General info re all
DISCUSSION GROUPS online
Most active polymer clay discussion groups (summary)
Overview of *types* of discussion groups (including polymer)
...mailing lists
.......basic info on using any mailing list
.......Yahoogroups mailing lists
...........basic info on using Yahoogroups
...........polymer clay Yahoogroups ........ & non-USA polymer yahoogroups
...message boards, forums for polymer clay
.......PolymerClay Central, Polymer Clay Jewelry, and a few others ...at delphiforums
.......Polymer Clay boards ...at Craftster & at Jewelry Arts
.......crafts boards at HGTV & DIY
.......(making avatars for message boards)
...newsgroups (now through Googlegroups)
......Googlegroups--all newsgroups
......polymer clay newsgroup (rec.crafts.polymerclay, Usenet)... no longer very active
........subscribing and/or reading newsgroups (in various ways)
........searching archives of newsgroup
GUILDS + OTHER GROUPS online (for polymer clay) .....(also non-USA polymer guilds & groups)
BLOGS ....gen. info, definitions/options
...blog communities....blog services... more info re blogs
...Polymer Clay blogs
CHATS (not very active)
...general info ......suggestions & opinions re all chats
...delphiforums chats ...yahoogroups chats ...IRC network chats
...instant messaging (chats, and regular I.M.)
...webcam demos

Science polymer groups
Automatic signatures
Misc. Info
for Swaps page, click here: http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/groups--swaps.htm
for YouTube, etc, go to Books & Videos > Online Video Lessons

 

ONLINE GROUPS + Chats + Blogs
"Discussion Groups + Chats"

(for info about local and national guilds --just a fancy name for clubs-- go here:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/info_letter.htm#groups )

General Info

(for groups created in countries outside the U.S., look below in Mailing Lists, Online Guilds, etc.)

. . .  as polymer clay grows, more and more groups are being formed to talk about it and exchange ideas.  Too much polymer clay?--what a great problem to have!  Many times the members of one group know nothing about the others (I just heard of another small one on Yahoo the other day myself). I'd like to know about all of them because I want to let everyone know about what's available out there and where to find it.  I read at least 4 of the groups on a pretty regular basis, though I always read rec.crafts.polymer-clay because I feel being a newsgroup, it's probably the most permanent, searchable, and neutral. Diane B.

(from Debbi) ...I have really enjoyed the internet for one more reason. I can look around and try different (online groups)... until I find the ones that give me what I am looking for. For example, I like to rubber stamp and tried out a rubber stamp group list that is very social and emotionally support (lots of warm fuzzies and all that) which I think is a great thing for those who are wanting that type of list, but for me that's not necessary so I unsubbed. I like a group that is generally into sharing tips, their work, etc. . . Everyone is so different. . . I think you should be aware of what YOU are after in a group... and what is important to you. Good luck and have fun on the internet!

(Google Groups') excellent advice on posting in groups, beginning with "never forget the person on the other side is human. . . "
http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/posting_style.html

 

DISCUSSION GROUPS online

Most Active Polymer Clay discussion groups

NOTE:
Most all online groups are by invitation and/or subscription, but all requesters are accepted (...this just helps to cut down on advertisers/spammers wanting to post in the group)

Each group is slightly different in tone, content, orientation, size, acitivity, amount and type of "chatter," etc., and may be accessed differently.

(see below for many more details on each of these, under the appropriate category)

As far as I can tell, the strictly-polymer groups currently with the most posts are:

--clay-polymer (a yahoogroup mailing list) --biggest... covers lots of polymer topics
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clay-polymer

--Polymer Clay People (a yahoogroup mailing list)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Polymer_Clay_People (new group, which is now much smaller than orig. group)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PolymerClayPeople (orig. group--now gone)

--also CITY-o-Clay ...focuses on polymer miniatures, sculpting, and some gen. polymer techniques
(...used to be MSATClayArt, but left the MSAT-List family in Jan 2005)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CITY-o-Clay

all Yahoogroups with the word "polymer" in their descriptions:
....... http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/dir/Hobbies___Crafts/Crafts/Polymer_Clay?show_groups=1 )
...however, many of these groups are for individual polymer clay guilds, or for specific types of claying (e.g.,sculpting or dolls), or beginners, or paid classes, etc.
...to help in deciding which groups are most active and which polymer topic(s) a particular group may focus on, it can be helpful to look at
the number of members, the number of monthly posts--shown as a chart for each group, and the photo that's been chosen to represent the group, etc.


--PCC (Polymer Clay Central's message board, at delphiforums):
http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/start
 


Overview of Group Types

Please understand there may be mistakes in this page! 
.... I've done a lot of research, but it's difficult to get all the distinctions straight, some of this was done a year or more ago, and there is some overlap; so try to use all this info simply as helpful getting-started explanations!

Here's the gist of online polymer groups (as far as I understand it):

1. (one) "newsgroup" (rec.crafts.polymer-clay)... not very active now, used to the biggest
2. (several) "mailing lists" (on polymer clay --and on specific polymer areas of interest --at yahoogroups.com, and now a few beginning at googlegroups)
3. (several) "message boards" (offered by services like delphiforums or AOL ...individual websites like PolymerClayCentral.com can use their service for the message board part of their offerings... or some websites may host their boards at their own sites, like HGTV.com)
4. (several) "online guilds" (like the one for NewZealand & Australia; there are also regional ones in the U.S.)
5. (there are also quite a number of "chats" --talking about clay in real time; see info on those in Groups-chats (not yet uploaded) ... or look here for general chat info: http://www.jabora.com/chatting/historyofchat.asp).

All these groups allow the reading of messages, and/or posting of messages or responding to posted messages
...BUT the way of receiving messages is different for each type of group.

You can simply read a polymer newsgroup or a message board without subscribing or joining (may not be true for all now though?).
.... however, you will often need to "join" before you can post responses or create new messages.
(don't think it's any longer possible to read "mailing lists" without joining.)

please....always snip your replies (in any group) ...i.e. trim your "quote backs"
...whenever you respond to a previous message, it's curteous (and much easier for others to read), if you include only a sentence or two from the original message which actually relates to your answer! ... of course, no quote backs are usually needed
...some set-ups will quote back only the area you've highlighted in the original message (before clicking on "Reply")
...for others, you'll need to highlight all the stuff you don't want to quote back, then delete it (before clicking on "Reply"

(by the way, spam is seldom a problem in any of the polymer groups ... also, there are rare disagreements, but these tend to fade rather quickly and are much less frequent than in many groups on other topics!)

 

MAILING LISTS ....(e-mail lists)

BASIC INFO for using any mailing list

There used to be many providers of these lists, but the main provider is now Yahoo Groups (which is used by a wide range of groups, including organisations who might at first glance be considered 'rivals' to Yahoo)
....MSN Groups (very little polymer clay at present)
....Google Groups?? ..just getting started (little or no polymer clay yet?) ...don't be confused... Googlegroups lists the "newsgroups" right along with its own mailing list or newsgroup groups!
... to find groups related to your interests (polymer clay), go to the Google Groups homepage http://groups-beta.google.com and click on any category. You can use the search box within any specific category to keep refining the list of groups until you find what you're looking for. (Home > Arts & Entertainment > Crafts) ..or try here: http://tinyurl.com/btbtx ??
(popular examples of mailing list software include GNU Mailman, Listserv, and Majordomo).

Messages from mailing lists come to you as regular e-mail, in the In Box of your regular e-mail (or you can read and respond to them online from the webpage for your yahoogroup if you want).

When you subscribe to a mail list and choose to get your messages as e-mail, you have a choice of receiving each message as a separate e-mail, or receiving it in the "digest" form.  The digest will put one day's worth of messages, or 25 messages (whichever is fewer), into one e-mail.  This can be really handy if the messages exceed a few a day! (any other messages of that day will come in subsequent digests on that day, fairly promptly)
To get the digest form for Yahoogroups, go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PolymerClayPeople (or fill in the name of the group you belong to) > Edit my membership > Digest
...one of my yahoogroups also has said it's possible to get the digest version by sending an e-mail (no message inside necessary) to:
nameofgroup-digest@yahoogroups.com ... don't know if that works for all yahoogroups though

Replying in a mailing list (special considerations)

Responding in a mail list is a little different (than in a newsgroup). . . .a couple of important things to know are couple of things about responding to them.

1... (this one's important in any group though). You should always "trim" your replies . . . that is, "quoteback" only the portion of the e-mail you're responding to so that everyone doesn't have to read the whole preceding e-mail with every person's response.
The way to do that is to highlight only the relevant words in the original message by running over them with your clicked cursor, then click "Reply" or whatever the equivalent is in your e-mail program; that should cause a new blank e-mail to pop up with the words you've highlighted "quoted back." (see below for Outlook and Outlook Express info)
(If for some reason it doesn't work right, you can create a quoteback yourself for any text by simply adding > and a space in front of the text, and a space and < after it.)

2....The other important thing is being aware of what the defaults are set to in your particular e-mail program for the Reply function. (see below for Outlook and Outlook Express info)
--If you're receiving any mailing list by individual e-mail, each one coming in separately, then hitting Reply will usually mean that you'll be replying only to the author of that e-mail and not to the whole group. To reply to the whole group, click on Reply to All instead.
--If you're receiving the "digest" version of the list (that's up to 25 of the messages sent altogether in one e-mail), then when you hit the Reply function, you'll be responding to the whole group; if you want to reply only to one person, you'll have to copy out that person's e-mail address and paste it into a new message blank form in your e-mail program (you'll also have to copy in the Subject line).
(Digests come at the rate of one per day unless there are more than 25 messages, then you'll get more than one digest.)

To avoid sending the whole digest back to the whole list every time you respond:

For OUTLOOK, you may need to change the default on your system to "Do Not Include Original Message". . . to get to where you can choose that option, from your toolbar select: --Tools > Options --underneath? "On Replies & Forwards," there should be a bunch of checked boxes and one of them, I believe, should be your default for how to handle quote-back material (in your case it probably says something like "Include Whole Message When Replying"). That should actually be a drop down window-menu though, so you should choose the one in it that says "Don't Include Original Message" or one of the others you might want.
OUTLOOK EXPRESS may or may not have a default you can change. If not, one way to avoid sending back the whole digest or message is just to click Reply as usual, then hit Ctrl + A on the keyboard (to select all text in the window) and then the Delete key. That should erase all text in the new Reply window before you compose your response. If you do want to include a part of the original message in your response, you'll have to delete the before and after text in two passes. Or it may be possible to Copy the text you want in the original digest, before hitting reply then doing the Ctrl + A and Delete step; then you can hit Ctrl + V to paste in just the part that you wanted (strangely, it seems that what's selected to Delete doesn't seem to erase what's on the clipboard for copying and pasting!).

....Or, you could hit "reply" and then cut + paste the person's email address over the list email address in the "To" box.  Their email address is highlight-able in your reply.  And that way you have the pertinent parts of their message to reply to already included in your message.

...but if I hit that... that address will be automatically addedto my address book! Kathy
If you are using Outlook Express, go to Tools / Options / Send.  Make sure the box that says "automatically put people I reply to in my address book" is *not* checked. Irene NC

Misc re mailing lists (mostly yahoogroups)

For archives of the mailing lists, go to yahoogroups.com (and click on one of the lists you're subscribed to), if you are a member of that group (and if you've actually "joined" yahoo as well), you can see all the old messages and any shared photos, though I'm not sure if they have searches.

~Here's what you do (to upload photos to any yahoogroup's shared files and have Yahoo automatically send a notification to the group).
--Log onto the group (thru Yahoogroups.com) and go to the Photos link.
--As soon as you are there, click the Create an Album link and name your new album.... something that will identify you ie, the screen name you use.
--Once you have the album created, upload your image to that album.
--There is a check box on the page somewhere (can't remember just where) that asks if you want the group notified. If so, check the box and hit submit. DixiePixie
...... if you upload a picture into the "FILES" section, you have the option to send a message to the group, notifying everyone that you've added the file. You don't have that option when you upload to "PHOTOS". That's what I was doing wrong. Marti

(I get the e-mails separately, not in the digest form, so) I set my email (software) so that all messages with the same subject are grouped together. That way I can delete the entire group if it is not a subject I am interested in or have time for. Marlene

When I reply online and I use the upper left-hand blue "Reply" link, I have experienced the same problem.... so whenever that particular "Reply" link seems to ignore your clicks (or it seems to let you reply but the person written never gets your email, or your e-mail doesn't post to the group), try the blue "Reply" link at the LOWER left side of the screen.... tt seems to be a software bug in Yahoo that comes and goes... Cathi

I was wondering why I can't reply to messages from the alternate email address I provided. Doris
....Getting an alternate email address to stick is sometimes a little tricky. Is the alternate email address associated with your yahoo ID? Is it confirmed? Has it been more than three days since you added the alternate? If the answer is yes to all three, try removing the address, confirming its removal, waiting three days and then submitting it, again. Three days gives all of the databases a chance to get caught up and running - that applies to subscribing, changing from individual emails to digest or unsubscribing. Elizabeth

Why does list mail sometimes come out of order or hours/days late or never appear at all?
...Why does it take hours or days for list mail to get to Hotmail or Yahoo email boxes?

