Since we posted this article, we have launched the GoGetNotary forum at the request of many of our members. Please visit, register and share your questions and comments. Our forum is for positive communication, support and networking. You can post warnings about unscrupulous vendors, but please, nothing mean-spirited about your fellow notaries.

Do you have a notary question and don’t know who to ask? There’s someone on the Internet who has the answer for you.

One of the best ways to connect with people who have the same interests and concerns as you is through one or more of the thousands of forums set up by individuals and groups to encourage discussion of particular topics. Dog lovers, farmers, stay-at-home moms, even notaries and notary signing agents have forums devoted to their particular interests.

A forum, or message board, as it may be called, is an online center where participants can post messages and receive responses, as well as reply to other postings. Some computer experience is required, although it’s not difficult to learn how to use a forum because a good forum has abundant online help available.

Whether you are looking for advice on an unusual acknowledgment, reassurance that your first signing went well, or want to chat about how your business is going, there is always someone to listen, share and help on a forum. You won’t always get the reply you expected, but that’s the point of the forums: Get a varied selection of ideas and opinions, consider them, and then make your own decision.

Some Forums to Visit

  • GoMobileNotary is one of the most respected forums on the Web for notaries and notary signing agents.
  • Notary Rotary is another lively, helpful forum.
  • United States Notary Association (USNA) Notary Forum is a recent start-up in the forum world. Please give us a try and help build a notary community to meet your needs!
  • Yahoo Groups and MSN Groups have communities already set up for you, or you can set up your own. Type “notary” or “signing agent” in the Search field to display a list of group links. You must join a group to participate in it.

Message Forum Survival Tips

  • Spend your time on quality forums. You will quickly be able to tell whether responsible participation and monitoring have resulted in a useful forum.
  • Ignore bad behavior. On forums, as in “real” life, posters will berate others, swear and pick fights. Don’t feed the fire and don’t take it personally—some people are just like that. Ignore those posters and move on.
  • Learn who the competent posters are and make sure you read what they have to say, even if you don’t have time to read every other post.
  • Post messages that get results. Be brief. Make your statement or ask your question and then specify what you want: Opinions? Advice? Resources? Just venting?
  • Be sure your message reflects well on you as a professional. Double-check for typos, poor grammar and rambling sentences. These things may mean a lot to someone’s opinion of your abilities, and attention to such details will also ensure that your message is understood. You never know who is reading the forum.
  • Learn the language. Message forums may be full of shorthand expressions that are used on the Web. For example, “IMHO” means “In My Humble Opinion” and “TIA” means “Thanks in Advance.” Don’t waste your and others’ time posting messages to ask what something means. On the other hand, don’t clutter your own messages with things that can distract from what you are saying.
  • Read the guidelines and other online help before you begin. It will save you time and frustration and allow you to be a good forum citizen.

USNA encourages you to seek out a notary signing agent forum that appeals to you and visit it regularly, especially if you do not currently have a notarial community of your own to consult. Input from experienced, competent notaries will help you perform your duties correctly, responsibly and confidently.