Do you want to learn every aspect of web design from scratch for free?

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Well… we can teach you. Seriously. No strings attached.

All you need is enough spare time to read approximately 4 million threads and you’ll be an expert. That is the power of the SitePoint Forums! For those of you that don’t have that kind of time (or inclination), I’m going to make it easy for you. Each week I’m going to blog from the forums community, keeping you up to date on what is happening and letting you know which topics are being hotly debated. So, provided you are interested in exactly the same things that I am, then this should prove to be very useful.

If you’ve never dropped in to the SitePoint forums, now is the perfect opportunity. February saw a changing of the guard for us. We farewelled Sarah and Raena from their roles as administrators and we have a bunch of new mentors that are full of energy and ideas, as well as a few new Advisors and even a new Team Leader. I’ve just taken over as the Community Manager and am giving things a bit of a stir up. We’re keen on new members and if you stick out from the crowd, you just might find yourself rewarded for it. If you don’t, well you’ll certainly learn a lot and maybe even meet some new people that are interested in the same things that you are.

I joined the forums six and a half years ago because I was going crazy trying to figure out how to make a form work. I needed fresh eyes to spot where I was going wrong. I got them… and more. I learned enough here at SitePoint to get a job as a developer in a large corporation. As a result I joined the staff in an effort to give something back. I started out as a mentor and this is where I’ve ended up. So even if you’re an old hand at this game and are finding yourself a bit jaded, come on in and get re-inspired by your peers.

For those of you on the other side of the world, spring is about to make its presence felt so we’re celebrating that with some good old spring cleaning. March is all about sorting out the sticky threads (those threads at the top of each forum that are marked ‘Important:’ and never go away). Some of them are out of date or have so many responses that you’d be able to hand code a site from scratch in the time it took to find what you’re looking for. So watch out for the shiny new ones coming soon…

Hot Topics This Week
This week we’ve got an interesting one if you’re into the search engine game. Google are stepping up their never ending battle to combat spammy links (more power to them!) with an appeal from Matt Cutts on his personal blog for people to report spammy sites. Tell us what you think about that.

If online advertising is more your thing, the guys over in the Advertising Sales & Affiliate Programs forum are talking about the shift in trends and whether we can wave goodbye to the age old concept of ‘brand advertising’. Do you have an opinion?

Over in the Javascript forum a new player asks about the pros and cons of placing links to external scripts in the head or body of a document. Where do you link to your scripts?

And for those of you that just can’t be bothered talking geek at the moment, over in General Chat they are talking about what life’s like if your partner is in the same game.

So that’s it for today. If you’re curious, we’d love to see you at the forums. Actually, we’d love to see you even if you’re not. We like a challenge.

Feature image by DeclanTM

Sarah HawkSarah Hawk
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Formerly a developer in the corporate world, HAWK (known as Sarah by her mother) said goodbye to the code and succumbed to the lure of social media to become the Community Manager for the SitePoint network. Now Hawk is working with Discourse to build their product and community.

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