I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

7 September 2009

Ins and outs of the forum

I'm not often surprised by the things I'm involved with. I usually think everything over a lot before diving in head first and generally I find what I expect to find. What a surprise I got with the forum though! YOU have all surprised me.

I have worked as admin on a couple of forums in the past and although I learnt a lot and got pleasure from them, I also know there were often problems to be solved and in the end I walked away. The idea of a forum has been in my head for a long time but I kept putting it off. I knew when my book was published I would have a forum, the question was when to start it.

Well, start it we did on the weekend and it's taken off like a rocket. I guess I'm not surprised at that bit, what I am surprised at though was the ease of the set up, the grace and patience shown during the set up and the enthusiasm with which you have all embraced it. You are all SO nice!

I tried to welcome everyone personally, but I realised I couldn't do that because it took too much time. I haven't had time yet to read most of the posts, I'm dying to look at the recipes, and the dairy section as well as the stockpiling and homemaking. I'm still trying to work out the headings - just now I moved recipes to a subforum, let's just say there'll be some changes in the next day or so but don't worry, if you put a post in a forum that moves, I'll make sure your posts are in the appropriate place.

There is a facility called Search Tags. You have the option of making a search tag when you write your new post. Tags help the search facility find topics. We don't want too many tags, because that will stop it down, but if you have a firm topic, please select "search tags" and write the topic in. For instance, if you're writing a recipe for Brownies, "brownies" wound not be the tag, "Recipes" would be. Or if you write about saving money by stockpiling, your tags could be "stockpiling", budgeting" or "frugal living". You can have more than one tag per subject, but it needs to be a broad category, not specific.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions - I cannot say this plain enough - this forum is for all of us and I need your ideas to make it work. I do know from past experience that getting the headings right and keeping as few forums as possible is important. So bear with me while I work through them today while I see how they're working for you. How you use what's there now will determine what changes come about.

We have several moderators who are there to help you with any problems you may have and to help me run the forum. They can move things around and make sticky posts and they can delete. So if you need something deleted, please contact one of the moderators and they will help you. I haven't had time yet to put up all the mods names but I will do that today. We have mods from Australia, USA and UK so there should be someone here to help you most of the time. If you need me to help you, send me a private message through your account - look up the top on the left hand side to do that.

I am aware there are many of you who are experienced with forums but there are also some who aren't. Please be patient while they learn the ropes. For the newbies: if you want to start a new topic, click on the thread you want to add it to (this might be "Preserving Food and Canning" or "Sewing and Mending" or whatever, then look just under the search facility (top right hand side) for "New Topic". Click on that button and a new window will come up for your to write your post in. If you want to respond to a topic already there, go to the same place and click on "Reply", or write in the Quick Reply window at the bottom of the thread.

If you'd like to add your blog or Etsy shop address to your signature (that will come up automatically when you post anything), set that up in your Yuku account (top left hand corner). If you're new to forums, I encourage you to look around, click on the buttons to see what they do - you can't break anything. : - ) If you have problems, send a message to a mod or myself. You can do that in your Yuku account, or by finding a post by a mod or me. Under the avatar you'll find "Interact", choose "message me" and send your message. If there is another poster who annoys you, use "interact" to ignore them. That will make their posts invisible to you while still being visible to everyone else. If there is a post that upsets you, use "Interact" to report it. No doubt there are more things I could write about but we'll see how today and tomorrow go and if I need to add to this I will later in the week.

We might also add a bartering/swap/trading forum. I'll talk to the mods to see what they come up with. I want this forum to work for you and help you live more simply in a practical and everyday sense - there may be things you can swap or barter. We'll see how it all develops.

If you want to join the forum, click here and in the left hand top corner, you'll have to join Yuku. It doesn't take long and when you join you'll go straight in, unless you log out each time you leave.

I hope you all enjoy your time at the forum, it is there as a learning tool for us all as well as a way to make new friends and connect with people all around the world. When the internet works well, like this, it shows just how wonderful technology is and how it can enhance our lives. Thank you for being part of it.


