It is extremely easy to create a Voice Card. Simply move to the most recent Voice Volume by pressing the Voices button on the Archipelago main screen and then press the NEW CARD button. If you are already in the midst of the current volume, you will find that the same NEW CARD button is also available on every individual voice card in the stack (except for the Hello Cards). If you are examining a card in one of the previous volumes no NEW CARD button will be visible; in that case simply return to your index card (by pushing the bent return arrow) and work your way forward to the most recent volume by pushing the NEXT VOLUME button.
Incidentally, it is also possible to make a new voice card by pressing the MAKE CONTRIBUTION button on the main screen and then selecting MAKE A NEW VOICE CARD.
When you press the NEW CARD button, the computer will ask you to supply a brief title for your card. As soon as the title is entered the computer will create a blank card inside the transit stack with the title, number, date, and time already in place. All you have to do is type in your message. If you want to make another card, just push the NEW CARD button again. When you are finished making cards you can return to the main screen by pressing the Archipelago button or to the voice index card by pressing any of the three arrow buttons.
Pressing the NEW CARD button creates a card that is independent and unrelated to any previous voice card. If your message is a response to a particular card, you should use the RESPOND button instead. Simply move to the appropriate card (in the most recent volume) and press RESPOND. The Respond button behaves exactly like the New Card button except that when the new response card is created, it will have a downward pointing response arrow in the first gray box below the text field. This arrow identifies the newly created card as a response to a previous card and provides a link to that card. The computer will also automatically place a brief remark at the top of the text field.
It is possible, by the way, to respond to your own card as long as that card is located in the most recently released volume. (You cannot respond to a card you just created.) This may be a useful thing to do if your earlier card is part of a developing topic and you wish to expand on or refine the ideas you expressed in the previous session. The only restriction on responses is that each member is allowed only one response per card; if a member creates two or more responses to a single card, the editor will either consolidate the cards or eliminate the earlier response(s).
The card you create with either the RESPOND or the NEW CARD button will travel to the editor via the "My Contributions" transit stack and will appear with all the other cards in the next issue of Archipelago. This fascinating process is discussed in the next card: "Life Cycle of a Voice Card."