Forums and Groups come to Bluegrass Today

Two more modules in our Bluegrass Today universe have been launched in recent weeks. After bringing the Events Directory in last month, we are now pleased to announce the introduction of Forums and Groups.

I can just hear my dear, departed mother (the English teacher) groan when I type the plural of Forum as Forums; Fora would be most correct. But it has come to be the accepted usage, despite the protestations of language purists (like myself).

These two new modules are exactly what their names suggest. Forums are areas for members to discuss anything related to their interests in bluegrass music. There are already a number of discussions underway in the Forum, and you are all invited to join in. Any registered user can start a new topic, or add their thoughts to ones already underway.

Groups also are just as described. They allow users to congregate based on specific interests, and any Group member can post a comment, much like the “Wall” environment familiar to Facebook users. There is also a discussion forum unique to each Group to facilitate conversation based on that sphere of the bluegrass world.

We have created four initial public groups, and any registered user is free to join each or all. These are for:

To join a Group, simply click on the name (above, or on the Groups Directory page), and you will see a Join Group button. Likewise, if you wish to leave a group you have joined, there is a Leave Group button.

At this time, only Bluegrass Today staff can create new groups, but we will entertain any valid suggestions for new ones. We will also consider private groups within this environment, where group membership is determined by an approved moderator. This could be very convenient for local/regional bluegrass associations who may want a way to restrict membership to people in their area, or anyone interested in a group with a narrow, specific interest.

You can easily navigate to these areas from the topmost menu (in the blue bar) under In The Community.

Forums and Groups will help tie together various parts of the online social media experience we have developed for Bluegrass Today, where each registered user now has an individual profile page. If you are logged in, you will see links to these items under your name, two menu items to the left of the search box in the top blue navigation bar.

If you are not registered, or logged in, this menu will read “Login/Subscribe.” Registering (or subscribing) is a simple process, both fast and free. The primary reason we have registered users is to control the flow of junk and spam that might infiltrate the system otherwise. Plus, it allows for connectivity among users.

Much of the terminology will be familiar to social media mavens. Users can have their own set of Friends, made up of other Bluegrass Today users. Friends will be able to see all of your activity on the site from your Profile page (comments on news stories, and posts to either Groups or Forums), and you can send private messages to any other user’s inbox.

Each registered user can also upload their own avatar, an image that will appear alongside any comments you make, responses to any forum threads, or private messages you send another user.

For those not drawn to the connectivity and discussion aspects of social media, the news and events sections will soldier on as ever, unchanged.

Events, Groups and Forums will continue to be refined over this next few months, so please let us know what you like, don’t like, or would like to see implemented in these sections of the site.

And thanks for your support of Bluegrass Today!

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.