It’s been just 16 days since we took the New SF “live” or public…either way, we’re OUT. It’s all good. Old friends are logging in and quite a few new ones too. So far, my vision for this compressed format is working well. There seems to be no hesitation for users to start Topics or join the current ones (or both). People don’t appear constrained to using just one Forum list. It’s following the spirit of the Old SF and is a gathering of friends…who just happen to all possess a wealth of knowledge and worldly experience that they’re happy to share. That knowledge includes Stained Glass, of course, but also embraces so many other topics that are technical and personal. For this gift of your special minds, I thank you all.
The Simple:Press Forum program is a bit different. As good and adaptable as it is, there’s one special tool for mastering its use. No, I’m not referring to a good BRAIN (though that’s an excellent place to start ). It’s a good MOUSE…that little computer peripheral, sitting patiently next to your keyboard. I wrote a 7-part, titled, introductory message that is designed as Reference Docs. It, (or they), sit pinned at the top of the Discussion Forum where they can be easily found…or ignored…as needed. The one constant phrase in those references is the instruction to MOUSE OVER. Strange phrase? Well, S:P is loaded with these tiny symbols, which when exposed to your Mouse, open to a descripton of their actions. Sounds simple but it’s not so obvious. I was learning the program and kept just about a week ahead of the Board opening. It took me WEEKS to find all those little messages. Every time I thought I had tamed the little bugs, I’d come across another one or several. I wrote, re-wrote and edited those Reference messages many times. It’s not only the way I learn but it acutely tunes me into what all the users are going through as they learn the Forum paths (or is that…The Yellow Brick Road?).
Then there are the FLAGS…an invasion of little Flags. Red ones, Red and Black….colorless flags, all pointing us to messages with new infomation. The little Mouse-bugs drove me crazy, but I love the flags. They fill one whole Ref message of their own.
So many new pleasures seem to pop up. The message writing tools are a delight…and for many, a discovery surprise. The Private Message function that is at once Dead Serious and Hilarious always makes me smile when I use it. Of course, the realization that I can no longer list my SF e-mail address publicly as it was on the old SF gave me a few minutes of concern. It hasn’t proved to be a problem. After 10 years, most people have it stashed somewhere and if not, there’s always the PM function. I’m always on the other end of that.
I must say how pleased I am that you all are becoming comfortable with the Forum use. There are even some who are as freakish as I am about the passion and pleasure we get from learning something new. Keep asking for Board help in messages or PM. Easiest way to pick up skills is from other members. PLEASE make an Avatar. It’s not only fun, but…really…you’re walking around the Board Naked without one…really…really.