STEPH DEROSA: HOW TO WORK A FORUM >>>
It's late Sunday night, and I have BanditoBetty and the KAke by my side. All we want is a really nice glass of wine. Not a regular restaurant pour of Columbia Crest, but a NICE glass of wine. That's all we want. Alas, the shortage of late night wine bars on a Tacoma Sunday night sends us to Doyle's Public House. I actually think Bandito suggested they might have some good wine. She was wrong about the wine, but what they do have is some great people and some great beer. So Doyle's it was.
No, they don't have the fancy, nicest or most original bathroom in the 253. But I bet it is possibly one of the most frequently visited bathrooms in Pierce County. (That is, next to the Fabulous Firwood Roadhouse.)
As I let the beer escape from my bladder in the Doyle's Public Restroom, I heed multiple texts from distant friends I have from around the country. I'm realizing how many wonderful people I know from all parts of this great American land. How do I know them all? No, I'm not a world traveler. No, I haven't really lived anywhere but Tacoma and Texas. And no, my multiple personalities all live with me here inside my head¬" not anywhere else.
I know them through an Internet forum. Creepy, huh? Not really. I bet you more people have developed some level of friendship via the Internet than you can imagine. First, think locally: Have you become a fan of someone's blog, only to meet them out one night and mysteriously feel like you know them already? Maybe you already have a rapport through leaving comments to each other?
Or how about learning of a social event via the Internet and showing up to find a new group of people you befriend. Face it, you somewhat met them through the Internet. OK, that one may be stretching it, but you can kind of see my point, right?
Going even further than locally meeting people, I bet there are some of you out there who have an obsession, a hobby, or some sort of interest that has led you to a discussion forum. You visit the discussion forum somewhat frequently, make a post in a thread responding to a topic, then go back to the thread periodically to see if anyone has responded to your post.
From there you start to see the same screen names, you read their posts and become familiar with their online persona. Eventually you begin to develop a respect for that person's input, or a dislike for who (or what) you think they might be. And let's face it, on an anonymous internet it's easy to make up a fake persona. Most people become braver when they are hiding behind their computer, don't they?
Guess what? The Weekly Volcano World Headquarters has granted us here in our tiny corner of the Internet our very own discussion forum! In there I have created some rules and guidelines that most will find very informative when making contributions to any online forum. I'll show you how it works. Trust me.
Now before you go off and poo-poo my friends I have established, saying they aren't my real friends because I know them through an Internet forum, let me tell you this: I've known these people for almost three years. I've met them all in person. I've met their families, their kids, their neighbors, and their parents. Mr. DeRosa, BanditoBetty and The KAke have even met them. I talk to them via phone on a regular basis. We visit each other many times throughout the year. None of us knew each other beforehand, yet we are all very close, and met because of an Internet forum. As a matter of fact, about 30 of them come to my house every Labor Day weekend. This year will be year number three.
I do love Tacoma, but because of a World Wide Web I have a love for many people throughout the USA. (And Canada! Hi Noella!) See you in the forums!
LINK: Weekly Volcano foums
LINK: Steph DeRosa Chatter forum