10 Ways to Make it Work for You
Did you know that AAFSW was a pioneer in Foreign Service social media? Our Yahoo Group, “Livelines,” was founded in 1998 (!) and quickly became a resource for EFMs and employees posted all over the world.
Though many today have turned to Facebook—where we another AAFSW members-only group, Global Connection—and to other platforms, Livelines remains an extremely useful social network, with 4,706 members as of this writing.
Here are 10 tips to help you get the most out of this forum:
1) Livelines is e-mail-based, so you don’t have to log in to the site to check or post messages. To post a message, simply e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
2) Likewise, you receive messages from the forum directly via e-mail. Don’t want them clogging up your inbox? Set up a folder in your email interface and create a rule or filter in your e-mail program, so that all messages with “Livelines” in the header will go directly into that folder. Then you can check them at your convenience. (Some members use the Daily Digest option instead, but Livelines moderators recommend the folder method.)
3) Livelines is moderated. All messages are reviewed by moderator Jen Dinoia or myself before going out to the group. We catch spam, e-mail hijacking, duplications, mistakes and inappropriate messages, making sure that the content is relevant and safe. (You’re welcome!) Please understand that your message may not appear immediately if we are both offline or asleep. We’d love to have more volunteers in other time zones, so let us know if you’d like to help.
4) You can search the archives. With over 16 years of messages, there is a lot of wisdom here. In this case you will have to log in to Yahoo Groups and go to the Livelines home page. Select “Conversations” and enter your search term in the box at the very top of the page.
5) There are great resources in the “Files” area. Now that you’ve logged in, visit the “Files” area to view member-created documents that can help with consumables, front-loaded lease calculations, financial planning, visas for nannies, and much more.
6) Livelines is the leading FS housing marketplace. Are you looking for a house or condo to rent during an upcoming DC assignment? Do you own a place and want to rent it out? You’re very likely to find the right home for you, or terrific tenants, on Livelines. We also encourage AAFSW members to use our Classified Ads.
7) The first of every month is “EFM Business Day” on Livelines. Learn about EFM businesses from the entrepreneurs themselves or those who have personally used their services. During the rest of the month, there are no business ads on Livelines, but we hope you will use our EFM Business Directory to “Shop EFM”!
8) Experts are standing by. You can be confident about getting a correct and helpful answer to your questions, thanks to Mette Beecroft of Travel and Transportation, Maureen Johnston from the Transition Center, and many other group members with valuable experience to share.
9) You can remain anonymous if you like. If you’d like to submit a question without revealing your personal information, simply send it to the moderators at email@example.com. We’ll know who you are, but no one else will!
10) We’re here to help. Volunteer moderators Jen Dinoia and myself, along with AAFSW Office Manager Barbara Reioux, are always happy to help with your questions about Livelines—or pretty much anything else (if we can’t help you ourselves, we’ll find someone who can!) Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the AAFSW office at 703-820-5420. That’s what AAFSW is all about: connecting and supporting the members of the Foreign Service community.
Hope to “see” you on Livelines!