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How to Use the Member Forums

Posted By James Nelson, Membership Associate, Saturday, February 1, 2014
Updated: Friday, January 31, 2014

By James Nelson

I don't know if you've noticed, but here at TBA we're pretty jazzed about the launch of our brand-new website. Not only does this site represent a sleek visual overhaul, but it greatly expands upon what the previous site could do, and also allows us to offer features that were never possible before. This includes our brand-new member forums!

A brief explanation for those of you who haven't used forums before: "forums," or message boards, are a type of social media where people can engage in discussions (called "threads") by posting individual messages ("posts") to that thread. You can reply to posts that others have made in an existing thread, or even start a new thread yourself if you have something you want to talk about. Since threads are temporarily archived on the Member Forums page, participants can check in and respond at their own convenience, allowing interesting discussions to carry on for hours or even days. The threads are ranked on the page according to the amount of activity each thread is generating, so the topmost threads are those with the most people posting the most comments. When a discussion finally winds down, it will slowly drop from the front page, leaving more recent and lively threads in its place.

Here's a sneak peek at a draft of the Member Forums webpage (sorry it's so small!):

So basically, a Forum is an organized way for our members to engage the TBA community in conversation about our Bay Area theatre and arts scene. (Forums are not for publicizing any potentially revenue-generating activity—see "Member Forum Rules and Guidelines" below.) Imagine all the fascinating discussions you have in real life about theatre with your friends, family, and fellow artists—everything from post-show mingling to post-audition commiserating to wailing over the dinner table about the injustice of "August: Osage County" being made into a movie. Now, how about having those same conversations with an entire community of artists and theatre lovers, and being able to continue the discussion for the entire week?

See how different people can respond to questions like the one asked by my test persona, "J. McTester":

This all gets even more exciting when you consider that the Member Forums can be an alternative home for the awesome social media conversations we're already having. Have you seen any fierce theatre debates pop up in your Facebook Newsfeed? Riveting back-and-forths on Twitter? Those are the kind of conversations the Forums are designed for—because when conversations are public and inclusive, more members of the community can jump in and take it up a notch.

Theatre makes people want to talk. Some of us want to keep talking long after everyone else has lost interest, and some of us don't even know who to talk to in the first place. These awesome Member Forums are for all of us who want to talk more, listen more and be more connected to each other and our community.

Theatre Bay Area has always been about bringing the Bay Area theatre community together. With these Forums, we invite you, as our members and friends, to connect to each other directly and instantly. February 12 is quickly approaching—what do you want to talk about first?

Theatre Bay Area Member Forum Rules and Guidelines - Please Read

Thanks for joining the discussion in our new online community, the TBA Member Forums. Before you post, take a gander at the following guidelines for using the forums.

1. No commercial listings are allowed. This includes announcing, promoting or advertising shows, services, or products, or linking to commercial websites. There are specific places on our website for this kind of material. Our forums are not it.

2. No listing of jobs or auditions in the Forums. As you know, we have the Job &Talent Bank on our main site to post new auditions or job openings. These are not permitted on the forums.

3. Be respectful to all members, moderators and administrators. We are dedicated to promoting a respectful and safe community, and as such we ask that you post professionally and courteously. Personal attacks, strong language or aggressive posting will be moderated as needed. Let's take care of each other, even when we don't agree.

4. No offensive material/posting is allowed. Material or posts that are deemed explicit, offensive, hateful, sexist, discriminatory, obscene, racist or otherwise inappropriate will be moderated and appropriate action will be taken.

5. You must have copyright ownership of all material you post. This one is fairly self-explanatory.

6. Don't spam. Please do not repeat identical messages, post messages with no content, "bump" threads, or post unnecessarily or redundantly.
7. Don't post off-topic. These boards are about the Bay Area theatre scene and topics of relevance to it. Please don't post messages that are blatantly off-topic. "Who do you use for headshots?" is a great post. "Did Shakespeare write his own plays?" is stretching it, but sure. "What's your favorite cat video?" is not relevant.

8. Use your judgment. Help us make this a great place to keep the conversation going!

Tags:  discussion  forum  post  thread 

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