP I got, but it took me a while to get CP and DH (actually, still not sure of that one: Dear Husband?). I can't think of others off the top of my head, but I recall being mystified by some abbreviation-laden messages and feeling like there was an in-crowd who could speak the lingo. Maybe there's a list of abbreviations somewhere in the archives?
#3 - September 17, 2011, 12:24 PM

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I think it's important to remember that while we have threads for self-promotion and good news and encourage members to use them, the purpose of this site isn't promotion--it's community.  Being an active, caring participant here, sharing information and being a friend, is the real point of the Blueboards...and in the end, is the best way to promote yourself here.
#4 - September 17, 2011, 12:53 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
www.marissadoyle.com
www.nineteenteen.com

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Before you go into the Book Talk section and talk about a book you didn't like, it's good to know if that author is on the board :faint
#5 - September 17, 2011, 02:56 PM

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Before you go into the Book Talk section and talk about a book you didn't like, it's good to know if that author is on the board

Is there a way to get a list of members? I've seen that on other boards, but I haven't found it (yet?) here.
#6 - September 17, 2011, 03:02 PM
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 04:02 PM by Jeff Carney »

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To me the Blue Boards are set to near perfection.
The ability to go back and edit one’s old posts (not so on most other sites) and communicate off-line with other members makes it the safest most rewarding place to hang-out. Not only the layers of privacy, but the level of moderating (just right) and the tremendous quality of discourse is impressive. It’s miraculous.
That said, I recall that when I registered, eons ago, I didn’t understand how one moved from ‘Newbie’ to ‘Member,’ and what this would mean. I didn’t send a private message until I got a few myself. However, I did hear recently from two different ‘Newbies’ who could not figure out why they couldn’t. It would be good to make this ladder clear to all registrants.
#7 - September 17, 2011, 03:28 PM
« Last Edit: September 17, 2011, 05:25 PM by 217mom »
THE VOICE OF THUNDER, WiDo Publishing Aug 2012
THERE'S A TURKEY AT THE DOOR, Hometown520 July 2011

www.mirkabreen.com
http://mirkabreen.BlogSpot.com

Mike Jung

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Verla's stubborn refusal to provide all moderators with a company car has always stuck in my craw...

;)
#8 - September 17, 2011, 03:30 PM

I think it's nice to remember that "Advanced Search" is an awesome way to find old threads on a particular topic.  Just click on the words beside the "Search" button up top.  Advanced Search has always worked better for me than the regular "Search."
#9 - September 17, 2011, 04:17 PM

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Is there a way to get a list of members? I've seen that on other boards, but I haven't found it (yet?) here.

Jeff, if you go to the bottom of the main bulletin board page when you are logged in, you'll find a link to the (very huge!) members list.
#10 - September 17, 2011, 05:08 PM

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Something that I had trouble with when I started out here, and still do occasionally: the use of abbreviations. WIP I got, but it took me a while to get CP and DH (actually, still not sure of that one: Dear Husband?).

I think it's Darn Husband. Or Drunk Husband.
#11 - September 17, 2011, 05:21 PM
WITCHLANDERS
Lena Coakley
Exquisite storytelling plus atmospheric worldbuilding equals one stunning teen debut. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

jeffman

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Jeff, if you go to the bottom of the main bulletin board page when you are logged in, you'll find a link to the (very huge!) members list.

Cool. How'd I miss that? The list is huge, but if you sort it by number of posts or registration date, you can get a rough idea of who's who. Thanks.
#12 - September 18, 2011, 07:31 AM

Yes, I used to be floored by some abbreviations like DH. Using PM (Private Message) is something I haven't figured out yet. I rec'd some, but still not sure how to send one.

I like that we illustrate our posts with a variety of icons. After we got to the Message Boards, we have the option to see threads that we've been part of to see "new replies" (subsequent posts). And if we can't figure out what to say, but want to refer to the thread, we can put in a place-holder icon.

