The Showcase: This is a feature we offer all of our Poem Train members. It is a part of our Cafe Poetica forum environment. Yes, it looks like there is a lot to read here, but it is an exciting benefit and we want to make sure you grasp all the possibilities and understand the regulations. This is an EXTRA feature and will NOT replace anything we do in Cafe Poetica.

Purpose:This is a place where members can set up their own private "domain" to post some or all of their poems on the Internet... a private yet public place where they can invite others (PT members, friends, relatives) to come in and read and/or comment on their poems.  We know that not everyone can set up their own private website to display a portfolio of their own writings. Also, when we post in Cafe Poetica, we do not have the capability to ask to see JUST ALL the poems that ONE particular poet has presented (we can look at ALL the posts, including the critiques that the poet has made, but there is no simple way to view a catalog of a poet's work - posted or otherwise).

Note: you may wish to print this out as a reference. In your browser's upper left hand corner, click on "File" and then "Print".

The details:

(1) First off, IT IS FREE TO MEMBERS --- and you know, Membership to Poem Train is ALSO FREE.  There is only ONE initial requirement and that is you must have at least 50 posts in the forums to apply. We want to make sure you are an active participant before we do all the administrative setup for you. There are some minor stipulations for this feature that you will read about in the "Posting Rules". See those rules at the end of this document.

(2) There is now a totally separate Forum Board set up which is for Showcase posting only. There is a "Showcase" Logo to the right of the Cafe Poetica Banner that you can click on to access the Showcases. The menu bar just below the banner also has a Showcase entry item. Each forum is ONE POET'S showcase of poems and the forum bears his/her name. PLEASE, read THAT again. Each poet has HIS/HER OWN FORUM to operate as his/her own with full moderator capability (see #3). The fora (individual member's showcases) will be arranged alphabetically by Username on the Showcase Board.

 (3) Each individual's forum is totally managed BY THAT member protected by password (hereinafter called the "owner"). The owner has FULL moderator rights to his/her own forum and ONLY his/her forum. That means each owner can add as many topics (poems, short stories, etc) as s/he desires (see "Posting Rules" for limitations). No OTHER member can initiate a new topic in someone else's showcase forum but they can reply to a topic...unless the Showcase owner elects to lock the thread.

(4) At the owner's discretion, some or all of the poems s/he posts in his/her showcase can receive comments, critiques, etc. Since each owner is the moderator of his/her own forum, s/he can (a) allow the thread to have no restrictions so members can post to a topic (poem), (b) can "lock" the topic so it is there for reading only and/or (c) can make it a "sticky" topic which always leaves that topic (poem) at the top of the forum. This may be useful if the owner wants to put up a short biography, or a personal "mission statement" about his/her motivation to write, or just an announcement. (d) There is no real way to organize (within an individual showcase) like alphabetizing. You can bring poems back to the front page any way you like by just posting a comment in the thread of a poem --- thereby, based on the date, will bring it to the top.  Maybe one day in the future we may develop code for the owner to sort by topic name, but that will throw off the comment dynamic based on date so that the most recently visited poems are on top  --- just like in Cafe Poetica.  It is a debatable item right now so we are leaving it alone.

(5) Though mentioned already, I want to re-state that NO other showcase owner can start a topic in someone else's forum --- the Showcase site is specially coded (thanks Mindy!) so that ONLY the forum owner can start a topic, modify the topics, lock the topics and remove the topics in his/her forum.

(6) All linkage to the Showcase board is done through PoemTrain. As long as a person is signed up at PT, the Showcase Forum is open to them. The username and password will "follow" the member. That is the way each individual Showcase forum is protected. You will NOT need any new password or username to access the Showcase. If someone tries to enter through the "back door" (uses the direct URL to the Showcase), if s/he doesn't have a Poem Train username and password, s/he will be stopped at the door.

(7) The owner can post as many poems as s/he wishes (see the liberal "Posting Rules" for the limitations). The idea is to enable any member to (a) create a partial or complete portfolio of his/her poems on the Internet, (b) invite other members, friends and relatives to come into the Showcase and read his/her poems --- even using a URL in an email to direct someone to a new poem s/he would like someone to read and/or comment on), (c) have a convenient place to locate all of one poet's works.

