If you don't know what an Internet forum is, we think you're in for a treat. Our main site is designed for posterity. That simply means the poetry is going to be there for a very long time and be seen by hundreds of thousands of people. The main site is a book, albeit a constantly growing book, that people will return to again and again. Books, by their very nature, last a long time. But they also take a long time to put together.
The forums are more like a magazine. The poetry posted there is darn near instant, added with the click of a button, and the feedback from readers and other poets is just as quick. We think of the forums as instant gratification. But that certainly doesn't mean you won't find some good poetry there. Indeed, many poets post their work there first, while waiting to be published on the main site.
We think there is room for books and magazines on the Internet. Judging by the number of visitors going to the forums these days - you seem to agree.
If you've never used an Internet forum before, we've tried very hard to make the process easy and enjoyable. There are two ways to enjoy the forums - as a reader or as an active participant.
If you simply want to read some of the thousands of poems posted in the forum, all you'll ever need to do is point and click. The navigation is fairly simple, and we suspect you'll have little difficulty finding your way around. The forums are divided into many sections, some for specific types of poetry, some for discussion. Simply click on the name of a forum to enter and see a list of its contents.
If you want to become an active participant in the forums, posting comments on the poetry or posting your own poems, then you will need to Register as a new member. Hey, it's not as bad as it sounds. Simply look for a link on the first page of the forums that says "How To Join" and click it. Answer a few simple questions, including supplying a User Name and Email address. You don't have to use your real name, but you do have to supply a valid email (though you can also select to have the email address hidden from other viewers - we take privacy very seriously at Passions).
Once you've registered, you are then a Member and can post in most of the forums. To reply to an existing message, look for the small icon that says "Post Reply." That will take you to a form where you can enter your User Name, password, and comments. Your reply will become a part of the original message, forming what's called a thread.
If you'd like to start a new thread, by starting a discussion or posting a poem, look for the icon that says "Post New Topic." This will, again, take you to a form where you enter your User Name, password, and the text of your topic. It's really not any more difficult than that!
We do ask that you abide by a few rules, most of which are simple common sense and courtesy. Watch your language, don't post themes that aren't appropriate to a family audience (although we do have an Adult forum for more mature themes), and treat the other people there the way you would want to be treated. No big surprises, I'm sure.
But in addition to the kind of conduct you would expect in any open forum, there are a few things we would ask that are more specific to our type of forum - Poetry. Passions takes copyright very seriously, so we insist that anything you post in the forums be either your own work or clearly marked as in the public domain, citing the author when possible.
Also, we have forums that are devoted to discussion and those that are strictly for poetry. Please try to confine your posts to the appropriate category. Don't post discussions in the Poetry forums (they will probably be deleted by the moderator). Select the most appropriate forum for your post, and please post in only one forum. Cross-posting wastes our limited resources and will result in all duplicates being deleted.
If you have a large inventory of poems you've written we'd love to see them all - but, please, not all at the same time. Give the other poets room to post their material, too. We strongly suggest posting no more than two or three poems a day, then sit back and wait for comments on those. And take the time to reply to those of your peers, too.
We have a great bunch of people at the forums, and everyone is having a wonderful time. Abiding by these simple rules will keep it that way!