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Author Topic: About the Introductions Folder  (Read 10269 times)

Jenett

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  • Join Date: Jun 2011
  • Location: Boston, MA
  • Posts: 3309
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  • Total likes: 806
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    • Seeking: First steps on a path
  • Religion: Initiatory religious witchcraft
  • Preferred Pronouns: she/her
About the Introductions Folder
« on: June 25, 2016, 09:21:29 pm »
Welcome to the Introductions Folder! If you're wondering why you might want to post an introduction, whether you have to, or what you should say in one, you're in the right place.

Introductions aren't required:
We know they are on some forums, but here they're an optional extra. Post one if you'd like to. Don't, if you don't want to. (If you're not sure what to say, we have some tips below.)

What you should know about people reading your introduction:
Not everyone reads the introduction folder, and many people will not remember details of what was in an introduction post (especially if it's been more than a few days.) If you have questions or posts elsewhere on the forum where a detail is relevant, you may want to mention it again in those posts.

Useful information in an introduction:
Feel free to include whatever you find helpful (as long as it's within other forum rules), but the following items are common in introductions and useful to readers:
  • A brief bio (general age, location, how you spend your time)
  • A description of your religious, magical, or spiritual interests. If you're not sure or are currently seeking, feel free to say whatever you're interested in.
  • Other interests such as hobbies, research or educational interests, job, if you're interested in finding other people who like or do those things.
  • If you're particularly interested in connecting with people with a given set of experiences (people near you, in a particular tradition or path, who are interested in honouring a particular deity, etc.) a little information about that.
Save specific questions for other folders:
If you have specific questions, those work better in the folders for those topics rather than in your introduction. More people will see them, and you'll probably get more useful and better responses. But if you're not sure where a topic might fit, or if there's a specific place to ask about a particular thing, mentioning it in your intro can be a way to get pointers.

Privacy considerations:
People have different degrees of comfort about how much they put online. Most of The Cauldron's folders are indexed by search engines, so you should avoid sharing any information you don't want to see show up in general searches.

Many people prefer to use a first name, nickname, or public Pagan or Craft name rather than a full legal name. Many also give a general idea of their age rather than their birthday, and the nearest large city or region rather than the specific town they live in. A general idea of your location and age can be really helpful in offering suggestions or ideas for some questions.

We do remove information that is extremely specific (such as an identifiable address or phone number). You can set up your contact preferences in the Settings page, including whether you would like other forum members to be able to email you or not.

Responding to introductions:
The same quoting rules apply here as for the rest of the forum: please quote the post you are responding to and trim your quotes to the minimum needed. It can be very easy to miss a single line 'welcome' at the bottom of a long quoted post!

Many intro posts here get a small number of posts compared to most forums (between 3-10). People mostly focus on topic-centered discussions elsewhere on the board. However, we've also noticed that if lots of people reply to lots of introduction posts, it can make checking new posts on the forum feel a bit overwhelming for many members.

If an introduction has been posted for a day or two, please consider only replying to the intro thread if you also add other content beyond saying "Welcome". For example, responding to something they're interested in, sharing a resource, or mentioning you're looking for people interested in that thing too.

Profile information:
Our profile sidebar has some handy information for quick reference. You can also always click through to someone's detailed profile. This sidebar is not visible for people who use Tapatalk to access the forum on mobile devices and tablets, but the specifics are also visible in the user profile. Sections you may find useful include:

Country: This is normally meant to indicate your current country. It can help other posters suggest more relevant resources, or indicate that English may not be your first language (and adjust their writing or answer accordingly).

Some people use the country flag to indicate the place they were born or raised, their first language, or provide other information about their cultural background. If this is the case, filling in the Location field is helpful, as well as possibly putting a brief explanation in your profile. (It will save people asking for clarification if they want to suggest location-specific resources.)

Religion: A brief description of how you view your religious path. This is a free-form choice, so it's often helpful to others if you have a short phrase or few words, rather than a very general summary. If you're not sure, "Seeking" or "Learning" or something like that are good ways to indicate you haven't made any decisions yet.

Pronouns: As noted in The Cauldron's Inclusivity FAQ, people have preferences about which pronouns they'd prefer others to use for them. This field provides an easy quick reference. (The pronoun 'they' is always acceptable here if you can't see this field or can't remember someone's preference.)

Other information: You may also want to look at the 'last logged in' date - if you're responding to a really old thread, and the original poster hasn't logged in for months or years, responding to their post with resources aimed at their specific question may not make a lot of sense.

Profile: You can put additional information in your profile: the formatting here is limited and it can be hard to read longer materials, but you can put in a link to a website or indicate where to find additional information.

People may forget to update their profile information, so don't assume someone's profile is entirely current or accurate about their path, interests, location, or other details.

Private messaging:
Individual users can decide whether they want to receive private messages (PMs) or emails from others forum members. (This can be found in the Settings area under General Settings.)

In general, if a conversation starts in a thread, continuing it in that thread (or starting a new thread) is the preference for many people. Even if it looks like you are only talking to one other person, many other people may be reading and thinking about the conversation (or may want to chime in later when they have time.)

However, if you want to ask about or share a private detail, or continue in a way that's only relevant to one person, a PM is a good way to go. A polite note asking if you can continue in PM (in the thread or by PM) is usually preferred before sending a longer more involved message to someone you don't know.

You can also use private messages to contact staff members with questions or concerns. We encourage you to use the general tools (reporting a post you think is a problem, or asking in the Board Questions folder) if you have a general issue, so that your question doesn't need to wait for a specific staff member to log in. Please do feel free to send a PM if your question involves specific information you don't want to share on the board.

Have questions or suggestions for this post?
Feel free to make a post in the Board Questions forum or PM a staff member.

Edits and updates:
Edited June 30, 2016 to add paragraph about quotes and responses.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2017, 11:56:35 am by Jenett »
Seek Knowledge, Find Wisdom: Research help on esoteric and eclectic topics (consulting and other services)

Seeking: first steps on a Pagan path (advice for seekers and people new to Paganism)

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