...Why do AOL members not get all the list mail or digests?
This is the response that was received by a query from another list I'm on (Adrienne):
> A. Because AOL, MSN, Yahoo email, Hotmail, Earthlink, et al, are large email providers.
They get literally tons of email and they have to watch their servers carefully because they can get overloaded. So they prioritize. They give private email priority over group or list mail.
Yahoogroups is the largest email list provider (pay or free) and they send out literally tons of mail. ...Since those large email providers give priority to private email, when their servers are busy, they will refuse connections with Yahoogroups. In other words, Yahoogroups tries to connect to them but their incoming mail servers say no, try again later.
So Yahoogroups holds the mail and waits, tries again later until the email provider (AOL, MSN, Yahoo email, etc) will accept the connection and receive the mail from Yahoogroups. So that's why things come late and out of order.
.....In addition, AOL has admitted that they trash some email from Yahoogroups when their servers are busy, so some Yahoogroups mail is lost and never delivered to AOL members. If you really want to check things out, you can review the full headers of delayed messages.. . the Received: lines at the top of the headers are the most recent, the top one will be when your ISP or mail provider received it from Yahoogroups. The Received: lines before that one are transfers between internal Yahoogroups servers. So look at the time on the topmost Received line and compare it to the time on the Received line just below that. Adjust for time differences if necessary and if there's a big gap, it means Yahoogroups was trying to contact your ISP or mail provider and couldn't get thru, so they waited and tried again and again until they got thru.
.... In the case of AOL, it's also possible there's a delay after AOL received it and before they delivered it to the AOLer's mail box (as above).
Sometimes an ISP or mail provider isn't reachable after hours or days or trying to send mail and then Yahoogroups considers it a soft bounce. Some Yahoogroups list owners that use Yahoo email have reported seeing a message in their bounce history (go to My Preferences and click on Bounce History) that says "Yahoo mail servers unreachable for too long". This means Yahoogroups tried to send mail to them for a long period and finally gave up. This may happen with any of the large ISPs or mail providers if they experience temporary server problems and have to severely curtail their incoming mail for a period of time until the servers are fixed and list mail like Yahoogroups is always the first thing they restrict.
(author from another list)
As a list owner myself, I've found that AOL drops the mail all the time to my members. I don't know if that's the problem or not, but there's a way around it, which might seem inconvenient, but doesn't fail very often. Go to the website (aol.com?) and click on "messages," and you'll see all of them. Elliott
I solved my problem with the mail. I switched to a Hotmail account and it appears to be coming through. This is not such a bad situation since I can access the Hotmail account on our general cable modem without having to sign into AOL. Jean/PA
....On the other side of the coin, I use one of the biggest service providers, AT&T Worldnet, and I always get everything, and get it quickly. I was a long time happy Sprint customer and before that Earthlink, because they were much better than the small, very unreliable, providers that many had problems with, but AT&T has been even better. To my knowledge, I've never yet missed a message. Adrienne

YAHOO! Groups
http://groups.yahoo.com/ (general info)
(please confirm individual groups at the addresses below; some of the following groups info may be out of date)

(used to be "e-Groups" and "ONElist" before that)
Beginning in Jan. 2001, those who are subscribed to e-groups (or onelists) who want to be able to be able to use the archives or to access shared photos will have to re-register each group they belong to with Yahoo (though a single ID can be used for up to 5 groups).This will involve linking their current account(s) to a Yahoo ID.
(However, it's not necessary to "join" Yahoo for simply receiving and responding in the Yahoo groups...some people have been concerned about Yahoo's possible sharing of their e-mail addresses with other companies, and therefore do not "re-register." --though any new members must “register with Yahoo,” “get a Yahoo ID”???) (now there is another option for the largest group, at least--see below)**
However for alternative ways to go to their chats or see the members-only shared photos, see Groups-Chats (not yet uploaded) for some work-arounds!)
But . . ."those who do (reregister with Yahoo) will have available to them:
* Chat with other group members using our improved Yahoo! Chat.
* See when group members are online and communicate with group members in real time using Yahoo! Messenger. And much, much more to come!"

BASIC INFO

Get Info & Join mailing Yahoo mailing lists

http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/dir/Hobbies___Crafts/Crafts/Polymer_Clay?show_groups=1
this link shows all the polymer, and polymer-plus-another-craft, groups in order of the number of members (which usually but not always shows how active it is)
http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=polymer%20clay (diff. order)

(From the first link above, you'll see the status of the "archives" of each group; if it says Public, you can read the messages without joining the group--though you can't reply; if it says Members Only, you can't access anything but the group description)

(also ...when first signing up with Yahoo)

SPAM

Yahoo has marketing settings on each person's account which enables them to send you SPAM from marketing companies. When yahoo made the switchover, everyone's settings were changed to "YES" (for receiving stuff from over the web, home, and telephone :-( ...Personally, I am really bothered by this. But thankfully it can be fixed.
Here is how to fix it so you won't get spammed:
1. Log into your yahoogroups account.
2. Go to "Account info" (found at the top of the screen)
3. Go to "edit your marketing preferences"
4. You will see they are all marked "yes". Change them all to "NO".
5. Make sure you check the bottom of the screen as they have the ones to send to your home via mail and phone checked yes as well.

6. Be sure to click "save changes". Linda

....One more thing re "opting out" of spam at Yahoo. . .
When you click on the "opt out" button, just below the "cancel opt out" button there is a link to "return to Yahoo Privacy Statement".. . . If you click on that return link, the "cancel" button lights up, which means you've then cancelled your opt out. . . I fooled around going back and forth several times before I got my opt out for sure (at least in MY mind). . .so use the "back" button on your browser to return to the Privacy Statement, not the link... author?

I also heard that any time you change any other settings in Yahoo, those marketing preference settings will again return to "Yes". I'm not sure if this goes for joining or leaving mail lists. Eleny

I tired to change my address for Yahoo and now I can't find most of my groups, can't change the Polymer Clay address, etc. I get as far as 'please check your mail at the new address and confirm'. No mail. Help??? Madlyn
.......The best way to CHANGE your e-mail address at Yahoo and avoid problems is....
--subscribe to everything by email from your NEW address.
(--make sure your new address is working with Yahoo --and ISP spam filters aren't killing your email from Yahoo-- by monitoring your email.)
--then add your new address to your current Yahoo profile.
(--make sure the new address is still working before
--deleting your old address from your profile.
--THEN unsubscribe from everything that is going to your old address VIA THE WEBSITE (so you don't have to send back confirmation email to get OFF the lists)
.....If you try to change the email address for your profile, you will run into trouble. . .
... An easier way may be to just ADD a new email address to your profile, and after it is confirmed start adding the new address to all your groups as your default, or as an "additional address to post from".
...Really there are a lot of options here, but whatever you do, don't try to CHANGE the address on your profile. Just ADD the new one, then later, delete the old one. Hope this helps anyone who may need to do this in the future. Sunny

IF YOU SAVE MESSAGES or DIGESTS (in your e-mail software)

If you save whole messages or digests in your e-mail program anywhere, you'll probably want to "disallow" HTML in them because all the stuff that comes with the HTML option will take up loads of space in your system! .... the only thing that's very useful with the HTML option is having the any URL's appear as live links (rather than as plain text), so if you needed to use one, you'll simply need to copy it out and paste it into your browser instead)
....here's how to disallow HTML in all yahoogroups:
......go to My Preferences page: http://groups.yahoo.com/myprefs (sign in if prompted)
......(next to the e-mail address you want to use) click Edit (under "Options" on right side)
......under "Message Format" .... click in circle beside "Do not convert to HTML"
......click Save Changes
(there is supposed to be a way to do this also for individual yahoogroups, but not working just now... check later to see if there now is a Message Format option (from My Groups > name of group > Edit Membership)

reading messages at the Yahoogroups website

You can read all the messages from the Yahoogroup site for any of its groups, rather than receiving them in your e-mail.
...From the home page of each group, click on View All Messages (or on the blue-highlighted message number for the current month).
........this will bring up one page of listed message titles ordered by date.
...To view a list of the messages by thread rather than by the time they were received, click on Thread (lower right of screen) .... then:
...If you want to view all messages opened up for reading, click on Expand Messages (lower left).
.......(clicking on Collapse Messages will make the opened messges into a list again)

posting Photos on yahoogroups (for members)

instructions from clay-polymer (probably same for most other yahoogroups):
...click on Photos (on left menu) ....click on Create Album (top right hand side)
...name the album, and write a very short description
...choose who can modify the contents of this album. You can change the setting at any time.
...click Continue... click Browse...choose the directory on your computer where you have pics to upload
...type in the file name, and type in a description of the photo
...click Add Now (now you have an album)
(remember to make pics small so they won't take up too much space)
HOWEVER... clay-polymer also has a separate yahoogroup just for photos because photo space in the original group is now (still?) full
....clay-polymerscans :

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clay-polymerscans/?yguid=6354010 (...click on Photos, on left)

for PolymerClayPeople. . . go to http://photos.groups.yahoo.com/group/PolymerClayPeople/lst (if this doesn't work, see the main clay-polymer instructions just above)
. . . Click on "CREATE FOLDER" At this point you may need to log in with your Yahoo ID. Then click "ADD PHOTO" You will be able to upload 5 pictures at once I believe. Before you hit the download button check the bottom options. You may check or un check the box to allow others to order photos. And you have the option of sizing the photo too. Cindy
...Just a little clarification for those truly new at adding photos. When you click add photo it allows you to browse your files for the photos you have stored. And it helps to have them already edited and resized (if you have a hi res camera) to somewhere between 200 and 400 pixels square (the higher resolution pictures take forever to load and are harder to view) Trina

Yahoogroups ... problems & stopping mail temporarily

Easiest way to stop your e-mails while away on vacation, etc.:
...send a mail from the subscribed account to nameoyourflist-nomail@yahoogroups.com
.......(e.g., that might be clay-polymer-nomail@yahoogroups.com ...or Polymer_Clay_People-nomail@yahoogroups.com)
...when you want to resume, send an e-mail to nameofyourlist-normal@yahoogroups.com
(Use the same protocol for ANY yahoogroup.) Laurel

Or to stop mail from the website: go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clay-polymer (or to your particular yahoogroup)
...look to the right towards the top...click where it says "Edit My Membership"
...on the new screen, go to the section called 'Message Delivery' ...click on the circle next to 'No email' ...then click where it says Save Changes.
...when you are available again, just go back and set it back where you had before. Mary K

Here is a trick someone on another list mentioned to me that sometimes works when you get into problems with Yahoo. Fortunately, I haven't had much trouble with bouncing, but I did find it impossible to persuade Yahoo to change my settings for one group from NO mail, while I was away, back to Individual Mails... it said the setttings were correct but refused to send me mail.
.... Anyway, the tip I got was to create a new public profile in Yahoo...just think up a new username...go to the group site and select 'edit my membership' (right at the top is an option to 'add new profile'... click that)...you'll go to a page that has a bar at the top saying 'Create new Public profile' ...click that..... put in your new user name and fill out whatever you wish to in the rest of profile... and then submit it.
....You'll end up with your main, or first profile, under your original username, and a new profile underneath it, with the new username. ...Select the new profile as 'make default', and then you're done.
....Once I completed this process, I began receiving mail from the problem group instantly ...it is a bit of a nuisance, but it sure seemed to fix the problem
....... the only change anyone might see is your username, or maybe your 'from' email name if you made it different than the first one. Karen H.

bouncing, or not receiving any mails from yahoogroups

...I did try that --changing my name and/or password-- to no avail. ....it would have been a very simple matter if "Edit my Membership" would have cooperated, but it didn't. . .
.....Finally I just got completely out of yahoo and subscribed anew using the present name. Voila! success. tolebyjane

I experienced a similar dilemma at one time and the cause was the old version of Netscape I was using as my browser. If you haven't updated your browser in a couple of years, you might try going to their website and downloading the newest version.
....Another alternate is to change from your present browser to another browser, such as Internet Explorer. Granny Patty

Download Spybot and run it to get rid of the spyware, malware and virus stuff that is messing with your programs.
......then get Ad-aware and do the same.... then restart your pc. Ilene

 

POLYMER-only mailing lists, at yahoogroups

To browse all 100 polymer groups at Yahoo, go to:
http://dir.groups.yahoo.com/dir/Hobbies___Crafts/Crafts/Polymer_Clay?show_groups=1
Here the groups are listed in order by their current number of members and you'll see a description for each.
Click on the group name to see the number of messages per month, whether the archives and photos are open to non-members (so you can take a look), and the e-mail address for subscribing. Here are some of the more active ones:

clay-polymer http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clay-polymer
"This is a list for serious PC users. Active participation is requested. You can be a newbie or a seasoned artist. You can lurk for a bit to get the feel of the group but are asked to jump right in with tips, techniques and questions about this versatile medium. Our hope is to promote the broader use of polymer clay as a craft medium."  (265 members now, members' archives, currently around 3-25 messages per day) hosted by Carolyn, Jersey Girl
....clay-polymerscans http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clay-polymerscans/?yguid=6354010....clay-polymer has recently started a new "group" but it's for photos only (in addition to their photos at clay-polymer)... this additional group was created because the photo files at clay-polymer are filled up; to view the photos stored at clay-polymerscans, you must also "join" that group as well

