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Posting Tips

Berkeley Parents Network > Help & Frequently Asked Questions > Posting Tips

Topics on this Page Tips for Specific Newsletters

Plain Text Only!

BPN newsletters are mailed as plain text (ASCII). This means that only the characters available on an old-fashioned typewriter will be properly displayed in the BPN newsletters. If you post a message to BPN that includes non-ASCII characters such as bullets, or formatting such as boldface, results are unpredictable. Your characters/symbols may not show up at all, or they may be displayed as question marks or other strange symbols. For this reason, we do not recommend Copy-pasting a message from another document, because formatting and non-ascii characters will be introduced into your BPN posting.

Examples of characters and formatting that you should not use

Copy-pasting a message from another document

As explained above, BPN newsletters are prepared in plain text only. For best results, type your message directly into the BPN posting form. Do not paste in a message you've copied from Microsoft Word or any other application that allows you to format text. Formatted text includes different fonts, sizes, colors, bullets, etc. which will not be recognized by the BPN posting system. If you paste formatted text into the posting forms, results are unpredictable! Your message will not display in the newsletter the way you intended. For example: We strongly recommend that you type your message directly into the form. Note that even if you save your Word document as "plain text", some formatting and non-ASCII characters may persist. If you must copy-paste, do it from an application like Notepad that has minimal formatting, and use very short lines (BPN uses 60 chars/per line).

How to compose a question that will get responses

Many questions are posted every week that do not receive any responses. Here are some hints about how to increase your chances of people replying to your question:

Choosing a heading for your post

Be Specific! Most readers scan headings in the Table of Contents to pick which postings they want to read. Few people read the entire newsletter line by line. Therefore, you need to put as much information into the heading as you can. If your heading is not specific enough, people may skip over your post.

Bad Heading Good Heading
Sleep problem 10-month-old staying up till midnight
Potty Training 4-year-old refuses to use potty at school
Seeking Music Class Seeking Weekend Music class for toddler
Nanny Share Nanny Share M-T-W in Montclair
AdoptionGood agency for international adoption

Other Notes about Style

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this page was last updated: Sep 2, 2013

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