Making Most of Message Boards
articles to which she had been referred and lurking and listening to
advice, Nancy NEWCOMER began to feel like an old pro in using the
RootsWeb mailing lists. She soon learned that some of her favorite
lists were those that were "gatewayed" to a corresponding message board.
Gateways are a one-way passage where message board posts are
automatically forwarded onto mailing lists. Nancy noted that the best
method of replying to a gatewayed message was to click on the link in
the message and reply on the message board. However, she soon realized
that she still had a lot to learn about message boards and how they
might be able to assist her in her research in a slightly different way
than mailing lists.
An article -- "Making Most of Message Boards and Mailing Lists" -- in
the RootsWeb Review archives explained the difference between mailing
lists and message boards as well as their similarities.
This gave Nancy an idea of when it might be more appropriate to post a
message to a message board rather than a mailing list, but she still
wanted to learn more about message boards and how they functioned. She
had learned the hard way when she barged onto mailing lists without
taking the time to investigate them before she jumped on board. She
wasn't about to make that mistake a second time.
So she searched in the RootsWeb Review archives again and located many
articles that explained what she needed to know to use the message
boards effectively -- finding and navigating boards, posting messages,
and searching among the myriad of already-posted queries and data.
MEANDERING THROUGH THE MESSAGE BOARDS
(locating boards, navigation -- the basics):
MAXIMIZING SEARCHES ON MESSAGE BOARDS
(using the advanced search feature):
MESSAGE BOARDS. UTILIZING SURNAME-SPECIFIC SEARCHES
(searching for those difficult surnames):
PORTALS TO SUCCESS
(message board gateway):
MESSAGE BOARD ICONS:
VISUAL AIDS ON MESSAGE BOARDS
(more message board icons):
WHERE AND HOW TO POST ON MESSAGE BOARDS:
EFFECTIVE MESSAGE BOARD POSTING:
MESSAGE BOARD QUERIES
(using the Subject, Surname, and Classification fields):
MESSAGE BOARD ATTACHMENTS:
MESSAGE BOARDS OPTIONS -- SAY IT WITH PICTURES
(more about attachments):
WILL THE MYSTERY GUEST SIGN IN, PLEASE?
(Message Board Registration and Login):
Nancy was most intrigued by the option of adding a picture to a message
board post, something she couldn't do in her use of the mailing lists.
She thought of the photo she had found in her maiden grandaunt Bertha
BLANK's attic when she was cleaning out the old house to be sold after
her relative's death.
Who was the dapper gentleman with a mustache -- wearing his Sunday best
suit? She couldn't identify the picture and it nagged at her for many
years. She decided to scan the photo and attach it to a query on the
BLANK surname message board to see if anyone could identify the unknown
family member she suspected, but couldn't prove, belonged in the BLANK
family -- somewhere.
She knew not to expect instantaneous responses from message board posts
as many new visitors checked the boards over a period of time and
replies were often delayed. So, Nancy was a bit shocked when she
received a notice that she had a reply to her query the very first
week after she posted the message and uploaded the picture of the
It was from a man in Houston, Texas named Beau BLANK, who was the great-
grandson of the man in the photo. He told her he had an identical photo
hanging on the wall of his home. The man in the photo was Winthrop
BLANK, the brother of grandaunt Bertha BLANK and Nancy's maternal grand-
mother, Wilma BLANK.
Now Nancy was not only able to place a name and relationship to the
photo but she had also found a new cousin in the bargain who had
additional family information to share. She was rapidly learning that
much can be gained in the world of Internet genealogical research when
one is willing to share and reach out to others.
Nancy hoped other new family history researchers would learn this
valuable lesson, but she giggled when she thought that probably few of
them would be able to literally fill in the BLANKs as she had.
RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
26 January 2005, Vol. 8, No. 4, Circulation: 816,285+
(c) 1998-2005 RootsWeb.com, Inc. http://www.rootsweb.com/
RootsWeb Review Archives - 2005