  1. Im so glad things are up and running so well. One thing I would disagree with is actually I would argue to put 'brownies' in the tag, this is how meta tagging works, if you look at some blogs they have tag clouds down the side, where the author puts tags which are beyond the section of eg recipies. I think this will improve searching and allow the searches to deliver more specific responses.

    Sorry to argue with you, but if you want it to be the way you have stated in your blog I will stick with that.

  2. Thanks Jen. I don't see that as an argument, love, just a difference of opinion. I'll look into it further and see what I find out.

  3. Hello Rhonda,I have never had anything to do with a forum but it all sounds exciting.I have very basic computer skills but I am slowly learning. For us olds who have never had to use computers it can be a bit mind boggling but yes, the technology is amazing and as I learn I am absolutely blown away by it all.
    I will try and join up for the forum and see what happens.


  4. Hi Rhonda,

    Im so amazed at how huge the community has become after only a short time.

    I felt a bit like duck out of water tbh,but Im hanging around.We all have something to learn from each other,I know I have learnt a few things already.

    I wish you all the best with the forum..:)

  5. The forum is wonderful Rhonda Jean!!

    Thanks again for getting it started!!

    Best Wishes,


  6. Sounds like a search box might be useful, if you don't already have one.

  7. Good morning Rhonda. Frankly I was amazed at how smooth the start was, congrats to all!

  8. Hello! Thanks so much for starting the forum. Very exciting. Just a blonde question, will there be an active link on your homepage that will open up to the forum when it is clicked on? Regards Karni

  9. Karni, there is a linked photo just under my photo.

    Chooky search is on the right hand sife at the top.

  10. Shelagh C. in HoustonSeptember 07, 2009 11:27 am

    Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for putting a link to the forum under your photo.

    I've actually made the forum a "Favorite" on my computer but I've noticed that you can't get out of Yuku without exiting the Internet so I must remember to open it in a new window on the computer.

    The response to the forum has been terrific and I can see I'll be very tempted to spend too much time on it, reading all the posts.

    Great job, Rhonda.

  11. Rhonda, until I stumbled upon your blog earlier this year (via Simple Savings)I had never had much to do with blogs at all. Since then a whole new world has opened up for me. I have never been involved with a forum before either but have read through the ones on SS.

    Now, thanks to you I have gone a step further with our new forum. Who knows, maybe my own blog next!
    Thank you soooo much.

    Cheers! Karen (near Bundaberg)

  12. How cool is this?! I love the idea of bartering/trading...excellent idea. I better go sign up...!

  13. Hi Rhonda, I was interested to see that you're publishing a book, has that happened yet or will we have to wait for a while longer before we can see it? Is it about simple living?
    From Jadie (Jay)

  14. Hi Rhonda, I know you said you didn't want too many fora, but what do you think of having a forum for us to post about homemade toiletries and cosmetics and our favourite recipes for them? I looked through what we have there now and am not sure in which forum I would post on that subject.

  15. Hi Rhonda,
    Wow the forum has gone of like a must be pleased.

    I too feel a bit out of my depth as I've never had much to do with forums or blogs for that matter. I just look at it as a learning experience. I think one could easily spend way too much time many posts to read so little time.

    I also think the swap/batering idea is excellent.
    Best wishes

  16. I would really like a barter section, I can make basic soaps and cleaners, moisterisers etc and I would love to barter for some knitted things, like handwarmers. I cant knit as for some reasons my joints just dont like it! I would never sell my things, I dont want the responsibity or the hassle of it to be honest, but I love the idea of trading my things for something else handmade. Its a great idea.

  17. I'm loving the forum too Rhonda :) And a trades forum sounds great too.

  18. the forum looks great :o)

    a suggestion - it would be great to have link to a view that shows all the latest posts rather than having to select each heading to see all the posts

    I look forward to taking part in the forum, and finding the time to read all those posts!


Thank you for your comment today. I love reading your opinions and thoughts. We have built up a wonderfully diverse community here that I'm very proud to be a part of.

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