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TrainofThought
06-07-2007, 04:36 AM
I suggested this a while back, but wanted to bring it up again. If this is the wrong place for this post, I apologize in advance.

I think it would be nice to share works or talk with writers in my area. I was wondering, if at all possible, to have a forum broken down by region like a local writer/book club so members can discuss local writers, their works, upcoming events (any events, not just writing), etc. It would also make it easier for people to meet in their area if they want.

Also, if someone is going to another city, they can check out that particular area for events.

It's a thought; I get those every now and then. :D

Puma
06-07-2007, 05:47 AM
Interesting post, Trainof thought. I was thinking something along the same lines today. But it amuses me that you suggested it since you're one of the ones who doesn't identify your location in your profile. So, how would anyone know where you are?

I'd been thinking it would be an idea to have a brunch or something AW members could attend in regional areas - for example, I'm in central Ohio and I know there are several other AWers in central Ohio. I wonder how a get together at a restaurant somewhere along the outerbelt around Columbus would work out. I know there was a poll a while back on one of the forums for AWers to identify their locations. Maybe a good place to start would be there. My two cents. Puma

veinglory
06-07-2007, 05:49 AM
I'm in a regional writers group that could use some new members. I don;t know if a bunch of forums is needed but it would be interesting to have some way to do it.

TrainofThought
06-07-2007, 06:08 AM
Interesting post, Trainof thought. I was thinking something along the same lines today. But it amuses me that you suggested it since you're one of the ones who doesn't identify your location in your profile. So, how would anyone know where you are? I did have my location for a long time, and my sports teams usually identify my location. Well... many know the sports teams. I'm in Chicago.


I'm in a regional writers group that could use some new members. I don;t know if a bunch of forums is needed but it would be interesting to have some way to do it. Some writer's groups in Chicago are very pretentious, and for me, I'd be intimidated going to a writer's group without knowing anyone. I've seen several Chicagoans on AW and have PM'd a few. I don't think it should be broken down by state, but region like Midwest Region, East Coast, etc. I figured it would help people get to know each other better and possibly meet in person to start something up. We don't actually KNOW each other on AW, but in a sense we do. :D

Medievalist
06-07-2007, 08:17 AM
I'd been thinking it would be an idea to have a brunch or something AW members could attend in regional areas - for example, I'm in central Ohio and I know there are several other AWers in central Ohio. I wonder how a get together at a restaurant somewhere along the outerbelt around Columbus would work out. I know there was a poll a while back on one of the forums for AWers to identify their locations. Maybe a good place to start would be there. My two cents. Puma

We're doing just that (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=1387088) this coming Saturday in Portland, Oregon.

Puma
06-07-2007, 01:40 PM
Way to go, Lisa. Be sure to post how it went somewhere where can all find it. Puma

tjwriter
06-07-2007, 02:03 PM
I'm guessing you are picturing something like how the Nano boards are broken down, ToT? Only instead of state to a specific area, more of a regional breakdown? It's not a bad idea.

It would make it easier to plan regional gatherings. I'm jealous of the NW writers cuz they are all gettin' together this weekend. Not that if I lived in the NW I could even go. It's my husband's birthday.

Inky
06-07-2007, 02:29 PM
Living abroad, I think it would be neat to have a get-together somewhere here as well.

TrainofThought
06-07-2007, 04:51 PM
I'm guessing you are picturing something like how the Nano boards are broken down, ToT? Only instead of state to a specific area, more of a regional breakdown? It's not a bad idea.I donít know how the Nano boards are broken down, but regional is what I had in mind. Even those abroad can have a region and it would make it easier to plan regional gatherings. It isnít a requirement to get together, but it is more personal and allows members to inform others of any events in the area. For example, itís the Printerís Row Book Fair in Chicago this weekend. I'm there. :D

ChunkyC
06-07-2007, 08:21 PM
Interesting idea.