Polymer_Clay_People http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Polymer_Clay_People
...has its own website too http://www.polymerclaypeople.com
.......(used to be called PolymerClayPeople (no underscores), and before that Polymerclayinterest ... much smaller now)
"This is a list where we can share ideas, ask questions, and learn new techniques with polymer clay. People helping people with the same interests. I think one can learn so much from their peers. Joins us for some good 'poly-talk'."  (1000 members now, members' archives) now hosted by Cindy Pack   --usually 25-50 messages (e-mails) per day.
OR (to avoid having to "join" Yahoo, and give personal info which they may "share with others"):**
Join by the e-mail route. Send a blank email to this addy to suscribe...
PolymerClayPeople-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
. Eventually you'll get a letter of confirmation, then you can just send an email to the group at PolymerClayPeople@yahoogroups.com and that'll get you started. It took most of a day for the confirmation letter to arrive...Joanie

Clayplaypals: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Clayplaypals
....this is a continuation of the now-closed new_to_polymer_clay yahoogroup ... the new group just began, March 2004
..."It doesn't matter if you are a newbie or a seasoned artist in polymer clay
.........this is a "Lurk and Learn, Friendly atmosphere" (we would like all members to actively post but we understand that there will be some that want to lurk for awhile until they are comfortable. That is because our members are as unique as their pc creations are. Some may need to find their comfort zone before they participate. With that said we hope you will join in on the fun).
...we will have alot of fun activities to join in on and we hope that you do!
...this is a group where we can all learn at times, teach at times, share our accomplishments and also our, we will call them mmm, "learning experiences":)
....we are forming friendships and having a good time while we all learn and grow in the medium of polymer clay
....(older group) new_to_polymer_clay: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/new_to_polymer_clay
"Our main focus is to learn the craft of polymer clay art from each other (and from several experienced members who are part of the group).. " you are in a place where a helping hand, a listening ear, and a word or two of enCOURAGEment will surely be here for you ...there is "someone" here who has done whatever it is you want to do, or knows how to point you in the right direction." Please Note: Absolutly NO flaming will be tolerated..." (450 members, 20-100 msg. per day)

ClayinAround http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClayinAround
A list for discussion of anything to do with with working, shaping, baking and finishing of Polymer Clays. Members may post Q+A's and carry on discussions, use the chat room to talk CLAY! Helping one another achieve the best results in PC work. With a shared file open to members consisting of pix and patterns, hints and tips. Links to great PC websites for list members. Notices of upcoming online classes. (214 members, 3-10 messages per day)

PolymerClayStuff http://groups.yahoo.com/group/polymerclaystuff/
Welcome to all new members -- jump right in! Please post pictures of your work -- we'd love to see 'em (286 members, 1-5 messages per day)

( Non-U.S.) general polymer mailing lists, at yahoogroups

clayamies (Canada) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clayamies
(Canadian Polymer Clay Friends/Amies) "A mailing list to promote communication among Canadian polymer clay enthusiasts. "

UKPolyClay (United Kingdom) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/UKPolyClay
"Polyclayers from outside the US, come join us! Whether your interests are beads, jewellery, dolls, miniatures, sculpture, or multimedia pieces, we'll talk about them all. Can't find a particular tool or clay? Have a question regarding how to do something? Maybe someone else on the list can help…"

(there are also a number of local groups in the U.S. from various states....check the general listing to see if your state or area has a group)

CREATION FIMO (France)
http://fr.groups.yahoo.com/group/CREATIONFIMO

Fimo (for German speakers)
http://de.groups.yahoo.com/group/fimo/

Hier sind Leute gesucht, die wie ich gerne mit Fimo basteln. (Alle diese Sachen auf dem Foto sind aus Fimo gemacht.) Zum Austausch über Techniken, zum sich gegenseitig was zeigen oder auch mal nur so plaudern.
...open to anyone, anywhere, who is interested in polymer clay and who can read German (writing German is good too, but not essential).

italyclay (Italy) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italyclay
Tutte le persone interessate a condividere le proprie conoscenze sulle paste sintetiche sono benvenute. In Italia sono conosciuti i prodotti Fimo, Cernit, Creall therm e Gemcolor. Noi lavoriamo tutti i prodotti e il nostro interesse sara' quello di promuovere questo bellissimo hobby manuale. (34 members)
http://www.italyclay.com/Default.asp
Milanoclay ...http://it.geocities.com/milanoclay

(Spain, Spanish-speakers... for a Spanish language online message board, see below in Message Boards)

PolyLerDanmark (Denmark/Scandanavia) http://dk.groups.yahoo.com/group/PolyLerDanmark
http://www.geocities.com/pcdenmark/PLDanmarkDK.htm
List primarily for Scandinavians who want to chat about Polymer Clay.
Liste primært for skandinavere, som ønsker at chatte om polymert ler.

aussiepolyclayers (Australia) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aussiepolyclayers
The Australian Polymer Clay Artists Guild has been formed to bring together the widespread and diverse population of Polymer Clay Artists in Australia. Whether you work with Millefiori, Jewellery, Sculpture, Dolls, or Miniatures this group offers members a chance to contact each other and to exchange or share what you are doing, new ideas, techniques, and to develop this exciting art-form in Australia. Please join us!

AnzacPolyclayers (Australia & New Zealand) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AnzacPolyclayers
This group is designed for Australian and New Zealand Polymer clay artists of all types to meet and discuss techniques, styles, technical questions, supply problems and general "what have you created lately" discussions. We welcome anyone from Australia and New Zealand who works with polymer clay from jewellery makers, miniaturists, doll-makers, teddy bear makers, garage kit sculptors, puppeters and sculptors. Because of the unique needs and challenges faced by Polymer clayers in Australia and New Zealand, this group is restricted to residents of these two countries, at least for the near future

Arabian Desert Polymer Clay Guild (not a mailing list, but thought I should list it here for now)
For now, we have 5 members, including Evalie (EVLOCK) and myself. Hopefully, we'll grow quickly. Our first scheduled meeting will be in September, 2002. Sally Haskell <sb_haskell@yahoo.com>

....for non-USA online guilds , see below in Non-USA guilds online
....for non-USA guilds, see Guilds
....for non-USA suppliers, see Supply Sources > Clay Suppliers

(for regional or specific guild mailing list groups, see below under Online Guilds)

SPECIALIZED polymer mailing lists at yahoogroups

PolyWannaClay ...swaps group (& discussion) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PolyWannaClay/
For polymer clay artists and soon to be artists who would like to participate in clay swaps and clay discussions. There will be 6 - 8 swaps per year! Join the ones you want. ....And by participating you will meet people, learn new polymer clay techniques, and become a better clayer.
... Plus, polymer clay swaps from other groups will be posted here as well.

CITY-o-Clay ...polymer miniatures, sculpting and gen. polymer techniques .... used to be MSATClayArt (but left the MSAT List family in Jan 2005)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CITY-o-Clay (part of the "CITY" list family now... "Creative Indulgence Totally Yours" or "CITY" for short)
....polymer clay artists from beginners to skilled professionals... all polymer clay techniques are discussed: color mixes, raising cane, sculpting figures, replicating things from nature, for jewelry and household accessories, in flat designs or 3D.
....the moderator Nora-Jean Gatine takes a very active role in posting, teaching, etc ......she likes to encourage beginners (and others)
....Nora Jean also gives twice weekly, online, polymer clay webcam demos (free, accessible by Yahoo members with YahooMessenger), where miniature polymer clay techniques are reviewed and new techniques of all kinds are attempted as live experiments
........ instructions for how to access the demos and for downloading Yahoo Messenger are on one of Nora Jean's websites:

http://www.norajean.com/MSAT/ClayArt/WebCam/How-To.htm
...We also have hundreds of tutorials online, and when you're active on the list for three months (or Donate) you can access our Lending Libraries of Books and Videos, qualify for a Newbie Box, and get help with your supplies.
...We are chatty.
....(now over 1000 members, 26-100 messages per day)
...article in Polyzine about Nora Jean and the "MSATClayArt" (old name) group and her demos http://www.pcpolyzine.com/2004sept/msat.html
...also has a separate yahoogroup just for their pictures CITY-oClayPictures ...http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CITY-o-ClayPictures

Pcbj http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Pcbj/ (Polymer Clay - Beads & Jewelry)
"This is a group for those people interested in the bead and jewelry aspects of polymer clay. We will discuss everything from techniques to construction to findings. This is a place where we can all learn from each other and share our jewelry making and bead making experiences. My hope is that this will be a place for people to find links to methods and a place for those of us who create pc jewelry to discuss what we design. All polymer clay jewelry artists and those interested in learning the craft are welcome!!" (260 members, 1-2 msg. per day, but may grow with new moderator PoRRo)

.....Precious_Metal_Clay_IL-WI is one ... there are couple of others as well
.....also
ISMCA (International Society of Metal Clay). Lori http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ISMCA/
.....(may be more at Yahoogroups... go to http://www.yahoogroups.com, then enter Precious Metal Clay in the Search window..)

clayquilters http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clayquilters ...Artisans interested in quilting with Polymer Clay (1 msg, 77 mem's)
Online Clay Quilters (at Diana Crick's website) (gone?) http://home.istar.ca/%7eladydian/onlineclayquilters/index.html

Beginners_Polymer_Clay_Art_Guild (fairly active) ... mostly sculpting
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Beginners_Polymer_Clay_Art_Guild
... 90% of the members are beginners... but very talented artist members offer their help to newbies
...very active group... but note that they do now allow lurkers more than 30 days (keeps the group smaller, but very relaxed and chatty)

MEMBERS: anyone playing with polymer clay is accepted as a member, but:
...most members are polymer clay fairy & fantasy figurine makers
...also some baby makers, and some more-abstract statue makers
...also a few who make something else (like beads, ornaments, etc.)

novice_sculptors
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/novice_sculptors

"This group is for novice small-scale sculptors and experienced sculptors who are interested in mentoring. The goal is to create an atmosphere in which beginners feel comfortable asking questions and showing their work to others. Mentors will be there to give advice, share techniques, and offer constructive criticism. ...Mediums include, but are not limited to: polymer clay, paper clay, wax, plaster, plasticine, epoxy resin, and so on. Genres include, but are not limited to: small figures (human, animal, other), models/kits (horror, sci-fi, comics, fantasy, military, etc.), dolls/art dolls (mixed-media figures), action figures, decorative figurines, and so on." (286 members, 4-6 messages/day)

AfricanDollArtist http://groups.yahoo.com/group/AfricanDollArtist
" All mediums, cloth, polymer and air-dried clay doll artist. To exchange ideas, share tips on doll making including cloth doll costume designing." (18 members, not very active now in early 2001)

claydollartists http://groups.yahoo.com/group/claydollartists
"polymer and air-dried clay doll artists. doll swaps, shows, tips on dollmaking and doll sculpting classes" (200 members, but not very active now in early 2001)

polymerclayfigurines http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=polymerclayfigurines&ss=1 "... Ive been a polymer clay artist for 8 years now and Im so excited to be able to teach kids as well as adults my techniques (whimsical characters & critters) . Im always willing to share ideas and help promote this wonderful addicting thing we call polymer clay. I originally started this list to promote my website and business...but soon that changed …" (62 members)

MiniDolls (MSATMiniDolls) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MSATMiniDolls . . .not polymer but many lessons! and photos which can be applied to polymer and to miniatures in many ways...
The MiniDolls List is a site where everyone from professional to beginner can share ideas, tips, sources and resources on making, dressing, wigging, accessorizing, displaying and selling miniature dolls, both porcelain and sculpted. We encourage sharing and provide a forum for questions, creativity, innovation and adaptation.. . . Projects, Suppliers, Contests, and Winners. Also included is an ongoing Archive of Tips from our members, including helpful books and other resources. ( 600+ members ...very active group)

CITY-MiniScenery http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CITY-MiniScenery ...partly polymer?
... focuses on all areas of mini scenery and landscaping for dollhouses or mini scenes. ...discuss things like water features such as fountains, ponds and waterfalls etc., flower making, using paper, dried real flowers, clay and we'll also include the discussion of using live plants in miniature settings. Tree making, grass and bushes too.

Julie Wise of "Razberi Kids" fame and I, are starting a Kato Polyclay user ...group on Yahoo very soon. You'll be able to get all your answers about Kato Polyclay answered there as well as your general clay questions. Lisa Pavelka (Oct.02)

Clayers With Disabilities: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clayerswithdisabilities (new July 2002)
Many polymer clay artists have disabilities, and others would like to better accommodate clayers with disabilities in their classes and guilds.. . . Many disability professionals would like to incorporate polymer clay into therapeutic activities, but are not quite sure how to do so. This group is for such people.. . . on a professional or hobbyist level. . . and discuss how our disabilities positively and negatively affect clay-related activities.
For more information on why I'm starting this list, please visit http://artistcrafts.com/cwd/background.htm. To subscribe, send an e-mail to: clayerswithdisabilities-subscribe@yahoogroups.com, or join from the list's yahoogroups homepage (above).

Jewelry Makers in Pain http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JewelryMakersinpain (not just polymer clayers)
...a fairly new (e-mail) list for those of us who have varying illnesses, pain, etc. I guess it's at Yahoo now, not egroups. It's nice to talk to people who understand that we're not just complaining and making it all up. FYI. Krista
"The focus of this group is to provide a forum for discussion, support and information sources for beaders, jewelers and wire wrappers who have autoimmune diseases, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid and fibromyalgia.