Simply click on [more] to bring up more icons and choosing the :nothing 

Voila!
#13 - September 18, 2011, 10:23 AM
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 06:28 PM by hazelnut »

Hazelnut (and everybody): you can PM someone by clicking on the speech bubble icon under their name.  If they are online it will be an instant message.  If they are offline it will be a PM.  You do have to have a certain number of posts to be able to send PM's.
#14 - September 18, 2011, 12:18 PM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
@amandacoppedge on Twitter

I think it's important to remember that while we have threads for self-promotion and good news and encourage members to use them, the purpose of this site isn't promotion--it's community.  Being an active, caring participant here, sharing information and being a friend, is the real point of the Blueboards...and in the end, is the best way to promote yourself here.

Continuing this thought: I think signature files are the best way to promote one's books.  They are visible but unobtrusive. This way every time you post, you list your book title(s) and include a link to your website, blog, twitter, etc.  You can also make your avatar a picture of your book cover.  I know I have recognized many Blue Boarder books in the bookstore and library because of this.

Of course, everyone loves to hear announcements of new books, signing with an agent, and other small milestones and triumphs along the way in the Good News forums.  But if a Blue Board user *only* uses the Board to promote new projects, blog entries, contests, etc. it can definitely rub people the wrong way.
#15 - September 18, 2011, 12:28 PM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
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Verla's stubborn refusal to provide all moderators with a company car has always stuck in my craw...

;)

I heard she was going with sparkly blue unicycles, but that could be just gossip.
#16 - September 18, 2011, 02:11 PM

DH means "dear husband" all over the internet. Sometimes it's said with a wink that means the D stands for something else, but usually it's "Dear" and DD = dear daughter, DSD = dear step-daughter, DS = Dear son, etc...
#17 - September 18, 2011, 04:56 PM
Robin

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I think it's important to remember that while we have threads for self-promotion and good news and encourage members to use them, the purpose of this site isn't promotion--it's community.  Being an active, caring participant here, sharing information and being a friend, is the real point of the Blueboards...and in the end, is the best way to promote yourself here.

I agree! While we all like to hear and celebrate good news, it means the most when you're hearing from others whom you've gotten to know through a community. And of course, because you're part of a community, you also share your whines and groans.  :reaction
#18 - December 26, 2011, 10:58 AM

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I agree with what Amanda wrote:

Quote
Continuing this thought: I think signature files are the best way to promote one's books.  They are visible but unobtrusive. This way every time you post, you list your book title(s) and include a link to your website, blog, twitter, etc.  You can also make your avatar a picture of your book cover.  I know I have recognized many Blue Boarder books in the bookstore and library because of this.


This is a subtle, classy and effective way to promote your books.

#19 - December 26, 2011, 12:07 PM
ANTIQUE PIANO & OTHER SOUR NOTES
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Ha! I just found this and noticed the comments about company cars and sparkly blue unicycles. Yeah. Right, but I have one big question. Are you paying for those cars, Mike? Same question to you, Christine, about those unicycles. :snork:
#20 - December 26, 2011, 05:25 PM
Verla Kay

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Something that I had trouble with when I started out here, and still do occasionally: the use of abbreviations. WIP I got, but it took me a while to get CP and DH (actually, still not sure of that one: Dear Husband?). I can't think of others off the top of my head, but I recall being mystified by some abbreviation-laden messages and feeling like there was an in-crowd who could speak the lingo. Maybe there's a list of abbreviations somewhere in the archives?

Those abbreviations are very ubiquitous over the internet. They are not specific to this board.
#21 - December 26, 2011, 08:57 PM

cathyk

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 :snoopy I'm so happy. At least I've figured out how to access the icons!
#22 - January 07, 2012, 06:20 AM

Lizardmaker

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Hi. Not sure where to post this question. I've been a member for a while, but today I tried to post some good news in the "Good News" section and was told I was not authorized to start a thread. Can anyone help? Thanks!
#23 - February 04, 2012, 06:53 AM

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Sometimes it's just a glitch. Try again.
#24 - February 04, 2012, 06:13 PM
Making metaphors out of molehills for over thirty years.

