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Posting to the BPN Newsletters

Berkeley Parents Network > Help & Frequently Asked Questions > Posting to the BPN Newsletters

Questions on this Page Posting Policies for Specific Newsletters Question on Other Pages

How do I post a message?

If you are a BPN subscriber, you can post to any of the newsletters using the posting forms on the BPN website. Every BPN newsletter has a link to its posting form at the top.

If you are wondering how to post directly to the website, we do not accept submissions for the website, only for the newsletters, per this page.

If you would like to respond directly to the person who posted a question, there is not a way to do that unless the original poster included an email address in their post. Most people post their questions anonymously, so to reply, you should post to the next newsletter using the posting forms.

Can I post anonymously?

Yes, unless you are posting a message where people will need to contact you, such as a childcare posting or a "for sale" item. We need an email address for this. See the next section for information about how to post in a more anonymous way for the newsletters that require an email to be displayed.

Which newsletters allow anonymous postings: Most of the newsletters allow anonymous postings. You can post an anonymous message to the Advice, Recommendations, Schools, and Teens newsletters. Your email or name will not be included unless you choose this option on the posting form. At the end of the posting form, you will have the opportunity to indicate how you want your message signed. If you don't want your email and/or name included, it won't be. You can sign as "anonymous" or "a mom" or however you'd like. For the Announcements newsletter, we require a contact name and email for all postings. For Marketplace and Childcare, we need either your name and email/phone#, or someone else's. Note that all posting forms require the email address you are subscribed under so that we can verify that postings are coming from BPN subscribers. But for most of the newsletters, this email doesn't have to be displayed with your post.

BPN moderators and anonymity: Please be aware that the moderator for the newsletter will be able to see the subscriber email address that posted the message. This is necessary so that we can handle postings that don't meet BPN policy (return them to you, or ask you to clarify, or etc.) or to resolve any later questions about a message that was posted to BPN newsletters.

Using anonymous postings for dishonest reasons: BPN subscribers may not post a message anonymously for the purpose of deceiving other subscribers. For example, a business owner may not post a favorable review of her business that is written as though coming from a client. Subscribers may not pose as doctors or lawyers in order to lend more authority to their advice. When BPN receives a report that someone has done this, we do investigate. We contact the original poster as well as the people who reported the post, and we may review past posting history of the email address in question. If we decide that a post was probably made with the intent to mislead, we unsubscribe the poster, remove any reviews of their business on the BPN website, and we don't accept further reviews of the business after that. In some cases, we may also report the fraudulent use of the email account to the subscriber's Internet Service Provider, which can result in the account being suspended.
See also: Privacy Policy

How can I post anonymously and still be contacted?

If you want to reply directly to an anonymous poster, please post a response to the next newsletter, and include a way for them to contact you. If you don't want your subscriber email to appear in the post, sign your post with a different email, per the instructions below.

If you want to invite people to contact you directly in response to your query, but you don't want your subscriber email to appear in the post, sign your post with a different email, per the instructions below.

Posting anonymously to Advice, Recommendations, Schools, or Teens: For these newsletters, you must furnish the email address that you are subscribed under in order to post, but your email does not have to appear in the newsletter, because you can sign your message any way you like. If your subscriber email address is recognizable, or includes your name, then sign your post with a different email address that doesn't identify you. You may need to open a new email account at yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc. for this purpose. If you like, use this more anonymous email address for your BPN subscription (use this form to change your subscriber address.)

Posting anonymously to Announcements, Marketplace, or Childcare: For Announcements & Childcare, your subscriber email will appear with your post. If you don't want to post under that address, you'll need to subscribe under a different email and post under that. For Marketplace, check the box "Contact someone else" and type in the name you want to use and the email you want to use. This is what will appear on your post.

Note: Sometimes people want to post anonymously, but would like to be contacted by other subscribers, so they write "contact the moderator for my email address." This is actually very time-consuming for the moderators. Given the volume of mail and the number of BPN subscribers, we cannot provide this service for people except in very rare situations, and at the moderator's discretion.

Are postings edited? Are they ever rejected?

