The Betty MacDonald Network™
A literary society and fan magazine

Welcome to our open, community supported fan site for American author and humorist Betty Bard MacDonald.

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This is a temporary Help page in the form of frequently asked questions (FAQ). Each item in the list of topics will jump to another part of the page. You can ask questions not answered here by writing to the editor using the form at left. Questions of general interest may be added to the FAQ.

General Information

This is a site for conversations about the life and writings of the American novelist Betty MacDonald, who is best known for her quasi-autobiographical novels of the 1940s and 1950s. Members can write articles on any related topics, Any participant can comment on those articles.

The Forums

How do I join the Forums?
It's easy:
  1. From the Forum index, click Register (near top center). The system will first ask you if you're over 13 (a gift of the US government, which thinks this will protect someone from something, did we mention there's another election soon?). When you say yes it will take you to a signup form.
  2. Fill out the form. Include what information you choose and adjust settings as you wish.
  3. WRITE DOWN the username and password you chose!
  4. We suggest you NOT have the Forum display your email address; people can still write to you through the forum, but your email will not be displayed unless you reply directly through email. (The third-party software was built in the good old days before spam.)
  5. Be sure to set your time zone; it helps people know how soon you might see new info. (GMT-5 hours is New York, Miami; GMT-8 hours is Seattle, Los Angeles.)
  6. Click the Submit button. You will not be assimilated by aliens, but you should receive a welcome email.
  7. See: Easy!

How do I post in a forum?
After registration go back to the Forum index page and click the Log In link where you previously clicked Register. Type the username and password you chose during registration. Most modern browsers allow you to save the login in a cookie, so you won't need to do this again.
Once you have signed in, go to the General Discussion topic and click New Topic. There are two spaces for content.
  1. Add a subject line above the text.
  2. Post your note from below.
  3. Finally, click the Submit button (or you can Preview first and then Submit).

The Inkubator (Editor's Log)

The Inkubator is the editor's log. It serves as a newsletter and as a guide to the rest of the site. Many notices of interest to readers, especially those pertaining to the organization of the site and of FOBM, do not find their way to the Forums. Readers are encouraged to visit both.
Can I create a new topic?
Only the editor(s) and paid subscribers may initiate new topics in the Inkubator.
How do I comment on an item?
Open a topic in the Forums, or look for someone else's comment and add/reply to it.

Browser Issues

Why doesn't (...) work right in my browser?
From our web hosts: The Worldwide Web consortium publishes a standard set of features for web browsers to follow. The whole purpose is to make dissimilar systems be mutually intelligible. Because this standard set is evolving, it is essentially impossible for every browser maker to keep pace with every innovation. Each manufacturer makes decisions about which features to incorporate and in what order to add them.
This site and the underlying publishing system attempt to walk the middle ground. We call it "just behind the state of the art." It means that "the very latest thing" may not work here. We make very little effort to be "buzzword compliant."
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are the emerging standard method of page layout and related appearance management. This site uses CSS as its primary means of page layout control.
Because we host many sites, we cannot achieve universal layout flexibility or guarantee that every possible appearance option will appear as intended on every possible browser.
We generally test content that we produce on Safari and Firefox on Macintosh and on Firefox and MSIE on Windows. Content added by individual writers is not tested or reviewed by the web hosts; if you know how to use the Web's formatting conventions, caveat scriptor, have fun!
For all you WWW folk, we strive to publish to this specification:
!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" ""
Most of the time our pages pass muster with testing sites, but we do include some "tricks" that may cause hiccups for some older browsers. User-supplied content may not pass technical validation.
Which browser do you recommend?
For cross-platform general use, we like Firefox. It produces very similar results regardless of the computing platform, and it seems to develop in closely parallel ways on all platforms, unlike some other browsers, in which for a while the Mac version is superior, then Windows for a while, etc. (We, like the US government, do not recommend the user of Internet Explorer, which in general has the least conformity with WWW specifications - a nice complement to its well known security issues - and the most excursions into proprietary features and coding. The Mac version is wildly out of date, and even the Windows version lags behind the WWW spec most of the time.) On Macintosh, we generally prefer Safari.

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