ArtfulClayCreations (for selling, advertising, or announcing clay items events, sites, etc.) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ArtfulClayCreations
I created this group as a service group for all crafters working with any types of clay. Here, you can advertise your website, yahoo album or ebay business. If you have any tips, techniques or links you would like to share with the group, please feel free. Also, please feel free to announce any educational events and arts/craft festivals in your area. ...You can sell supplies to other crafters as well and also sell your finished products. This is a good way to expand your business network and increase your exposure. . Please set up a photo album with your creations for everyone to see. . . . Carolyn P.

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books_and_boxes  http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=books_and_boxes&ss=1
This topic-only list is for people interested in creating and/or decorating small (no dimension greater than 6") books and boxes. All related topics up for discussion, such as rubber stamping, embellishing, collage, calligraphy, journaling, polymer clay, the list goes on. Anything that can be used to make or decorate a book or box is fair game but, please, no chitchat. Swaps are encouraged and there will be a ongoing virtual swap.

AssemblageArtists http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=AssemblageArtists&ss=1
An exciting forum for artists interested in exploring assemblage. Assemblage is a three-dimensional art form using a collection of diverse objects, such as found objects, collage elements, papers, paints, polymer clay, old letters, postage stamps, etc. Assemblage can be housed in boxes, antique drawers, frames, cigar boxes, Altoid tins, fruit crates, etc. or mounted on various supports. (600 members)

001StampArtists http://groups.yahoo.com/group/001StampArtists
"A rubber stamping and related applied arts community. Geared toward the advanced stamper, this list provides a forum for the exchange of information and fellowship related primarily to the art of rubber stamping...Topics will also include book arts, paper arts, polymer clay, print gocco, and much more.  We will discuss newly discovered techniques or shortcuts, and share information on new products and vendors." (1500 members, 20-22 messages/day)

001StampArtistsswaps http://groups.yahoo.com/group/001StampArtistsswaps
A rubber stamping swap listing. Here's the place to get connected to all the CREATIVE and COOL swaps that are currently being hosted by 001StampArtists members. These swaps follow the same style of NON-CUTE stamping like the main 001StampArtists list does. (1 msg/day)

Show-Me-Mo-Rubber http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Show-Me-Mo-Rubber
A community for artists living in or near Missouri and other artists interested in rubber stamping and related arts. Join this list to share and exchange information about rubberstamping art, collage, book making, altered books, polymer clay, paper-making and other related arts. Members share information about workshops and conferences and maintain a database of sources for purchasing art supplies in and near Missouri. Art-related retreats are sponsered by the list, also. Off-topic messages are not permitted. (206 members, 10-14 messages/day)

OrientalStampart http://groups.yahoo.com/group/OrientalStampart
A rubber stamping and related applied arts community with special emphasis on Oriental Stamp Art themes. Our community exists to meet the needs of its world-wide members and provide a forum for learning new techniques including rubber stamping, polymer clay, collage, Origami, book making and other paper arts. Join the list to share and exchange information with world-wide members from Australia, United States, Canada, Alaska, South America, Japan, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Singapore, Netherlands. . .  (600 members)

Air-DryClay (NOT POLYMER) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Air-DryClay/
...list for talking about the nuances of Air-dry clay, Paperclay, dough clay, salt clay, and any air-dried clay that is not baked in an oven or kiln fired. Tinting, painting, recipes, etc...whatever you need!

Emulsion Polymers (NOT CLAY, scientific uses of polymers) http://groups.yahoo.com/group/emulsionpolymers/ . . . "we have a group about emulsion polymer . i have created this group because water based polymers is better than solvent born and without damage to environment. please join for conversation...

MESSAGE BOARDS (aka "FORUMS") 

some message boards

(in order of size:)

PolymerClayCentral ...at delphiforums (very active board... often off-topic and chatty)
http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/start (information, swaps, chats, etc.).
(Re their archives,
PCC has its own system for searching them; I've heard complaints that it's hard to use and people can't find things they want, but you could try now --maybe they've improved it.)
...... If the above link doesn't work, you can also get to PCC's message board from the home page of the regular Polymer Clay Central website: http://www.polymerclaycentral.com (then click on "Message Board" in the pink bars on the left).
...Either way, the resulting screen will probably prompt you to "join" delphiforums and also that particular message board. You can do that for free (beware their trying to get you to pay for a more advanced version, Delphi Plus, if you don't want it though), or you can enter as a "Guest" (even every time, if you want, as long as you don't want to post any messages of your own). The pay version has some perq's like being able to post photos, change the color and font of your text, etc.

Craftster has two new polymer clay boards...(members of Craftster tend to be younger and/or "hipper" than members of most other boards)
Polymer Clay Discussions & Questions
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=239.0

Polymer Clay Completed Projects/Lessons
http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?board=238.0
(all boards at Craftster: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php )

ArtJewelry (has a Polymer Clay board) ... jewelry-oriented
..July 2007... looks like this will replace the BeadandButton forum, for most polymer clayers)
http://cs.artjewelrymag.com/artcs/forums/31.aspx
...also has a board for metal clays
http://cs.artjewelrymag.com/artcs/forums/32.aspx
...plus boards on related topics for jewelry makers like marketing one's work, wire work, creativity, how do you...?, locating suppliers)
http://cs.artjewelrymag.com/artcs/forums

Bead and Button (jewelry-oriented) has a polymer clay board:
http://www.beadandbutton.com/bnb/community/forum/default.asp

...also a board for metal clays (see just below), and boards on related topics for jewelry makers like marketing one's work, wire work, creativity, how do you...?, locating suppliers, beads, seed beads, etc):
http://www.beadandbutton.com/bnb/community/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=20

Polymer Clay Jewelry ...at delphiforums (jewelry-oriented, and esp. for those with more experience)
http://forums.delphiforums.com/PCJewelry/start
("meeting place for polymer clay artists and crafters who make polymer clay jewelry, and experienced jewelry makers interested in expanding their art to include polymer clay. A background in the basics of polymer clay is recommended. Though new clayers are welcome, we will graciously provide them links to other quality sites for basic information. Our focus is specifically on jewelry making, and all aspects of its construction, including polymer clay components, findings, wirework, and mixed media...")

SMALLER BOARDS at delphiforums:
Bottles of Hope ...at delphiforums
http://forums.delphiforums.com/boh1/start
This project was started in 1999 by a Rhode Island cancer survivor and has spread internationally. Bottles are made by artists, students, survivors, seniors and many more who volunteer their time and love ...polymer clayers usually cover or embellish small bottles for giving, but any kind of small vessel, etc., is good too). This forum was created as a place to get information and to share your experiences with the Bottles of Hope project.
http://www.bottlesofhope.org
Artist Doll ...at delphiforums
Site Crafters http://forums.delphiforums.com/sitecrafters/start message board...at delphiforums (for help with creating web pages)
Gentle Critique http://forums.delphiforums.com/gentlecritique/start message board...at delphiforums
Custom Action Figures http://forums.delphiforums.com/customize/messages (may not be young-kid friendly though)
Alaskan Polymer Art Guild (APAG)...at delphiforums
http://forums.delphiforums.com/apag/start .... http://kelliesklay.homestead.com/apag.html
. . .the city is Anchorage, but we want all Alaskan clayers. . . will be setting up a message board for the ones who aren't in Anchorage). Kellie Robinson

more info on using delphiforums:
to Read Only (at Delphi forums)
click on Message Board above, then on “View as Guest,” located underneath Enter Password
to Read-and-Join (at Delphi forums)
click on URL above & follow instructions for joining
...(check out http://forums.delphiforums.com/dir-app/search/forumBrowse.asp for more delphiforums by browsing through the categories on that page, or doing a search for keywords there (the search feature seems to bring up only messages relating to that word(s) in ALL delphi groups though, so you may have to pick through them)

NON-USA message boards
Spain, Spanish-speaking... Asociación de Arcillas Polimericas de España (currently at fimoland.com)
http://www.fimoland.com/foro

METAL CLAYS message boards
...PMC Guild http://www.pmclay.com/ or http://pmcguild.com/
...Bead and Button http://www.beadandbutton.com/bnb/community/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=21

GENERAL CRAFTS message boards
....HGTV's Message Board (Home and Garden Television, home of Carol Duvall show)
Polymer clay is usually discussed there only at the General Crafts board... occasionally at the Holiday Crafts board
http://www.hgtv.com/HGTV/advice/0,1191,,FF.html (click on Crafts and Collectibles)
...DIY has a very small General Crafts board
http://boards.diynetwork.com/eve/forums/a/frm/f/2021916776

creating avatars for message boards

Avatars (in computer-land) are small images (photos, drawings, whatever) which are placed beside a message board member's screen name as a quick and fun visual representation of the member.
...many avatars can be found online... and message boards may offer a range of their own to choose from
...or a personal photo or drawing from one's own computer or from a photosharing site where it's been placed can be used (in the first case, the image would be chosen by browsing on'es computer... in the second case, the url of the small image would be used)
...all avatars must be a small pixel size, but the largest size allowed may be different for each msg bd (for example, 72x72 pixels or 128x128 pixels)
......look in the Help section or the Profile of a site for maximum size allowed... adding the avatar will usually be on the page for creating a Profile

Any photoediting software will allow one to shrink an image (then Save As to someplace in your computer, or put online at your photosharing site, etc.), and there are even sites online which will resize an image for free... for example:
Shrinkpictures.com... http://www.Shrinkpictures.com/create-avatar their page for shrinking images down to avatar size
(for more online photoediting and resizing links, as well as more on photoediting, see Photography > Photoediting > Where to Find Photoediting)

 

NEWSGROUPs (Usenet) + GOOGLE Groups

Google Groups

http://www.google.com/googlegroups/about.html and http://groups-beta.google.com

Google is now sponsoring their own groups (which can be set up as mailing lists, or newsgroups?)
....this is a new feature (Jan 05) which is being added to their existing googlegroups function of middle-man service for reading and/or responding in Usenet "newsgroups" like rec.crafts.polymer-clay
... various options can be selected for viewing or using their groups.
... unfortunately, it also seems that they're lumping together their new mailing list groups with real newsgroups on some of their pages, which can make figuring out which are which confusing... maybe this will change soon.

NEWSGROUP
(also called "USENET" groups)
now longer very active... used to be the biggest

There is only one true "newsgroup" (group which is part of "Usenet") for polymer clay... though you may hear many people loosely refer to all online groups as "newsgroups":
rec.crafts.polymer-clay
(through Google) http://groups-beta.google.com/group/rec.crafts.polymer-clay  (will this name change when no longer "beta" version?)
......or news:rec.crafts.polymer-clay ... http://www.faqs.org/faqs/crafts/polymer-clay/welcome/
...this group is no longer as active as it was when it was the granddaddy of them all . ..
There are a few other newsgroups which may occcasionally address polymer clay as well, but the only ones I know of might be:
....rec.crafts.beads .....rec.crafts.jewelry .....rec.crafts.rubberstamps .....rec.crafts.scrapbooks
....rec.crafts.dollhouses .....one of the textiles groups: rec.crafts.textiles-xxxx (quilting, sewing, fiber, etc.)
... rec.crafts (general crafts?) ......rec.crafts.misc (misc.crafts) .... ....(in the U.K.) uk.rec.crafts

Or you can browse all groups at via Google (or browse particular categories), to find a group you're interested in:
to search for names of all crafts. newsgroups, start here:
http://groups-beta.google.com/groups/dir?q=crafts&sel=16823835&qt_d=Directory+Search
to search for names of all rec. newsgroups, start here:
http://groups-beta.google.com/groups/dir?sel=33609734&expand=1
to search for names of all newsgroups, start here:
http://groups-beta.google.com/groups/dir?sel=33554433? (in alphabetical order)
http://groups-beta.google.com (by categories)

Or you can use the search box at top of most Googlegroups pages http://groups-beta.google.com
.....in the results, the groups will be shown as green links (...and any posting in any group containing your search word as blue links).

Newsgroups must be accessed in one of several ways
1....through special "news readers" ...(freeware, shareware, or pay-for)
2....through some e-mail programs (if they support newsgroups)... or Outlook Express
3....on the internet, through a middle-man
........GoogleGroups http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search
........Mailgate --- http://www.mailgate.org/rec/rec.crafts.polymer-clay/index.html (--and others?)
(options 3 and 2? also allow you to keep up with a newsgroup when out of town or away from your computer)

what are "Newsgroups," in general?

....Google's explanation of what Usenet newsgroups are ...http://groups.google.com/googlegroups/basics.html
....There are more than 5000 "newsgroups" on the internet, and they comprise a huge network called USENET ("user networks"). They were the orignal "groups" on the net.
Each newsgroup is a "collection of messages with a related theme.
This network of groups was created by the internet itself (or something like that) to give everyone forums in which to talk about virtually anything.
...(on other "networks," these groups would be called forums, boards, conferences, or special-interest groups)
The newsgroup for polymer clay is called rec.crafts.polymer-clay, and it has been online since at least 1995.
....
An advantage to newsgroups is that they will never go away; all other groups can fold if the person(s) in charge moves on. (Most?) newsgroups also have no leader, moderator or hosting service, so there are no influences, preferences or rules. The previous disadvantage to newsgroups (they don't have any place within them to post photos) has been largely eliminated because many of us are now using one of the photo-sharing services or have out own websites; we can then directly reference one particular photo, or all of them, in our posts using a clickable link.
.....
If you're interested, the names of the (major?) newsgroup categories are divided into 10 or more basic categories (...many more now?):
(rec=recreation, bus= business, comp=computer, sci=science, gov=government, news=news, humanities=humanities, talk=talk, misc=miscelleneous, alt=anything at all). 
...the categories get more specific as more words (categories) are added to their ends ...so, rec.crafts.polymer-clay is in the "crafts" category of the "recreation" category.