I'm finally going to meet some AWers in St. Louis at the North American Science Fiction Convention (Archon31 (http://www.archonstl.org/31/index2.html)) the first week of August and I'm excited as all get-out. I wonder if noting specific events like that might be an additional way to see about getting together. Even if peeps aren't attending the event itself, if they're in the area, it might be possible to get together for a meal or summat like that.

Keep brainstorming, gang. If there's a practical way to do it, it might be worthwhile having a spot set aside to announce and plan get-togethers.

talkwrite
06-07-2007, 08:37 PM
I second this idea. There is only one real professional and multi genre writers group in my town and it is on the far edge of town. The rest are marketing outlets and or chapters of national genre specific writers organizations. There is a fabulous 40 year old poetry group -excellent.
I have long had the dream of reincarnating the writers gathering of the 1920's (I can't think of the woman writer's name who was famous part of the New York group, there was a movie about her***) the gathering of professional writers- linked by this craft. No formal structure, no minutes,no directors, no voting- just a casual "cigar and brandy" environment. A place where publishers and editors and authors come together in a relaxed unpressured setting. Because sometimes I would prefer to be around just writers, that's all.
***It was Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin WITS.

tjwriter
06-07-2007, 09:39 PM
Keep brainstorming, gang. If there's a practical way to do it, it might be worthwhile having a spot set aside to announce and plan get-togethers.

In the vein of what you said about cons and the like, I suggest that there be a new forum in the Office Memos section (it seemed most appropriate) called Meetings and Cons (Or other more snappy name) where people looking to meet up with other AWers could post cons and gatherings to inform their fellow members. Thread titles could be in the format of:

Region - City - Event Title

For Example:

Midwest - St. Louis - North American Science Fiction Convention
or
Northwest - Portland - NW Writers Meet and Greet

Within each thread would be details such as time, location, dates and links as appropriate. Seems simple enough, and I don't think it would be so overly busy that a mod couldn't ensure compliance with the desired format.

TrainofThought
06-07-2007, 09:52 PM
:idea:
In the vein of what you said about cons and the like, I suggest that there be a new forum in the Office Memos section (it seemed most appropriate) called Meetings and Cons (Or other more snappy name) where people looking to meet up with other AWers could post cons and gatherings to inform their fellow members. Thread titles could be in the format of:

Region - City - Event Title

For Example:

Midwest - St. Louis - North American Science Fiction Convention
or
Northwest - Portland - NW Writers Meet and Greet

Within each thread would be details such as time, location, dates and links as appropriate. Seems simple enough, and I don't think it would be so overly busy that a mod couldn't ensure compliance with the desired format.This sounds great for the thread titles, but I was also looking for an area, maybe under The Conference Room, named Regional Discussions. In this area, there would be West Coast, Midwest, South Region and East Coast where brainstorming, discussions and meetings can take place. Meetings can even take place on the forum, or a physical location. Maybe even a calendar at the top of each region showing upcoming events. Something to ponder. :idea:

This idea comes from a writer who doesnít want to meet new people when she has met some cool people on AW. :D

tjwriter
06-07-2007, 10:04 PM
This sounds great for the thread titles, but I was also looking for an area, maybe under The Conference Room, named Regional Discussions. In this area, there would be West Coast, Midwest, South Region and East Coast where brainstorming, discussions and meetings can take place. Meetings can even take place on the forum, or a physical location. Maybe even a calendar at the top of each region showing upcoming events. Something to ponder.

This idea comes from a writer who doesn’t want to meet new people when she has met some cool people on AW.

But it's like meeting new people when you finally get to see them in person.

The only problem I really see is that it takes a lot more effort to manage a forum with several subforums than it would to have just a forum with a designated format for titles. And brainstorming and discussions could take place in those types of areas. Lord knows that some of the threads around here remain long enough (HOL, anyone?).

Of course, the powers that be might think all the subforums are good.

