The Association for Young Astrologers is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational and networking opportunities for those interested in astrology, with a focus on younger people, those new to the subject, and aspiring professionals. To this end, in May 2014 we launched this website: a fully featured social network that will make it easier for our members to communicate and network, online and off!
Site Features & Orientation
Basically, this network is capable of doing 90% of what you can do on Facebook and Twitter, with the added functionality of traditional forums. Below you can find more information about specific features.
User Accounts/ Profiles
- Members will have the option to create accounts/ profiles on the AYA website that will allow them to interact with the rest of the community, access educational resources and other membership benefits. If you need to create an account or join, click here.
- The network uses real names to best facilitate real-world networking.
If you’re new to the site, the first section to check out is your own profile page, which you can access by clicking on your image (or the blank avatar, if you don’t have a Gravatar and haven’t uploaded one yet) at the top of the sidebar. If you find yourself on a page without a sidebar, you can get back to your profile by hovering over “Login” on the black navigation bar.
- The site-wide news feed can be found here, or through clicking “Community Activity” on the black navigation bar.
- Every member has a personal news feed that can be accessed through their profile, and will be the first thing you see when you click on someone’s profile avatar or their name.
- Status updates can be made from your own news feed, or at the top of the general newsfeed, much like on Facebook.
- Status updates can be commented on, favorite-d and shared through Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and email.
- When you post a status update, you can select which level of privacy you want it to have
- You can upload photos to your posts by dragging and dropping into the uploader box, or browsing your computer
- Posting links to webpages, videos, etc. will work great too!
@Mentions and #Hashtags
- You can tag people you know in your status updates or forum posts by using the @ sign. The formula for usernames is the same for every account — first and last name, separated by a hyphen — so if you were trying to tag Austin Coppock, you would type @austin-coppock. The system will automatically pull suggestions for you after a few letters.
- Putting a #hashtag in front of a word makes it a hyperlink. The point of hashtags is to aggregate keywords or subjects by creating a place for all the same hashtags to appear together, so for instance, if you were wanting to post about a tale of Mercury Retrograde woe, you could use the hashtag #mercuryRX
- Groups are divided into three major sections: schools of astrology, general interest, and geographical location.
- The “local groups” are there for the purpose of connecting people who live in the same geographical area. AYA does not have official local chapters at this point, but we do encourage our members to establish their own local communities and events, and aim to support that however we can.
- If you’re interested in participating in a group, you can find it through the black navigation bar. you can join by clicking the “Join Group” button in the orange header section (leaving groups is just as easy).
- Joining a group allows you to start new threads and participate in the group forum. It also means you appear in the newsfeed for that group.
By default, everyone who joins a group will get a weekly email digest of group activity. You can change your email preferences in the orange header section of each group.To keep the community focused and thriving, new groups can only be created by site admins. New groups are created through this poll, where you can suggest new groups you would like to participate in and vote on existing selections.
Most of the groups have a sticky “Introduce Yourself” thread. Feel free to pop into whatever group interests you and start making conversation!
Each group has it’s own forum to facilitate conversation relevant to that topic, but there are general forums as well, which can be found here or through the black navigation bar. Any member can create new threads and participate in the general forums.
The purpose of the forums and social network is to provide a platform for members of the Association for Young Astrologers to share ideas, resources, promote local events and get to know one another better. AYA membership entitles you to participate in the forums and social network so long as you abide by the community standards (listed below).
What follow are the current rules, which exist to facilitate what it is we all want – an engaged community where respectful and productive discourse can flourish, a place where friends and colleagues can connect, online and off. Our guidelines cannot cover every possible contingency, and if necessary, we will expand this list. Given that anyone predisposed to an interest in astrology is bound to have a certain degree of intelligence, wisdom and perspective, we trust that everyone is capable of good behavior and will do their part to create the healthiest community dynamic possible. Now for the guidelines…
1. Promotional Material
Posting promotional material is acceptable as long as it is relevant. If, for example, you live in Portland and are hosting an astrology talk next week, it’s totally okay to post a link about it. In fact, that’s what the forum is there for! Links will not be deleted or come under scrutiny unless they are wildly inappropriate or are repeated so often as to become a nuissance.
2. Off Topic Posts
It can be difficult to stay on topic in forums, but there are enough different groups that nearly anything astrology-related will be relevant somewhere. If there isn’t a place for it yet, consider dropping by the group creation poll and perusing what’s on offer. You can submit your own recommendations there too. The “local groups” sections are even more casual- the whole point is to provide a space to interact with and get to know people in your area. If your post is deemed off topic, it may be deleted. In all likelihood, you’ll be warned first and just asked to divert the discussion somewhere more appropriate.
3. Forum Ettiquette
Our forum rules boil down to a single ethos: keep things respectful and productive. It’s okay if discussion gets heated – that’s what happens when people have their own opinions and sometimes disagree. Passion is fine, disagreement is fine – personal insults or harassment are not. Be nice, and if you can’t be nice, be respectful. If you can’t be respectful – step away from the computer.
4. Personal Messages
Admins do not have the ability to read any personal messages that members send to one another; those are private. However, if someone says something to you through a personal message (or anywhere else on the network) that you feel needs to be reported because it violates our guidelines or is literally illegal, you can report it to us and action may be taken against the offender.
Moderators and admins have the power to ban accounts from certain threads, forums and groups, and have AYA’s blessing to do so if the guidelines are not being followed. As a matter of policy, members will get warnings before they are outright banned, but repeat offenders might just get booted because they should know better. Repeat-repeat offenders run the risk of getting kicked off the network. Being a member of AYA does not entitle you to participate on the network. If anyone’s presence poisons the community, they will not be allowed to maintain it.
AYA is a volunteer run organization. We created the platform for this community because we wanted to take part in one. We ask all of our members to help craft the kind of community that they enjoy being part of. We don’t anticipate having the issues listed above occurring with any real frequency, and as administrators and moderators of the community we don’t want to be dealing with it- so please, keep it clean, and we promise that The Man will stay out of your way.
Do I have to be “young” to join? How young is young, anyway?
So glad you asked! We are the Association for Young Astrologers, not of Young Astrologers. If you are pro “young” people in astrology, you are welcome here! Our organization is dedicated to the transmission of astrology from generation to generation, and to promoting astrology to younger demographics so that the astrological community continues to thrive far into the future. If you’re interested in being part of that, please join us!
In addition to a standard membership, people can join the organization as “Benefactors” and choose how much they would like to donate. This comes with all standard membership benefits and access to the network, but also allows those whose primary interest is in supporting young astrologers to do so, even if they don’t identify as a “young” astrologer themselves. Benefactors are also given the option to take on the “Mentor” honor, which puts a badge on their profile that lets AYA members in need of professional or educational guidance know they can get in touch to talk along those lines.
Do I own everything I share or publish on the site? Copyright and all that jazz?
Yes! Everything that gets posted on the network is the intellectual property or work of whomever it belongs to or originated it. AYA doesn’t have anything to do with it. We’re just creating a place for it to be shared : )
Can any of the site administrators or moderators read my private messages?
No. The messages are on our server and in the database (as they must be to exist), but they are encrypted, so unless someone forwards or copies the message on the basis of harassment or something like that, site mods and admins won’t see them.