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Lizardmaker--sometimes there are issues if you include a link.  If that's the case, take out the www and anything else that comes before the actual link and see if it works.  If there's still an issue, send me a message with what you're trying to post pasted inside and I'll see if I can figure it out. I can't wait to see your good news!
#25 - February 04, 2012, 07:11 PM

When I was a newbie to this board, I remember feeling so intimidated. I was surrounded by so many pros--how could I ever have anything valuable to say? I made my own fair share of mistakes along the way and learned a lot in the process.

Here are my personal recommendations for making the journey from newbie to established poster.
  • Post a new thread in the "Introduce Yourselves!" board (in the Registered Members Only section). Let us know what you write/illustrate, where you are in your professional journey, and any particular interests or questions you may have.
  • Read through the "FAQ - Board Policies & Information" boards. They will help you navigate the board more confidently and answer questions about posting, searching, private message privileges, etc.
  • Create a signature file that contains a link to your website, blog or Twitter account.
  • Create an avatar that reflects your personality. Show off your book cover in your avatar, if applicable.
  • There is a wealth of information available in the archives of this board. Do a search for topics you're interested in, since your question may already have been answered.
  • However, if your search doesn't yield any helpful results, don't be afraid to ask your question! Admininstrators, Moderators or other users of the board may remember a similar thread and link to it in your question. (Admins/Mods may also decide to merge your question with a similar thread.)
  • If you post a thread in the wrong part of the board and an Admin or Mod moves it, don't feel embarrassed. I don't know if there's anybody here that hasn't had a thread or two moved. I know I did when I first started posting here. It's a big place with lots of niches and it takes some time to learn where everything goes.
  • A good habit: for every question or self-promotional post you create, contribute to another thread by answering a question or posting a compliment or comment on someone else's thread.
  • Even if you don't know a lot about writing yet, don't tell yourself you have nothing to offer the board. People ask all kinds of questions here while researching books. Poke around a little and see if you have an area of expertise which may be helpful to someone else on the board.
#26 - January 25, 2013, 07:47 AM
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Amanda - You are a generous soul, my friend. Thank you for this helpful thread and your rich posts.
 :thankyou
Jean
#27 - January 25, 2013, 09:13 AM
Jean Reidy
Coming soon: Specs, Specs II, Pup 681, When the Snow is Deeper Than Your Boots Are Tall, Group Hug , Truman

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Aww, thanks, Jean!
#28 - January 25, 2013, 09:37 AM
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
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Bumping this thread up for new people and people on the board who haven't read this thread yet. Feel free to add to it if you have specific questions or tips you have learned.
#29 - April 09, 2013, 08:44 PM
Verla Kay

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The Board is a large place with a rich backlog of information and lots of boards, sub-boards and threads. It can feel a bit intimidating!

How does a new member find her/his place here without losing hours and hours of productive writing/illustrating time to do so?

I recommend giving yourself an unofficial "job." It would be nigh impossible to read and comment on every thread. So why not pick an area of interest and apply yourself to that every time you visit?

Here are some examples:

* I am a new writer, so I don't feel I have much to offer in the way of advice yet. I'll focus on welcoming everyone who posts in the Introduce Yourself thread, being sure to include a personal comment or two.

* I am a new writer who is an avid reader. I'll focus on the Book Talk board, writing reviews of books I especially enjoyed and recommending books when others ask for help.

* I will focus on congratulating people who post on the Good News boards.

* I will look at signature files and read Blueboarder blogs, network with them on Twitter, etc.

* I have a specific area of expertise, so I will keep an eye on pertinent boards (such as Self-Publishing or Queries/Critique Requests) and answer questions as I am able.

This is a great way to productively interact with others in this great community, without feeling overwhelmed by the hugeness of the whole board.
#30 - May 31, 2014, 07:45 AM
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 10:07 AM by Amanda Coppedge »
Youth Services librarian and YA writer. Wisconsin SW (Madison area) Rep.
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