Sunday, March 28, 2010

Ready, Stormtroopers?

It Takes a Community

By now you’ve been hearing about this “community concept” for days, but what does it really mean? It means we can accomplish great things as a group if everyone contributes a little to the forward momentum. To thrive as a community, we need to move ahead as a dedicated group—each person offering what they can of time, ideas, research, resources or expertise. I know we’ve got extremely talented members who are willing to work together to advance our battle lines. You wouldn’t be here if you weren’t enthused about the idea, right? Like Heather Massey said in her post, The SFR Brigade Wants You!

So…how can you help?

Here are just a few things we can do to launch our community. All these things won’t happen overnight, but some of them could happen very quickly if members are willing to jump onboard the shuttle. What would you like to get involved with? What ideas or expertise can you offer? Even if you don’t have expertise or a lot of time, doing one small task would help us accomplish major things. If everyone offers just a little, the combined energy will be enormous.

Are you excited yet?

Let’s discuss a few close-range soirees:

Facilitators (otherwise known as “administrators” in the G-world)
We’ve reached the point where we need three or four more facilitators to help get new members signed up (especially if we plan the Twitter Brigade below) and stand guard against the inevitable spam bots. (Think of them as alien attacks.) What does it involve? Not a lot. Knowing a bit about Blogspot, such as how to access Layout and Settings/Permissions and how to delete spam comments. Each member request takes less than five minutes. We could really use a “Down Under” or “UK” facilitator so we have good round-the-clock coverage. Any takers?

Twitter Brigade
After we have our facilitators onboard, a Twitter-cast would really help get the word out. Do you have a Twitter account? How about Facebook? You can link to our “5 Reasons” and get our message out on all the subspace channels? We can accommodate up to 100 members on this site itself--we’re more than a third of the way there already! The more members we have, the bigger the voice and the more vast our resources.

Web Site
Over thirty-five members in just a few days is one impressive accomplishment (hats off to Heather, once again). A dedicated web site linked to this blog would help give us a solid web presence. Do we have any web designers in our midst? Or do you know of someone who would design a web site? Let’s put on our tinfoil caps and turn on the radar.

Banners and buttons and cards, oh my! Anyone know how to design a blog banner that members could post on their sites? How about a big six-foot long paper one? Or an 8 x 11? How about bookmarks? Or buttons that say “Member of the SFR Brigade” and business cards to pass out when people inquire?

We have some big conferences coming up including RT and RWA. How about some of the –cons? Are you attending? Would you be willing to help get the word out by wearing badges or passing out those gorgeous SFR Brigade cards to interested parties?

Those soirees are great for starters, but what about a few major engagements?

A Dedicated SFR Award
Yes, it’s a huge, but shiny, undertaking. We have a member onboard who has a lot of experience in this area and is willing to advise, and there’s a wonderful series of articles Heather Massey wrote for The Galaxy Express (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV) with background information on the former SFR newsletter and Sapphire Award. Who would be interested in making some contacts and doing some research on resurrecting the award? Think of it! Our very own award for SFR! Let’s go back to the future!

Science Fiction Romance Writers International
That’s one possible name in what could become our own organization. But how to we get wayyy over there across the galaxy from our little home planet? A little recon, for starters. Is anyone a member of FF&P? Would you be interested in contacting them to see if we could form a splinter group? If so, would a specialized chapter of RWA be in our future? Or should we be independent from RWA? Would you like to be part of a task force who would study these ideas, present information to the membership, poll or survey the members?

These areas will get us launched on the road to the future. What say you? Thoughts? Ideas? Mission volunteers?  Please post below.

"Let’s rock!" 


  1. Unfortunately I know nothing when it comes to designing websites or banners or any of that (see the boring standard background on my blog!). But I definitely can be part of the twitter brigade. I have almost 50 followers on there (on the small side I know, but better than nothing!) as well as over 100 friends on facebook. Let me know what you need me to do! :)

  2. Super, Meghan. That should really get the word out. As soon as we get a few more facilitators onboard, let's make plans for a Twitter blast.

  3. I'd be on the Twitter Brigade. I'm not really good with Blogger, so I'm not too sure about being a facilitator.
    Let me know what I can do.

  4. I can help tweet :)

    I'm not good with Blogspot (I've had Wordpress for too long) so I'm not sure about permissions etc, but I should be able to manage spambot duty through the wee small hours EST as I'm in the UK if that's still needed.

    Re becoming part of RWA. I'm not a member (and I don't see me joining as I'm not in the US) and SFR-B becoming a splinter group would mean I couldn't participate :(

  5. When are you taking over control of the world, Laurie? You are such an organiser!!! You know I'll help in anything I can!

  6. Looks like we have the start of an enthusiastic Twitter Brigade.

    Barbara, I'm sure we can enlist your considerable talent. :)

  7. I'll be at RWA National in Nashville, so whatever I can do there I'll be happy to do--pass out cards, get the cards designed and printed ahead of time, tee-shirts, whatever. I'm too new to head it up, but I would be happy to help with the task force looking into RWA sub-chapter status if someone else takes the lead.

  8. I can do a bit o graphic design work. I create banners, websites (especially if it's tied to a sitebuilder like Yahoo is) and can do buttons and flyers, if need be.

    Btw "Hey man. I just need to know one thing. Where. They. Are."

    Lol. Vasquez rocks! I love that you used her pic. :-)

  9. Hudson to Vasquez: "Hey, Vasquez. Have you ever been mistaken for a man?"

    Vasquez: "No. Have you?"

    I heart Vasquez!

    Thanks so much Donna and Rae Lori for your offers to pitch in.

    Donna, I'll probably be right there with you in Nashville, so we should start plotting soon.

    Rae Lori, yea! Thanks for stepping up to the plate. I'd love to start with some banners that members could put on their websites that say "Member of the SFR Brigade." What do you need to get started?

  10. I'll bring the cheese and crackers!!

  11. I'll be at RT, RWA, and the Lori Foster event this summer, and I can do some promo.

    I'm also pretty good with making bookmarks and things on photoshop, but I don't have access to stock photos. :(

    Oh, and Tweeples, maybe we should start by all getting linked up on Twitter ourselves.

  12. I'm all a-Twitter!

    SNantus on twitter, I am!


  13. I post on blogspot several times a week and know it fairly well. But I live in eastern US. Also, I may be able to help with the website. I have a web designer friend who's pretty good.

    Let me know what you need.

    Hey, are we on twitter yet? I'm not, but will be ther for SFR B. I am on facebook and can promo there.

    Let me know...

    Can't wait to see bookmarks, cards, banners, etc. for SFR B.!

  14. Thanks for the virtual munchies, Heather. Can I get a virtual carmel macchiato to go with those?

    Jess, I have one stock photo account, but not sure it has much "space" stuff. I'll take a look. Or maybe another member has access to space themes. And didn't someone tell me all the NASA photos are public domain? Anyone know?

    Great idea on getting linked up on Twitter. My Twitter name is SFRLaurie, but I have to confess I'm not very Twitter-adept. I could probably manage to re-tweet though. :)

    Kaye, are you volunteering to be an occasional facilitator? That would be fantastic, let me know.

    On the Twitter Blast soiree, it looks like I'll have a window coming up on Friday to handle requests--so maybe start one Thursday night? I'll do a separate post to see who's interested.

  15. I will be at Nashville for the first time. I'm involved with FFnP and KOD activities there so won't have much free time but will be glad to hand out cards, etc. I have a Twitter account but have never used it. That means I'm a complete novice at it. So if someone can tell me, line by line, what to do, I would appreciate it. Maybe offline at
    Thanks, Linda


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