So this weekend at the Garden Writers Association conference, the association’s new website was ‘unveiled’ after 18 months of planning and design by the website committee. It’s not live yet, but we’ve already heard about one thing it doesn’t have: a discussion board for members. This news resulted in groans from members who want some other way to communicate besides the (paper!) newsletters that GWA mails out.
Maybe in the next version, we were told. If they can find room for it in the budget.
I know I’m a techie lightweight, but I’m just not up on the kind of technology that takes a long time to implement and costs a lot of money. I’m only acquainted with the fast and free variety.
So in the garden blogger session, I told the audience that GardenRant would launch a discussion board for garden writers. I got home Sunday night, spent a few hours setting it up, and tested it yesterday. And here it is–very much in beta, but live. Check it out here.
This board is open to anybody who calls themselves a garden writer, including, of course, bloggers. It’s a place to talk shop about the profession of garden writing, but GWA membership is not a requirement.
We’re just putting this out there as a free and easy way for garden writers and photographers to communicate. I know there’s already a garden writers listserv and a forum on GardenWeb devoted to garden writing, and this isn’t intended to replace anything that’s already out there. But I think discussion boards have certain advantages–they’re easy to read, it’s nice to have more or less permanent forum topics to browse, and of course you can read it online or subscribe via email or RSS.
So please–help us spread the word by re-posting this on your own blog or emailing your garden writer friends. Because this is a private board, it won’t turn up in Google searches. So the only way people will know about it is through word of mouth.
After the jump, a step-by-step explanation for joining the board.
How to Join the Garden Writers Discussion Board:
1. Visit gardenwriters.yuku.com
2. Sign up for an account.
3. You’ll be directed to a screen that asks you if you want to see if you have any friends on Yuku. Forget about that for now. Just hit the Later button at the bottom of the screen.
The next page will say "Getting Started Guide" at the top. Also at the top it says "Back to Garden Writers." Click that link.
If that doesn’t work or if you get lost somehow, after you’ve created your Yuku account you should just be able to go to gardenwriters.yuku.com again and you’ll be right where you need to be for this next step.
4. Here you’ll be prompted to write a few words about yourself that would somehow prove that you’re a garden writer. A link to your blog, website, newspaper column, published book, etc. would be most helpful. But just give us something short and simple that lets us know that you’re a garden writer and not a spammer.
5. We will approve you just as soon as we can–hopefully within 24 hours. Once you’re approved, you’ll get an email (oh, happy day!) and you’ll need to click on that validation link to be approved. (If you have a tough spam filter, make sure it allows emails from yuku.com)
Now you can start reading and posting! Start with the ‘About the Garden Writers’ section at the top for some introductory information.