Reading newsgroup only

Without actually joining a newsgroup or activating a newsgroup reader, the only way to read-only newsgroup messages is to use a middle-man?
...for middleman possibilities other than Google, see below in
"Subscribing Through an Internet Middle-Man"

Google Groups: http://groups.google.com
--enter rec.crafts.polymer-clay (don't forget the hyphen) in the Search Groups window; this will bring up the "threads" of all discussions beginning with the most recent ones... IMO, clicking on "Viewing Titles Only" gives the clearest way to view messages.
--click on a thread subject, and you'll be taken to the post of that thread which corresponds to the latest date (...to see the other posts in that thread, scroll up or down the page).
......OR just to read any dates or span of dates you wish
http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search
--enter rec.crafts.polymer-clay (don't forget the hyphen) in the Newsgroup bar window, & fill in the dates you want.

Some years ago, Google (a middle-man type news reader) took over the archive of all newsgroup messages which used to be housed at deja.com (prev. named Dejanews).
...one current disadvantage to reading through Google Groups (still true?) is that messages may not appear there for 3-9 hrs after someone posts them.

Subscribing to newsgroups (read and post)
(general info)

There are some specific instructions for AOL, Netscape, & Internet Explorer, etc., below, but the best idea may be to call *your* ISP and ask how they handle "newsgroups."

SUBSCRIBING via different "services"
1. news readers will each have their own set of steps to follow
2. (info on subscribing through a middle-man on the internet, like googlegroups, is below.)
3. most e-mail programs (such as Netscape Communicator, Microsoft's Outlook or Outlook Express, etc.) come with newsreader software.
4. most Internet Service Providers (ISP's) give you access to a news server with your internet account as well? (or WebTV?)

The first step (except when subscribing through a middle man?) is usually to download the entire list of all newsgroups. This can be a very large list depending on the News Host. When this is done, you can select rec.crafts.polymer-clay. This will then be the newsgroup downloaded to you by default. Some systems may offer an "Advanced Add" or something like that so that you can avoid downloading the whole list, and just enter the one you want.

OR ...clicking on one of these links may automatically bring up a newsgroup reader already be on your system (not sure though):
news:rec.crafts.polymer-clay
http://www.jaedworks.com/clayspot/polyclay-faq/index.html (on Jeanne's page)

subscribing through an online "middle-man"

(this may be the easiest way to deal with newsgroups if you're not very familiar with technical computer & web stuff? )

GoogleGroups (you must register in order to be able to post new topics or respond to posts, as opposed to simply reading them as above);
.... Google states that individually identifying info will not be "shared, sold, etc." to any 3rd parties except in situations where they are required to do so by law.
To get to the registration page, go to http://groups.google.com/
....then you'll see: "You are not a member of any groups. You can locate a group by searching or browsing the directory below.
You can then join groups that interest you by clicking the "Join this Group" link."
...so enter rec.crafts.polymer-clay in the search window... then click on "Join this Group"...
Fill in your e-mail address, name, and create a password, then Send; you'll receive a confirmation e-mail shortly.
.....GoogleGroups is a bit confusing these days because they're creating their own groups as well (mailing lists, and newsgroups?), in addition to acting as an archive and reader for Usenet newsgroups... so in some places "their groups" will be grouped with newsgroups, but in some places newsgroups are grouped together alone

OTHER middle-man possibilities:
....Mailgate --- http://www.mailgate.org/rec/rec.crafts.polymer-clay/index.html ...a "gateway" service that allows you to read, search, and post messages to the newsgroups within a web browser.
....DFN-CIS --- http://news.cis.dfn.de/en/register.html ...a free news service...your posts will show up (on their servers, anyway) promptly, and seem to propagate to most reasonable servers pretty quickly as well.
....XNews. ---http://xnews.newsguy.com/ ....also free, very featureful, and not susceptible to the vast array of viruses and exploits that Outlook falls victim to so regularly. Karen C.
....Mozilla Thunderbird?? --- http://www.mozilla.org/projects/thunderbird
....
NewsOne.Net ??---http://newsone.net/ ... free Usenet News via the Web ...free reading and anonymous posting to 60,000+ groups. 

subscribing through your E-Mail software, or browser

--any browser can use the Outlook Express e-mail software http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q171/1/90.asp?FR=0
....it's usually bundled with along with other Windows software when a computer is purchased
.......to see if you already have Outlook Express, use your Windows Explorer to search for a file or folder called Outlook Express on your C drive
......if you don't have it, you can pay for it then install it on your system (...online at microsoft.com?, or in a retail store) ...(no cost after that)
....if you have Outlook Express, click on the "Tools" menu then select "Accounts" then you want to "Add" then select "news". Popup will ask for your name and email address, then one will ask for the NNPT server which is normally "news.(your ISP)" for example "news.cox.net" would probably be your server. finish out and you should be set up. kathmandu
Outlook Express (Mac) http://www.washington.edu/computing/newsgroups/oe-mac.html
Outlook Express (Earthlink) http://www.earthlink.net/internet/newsgroups/reading/microsoft.html

--Netscape browser, click on Communicator, then on Subscribe (wait for all groups to load);
      type in rec.crafts.polymer-clay in the window, or scroll down to it; Subscribe,OK
http://help.netscape.com/products/client/communicator/IntroComm/chap04.html (more info)

--Internet Explorer browser uses Internet Mail --which I didn't think too much of when I tried it long ago): click onTools, Newsgroups
http://www.wave.ca/HelpNewIESet.html (more info)

--AOL:  KEYWORD newsgroups, Expert Add (to save a lot of time!), type in rec.crafts.polymer-clay, click on Subscribe, Enable Offline Reading for this Group, Save. (Don't forget to set your "Preferences" too from the first screen)
....the first time you do Automatic AOL (Flash Session in older versions), you'll probably get sev. wks of posts; after that you'll get only the latest ones

......AOL's Newsgroup service was discontinued in early 2005.
...... For our members using AOL over a dial-up connection, you will no longer be able to access Newsgroups.
...... If you have a separate high-speed connection, you can contact your broadband provider to see if they offer Newsgroups.
...... Newsgroup services can often be accessed through a third party reader, such as Mozilla Thunderbird (http://www.mozilla.org/projects/thunderbird/)
Alternatively, you can access Newsgroups via Google at http://groups.google.com

subscribing through an Internet Service Provider

...WebTV ... an ISP?
......... type in: news:rec.crafts.polymer-clay (after deleting any http:// ) --you will go right to it; no other steps are involved....this works for all webtv newsgroups. HPH
... (for AOL, see just above)

Subscribing through a Newsreader

...Free Agent newsreader -- select Get News Group, from Online in the menu
...Microplanet Gravity --
...others? ... must be many more
(...for more info re any of these news readers, do an internet search for any of the names or do a seach with the word newsreaders )

Searching the ARCHIVES of the newsgroup

Some years ago, Google.com took over the archive containing all newsgroup messages (for many thousands of newsgroups) which used to be housed at deja.com, prev. named Dejanews.
...so now
GoogleGroups can be searched for all newsgroup messages back to 1981.

TO SEARCH :
go to: http://groups.google.com/advanced_group_search then fill in these fields:
...FIND MESSAGES ...use one of the 4 options
...NEWSGROUP ...rec.crafts.polymer-clay (don't forget the hyphen)
...MESSAGE DATES ....Anytime (the default) ...OR set your own FROM & TO dates
( -------go back up, and click Google Search)
once
on the "results" page:
--clicking on the blue link for each Subject will bring up one post ("article")
--clicking on the View Thread link will bring up all the posts in that subject thread

more links for using any Google searches

If you're interested in setting your preferences so that Google will always return up-to-100 "results" at a time (rather than the default of just 10), go to this page:
http://www.google.com/help/customize.html#customize
--Customizing Your Google Display: click here
--set the default for Number of Messages to 100
--Save Preferences

More instructions on how to search
http://www.google.com/help/
especially on refining your search
http://www.google.com/help/refinesearch.html
searching for images at Google
http://www.google.com/help/features.html
http://www.google.com/advanced_search (scroll down for Image Search)

 

ONLINE GUILDS & Groups

(this info is mostly a duplicate of the Groups-Guilds page > Non-USA , but may be more there over time?)

NOTE: The following info has gotten complicated since so many guilds and groups are now creating their own blogs, mailing lists, and other groups... so just take what you can from it:

(...some of these are official guilds, some are not...)

Alaskan Polymer Art Guild: http://kelliesklay.homestead.com/apag.html ..Anchorage, but we want all Alaskan clayers
....message board for the clayers not in Anchorage http://forums.delphiforums.com/apag Kellie Robinson
Hawaii:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hawaiipolymerclayers

Puerto Rico ...Puertorican Polymer Clay Guild (Spanish-speaking) ...Fajardo, Puerto Rico
http://www.geocities.com/ebaydilan

Canada:
Montreal Polymer Clay Guild http://www.claycave.com/mpcg.html
Southern Ontario Polymer Clay Guild http://www.geocities.com/SOPCG...monthly, usually in Mississauga
.........Canadian suppliers: http://www.geocities.com/SOPCG
Vancouver Island Polymer Clay Guild http://groups.yahoo.com/group/VanIslePolyClayers
also Vancouver Polymer Clayers http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Vancouverpolyclayers/?yguid=263723744 ...not a guild, affiliated with
Clayamies
, the online Canadian guild http://www.clayamies.com and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clayamies)
Kingston (Ontario) Polymer Clay Guild ... second friday of every month at 2:30 -5 at 99 York Street, Kingston..... Georgia at 613-374-3582 or email georgia@beekslanestudio.com
Lindsay Ontario .. first Monday evening of every month at The Crafty Stamper located in the Cambridge Mall (705)324-4655 or e-mail to craftystamper@bellnet.ca

British Polymer Clay Guild
http://www.bpcg.org.uk
Spain + Spanish-speaking (see also Puerto Rico above for Spanish-speaking)
...a message board for the Asociación de Arcillas Polimericas de España (currently at fimoland.com)
http://www.fimoland.com/foro
...also see Puerto Rico just above
...Monica Resta, from Italy, also has a number of lessons in Spanish on her pages: http://guide.dada.net/hobby_femminili/progetti
Finland... PoRRo’s site :
http://www.dlc.fi/~markkujt/index.html

France... PoRRo’s site :
http://www.dlc.fi/~markkujt/index.html
French-speaking
...a blog for the French guild that has just stated recently
http://lefilalapate.canalblog.com

(...+ blog with a lot of information in French, Parole de Pâte: http://paroledepate.canalblog.com )
Italy ...Milan http://it.geocities.com/milanoclay --Milanoclay
http://www.italyclay.com/Default.asp ....http://groups.yahoo.com/group/italyclay
some websites from Italy:
(Marie I Draghi's site) http://www.marieidraghi.it
(Monica's projects) http://guide.supereva.it/hobby_femminili/progetti
.... http://bussola.supereva.it/italyclay/eng/home.html?p (click on Gallery for various)

Israel ..(not a guild or a group) ...Naamaza's site has basic info about using polymer clay, as well as some projects
http://www.naamaza.com/site/detail/detail/detail.asp?detail_id=39109

Australia....Australian Polymer Clay Artists Guild
http://www.polymerclay.com.au/Aussiepolyclayersguild.htm
New Zealand Guild
http://www.zigzag.co.nz/ ...
http://www.polymerclay.co.nz/nzpcg/index.html
Japan ....group (supplies?)
http://www.polymerclayart-japan.com/ (in Japanese)
http://www.polymerclayart-japan.com/english.html (in English)

Japan or Italy?
Kazuo (Yamashita) Kono kykaz@aol.com (e-mail contact)

Brazil... Polymer Clay Brasil
http://www.polymerclaybrasil.com.br
We meet monthly (Saturdays) at Casa do Restaurador (art store). Our website is in portuguese and english. Contact: Vera Pessoa - faleconosco@polymerclaybrasil.com.br

Online-Only guilds

European Polymer Clay People (mostly in English)
http://europeanpolymerclaypeople.forumup.org

Polymer Clay Artists Guild of Etsy (PCAGOE)
....blog now at http://pcagoe.com
(photos still at their 2 previous pages: http://etsypca.blogspot.com and http://pcagoe.wordpress.com)

"Carol Duvall Polymer Clay Guild" (a virtual guild) --still available?
Membership: General Member status is open to anyone who loves Polymer Clay and doesn’t have a local or regional guild within one hour’s driving distance of their home, OR who is a consummate fan of the Carol Duvall Show. Member Emeritus status is available to anyone who demonstrates PC on the Carol Duvall Show ... At this time, membership is free. As the group grows, dues will be added as necessary.
Contact info: Mags Bonham <mags@vtcrafts.net>, or Sharon David <sdavid06@swbell.net>
Short-Term Goals

• To provide members with a weekly update of PC episodes on the Carol Duvall Show
• To provide a PhotoPoint Album for Member Creations inspired by a particular episode and/or instructor.
• To build a library of Carol Duvall Show episodes for sharing with the membership
• To honor Carol Duvall and past and future instructors for their promotion of polymer clay as a craft and art medium with a Membership Pin designed by the guild members.

more International Contacts?

