photo from the Armories, Tower of London.
Spent the entire weekend ghosting through the Bewares and Background Checks on the Absolute Write forums and am still brain dead from information over-load. They have ( fortunately) a search function that allows for targeted inquiry but I wanted to feel the shape of the site's approach because I'd not utilized them much in the past.
Along with the new potato salad, I became addicted to scroll and click -- absorbed and fascinated with the sheer volume of available information. And the "Bewares" is just one forum.
The site has to be the best resource on the net for writers and also the best example of a "paying it forward" effort to help the ignorant, the innocent, the gormless and the clueless. The "Sticky" posts alone are the equivalent of a course in Publishing 101.
And if one wonders why fast-response agent/editor/publisher hasn't answered a query, one may discover from a board thread that said agent, etc., just /died/moved/married or has spam filter problems or exploding computers.
One may discover which agents/editors/publishers are assholes, which agents/editors/publishers are assholes but effective, and which agents/editors/publishers are consistently courteous, charming and considerate -- so one may govern one's self accordingly.
Sometimes, nothing beats word-of-mouth for up-to-date information.
For most of you, I'm sure, Absolute Write is an old, reliable and frequently consulted source, along with Agent Query and Publishers Marketplace, but it doesn't hurt to recommend it again.