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Placitas forum now online

Pepi Strahl and Gary Priester have launched a new Web site called The site is a community bulletin board where visitors can post questions and comments and discuss local issues.

The basic idea for the Web site was to create an online forum where new and existing Placitas residents alike can seek advice and recommendations from others in the community. But the new site goes beyond this with the possibility of also creating forums for community affairs, community announcements, arts and letters, sports, health and wellness, as well as the New Residents Forum. The Home Owners Association Forum will be available for any subdivision's home-owners groups to post information, minutes of meetings, or any other relevant subjects for their members. Covenants and restrictions and water co-op documents can be posted and accessed as well. Home owners can discuss issues specific to their associations. New forums will be added as needed.

"We hope the site will become a virtual community where Placitas residents can share ideas, ask each other questions, and debate local issues," said Pepi. “For example, there is a poll in the Community Affairs Forum where residents can cast their vote on the Placitas County question. And members can debate the issue by posting and responding to other posts in the conference.”

Priester, who put the Web site together, will initially moderate the forums.

"The purpose of the moderator," Priester explained, "is to keep people on topic, and to make sure everyone respects the feelings of the other members. It is not unusual for tempers to flare, especially when members are posting questions online as opposed to talking face-to-face.” As the online community grows, new moderators will be added to handle the individual forums, he said.

Pepi, who first moved to Placitas in 1975, is active in local real estate and will be the official sponsor of the site. "We will add new sponsors as we go along,” Pepi said, “to help pay the costs associated with running the site."

For those unfamiliar with online conferences or forums, the premise is straightforward and easy. Anyone can visit the forums and read the posts, but only members can post. A member posts a comment or question, just as you might post a message on an actual bulletin board at the Merc, for example. Then other members can post a response. This "discussion" may go on for some length, or it may end with just a few posts.

There is a Practice Forum where new members can practice making posts and editing their messages until they feel confident to enter the other forums. Priester says, “The best way to get started is to visit the site, register, find a forum or forums that interest you, and jump right in.”






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