See also this directory of Non-USA polymer clay teachers located in many countries.
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/teacherindex_international.html
(these teachers may also know more about others who are interested in polymer clay, groups, etc., in their specific areas):

...Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, Japan
...England, Ireland, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, France, Germany, Croatia, Russia
...Greece, Turkey, Israel
...India....Nigeria...Brazil
...Canada

``````````````````````````````````````````````````````````````

...check for more possible online guild mailing lists at this address
http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=polymer%20clay
...for non-USA online message groups, see above in Non-USA mailing lists

...for non-USA suppliers, see Supply Sources > Clay Suppliers
(...for possibly more on non-USA guilds, see Guilds)

 

 

BLOGS
(many are be somewhat interactive)

General Info re blogs and blogging

"blog" (short for "weblog".... web+log)
... a relatively new type of (free) individual online presence, which functions a little like a personal website, but requires no knowledge of html or special software so much easier for the average person to use... sometimes called a journal or diary
(for lots more info about blogs, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blog)

BOOKS about "art" blogging:
Artful Blogging (144 pgs) ...gives info on blogging "Etiquette, Must-Haves, and How to Get Started on your own blog spot" for those interested in doing art-related blogs ... also "spotlights 41exceptional artists’ blogs currently online"
http://www.polkadotcreations.com/books/detail_scblog01.html

definitions + options

the visual appearance and organization of one's blog can be chosen at each site by selecting a templates or style (...these can often be even further modified if one knows a bit of html)

there can be text and photos in each entry

entries by the blogger may be made daily, or whenever they want (the latest entry will be on the main page
... previous entires will be in the "archives" possibly accesssible with a calendar... or there may be a list of specific entries

"permalinks" (permanent links) ...a link that bloggers can give to others as a bookmark to a specific blog entry (or readers can use to bookmark a particular entry)
...this allows an individual entry to be more easily found later since the default entry will always be the most current one
...permalinks can be found in various ways (often somewhere at the beginning or end of a blog entry):
.......when on a page (entry), copy out the URL showing in your browser window
.......for some blogsites, click on the name of the blog entry... a new page will come up with that entry (then copy out the URL from the browser window)
.......for Blogger, click the time "link" at the bottom of a post (then copy the url from the broswer window)...or left-click, then click Properties and copy the url given in that window
.......or look for a a pound-sign (#) or permalink at the end of a post

on the main page of a blog, one may also see:
...a blogroll (list of links to other sites or blogs which the blogger wants to feature) --aka "link lists" or "bookmarks"
...and sometime lists of interests, favorite types of music/songs, "friends", etc., especially on the social networking blog sites

there's generally some type of User Profile at each blog

the main blog hosts for individuals at this time seem to be hosted by LiveJournal (by Six Apart), Blogger (by Google), MySpace, and Xanga
....one must sign up for an account, but most or all are free
(.. some may also have paid versions with more perks and no ads --ads not usually intrusive tho')

bloggers
...in addition to individuals, many businesses are coming to realize the value (and necessity) of having a blog nowadays, so the pupose of some blogs is self-promotion, and giving content which will attract and keep customers and keep them connected
...age: most blogs seem to be by youngish people (teens and up), though more and more older people are aware of them and participating
.......blogs by younger people especially may be quite personal, and function like a (sometimes very busy) virtual community
http://www.meidia.ca/archives/2005/06/10_reasons_to_b.php?l=en (10 reasons why blogging is psychologically/socially important)
...many journalists, those who like to write, and many with strong opinions about a topic also seem to have blogs
...many "group" blogs function as restricted (private) groups for a family, or for a particular project, etc.

"comments"
...in general, "comments" or responses may be posted to any particular entry in a blog... they usually relate to the subject of the entry, but may wander off course too
...comments can be read by anyone (unless restricted by blog owner)

restrictions
....the ability to view a whole blog can be restricted to only certain people if the blogger desires --but usually unrestricted
....the ability to view comments can be restricted, but usually isn't
....the ability to post comments is usually restricted to those who have accounts with that particular blog host

(see more just below in "more about blogs in general" )

blog services for individuals ....(& some businesses)

Some blogs are intended primarily for "social networking" and "community" creation --i.e., having "friends" and communicating to them... many of these are oriented toward younger people (Xanga, My Space, etc.)
...Where some blogs are intended more for just personal individual expression (Blogger, WordPress, etc.).

Some common (free) blog hosts:
Blogger (Google, at BlogSpot) https://www.blogger.com/start
... Help: http://help.blogger.com
lesson on creating a blog at Blogger http://weblogs.about.com/od/bloggingtips/ss/howtoblogger.htm
Blogger "limits" http://tricks-for-new-bloggers.blogspot.com/2007/09/limits-for-blogger-blogs.html (middle of page)
....unlimited text and no. of posts (though size limit for any individual page, as you define it = I MB)
....total photo storage = 300 MB (can buy 6 GB more for $20, or use workarounds below)
....unlimited videos and durations, though may eventually be limited to 10 min each)

....can create categories-tags ("labels") for sidebar but can order only alphabetically or by frequency of use
....any photos you upload using Blogger automatically appear in an unlisted album under “My Photos” with a small Blogger icon in the corner of the album cover (you can make it public later if you want)
....(definitely not deleted if inactive) ...can't direct link?? (at least if hosted at Blogspot))
.....NOTE: ...Blogger-PicasaWebAlbums connection:
...........When you use Blogger, a web album of any photos is also created in Google's Picasa WebAlbums (which you have whether you know it or not) so will counted against your 1 GB free storage at Picasa WebAlbums (see more about this connection above in Misc > Putting Your Photos Online > Picasa)


WordPress http://wordpress.com
....total photos ("and other files"?) = currently limited to 50 MB ...can buy more space -1GB ($18/yr) -5GB ($50) -10GB
...can create categories & sub-categories and put in any order... photos & video... group blogs
TypePad (costs?)
MySpace
LiveJournal

Xanga ("Classic"?)

more info & ideas re blogs

more about blogs in general:
...one can have (many) more than one blog --even at the same blog host site as long as each is set up separately
...blogs can be used for various polymer reasons ...or they can have any focus or reason at all (e.g., political blogs, travel blogs, fashion blogs, project blogs) .......or they can be "mixed" topic blogs (covering many different topics in one blog)
...... also some blogs are run by businesses/newspapers/etc of all kinds for self-promotion or to give added info, reach out to customers, have a "web presence", etc.
...both text and photos can be inserted into one's blogs (..some also allow videos, or videos "embedded" from YouTube, etc.)
......text space is often limited, as is bandwidth
..... photo space is sometimes limited, but usually ample (if your space begins to be used you, you can start a "part 2" blog, or upload your images onto third party hosts and show these images in your Blog page using Image Links--"direct linking", or simply buy more storage space for pretty cheap.)
...one can link to a particular blog "entry" as a url (a "permalink")...figuring out the exact permalink url seems to be different at each site (see permalinks just above for how-to's)
......otherwise, a blog is entered from it's front door, and one can browse the blog entries by date (or search?)
......but can also add word "tags" to "search" for at blog?
...many have a paid version as well, which usually gives more options (e.g., more storage, selecting more "styles," etc.)
...most allow a blog to be either private or public
...can often have "team" blogs for groups, etc.
...(generally cannot use a blog for any commercial purposes --selling things, putting a link to photo, etc., at e-Bay)
(see more just above, in "Definitions & Options")

MISC. interesting blogs
Today's Creative Blog... blog that features other good blogs (one per day?) which involve all kinds of creative things
... good way to peruse blogs in general, and to see how they use photographs, text, humor, etc...as well as just reading some good blogs
http://todayscreativeblog.blogspot.com

Polymer Clay blogs

Polymer clay blogs may:
...have photo examples of polymer clay items (finished or in progress), or tools, etc.
...blog about things the blogger is creating, problems, etc.... like a journal
...blog about things going on in the polymer world ...e.g., other polymer sites, activities, etc.
...blog only about a polymer guild or other group
...have blogged lessons about polymer clay
...some blogs also have videos or video lessons (these are usually "embedded" links from YouTube, etc, but could be others too)

POLYMER CLAY BLOGS now online:

Cynthia Tinapple (mostly highlights other clay "artists'" work) http://polymerclaydaily.com
Kim Cavender http://www.kimcavender.blogspot.com
Susan Lomuto http://dailyartmuse.com/?cat=34 (the polymer clay entries)... blog previously known as "Polymer Clay Notes"
Jeanne Rhea http://artfortheheart.blogspot.com
Garie Sim http://www.gariesim.blogspot.com
MossyOwls http://mossyowls.blogspot.com
Skygrazer's domain (uses Google's Blogger software) deals with polymer clay
http://www.skygrazer.com
PCPolyzine (e-zine for polymer clay) http://pcpolyzine.blogs.com/flash
The Clay Store (listed as a "forum" but must use blogging software)
http://forums.theclaystore.com

Non-English blogs for polymer clay ...(great to look at pics, or can get translations of any page from
http://babelfish.altavista.com or google's translator)
French-speaking:
..."Polymer clay is getting more and more popular in France , Belgium and other places in Europe and America that speak French. They call themselves fimoteuses because their clay used to be mostly Fimo. There are several blogs too." Louise
... a blog that gives a lot of information called Parole de Pâte
http://paroledepate.canalblog.com
....a blog for the French guild that has just stated recently http://lefilalapate.canalblog.com
Spanish-speaking:
...Polymermania
http://polymermania.blogspot.com

finding more polymer clay blogs:
...Google:
......regular Google search for "polymer clay" blogs ... http://www.google.com/search?q="polymer+clay"+blogs
...."blog search"...lots of individual blogs in which the blogger has indicated an interest in polymer clay... these can vary a lot in how much they deal with polymer clay (and the many links from LiveJournal are no longer valid?):
http://blogsearch.google.com/blogsearch?hl=en&q=polymer+clay&btnG=Search+Blogs
...via Facebook apps ("Top 50 blogs in: polymer clay")
http://apps.facebook.com/blognetworks/searchpage.php?tag=polymer+clay
...links in the right sidebar of many polymer blogs go to other polymer clay blogs recommended by the blogger (mostly re clay)

for a list of video lessons on polymer clay embedded in blogs (embedded from YouTube, TV shows like Carol Duvall Show, etc), see Books-Videos > Online Video Lessons

 

CHATS (online)

General info

For those of you who don't know, "chats" are different from "discussion groups" (message boards-forums, mailing lists, newsgroups)
.......they are similar to instant messaging though.
...Some chats happen on a regular schedule, some whenever two or more people happen to go to an established chat "room", and some can be created through instant messenger utilities.

Chats of all kinds happen in real time.
...so you say something (actually you write a comment, then click Send)... then another person says something +Send ... you say something +Send...and so on. In fact, there are usually a number of people all chatting at one time.
...What this looks like is a list of short messages on your screen (each next to the name of its sender), which grows by the minute as they continue to be typed in... and scrolls off the top of the screen as more room is needed.

The participants may or may not try to stick to one subject and/or one discussion... how much this happens depends on the atmosphere of the group and on the individual attendees at that particular session (...so there may be side conversations going on between two or more people at the same time as the main discussion, or the whole conversation may drift into banter).
So the bottom line is to read everything, but pay attention and/or respond only to the conversation or comments you're interested in.
It takes a bit of getting used to, but some people like this kind of interaction a lot (...it may be a bit too fast and furious for some though) ...however, it does get easier with practice!

There are a few polymer clay chats that occur in different groups, or at different sites. Some have set times, others can happen whenever 2 or more people go to the "chat room" at the same time, and others can be set up through an instant messenger anytime you want.

For the chats listed below, be aware that the exact times may have changed by the time you read this, so go to its website or the contact person listed for the exact current info --the list is simply to give you an idea of what kinds of things there are in the chat world, polymerwise.
.....To find out what a chat time will be in your time zone, go to World Time Servers
http://www.worldtimeservers.com

alternative way to participate in chats which doesn't involve "joining Yahoo or any group" with your regular e-mail address (& avoids possibly getting on spam lists) ...and that is using an alternate e-mail address and membership *for chats only*:
...(for example) set up a HotMail email account, using an alias (name)....(fill in the required fields with whatever information you want to give for that group)
........then use that email address when joining groups (or clubs or anything else where you don't want to leave your actual email address). Linda M.
(....you'd never send or receive list mail at that Hotmail addy, so you could safely delete any messages that came to that address, knowing they're garbage). Adrienne
....Hotmail addresses attract spam advertising, so you can block all incoming mail (from the Options tab), and check your account every month to keep it current.
....(see yahoogroups chat below for a bit more on using this for those groups)

suggestions & opinions re all chats

worldwide chats (timing)
...I did one chat at 2.30pm UK time, 6.30 am PST, but we had more folks turn out for the one we did at 9am Pacific, 5pm UK time ...that chat was very international with folks all around the globe --me in the UK, Ria in Netherlands, Porro in Finland, Tania in Australia, Sally in Saudi Arabia. Shelley

Elissa ran her chat in a very good fashion. ...first a formal sort of q&a session, and later opening up to banter.
.....In fact I think that would be a good feature to add to the guidelines for the guest chat, e.g.: Hour 2 will be informal shoot the breeze enjoy everyone's company time.
.... and people are right. Chat logs, and even the chats themselves are not for everyone.
......e.g., even when the chit chat people aren't there, one still has ..."JaneDoe69 has entered the room... JaneDoe69 has left the room," etc. (that feature can be "hidden" though... see above).
....That is why it is vital that groups like Polymer Clay People, and Polymer Clay Haven (gone now) are providing both chat events as well as static message sharing (in the regular lists). Something for everyone.
...I still maintain my original premise, that chat events are best at community building. In addition to that I think there is nothing short of live interaction that captures the special dynamic and immediacy of a chat (for some people anyway). Tommie

Ok, I'll put my two cents in here. I don't go to chats.
.... I went to a few a number of years ago but the chaos and the interrupting of the moderator and guest made me crazy (now I know the moderator and guest don't know they're being interrupted, :-), but that's what comes through on the screen for me.) I decided that this form of communication was not for me. I'm sorry because there have been topics I'm interested in, but we all have our tolerence levels for different activities.
....Reading a chat log isn't much better because you still have the chaos, it's just on 25 pages of paper (or one long scroll down the computer screen) rather than in real time.
... I wonder if this would help.... in addition to the private message (whisper) -- which is a great tool that is not used enough in a chat, the topic leader could simply stop presenting her/his topic. I wonder how long it would take folks to realize the only thing that's going on is their own chatter? Jacqueline

delphiforums chats

For these chats, you'll need to become a "member" of delphiforums (which is free if you don't sign up for one of their fee plans --see below) so allow extra time to get everything set up (...many new people report difficulty in finding the right steps and times, etc., too so definitely get started early)
...or can use their Enter as Guest for chats???

list of PolymerClayCentral chats, at delphiforums
http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/chat
http://polymerclaycentral.com/chat.html (more info on indiv. chats)
archived logs of the PolymerClayCentral chats which had a "special guest"
http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/chat.html#guestchat
(......you can also click on one of these just to see what a chat would look like.....)

Most chats at PCC are text only
....but Jean's Saturday morning chat (10-1 PST) has a webcam demo in addition to the text chat (they're in separate windows though --one from delphiforums and the other from YahooMessenger. To be able to view the webcam pictures, you'll also need to get Yahoo Messenger --see below)

...When visiting delphiforums, be aware that they're often popping up full-page ads, or "Join Delphi Basic!" ads (to join the paid version of delphiforum), before they allow you to proceed to the next page... just click on No Thanks, etc., usually at the bottom right of the page if you're not interested.
....I found attending Katherine Dewey's chat (at PCC?) frustrating because if you didn't ask a question or remain active in some way (I never really figured out how), you "left the room" and then had to "enter the room" again. Can someone tell me if that can be deactivated somehow? Jean/PA
.....doesn't happen to everyone though, or all the time?

How to participate in PCC delphiforums chats:
..go to polymerclaycentral website http://www.polymerclaycentral.com
..click on Message Board in the list on the left side of screen
....(or try going there directly with http://forums.delphiforums.com/polymerclay/start)
.....when the screen pops up (often after an ad.screen), log in... or if you are not a member of delphiforums, you can "enter as a Guest," or you can sign up for a free account
...from the message board, click on the "Chat" tab along the top of the page
.....the right side of the page lists all the polymerclaycentral chats
......there will be a list of names underneath any active chats (the left side shows the active chats at all delphiforums)
....to go to an active chat, click on the underlined name of that chat, and a small chat window will pop up with a welcome message
.......if the chat is active, you'll begin to see messages scrolling down the page (if it's not, you won't see anything else happen)
...you won't need any special programs, like "messenger" software to participate just for the text in chat... but you will need YahooMessenger to see any accompanying webcam demos
......it sometimes helps to have a new version of whatever browser you're using
......if your computer isn't set up to handle java chats, then you can set your Preferences to "html chat" after you've signed up with Delphi (...only while participating in the chat?).
..If anyone needs help or gets stuck, feel free to email me polyparrot@earthlink.net and I'll be glad to help you learn your way around. Elizabeth
..delphiforum's chats also have a "Whisper" function so a participant can send a message directly to another participant without having it appear in the regular chat for everyone to see (...first click on the name of the person in the list you want to whisper to, and it will appear in the Whisper To box... then type your message in the regular box, but don't click SEND... click on Whisper To instead).
.....NOTE: delphiforums says that "When visiting a Forum's chat page, pop-up blockers will prevent the chat window from launching automatically (only automatically?). Pop-up blockers can also prevent you from viewing profiles while in chat. Most pop-up blockers allow you to permit pop-ups on certain sites. Make sure you have yours set to allow pop-ups on Delphi Forums."
...these pop ups are different from the pop-up ads mentioned above? ... and/or, is there a way to pop up the chat window manually?

WEEKLY chats
Polymer Clay Beginner Basics
chat
.....Wed (9:30pm Eastern Standard Time --GMT-07:00)