Another issue that popped into my head just now is that unless you are setting yourself up for an in-person specific meeting or event, the brainstorming and discussions are valuable to all AWers, not just one area. It's sort of the point of an online messageboard. People, especially newer AW members, might feel that since they are in a certain geographic, they are relegated to a certain part of that.

I hope you don't think I am bashing your suggestions, ToT. Cuz I love ya. :D I'm just shooting for some dialogue on the full spectrum of ideas. It's a habit to do lots of thinking before making decisions. It's why I'm slow. :tongue

ChunkyC
06-07-2007, 10:42 PM
http://bestsmileys.com/writer/2.gif

Cath
06-07-2007, 11:10 PM
Tori, you're absolutely right about needing to administer sub-forums, but there's another perspective -- which is how do people find the threads in the first place?

A regular, or someone who's been involved in this discussion, for example, might know that there's a thread somewhere about the Pacific Northwest, but a newbie coming in wouldn't necessarily.

My instinct would be that sub-forums might be the easiest way of helping people navigate to their area of interest, but at the same time, there's no need to have a whole forum for just e.g. Ohio, it could be a thread in a "Midwest" forum or something similar.

(Of course, a lot depends on how and whether the boss wants to do it! :D)

Dawno
06-07-2007, 11:18 PM
How about a subforum list under Announcements? Like a sub forum for each: US West,US Mountain, US Central, US East, UK/Ireland, Europe (north/south?), MidEast, Africa, India, South Asia, Japan, Aus/NZ...then the things like writing events we'll be at, conventions we're attending, AW gatherings, could all go there.

tjwriter
06-07-2007, 11:27 PM
Tori, you're absolutely right about needing to administer sub-forums, but there's another perspective -- which is how do people find the threads in the first place?

A regular, or someone who's been involved in this discussion, for example, might know that there's a thread somewhere about the Pacific Northwest, but a newbie coming in wouldn't necessarily.

My instinct would be that sub-forums might be the easiest way of helping people navigate to their area of interest, but at the same time, there's no need to have a whole forum for just e.g. Ohio, it could be a thread in a "Midwest" forum or something similar.

(Of course, a lot depends on how and whether the boss wants to do it! :D)

I'm operating under the assumption that the current or upcoming events are going to have recent replies as people drum up interest and others respond with their interest. The old or past events would fall to the bottom of the forum much like old news does now.

The second paragraph of yours is what ToT has been talking about with subforums titled with each region.

The only real concern that I have is that by not restricting this to just meetings and cons, we may be pulling valuable conversations from other areas of the board.

Also, what is the cost/benefit analysis in terms of the workload this is going to create with coding and the like? I'd hate to spend all the time creating something, just for it to be used little, or require excessive maintenance.

TrainofThought
06-07-2007, 11:34 PM
But it's like meeting new people when you finally get to see them in person.

The only problem I really see is that it takes a lot more effort to manage a forum with several subforums than it would to have just a forum with a designated format for titles. And brainstorming and discussions could take place in those types of areas. Lord knows that some of the threads around here remain long enough (HOL, anyone?).

Of course, the powers that be might think all the subforums are good.

Another issue that popped into my head just now is that unless you are setting yourself up for an in-person specific meeting or event, the brainstorming and discussions are valuable to all AWers, not just one area. It's sort of the point of an online messageboard. People, especially newer AW members, might feel that since they are in a certain geographic, they are relegated to a certain part of that.

I hope you don't think I am bashing your suggestions, ToT. Cuz I love ya. :D I'm just shooting for some dialogue on the full spectrum of ideas. It's a habit to do lots of thinking before making decisions. It's why I'm slow. :tongueYou’re right, it is like meeting new people in person, but you somewhat know them. :D

Managing the sub-forums may not be a big job. I’m working on breaking the states down into five regions, North, South, West, Midwest and East (still working on an example). Your title ideas are good, but it defeats the purpose of having a region forum. I think people will feel comfortable participating in brainstorming and discussions in a smaller group. A lot of newbies, including myself when I joined, are intimidated to jump in and participate.

