Great place, great people, great forum

Don’t feel ignorant or out of it if you’re new to the concept of online forums and bulletin boards.

I’m barely a few seconds ahead of you.

But here we are, a wide variety of people with a wide variety of computer comfort levels. We’re in this together, here in this online village. Lo and behold, we now have our very own Community Comments bulletin board. In fact, I’ve just returned from reading it, where I posted a few comments.

Once again, credit goes to Jim, Darcie and Laura Gore of Redding, Jeff Gore of Chico, and my son Joe Domke, of Ostrava, in the Czech Republic. I thank them all for their help and patience, and for never laughing at me when I display my incredibly small grasp of all things related to computers and the Internet.

Because I’d never visited an online bulletin board, likewise, I’d never left a comment on a discussion forum.

So when my kindly advisers (see above) set up this Community Comments forum, they talked me through it so I could find my way around on toddler legs. Darcie was especially helpful in describing terms in language I understood.

Guess what? I found it wasn’t that difficult, and it was pretty much impossible to break anything.

The forum, with a huge push from Darcie, was born. It’s in its infancy now, with just a few categories, such as food, general discussions, jokes (thanks, Jeff, and everyone, for keeping them PG-13), affordable housing, menopause, home improvements, recipes, restaurants and raising children.

What I love about this comments forum is it fits in perfectly with what I’d hoped Food for Thought would be: our community gathering place; a civilized, energetic, interactive village where everyone pitches in and lends a hand and speaks up about any topic their hearts desire.

My dream is for donigreenberg.com’s Food for Thought to be your go-to information place. Right now, for example, you have access to links that take you to sites that give weather and road conditions, news and research, county and Redding agendas, and most recently, death notices from Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapels.

And you may also have noticed that donigreenberg.com’s Food for Thought now features experts, and we’ll introduce more each week. And I hope you’ve read our new guest speaker section, which began with architect James Theimer, but more speakers wait in the wings for their turn on the soapbox. And we have my food and opinion columns. All of those I’ve just mentioned in this paragraph allow your comments and dialogue.

But the Community Forum allows even more communication flexibility. It doesn’t just allow comments, it encourages you to initiate conversations about anything. Case in point, a few days ago Kelly posted a comment about Redding grocery stores, in the forum’s general discussion category. 

She said: On my mind lately is the pricing of food.

Not so much the cost. Buy anything you want at a grocery store; it’s still cheaper than eating out.  And I understand higher costs triggered by transportation (gas prices) and production. My slow burn is about the game-playing, the psych-out, the fake sales, the buy-one-get-one-free nonsense, the discount cards. I resent their sly marketing. “They’ll-never-catch-on-to-this-one!” — wink wink nudge nudge — as if we can’t do the math. We can.I want to break up with Safeway. What’s the option? Holiday is local, but it plays many of the same games.We’re trapped, I fear. Is there a solution? Or do we just shrug and swallow this corporate insult, too? “

Well, that articulate message prompted me to reply, because everything Kelly said completely resonated with me. But first, Barbara weighed in to mention two of her favorite stores, Winco and the Grocery Outlet. And Celeste offered her thoughts about corporate grocery chains in general, and her personal preference for Sunset Marketplace,  a local Redding store. I’ll bet you have thoughts regarding Kelly’s post, too.  And maybe different subjects, yet to be addressed. Go ahead, give it a whirl. Leave a comment. Or introduce your own topic. My only request is we maintain our online village as a civil, tasteful and compassionate community. This new Community Comments bulletin board forum is for you, and by you, but most of all, it’s all because of you.

And for that, I thank you.

Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate. Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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