....a chat devoted exclusively to newbies (bring your questions)... oldbees bring your thinking caps!!!
StarGaze-n-ClayPlayz ..currently 10:00am - 1:00 pm Saturdays, PacificST (+ webcam demo)
......Friday (except 2nd Fridays), 10-30pm-1:00am... changed to Saturday--still listed wrong at PCC
Let's Talk Clay with Jackie! (weekly projects) ... Thurs 1130 am
Clay Around the World
Corgi's Clasps

Polymer Clay Central
PCC "Special Guest" Chat Room (usually Mon, Tues, or Wed??)
MONTHLY chats
Sarajane Helm, 1st Tuesday ....1:00 - 3:00pm .....Personalized Tools and Production Techniques
Leading Edge w/syndee holt... 3rd Monday, 10pm -12a

Just wanted to emphasize that there is a difference between a guest chat and the regular chat at PCC. The chat guidelines were set up so that our guests could come in and share information with our participants without having screens full of personal conversation going on. The guest chats are not necessarily intended as a teaching venue... Many people don't know that during a guest chat, addressing other people in the chatroom is rude to the guest and to the other participants (who are trying to follow what the guest is saying)... It is easily avoided by using the Private Message (whisper) feature to exchange personal messages.

yahoogroups chats

PolymerClayPeople (a yahoogroups mailing list)
....members only ...(I tried to change access for non-members too, but option isn't available. sorry!)
....any topic within polymer clay
....our chatroom is java-powered, and is really easy to figure out
....any member, any time can create a chat ...feel free!... and it's FUN!
....just post to the regular list what time you'll be in the chat room
........then go open up the chat room at that time:
...........http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PolymerClayPeople/chat (or to http://groups.yahoo.com and sign in)
........ click on My Groups ..& then click on PolymerClayPeople
.........click on Chat to the left gray area

CITY-o-Clay ...polymer miniatures, sculpting and gen. polymer techniques...(Nora Jean Gatine's group)
...used to be MSATClayArt, but left the MSAT List family in Jan 2005...now part of "CITY" list family now ("Creative Indulgence Totally Yours")
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CITY-o-Clay
... color mixes, sculpting figures, replicating things from nature, for jewelry and household accessories, in flat designs or 3D, raising cane.
....the moderator Nora-Jean Gatine takes a very active role in posting, teaching, etc
..Nora Jean also gives twice weekly, online, polymer clay webcam demos + chat (with YahooMessenger)
........ instructions for how to access the webcam demos, and for downloading Yahoo Messenger, are on one of Nora Jean's websites:

http://www.norajean.com/MSAT/ClayArt/WebCam/How-To.htm

(some other polymer groups may also have regular chats, but you'll probably need to ask in each group to find out)

(to avoid spam... you can keep your regular e-mail address subscribed to the individual-messages or digest version of the group which will be delivered to your mailbox)
.......then subscribe again to the group under a Hotmail address you create with a diff. name
.......you can then set that membership to "read at site," rather than deliver to mailbox... and use that membership and Hotmail address for chats only
(....you'd never send or receive list mail at that Hotmail addy, so you could safely delete any messages that came to that address, knowing they're garbage). Adrienne
....Hotmail addresses attract spam advertising, so you can block all incoming mail (from the Options tab), and check your account every month to keep it current.
(see above in Chats, Gen. Info for more on this)

NOTE re arrivals and departures from the chat room:
......if all the arrivals and departures are distracting to you, you can right click somewhere in the chat screen, and choose to "hide" arrivals and departures so that all you see is what people are sending to the group.

IRC network chats (Internet Relay Chat)
....through DALnet
(don't know exactly what category this fits in)

info about IRC... what it is, how it works:
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/instant-messaging2.htm (may be slow loading, and want to install and display an ad... just close that window when it pops up! ... but helpful info)

I believe anyone can participate in chat sessions on these servers (Mac's, UNIX, Telnet, AOLers, even Amigas!).

PETRA's chats (still happening??)
. . . for three years now there has been a Sat and Sun international chat for polyclayers. The chat times change twice a year to allow for daylight savings around the world.
....All are welcome to drop in and chat about clay and any others things. We have helpful chatters when it comes to computer problems and many other topics are covered. so if you get a chance do drop in.
....the chat times are as follows
.....(roughly Winter-Spring): United Kingdom 8.00pm Sat and sun nights US and Canada Western time 3.00pm sat and sun afternoons US and Canada Central 2.00pm Sat and Sun afternoons US and Canada Mountain 1.00pm Sat and Sun afternoons US and Canada Pacific 12.00pm Sat and sun afternoon Hawaii 10.00 Sat and sun Mornings New Zealand 9.00 am Sun and Monday Mornings Australia Western time 7am Sun and Monday mornings South Africa 10.00 pm Sat and Sun nights Finland 10.00pm Sat and sunday nights. OR .....(roughly Summer-Fall) United Kingdom 10.00pm Saturday and Sundays Pacific US 2.00pm Saturday and Sundays Mountain US 3.00pm Saturday and Sundays Central 4.00pm Saturday and Sundays Eastern 5.00pm Saturday and Sundays Hawaii 11.00 am Saturday and Sundays New Zealand 9.00am Sunday and Monday Australia East Coast 8.00am Sunday and Monday Australia West Coast 6.00am Sunday and Monday Finland 12.00am (midnight) Saturday and Sundays South Africa 11.00pm Saturday and Sundays
As you can see from the country list, we have had a lot of clayers from around the world come and chat and maybe we will see you there

To get on the IRC clay chats, first you need an IRC client (program) ...if using a PC, I would suggest mIRC (there are also programs for Macs and other computers)
....... connect to DALnet ....if you (don't) know how to select a server, I suggest you use the St Louis server (US,MO,StLouis), since when we all use the same server it helps reduce net splits and lag times.
........once on a server, connect to #polymerclay. You will probably have to type this in the first time, then add it to your channels folder so that it is easily available the next time.
........for lots of information on setting up and using DALNET, try the home page at http://www.dal.net (the "How Do I" and "Software" links are especially useful).
...according to my husband who works for the maker of Macafee antivirus software, anything that you can send files through (may allow a virus to be transmitted). So... what you want to do is disable that functionality in all your programs..for sure this is in AIM, ICQ and mIRC... usually you can find "don't accept files" somewhere in the Preferences of the program.
.....you can also tell your virus protection program to scan on demand any file that is written to your hard drive but I suggest you just turn it off...Tara

mIRC asks for an email address during it's log in, but I've seem people use their handle with a "yourname@nospam.com" type of email addy, like we used to do on the newsgroups to avoid spam.

 

Instant Messaging ( IM )

offers text "chats" (in real time)
some may also provide webcam capabilities, audio, streaming data (news,etc.), games, etc.

"Instant messaging" is available to anyone with internet access ... and it's free
....this allows conversations in real time between 2 (or more) people... as long as all parties are online

Most of the instant-messaging programs provide:
...."instant messages" -- text conversations between 2 people
...."chat" --2 or more people in a temporary "chat room" that you or someone else create

These days, instant messaging is offered through various groups
... the biggest ones seem to be:

YAHOO! Messenger (YM) ...http://messenger.yahoo.com
...text "chat" sessions
...can also transmit video if sender has a web cam

a Yahoo account (e-mail) is required to be able to use YM ....(YM no longer supports Windows 95 and NT)
...getting a Yahoo acct. (if you don't already have one) + downloading the Y. Messenger software:
.....go to: http://messenger.yahoo.com/newtoim.php;_ylt=Anui0Kg7FTPrJL7ApPoV_fdwMMIF#
...."How to start using YM" is in the middle of that page
.......click on "Go to download page," or here's a direct link to that download page:
http://messenger.yahoo.com/downloadsuccess.php?exe=1&p=SP2
....follow steps 1 & 2
....custom install (select only Yahoo Messenger)
HELPER page:
...many of the screens you'll be seeing when you sign up for YM are shown here... also gives tips on filling them out to avoid spam
http://www.fredshack.com/docs/instantmessaging.html
.....scroll down to Yahoo Messenger (dedicated client)

Web cam use is also offered by YM:
(you can watch images from someone's webcam, send images from your webcam, or do both at same time)
......."a webcam allows you and your friends to share live images while you are online.... in addition to the text messaging and voice messaging you may be using, you can broadcast live video of anything you want."

"To VIEW someone's broadcast webcam images, one of the "friends' on your list must have a "status message" that says "View My Webcam"
........either click the link in the status message
........or right-click on their name in your Messenger List, then choose View Webcam
.....once the person has "granted you access" to their webcam, you'll be able to see whatever they are broadcasting (you do not need to have a webcam of your own to view someone else's webcam)."
...Super Webcam...if you have broadband internet access, Yahoo! Messenger allows you to send and receive high-quality webcam images... so if you see the Super button after starting a webcam session, click it for an enhanced video experience.
(see more details on these below in Web Cam Demos)


To BROADCAST from your webcam:
...... select Tools >. Invite to view my webcam
....... you can changes webcam-related settings if you want through Login > Preferences > Webcam
(see more details on this below in Web Cam Demos)

To add VOICE
....Yahoo! Messenger with Voice "takes instant messaging to a new level"
.......also gives drag-and-drop photo sharing with real-time discussions
.......free, worldwide PC-to-PC internet calls

...........to use, caller and person called both need Yahoo! Messenger with Voice, plus a microphone and speakers (or headset) (as well as their own internet access ...no 911 calls)
http://messenger.yahoo.com/feat_voice.php;_ylt=AgjXMNdT0ZCdl6a91FHdwldnMMIF
Voice Chat (how is this different from YM with Voice??)
....Voice Chat in Yahoo! Messenger allows you to talk to people on your Messenger List through your computer speakers and microphone
Use Voice Chat (also?) with your webcam to share live images while you are talking.
Choose from text, voice, and/or video
....use Yahoo! Messenger to talk to your friends just like a real phone
...... To start a voice conference, you need to be using a Windows 95/NT/98 computer that is equipped with computer microphone and speakers...also need the latest version of Yahoo! Messenger that includes the voice chat feature.

http://messenger.yahoo.com/messenger/help/voicechat.html

VoIP (voice over internet protocol) ..using the internet for transmission of telephone calls (instead of a telephone company)
...can be done in several ways, some free (as long as your internet service is for "unlimited connection-minutes")

MSN Messenger (Microsoft) ...http://messenger.msn.com
.....Microsoft's instant messenger ... integrates with its "passport network", so the same password can be used for other Microsoft programs and websites like Hotmail... disadvantages: more prone to viruses/hackers, updates require administrator; could be slowest of the instant messengers for those with slow connections.
...STEPS: Connect to www.hotmail.com, and create an e-mail account Connect to www.msn.com, and click on Connection Create an Microsoft Messenger account Download the MSN client Install the application, and connect to the MSN network using the account you just created (set privacy settings in Tools > Options > Privacy)
.....allows you to talk with another MSN Messenger user just like you would over the telephone. You and the person you wish to talk to must each have a sound card, microphone and speakers to use this feature.
......(NOTE: this is not the same as MicroSoft's "Windows Messenger" (which comes with XP, and has fewer features but no advertising), or Microsoft's "The Messenger Service")

AIM (AOL Instant Messenger) ...http://www.aim.com/index.adp

ICQ, Inc.("I seek you") http://www.icq.com (the original...once best-known and most widely used)
......introduced in 1996 by Mirablis, a company founded by four Israeli programmers...a free instant-messaging utility that anyone could use
..... uses a software application called a client that resides on one's computer ...the client communicates with an ICQ server whenever online and the client is running

For some info about Hotmail accounts, see just above under "yahoogroups chats"

some info re
regular
instant messaging (2 people)

"buddies" or "friends" are people whose screen names you've put in your Buddy or Contact List (like an address book) so you can allow them, block them, or have quick access to them

Various preferences can be set on the services:

some preferences involve who can have access to you:
....you can set it so you are invisible to everyone (it's also easy to toggle that on & off at will)
....you can set it to allow only certain people that you designate to get through to you and to block everyone else
..........(or you can block specific people, but let everyone else through)

if you want, you can also set a sort of written-message "answering machine" so that you are visible to your "buddies" and "families", but if they try to contact you, it tells them you are unavailable at this time
........(or it is also customizable so that you can write anything you like). Bunny

webcam demos

First download the (free) Yahoo Messenger software onto your computer http://messenger.yahoo.co

...begin to collect 'friends' into your Contacts list who've also downloaded YahooMessenger, and especiallyl anyone who's webcam demos you'd like to watch (you'll have to find out their Yahoo ID names) ...(you don't need to have a webcam yourself to view another user's webcam images)
...then you must see if your friend is broadcasting his/her webcam at the moment (if not, there won't be anything to view)
in IM Window, click on one of these:
....View My Webcam (to the right of the contact's ID/name in your Messenger List)
... Contact menu > Contact Options > View Webcam
OR in the Chat Window
....select name from Chat List ...then Contacts menu in Chat window > Contact Options and View Webcam
...........(can no longer request from Messenger List)

to invite others to your YM chat (text portion) from the webcam demo window:
...click on Webcam, then click on Invite to Conference

You can also broadcast and be viewed in SuperWebcam mode (which will result in a better picture and a smoother video) IF all these conditions are met:
....there is only one viewer & one broadcaster, one or both participants have broadband, the person broadcasting has clicked on Super from the beginning, and the person receiving has clicked on the Super button in their window.

some polymer clay webcam events & ideas

Jean Sheppard's Saturday morning chat StarGaze-n-ClayPlayz has a webcam demo in addition to the text chat (the text chat is in a separate window via delphiforums, whereas the video is in another window via YahooMessenger ... see above in Delphiforum Chats for dealing with delphiforums )
..correct time for chat is 10:00am - 1:00 pm Saturdays, PacificST --time still listed wrong at PCC
....
Jean's webcam download & set up ...(uses YahooMessenger for the webcam part)
........Once you have your Messenger all set up, go into the Delphi chat room & Jean will tell you her Yahoo ID so you can put her on your friend list, and then she can give you access to view the webcam if necessary. Jenn
.....(or) you can ask permission to add Jean to your Messenger list just before the chat by clicking the button with a + (or Add) on it in the yahoo window - enter stargazer_sbpcg and follow the steps. She will get the request as soon as she comes online and reply. Eva

Nora-Jean Gatine at City 'O Clay (used to be called MSAT) is still doing demos - usually on Thursdays at times to suit the majority of watchers - they're free by the way - and well worth a look - you'll be most welcome I know.
http://www.norajean.addr.com/MSAT/ClayArt/WebCam/How-To.htm and
http://www.norajean.addr.com/MSAT/ClayArt/WebCam/Index.htm
(for more info)
You will need to have Nora-Jean on your "friends list" (her YahooMessenger nickname = auntyalias), both to find out when her webcam's active, and to use the 'join friend in chat' option within it.
I hope all that helps. (The first step is a little bit embarrassing, but if this shy-ish Englishman can do it, anyone can!) Enjoy, Alan

There are also other people like Tesselene (Tess), JenPat (Jenny Patterson), etc, who have thier webcam on while they work and you can watch and chat also on Yahoo like Nora Jean. Hers are free and I have been watching them for a few years now and have met some really nice people and learned a lot. Right now she ...is not on a schedule like she has been at times in the the past, but definitly check out her website. Merrie
....http://www.tesselene.com ?... http://www.quiltedinclay.com ?. Merrie

I just started a private Yahoogroup for this purpose
...we could start to schedule voice chats and webcam demos via Yahoo messenger If we can get a few folks to join... I have the new Yahoo Group link on the homepage of my webiste http://vandewinkle.endlesswire.com.

... or even to have impromptu "meetings" with other clayers--see Guilds-Retreats > mini retreats for those)
...I belong to another mail list that does this type of thing every weekend. Several people get together in a chat room and open up their web cams. Anyone is welcome to open their cam, or just watch and learn. It is usually lots of fun, and sometimes goes on for hours. It is a great way to learn and share with each other. Karen B.

Some webcam demos are actually for-a-fee classes to demonstrate a technique (or be a series)
... those pay as you watch demos were begun by Donna at 'ClayinAround' - I think she used the Yahoo Messenger system as a platform we tested her webcam on it anyway...

SCIENCE "polymer groups"

http://www.plasticsusa.com/ (Forums)
http://www.4spe.org/myspe/students/studentchapters.htm
http://plastics.about.com/cs/assocplastics/index.htm
http://directory.google.com/Top/Science/Chemistry/ http://directory.google.com/Top/Science/Technology/Materials/Polymers/?tc=1/

Yahoogroups
... (137 groups for scientific polymer groups, as well as clay polymer groups)
http://groups.yahoo.com/search?query=polymer

....Emulsion Polymers (scientific uses of polymer, not clay) "we have a group about emulsion polymer . i have created this group because water based polymers is better than solvent born and without damage to environment . please see this group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/emulsionpolymers/ and join for conversation.

I believe the newsgroup for scientific polymer discussions is rec.sci.polymer or something similar.

creating AUTOMATIC SIGNATURES in online groups

Once you join a newsgroup or mailing list, please consider adding an "automatic signature" for yourself if you have a website or a photosharing page at Photopoint or another service!!  This makes it easy for someone to look at your pages anytime they want without having to figure out how to search for them every time (which I have to do a lot more than I'd like!).

You'll need to create an automatic signature separately for each of these categories:
--newsgroups
--mailing lists (which includes your regular e-mail)
--message boards (like Polymer Clay Central, Polymer Clay Haven, or AOL's boards)

Sounds like a lot of work, but it's really not ... and you'll be glad you did it!

In your e-mail reader, you usually have the choice of having more than one automatic signature (one being the default) so that you can choose which signature to use.  I usually just leave the automatic signature in place even if I'm writing a normal e-mail, and sign it any way that's appropriate; the automatic signature will then appear down at the bottom similar to a reverse letterhead (it can be placed even farther below by spacing down after you write in the signature).

How to create an Automatic Signature in various kinds of software

(some software may use the same signature for e-mail/mailing lists and newsgroups)

AOL 5.0 (e-mail/mailing lists)

--Mail Center (icon); click to pull down the menu
--Set up Signatures
--Create

--Signature Name: the word(s) only you will see in the signature options menu in the e-mail you're sending
--Signature:
.....your name
.....and any URL's, exactly the way you want them to appear

(--you can select the font, size, color and other formatting in the toolbar above the window, etc.)

--to make your URL into a clickable hyperlink:
.....highlight the exact URL you just typed in
.....copy it by hitting Ctrl + c
.....right click on it
.....click on Insert a Hyperlink
.....paste in the URL by hitting Ctrl + v
.....click OK
.....OK

--Default On/Off (toggle) to use the current signature as the default, so that it will automatically be the one to appear (if you have more than one signature --up to 5 signatures allowed)

--OK

-- Now the default signature will automatically appear at the bottom of any e-mail you send.

--If you want to use one of the other signatures you may have created in a particular e-mail, click on the pen icon at the top right of the mail window to use it as a one-time thing (and erase the default if it appears).
```````````````