Note: We ARE allowing photos, artwork and composed music/lyrics in an owner's thread. Write and ask if that is something you wish to do... this functionality is also FREE.

(8) Since membership to PT is FREE, the only requirement for a guest to come in and read your poems in your Showcase would be to Register when they enter either the Showcase or PoemTrain. Our new Pre-registration method gives any registrant READ ONLY rights to the site. In order to belong as a FULL member whereby they can post on all the boards (including the Showcase boards) they would have to click on the menu item named "Update Registration" to enroll --- also FREE! That final step is actually the same secure registration method we have always used.

(9) An owner can copy and paste a URL from Cafe Poetica where the poem may have originally received comment or critique. That way a showcase reader/visitor could click on that URL and be toggled back to the Cafe Poetica to read the entire thread.

(10) How do members sign up for their own private Showcase Forum? It is very simple. They email me a request ( ) and within 48 hours the forum will be set up; an instruction  sheet and an invitation will be sent so they are ready to begin posting. Even I cannot see their passwords but I don't need to -- Mindy (our Web Mistress Expert) has set it up so that the PoemTrain USERNAME is the link and so as long as that person is logged in (meaning s/he HAD to have the correct password), s/he has all rights to the private showcase.... very "COOL" I say ~father proudly bows to daughter Mindy here~.!

(11) Whenever you see a little blue pen next to the name of a Poem Train Member (in ANY forum anywhere on the train), it means that that member has a Showcase. If you click on the pen, you will be transferred to that person's Showcase.... like ordering the "blue pen special".

(12) I am sure you have noticed that to the far right of the Cafe Poetica Banner, we always have the personal information of the person logged in --- YOU! It has your name, how many messages you have and beneath that the date and time. Now, if you own a Showcase, the word "Showcase" will appear below the date and if you click on that, it will toggle you instantly to your OWN Showcase.

"Posting Rules"

(1) Any member of Poem Train can have a FREE private Showcase for him/herself simply by requesting it after meeting the 50 minimum posts requirement (see #3 below).

(2) The member must agree to ALL the terms of our regular PoemTrain code for belonging and posting. Poems that might fit the "After Dark" type of writing will NOT be allowed in this open viewing board environment. In simpler terms, anything that is permitted as an initial topic, critique or comment in Cafe Poetica, IS also allowed anywhere in the Writer's Showcase. Any violation of the code will be handled the same way it is in Cafe Poetica.... both for the poems and comments posted.

(3)  Posting Limitations:  After meeting the initial requirement of 50 posts to qualify for a Showcase, there is a ratio factor so that we can encourage more posting to the threads in Cafe Poetica. The more participation we get on our boards, the more interaction and learning can take place. The formula for posting new topics (poems) in an owner's showcase is simply ONE POEM for every ONE post recorded in Cafe Poetica.... whether a poem, critique or comment. THERE IS NO LIMIT TO THE NUMBER OF POEMS YOU MAY POST ---  AS LONG AS YOU HAVE THE SAME NUMBER (OR MORE) OF POSTS IN CAFE POETICA. For example, Member #1 has 52 posts to date so s/he can post up to 52 poems in his/her Showcase; Member #2 has 170 posts so s/he could post 170 poems in his/her Showcase if desired.

(4) Though it is stated in the code, I want to mention it here as well. You can ONLY post your OWN poems in your private showcase. If you are posting another poet's work in the same thread with your own poem to show some kind of linkage, you MUST state that you are doing so with the permission of that poet.... you MAY post a URL link in the thread to advise the readers to "go there" to see the linkage since the URL is public domain... THAT does NOT need permission. But you can copy and paste ONLY with permission. All the rules of plagiarism, copyright, etc. apply in the Showcases just as they would on any Internet writing site.... IT'S THE LAW!

You've seen me write this in a lot of critique threads: "Use it or lose it". I wanted to make it available so that those who wish to can take advantage of a nice benefit of your Poem Train membership. You may certainly invite others to join PT and set up their own Showcase.

If you have any suggestions or feedback, please email me.  Read the Announcement Board at least every other day to see what else may be happening on the train and in the Cafe. Just, PLEASE, no throwing things out the windows of the train and PLEASE clean up your own table as you leave the Cafe.

Your Train Steward,

Norm (Normpo)