What is the Pembrokeshire U3A Discussion Forum?

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    ……. presented to a meeting of the Computer Group at the NAC on 24th February

    What is the Pembrokeshire U3A Discussion Forum?

    A discussion board is a tool which allows groups to communicate online. It is quite similar to e-mail, but is separate from your e-mail account and is accessed, stored and organised centrally. All the group can read all the messages. You can read old messages or post new messages at any time.

    A discussion board is made up of
    ?forums? ? folders containing messages on a particular subject,
    ?threads? ? each thread is a series of messages about the same topic, and   
    ?messages? ? each message is an individual contribution to a conversation (like a single e-mail).

    This board is 'moderated'  which means that, messages posted in the wrong place can easily be moved and in the unlikely event of a strong discussion descending into a 'quarrel'  – the moderators can intervene.

    Discussion boards can be seen as impersonal, with no face-to-face interaction but not in this case ……….
    ?  Here only Pembrokeshire U3A members can contribute, but, with the exception of the 'closed area' it can be viewed by anyone.  Hopefully, as more and more contribute, it will be come a showpiece of the range of interests, expertise and opinions within the local U3A.
    ?  A forum creates a level playing field that allows shyer individuals to contribute as equally as more dominant personalities.
    ?  It is an interactive way for members to stay 'in touch'.  Many U3A members are not so mobile and possibly cannot attend as many meeting as the would like – but can stay connected via the this local discussion group.
    ?  It allows prospective members to get a taste of what is going on – and allows U3A members to get flavour of what other groups are up to.
    ?  We even enable anonymous posting, ensuring that 'stupid' questions can be asked with impunity  :).

    ?  The main benefit is that you can join and read forums at any time convenient to you, catching up with messages already posted.
    ?  You can reply at once, or go away and think about your answer before coming back to reply.
    ?  or indeed, as in a real discussion, you can simply listen without contributing at all [Lurking].
    ?  The discussion boards is archived, so you can print a particularly interesting or relevant discussion, equally you can return to it at a later point when further contributions.

    Please come and join us and join in with the 'conversation'!
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