BPN newsletters are moderated by volunteers who read every posting to make sure they meet BPN's policies. Postings that don't meet BPN policy are usually returned to the original poster to be edited and resubmitted. Occasionally, moderators may edit a posting themselves rather than returning it, such as when the removal of 1-2 sentences brings the post into compliance with BPN policy. Postings that moderators edit typically fall into two categories: 1) the poster is disparaging the original poster or others' responses, which is against BPN policy, but the post otherwise meets policy, or, 2) the poster gives advice about the question that was asked, but also includes a plug for her/his own business, which is not accepted in the Advice newsletter.

Did you receive my posting?

Several hundred postings come in each week to the 10 BPN moderators, for eight different newsletters, so it is very time-consuming for us to track down an individual posting for someone.

Please use these guidelines to find out what might have happened to your post:

How it works:

Troubleshoot: (ordered by most common to least common problems)

  1. Did you receive an email confirmation after you posted? If you did, then your posting was automatically included in the next newsletter draft. Look at the date on the confirmation, and compare it to the posting deadline. If you did not get an email confirmation, we did not receive your posting. Post again. (But first check your spam folder for the confirmation.)

  2. When did you post your message? (Check the date on your email confirmation.) Did you post during the timeframe for the most recent newsletter? If not, it would have appeared in an earlier newsletter. Or, did you post after the "post by" deadline for the most recent newsletter? If so, your message will appear in a future issue. Deadlines are listed at the top of each newsletter, on the posting forms, and on this page.

  3. Did you post to the Childcare or Marketplace newsletter? You may have the the impression that your post didn't appear because you did not receive any responses.

  4. Were you viewing the full newsletter when you looked for your posting? Some email software displays only the first part of long emails, and your posting might be further down in the part that isn't displayed. Scroll to the end of the newsletter and make sure you see the footer that is on every newsletter - begins with a dashed line and then "Post a message." If you don't see the footer, then you are not viewing the entire newsletter. See My newsletter was cut off mid-way through for info about how to view the entire email.

  5. Has the newsletter you posted to been mailed out yet? See the List of Recently Mailed Newsletters to see when your newsletter was actually mailed. It can take a few days for the moderator to review and mail the draft.

  6. Were you expecting to find your post on the BPN website? Postings are published in the email newsletters, not on the website. Some posts are later archived to the website, but it may be months or years later. See About the Website for details.

  7. Did you post to Advice, Recommendations, Schools & Pre-Schools, or Parents of Teens? Check the list of questions on the newsletter's posting form to see if it's there. You can find out if a question got any responses by looking at the Topic List for the newsletter. Some questions do not receive responses. See Posting Tips for suggestions about how to improve your chances of getting a response.

  8. Did you post to the wrong newsletter? If so, the moderator may have reposted it for you to a different newsletter that hasn't been mailed yet. See Which newsletter should I post to?
If you did post to the correct newsletter before the deadline, but you don't have an email confirmation, and you did not find your question in one of the Topic Lists, we probably didn't receive your post, and you should post again.

If you still are not sure what happened, you can write to the moderator for the newsletter you posted to. Moderators' email addresses can be found at the top of each newsletter. If you write, please include either your email confirmation with the date it was mailed, or the exact title of your post, and the date you posted, so we can try to find out what happened.

How can I find responses to my question?

Most people will respond by posting to a subsequent newsletter, so watch upcoming newsletters for replies. The Posting Form for each newsletter shows posting deadlines and how often the newsletter is usually mailed. There is a list of Recently Mailed newsletters if you aren't sure when past newsletters were mailed. If you included your email address in your post, then you might get responses by email too. Some questions do not receive any responses. For some newsletters - Advice, Recommendations, Schools, and Teens, we keep a list of topics that received responses. See this page to check if your topic received responses.

What are all the different newsletters?

A list of the newsletters that are currently going out, and when they are usually mailed, is shown on This Page.

Here are links to the FAQ for each newsletter: ... Advice ... Announcements ... Childcare ... Marketplace ... Recommendations ... Schools ... Parents of Teens

What is the deadline for posting?

The posting form for each newsletter has info about deadlines. This is also shown on the List of the Newsletters.

In general, you should try to post your message at least two days before the mailing day if you want your message to appear in the next issue.

Please note! we make every attempt to send out the newsletters at regular times as listed on that page. However, we are all volunteers with kids and jobs - we go on vacation and things come up at work, so you can't really count on us to be always on time the way you can count on advertising you have to pay for.

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this page was last updated: Sep 10, 2014

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