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BGO is a great place, but it can seem a bit bewildering at first! So it’s worth taking a while to look around and see how everything is organised. Many questions about the technical side of using the board are answered in the help section, which can be accessed at the bottom of the board. If you have any other questions then come back to the Site News and Support area. You may well find your question has already been asked there, so use the search bar at the top right of the site – if you’re in Site News and Support your search will be confined to that forum. And if no one’s asked before then start a new thread for your question. You will find the board's policy on signatures here. Using the Forum BGO is the place for readers to discuss what they’ve read, whether they love it or hate it! We’re all here to share opinions and the community will enjoy hearing your thoughts. Our membership includes a wide mixture of people. Some like to write wonderful, detailed reviews and have a very academic knowledge of literature; others will enjoy a good romance or thriller and like to share their experiences in a short paragraph. The board is such a great place because of that very mixture, so never feel you have to work up some minor masterpiece of a review before you can post anything – just write what you think. We’ve never been a site where we have very basic posts along the lines of, “Whoa – this book rocks!” There isn’t a great deal of point to that, but a simple explanation of what you liked or disliked is very welcome and helps get discussion going. Don’t be disheartened, though, if you start a thread and find it met with deafening silence – it happens sometimes to all of us! It’s nothing personal, but if no one has read the book in question there may not be much to say. Who knows – perhaps someone has been intrigued by your post and will reply several months later after reading it from your recommendation! That’s the great thing about BGO – the book threads form conversations that can literally go on for years! That’s why we also like it when new members revive long-dormant threads. Don’t be put off because the last post was 3 years ago! That only means the rest of us ran out of things to say – your new contribution can often spark discussion off again. Inevitably in a community like this we’ve all grown to know one another very well and indeed many of us have made good friends and even started relationships through the site. As someone new you may feel awkward about joining in a discussion where people who clearly know one another are throwing comments back and forth or sharing in-jokes you don't get – it can easily feel like you’re interrupting. Please be assured you are not and we'd love new people to join in these chats. Do take a look at the forums carefully before posting a new thread to make sure it’s in the most appropriate place. It’s not a problem if it isn’t – the moderators will be able to move it – but it helps! Debate BGO is a friendly site where people come to discuss what they’ve read. Frequently an interesting discussion involves disagreement and often people have quite firm and passionate beliefs. That’s very welcome! Discussions where everyone agrees with one another are actually quite dull. However, we ask that all posters argue in constructive, measured and respectful terms. Discussion must always be focused on the issues, not the person. If you disagree with someone then engage with their ideas rather than any opinions you may have formed of them as an individual or assumptions you have made about them. If you disagree with a member's views about Dan Brown that’s fine. If you speculate about their personal hygiene or presumed affiliation with the Nazi party it’s not. Ultimately the moderators are here to ensure a pleasant board and to regulate discussion. If you have a problem with someone’s posting then please don’t take a broadside on the board but contact one of us. You can do this by sending a Personal Message or using the ‘Report’ feature at the bottom of every post. Equally, if a moderator signals that something is inappropriate their judgement must be respected by all parties concerned. Not Just Books! In addition to all things bookish we also have the Anything But Books area where other media and issues are discussed and games are played. This is a particularly busy area of the board since many members visit daily but of course won't necessarily have a new book to post about every time! There are some lively discussions here and a lot of good humour, so we look forward to you joining in there too. Book Group Online is a self-funding community – no individual owns it. Our current existence is down to our Partners – members who contributed funds to move from our old, very outdated software to the modern board you see today. From that point onwards, however, the board has been funded through our Amazon Associates membership. Enter Amazon through one of our banners (UK at the top, US at the bottom) and you can shop as normal through your established account. We get a small return on that – though you pay no more than you would have done. This provides us with enough money to pay for the site’s hosting and maintenance. So if you enjoy your time here we would appreciate it hugely if you did any Amazon shopping through our link. Finally, I hope you enjoy BGO as much as all the regulars here. We think it’s a very special place and we’re pleased you’ve chosen to join us!