I am more of a lurker when it comes to the bulletin boards I follow, but I threw my hat into the ring by starting a thread (called "The Father's Signals"--spoilers) at the forum run by the Cormac McCarthy Society a few days ago, and it has been a real trip, an emotional rollercoaster, even.
It starts with an idea that you have that you think is novel. You scan prior posts to make sure no one else has come up with it. Convinced your idea has some novelty and insight, you craft your post as economically as possible to make sure that people will (a) read it, and (b) understand it. Then, you post it and sit back and hope people post.
That was a fun stretch of time there, the waiting. I soon realized that what I really wanted to have happen was for people to say "great point; I agree completely." At first, in other words, I wasn't interested in having a dialogue at all. It's funny how angry I found myself getting when people would start taking "my" thread in directions I didn't intend. You know, when they start saying things like "that reminds me of something else I was thinking about . . .." I hate that.
They started to come in, the replies, and there were actually a few "I agrees" in there, but what really got me were the "no ways." That irked me. That got me writing follow ups and started the arguments in my head as I tried to craft the perfect responses that both met them head on but did so in as short a post as possible.
The thread's up to 43 replies now. I need it to die so I can start thinking about other things.