The Daily News

LFCA Latest Issue: Friday, September 25, 2009.

Latest Post on BlogHer: Parenting after Infertility.

My Status: Fed Josh's almonds to the squirrels. They needed them very badly.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Women Who Dance While Wearing a Jock Strap Have Make Believe Ballroom

Because I am dumber than a napkin, I didn't figure out until recently how to change the profile questions on the forum site. I've now set them to ask the name of the person's blog or the blogs they read so I can differentiate (hopefully) between those who are commonly awake at 3 a.m. because they are googling the fuck out of a new diagnosis or idea that could make a difference this cycle and those who want to sell us on a pyramid scheme that will keep him hard! all! night! long! and increase our pleasure with a few links to virus-laden videos for our viewing pleasure. The point?

I'm still learning.

About Ning, I mean. Not about pyramid schemes that will get me richer than rich. Or pills that will keep him hard all night long. The reality is that we've sort of had this capability to do this for a while now. I mean, a Ning page is essentially a Facebook page, except more intuitive. So that Common Thread Facebook page we never use? Um...well, you live and you learn. I'm also embarrassed to admit that a quick search in my email reveals that Ning was mentioned to me no fewer than fifteen times prior to last week, starting over a year ago with my BlogHer listserv and NaBloPoMo as well as Larisa. For whatever reason, the name and how I could use it for LFCA didn't click with me until Michelle mentioned it.

I've changed the name because, as Liv, points out, it will be difficult to know what I mean if I write, "it's on Stirrup Queens" if the two sites have the same name. She suggested The Stirrup Queen Ballroom and I went with the Stirrup Queens Ballroom because I immediately came up with two tag lines for it (so thank you, Liv!).

The Stirrup Queen Ballroom
Dancing our way through infertility, one family building method at a time


Because it takes more than balls to get through family building with infertility

If only it would let me have both. I went with the more genteel one. Should I have gone with the second one? It's up to you.

I also created an icon that replaces the creepy silhouette that Ning uses if you don't upload a profile photo. You have been replaced with a mosaic-y pomegranate made with Microsoft Paint. I made the same icon into a badge if you'd like it for your own blog:

You can get the code to cut-and-paste into your blog right here.

So, what is the point of the forums now that you've been on them and played around a bit? Well, I envisioned it as the weekend LFCA or the evening other words, a way to spread news after the LFCA has been posted for the day (if something, G-d forbid or Yay, happened in the afternoon) or on the weekend when the LFCA doesn't traditionally post.

It is also, quite simply, for myself. As my friend was talking, I was thinking, "I could use this on a day that I know that I can't post the LFCA. We could start an open thread and it would run in place of the LFCA and everyone would know to pop over there instead of the LFCA because there would be a message in place." In other words, this relieves any guilt I feel on the days that I can't get to a computer. Such as the upcoming holiday of Pesach.

This isn't replacing the LFCA; I'm still going to post there Monday through Friday. But, on the weekend or on days that you know that I'm not posting the LFCA, I'll start an open thread that people can add to during the day. The first post in the open thread gives the LFCA guidelines for what sort of news to post (in other words, anything that would normally make it into the LFCA). Under that, people could post their own news or questions and others could post someone else's news or questions. Just like the LFCA. Except that it's more like a potluck.

Which is why, if you like the LFCA and use it, you may want to join the forums. You don't have to be super active, but you may want to check it once a day or set the bulletin board messages to be emailed to you or read in an RSS feed. It is a supplement to the LFCA and a way to disseminate information, get support to a person in need, and assuage my guilt on the days that I can't post.

It also has a feature which I promise I will not overuse which sends out an instant email to every member. I can think of a handful of times that time-sensitive news spread slowly through the community by people posting it individually on their blogs. This would enable us to send out an email that would go to all--again, only with time-sensitive information (the only way to get your email on this list is to set up a forum account). And...I think people can also opt out of receiving emails if you want to be part of the forum, but not part of that emergency broadcasting-like service. There is also a way to post single blog posts if you don't own a blog (so you can participate in some of the group activities that require a blog) or if you want to post something in a space other than your blog.

So, as interactive as the LFCA is already with the submission form and the comment section, this is even moreso. Think of the traditional LFCA like a dinner party with hostess and the Ballroom as the potluck with everyone bringing or taking support.

I'd like to do a trial run this weekend of an open thread on the Ballroom. I'll start it Friday night and it will run through Sunday night. As news pops up in the blogosphere, as support is needed, as celebrations take place, post it in the thread. Literally bring your news (or news you read) to the potluck and add it. And give support when you can. That way I can make sure that it works before I need to use it in a few weeks when I'm sitting in seders.


Beautiful Mess said...

I like the new name and the icon design. The design is cute and simple. Good work!

Io said...

Mel, you are a ROCKSTAR. I think it is awesome that we have our own mini-facebook-like-place. And I just feel like gushing to everyone how awesome it is. And how cool the name is. And the motto. And the logo.
I did like the second motto, but I suppose it might be better to keep it classy as not everyone appreciates our fine senses of humor.

Cara said...

Always thinking...or clicking as it were.

well done

ps - my verification code is "pshesse" which appears to be the best possible way to spell the noise we make when exasperated without ourselves!

Jen said...

I finally joined. :) You have all the good ideas.

Melissa said...

I laughed my a$$ off over the 2nd line about the balls...

Kristin said...

You ROCK Mel! And, I like the second motto but I am known to be warped and twisted.

A Mom in Jacksonville, FL said...

Mel...seriously...YOU ARE AWESOME! What a wonderful job you do tracking and monitoring all of these wonderful resources for this community!

I think the name and icon are both super. :)

Megan said...

I like number two!

Love the logo!

Lori said...

Napkins don't get no respect.

Melissa said...

Thank you for all that you do! I have just added the icon and plan on joining up tomorrow. Can't wait to be apart of more of this great place.


Billy said...

I love this new place!
Between the 2 options I prefer the first. Although the second is funny and witty, it is also a reminder that I'm doing this alone, without a guy at my side.

Regarding the profile question - so I found what you're talking about. Should I now fill it in?

JamieD said...

I love it! Well, I love the name, icon and idea. I haven't been to the site yet.

The second name made me laugh out loud!

sara said...

That sounds cool! I'm so computer illiterate so I need to figure out how to do just that :-)

Somewhat Ordinary said...

I love the new icon!

womb for improvement said...

Sounds like a great idea.

(I would have gone with the ballsier strap line - but that's because if there is a double entrendre going I'm always there).