What this is for and how to use it

Rather than standard forum software, which can be clunky to use, I’m trying a special kind of WordPress theme where logged-in authors can post directly on the front page, and see comments updated in real time as on Twitter. My hope is that it will have the ease of use of Twitter or Tumblr but the power of WordPress, without the hassles attending a full-fledged social networking site. (We’re mostly artists and poets here. How much more sociable can we stand to be?)

My goals for this forum are modest, to say the least: I will be equally content if it is only used for the occasional posting of relevant links as if it takes off and becomes a veritable agora seething with activity every day. I simply want to provide a space where people with an interest in videopoetry, etc. can share views and information. I will also use it to post links to major articles on the genre from around the web, the kind of stuff I curently have on the About page of the main site, and I hope others will do the same. I’ve asked Ren Powell to help out and become an editor, but if anyone else wants in on the inner circle, let me know. Down the road there may be a need for things like a code of conduct, comment policy, or the like, and it’ll be good to have people to consult with on such decisions.

Note the global Toggle Comment Threads button at the top of the front page, as well as toggle switches for individual comment threads. This is one of the unique features of the P2 theme that supposedly makes it easier to browse. We’ll see how it goes. I’m sure I have some tweaking yet to do.

I probably won’t be making too many cosmetic changes to this theme, which seems fine out of the box, albeit a tad utilitarian. However, it does come with easy-to-use header and background modification options. If anyone with better artistic instincts than me would like to design a new header for the site, it’s 980 x 120 pixels, and I can change the title and description to any color — or hide them altogether for headers that incorporate type.

If you do become a contributor, let me know what website I should include for you in the linkroll. (It doesn’t have to be strictly video- or poetry-related if you plan on becoming a regular. On the other hand, if you post once and then disappear for the next six months, I probably won’t retain a non-videopoetry-related site.)

If you’re a new contributor, note that there are four post types: status update, blog post, quote, and link. Much as in Tumblr, different styles are applied to each. If you have anything more substantial to say, and/or just want to give a title to your posting, click on the second tab, Blog Post. So-called status updates are fine for briefer posts and simple conversation starters. Please do tag your posts, using whatever terms seem appropriate, with an eye to making them easy to find in the future; tags are comma-separated.

Finally, if you do post anything substantial here, please do save a copy of it to your own files, ideally in more than one place in the event of hard-drive failure. I will back this site up at least once a week (more often if there are losts of posts), and will do my best to keep hackers at bay, but anything can happen and I don’t want to be responsible for anyone’s lost content.

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