Message boards can be created by just about anyone and they are thus prone to come and go often. A message board is exactly what it sounds like: it is an HTML or script-based series of pages where people can create and reply to topics that deal with the subject of the board. You must register a name or nickname and pick a password to post, but anyone can read without doing anything. People who read but don't post are called "lurkers." When you go to a message board, you'll probably see a list of topics. This list is usually ordered by the most recent post (i.e., the thread that has received the most recent post is at the top of the list). You can choose how you want posts to be listed on most boards.
Some basic lingo: a post is either a reply or a new topic; a new topic is exactly what it sounds like; a reply is any message posted in reply to a topic; once a new topic has been replied to, the entire thing can be called a thread; posting is the act of writing and submitting a post, whether it's a reply or a new topic; a poster is someone who posts; a subject is the title of a post (this is also called a header); if something is 'on topic,' it pertains to the subject of the board; if something is 'off-topic,' it does not pertain to the subject of the board. Writing a subject line is simply telling what you're going to talk about in your post. For instance, if you have a question about the Lost Art video, your subject might be "Question about the Lost Art video," or something equally straight-forward. Of course, just about anything goes on a message board, so the subject line "I fuck goats!" might go over just as well. Once you have a subject, a post, and a reply or two, you have a thread. There may or may not be a limit to how long a thread can go on. Once a thread has 200-300+ posts, it can become difficult for the site administrator to deal with and may be closed. If this happens, the thread can be continued simply by someone posting an *original message title* part II topic. Whether a group tolerates off-topic posts, which are almost always marked as OT in the newsgroup world and sometimes marked as such in the message board world, depends on the group. Most QOTSA groups (indeed, most message boards) tolerate off-topic posting fairly well, but every group is different and you have to become a member of the group to really know what is and is not acceptable.
Almost every new QOTSA site that has appeared in the past year has a message board. To make some sense of which ones have which rules and how much traffic each board gets, here is a list of active QOTSA message boards.
QOTSA Message Boards (currently active):
Those are the boards that are directly related to their mother sites. QOTSA related boards will pop up on some general, music-related sites, but after an initial burst of traffic, the number of people who visit gets very small.
There you have an introduction to message boards. It doesn't get much more complicated than that, though editing features were not covered. Go forth and post.
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