Brainstorming and discussions are beneficial for all AWers, yet sub-forums allow regional members to discuss local writers, their own work, setting up meetings, retreats and posting upcoming events. It doesn’t mean people from other regions can’t participate. I enjoy traveling, so I would look at events in other regions. I think stickies at the top of the Region Forum will clarify doubts for newbies. You’re right about an online message board being about brainstorming and discussions, but let’s face it AW is huge and it’s very easy to get lost in the crowd and miss out on important threads.

I don’t think you are bashing my ideas at all, your points are excellent and valid now put up your dukes. :e2fight: JK. I suggested region forums for selfish reasons, plus I see a lot of threads with people wanting to meet in person. I have looked up writer’s groups in Chicago and like I said some of their rules are strict, it can be expensive and most are on the north side (I’m a south sider). I really would like to get involved in a writing/readers group, yet those offered even in as large a city as Chicago is intimidating. I’ve met people here that I already trust and consider a virtual friend. AW gave me that opportunity, so I figured why not take it a step further. ;)

tjwriter
06-07-2007, 11:41 PM
Managing the sub-forums may not be a big job. Iím working on breaking the states down into five regions, North, South, West, Midwest and East (still working on an example). Your title ideas are good, but it defeats the purpose of having a region forum. I think people will feel comfortable participating in brainstorming and discussions in a smaller group. A lot of newbies, including myself when I joined, are intimidated to jump in and participate.

Brainstorming and discussions are beneficial for all AWers, yet sub-forums allow regional members to discuss local writers, their own work, setting up meetings, retreats and posting upcoming events. It doesnít mean people from other regions canít participate. I enjoy traveling, so I would look at events in other regions. I think stickies at the top of the Region Forum will clarify doubts for newbies. Youíre right about an online message board being about brainstorming and discussions, but letís face it AW is huge and itís very easy to get lost in the crowd and miss out on important threads.


You have some good points, too.

In fact, my thread titles would have to change to:

St. Louis - North American Science Fiction Convention
or
Portland - NW Writers Meet and Greet

I think we've probably thrown out enough ideas at this point for our lovely powers that be give us some feedback, so I will be waiting patiently (Shh! I am so patient.) until they let us know something.

TrainofThought
06-08-2007, 12:42 AM
Quick add-in: An example of regions (Iím HORRIBLE with geography, so donít laugh). Iím not trying to leave out other countries. If someone can come up with a breakdown like the below for other countries, or just add a country to the regions then it would benefit all.

West Region: Hawaii, California, Oregon, Nevada, Utah and Arizona

North Region: Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana, North & South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and neighboring cities in Canada.

Midwest Region: Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

South Region: New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama.

East Region: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, North & South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

tiny
06-08-2007, 01:05 AM
I'm a mod of sorts on a jeep board and we have a "local" forum set up by states. It's on a totally different page than the main forum and we use it to set up 4-wheeling runs and get togethers. It's worked out great and has spawned some state to state plans for August.

It's using the same software as this place so I know it's a possibility. Chunky C, if you'd like to take a look, PM me and I'll give you the link.

Puma
06-08-2007, 05:30 AM
Does anyone remember where the thread was for putting a pin or something in your location (I couldn't get it to work). I think it might be an idea to link the two threads (and there may have been a different one in which people identified their locations). These have been in the last six months. Puma

TrainofThought
06-08-2007, 05:53 AM
Does anyone remember where the thread was for putting a pin or something in your location (I couldn't get it to work). I think it might be an idea to link the two threads (and there may have been a different one in which people identified their locations). These have been in the last six months. PumaFound it, Puma. Maryn's post has a link to Frappr, the map with the pins. http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=57959&highlight=frappr

Puma
06-08-2007, 05:57 AM
And the thread was in Roundtable, titled Regional AW Groups, posted 3/13/2007 by kdnxdr at 12.43pm. The thread runs three pages so I'd say there is interest. I bumped it up to the top of Roundtable. Puma