AOL (newsgroup
-- KEYWORD: newsgroups > Set Preferences > Posting

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Netscape Communicator 4.5, Outlook 98, and Outlook Express 5.0
 (see URL for links to learn more on how to use signatures with these)
(e-mail and/or newsgroup)
http://www.usask.ca/dcs/help_desk/email_guide/Express/signatures/

 (Additional Info --Outlook Express)

(from Irene NC):  go to Tools / Stationery / Mail / Signature to create a signature.  Then when you write an email, click the pen icon to insert your signature.  In my signature, I type:
    Irene in western NC
and then I use the pen icon to insert a signature line:
    http://www.pobox.com/~good.night.irene
    hot-from-the-oven stuff at
    http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=178676
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"but if I hit it... the window is to put that person into my  address book!?"

If you are using Outlook Express, go to Tools / Options / Send.  Make sure the box that says "automatically put people I reply to in my address book" is *not* checked. Irene NC
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Netscape (the most complicated one?)

--First create a (.txt) file with the signature just as you want it --I created mine in Word, and saved it in my Computers & Internet folder, to look like this on a blank page:

Diane B.
http://glassattic.com (polymer clay "encyclopedia")
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/AlbumList?u=107545

(if you're using Word, any line beginning with http:// will automatically become a hyperlink if the Enter key is hit at the end of it, or the hyperlink icon is clicked?)

Then click on File, Save As, and select Text only (*.txt) from the pulldown File Type menu.  Click on Save. Close the window (now the file is prepared).

Now, go to back to Netscape and click on Edit, then Preferences, (double click) Mail & Newsgroups, then Identity.  Click the Choose button next to the bottom Signature line and browse to the txt file you created.  Click OK.
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Internet Mail (Microsoft's, comes with IE --different from Outlook, though; still available??)

my Internet Mail --go to Mail, Options, signature

my Interenet News --to Options (same) --where is it?  need to be online?

Automatic Signatures on Message Boards

Delphi (Polymer Clay Central, etc.). . .Go to your My Forums page and on the left hand side yoiu'll see a link for My Preferences. Click here and you'll be able to set your signature with HTML and graphics. This sig will appear whether you specify HTML in the message or not.
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Instead of an automatic signature, you can also create a hyperlink of your e-mail address or website FOR EACH MESSAGE YOU SEND:

When you reply to a message from (a yahoo mailing list) it will normally be replying to the entire list. We have decided that replying to the individual is the  exception rather than the rule. (So we urge) people to put a hyperlink to their email in their signature (each time)...simply type mailto: and then your email address (with no spaces) and it will hyper link. Meaning that folks can then click on it to email you quickly and directly. :) Cindy

OR...for any one wondering how to make (something) into a hot link, that will make your address into a click and go thingy, these don't show after the mail is sent the secret is putting a "<" before the address and ">"after, without the quotes...they are on the  the period and comma keys.  faun


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