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Forums / Re-designing and upgrading the Online Forums / How can we improve the forums? Your suggestions and comments please

Topic: How can we improve the forums? Your suggestions and comments please

  1. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
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    4854 posts
    16 July 2021 in reply to Blue's Clues

    hi blues, seconded that a section for ppl on the spectrum would be EXCELLENT. on other forums i use i feel like every second post is about finding a good doc to diagnose adhd, or support for those on the spectrum. we should follow the interest, and create a section for this. i think would be super helpful.

    Re getting emails when u get a reply, i think that might be a bit hard, it might make me feel self conscious about what i write.

    regarding privacy and anonymity on the forums - i think the current status is okay and anonymous but it doesn't hurt to be a little careful, use a pseudonym for urself, ur pet, ur kids names etc just to be on the safe side. one piece of info is safe but if u give too many identifying details, it might be easier to identify u.

    I dont know though why the forums are made public to the whole internet, for me it would make sense that only members could see the forums. Is it something really sinister like promotion for beyondblue? if so i feel its just more sensitive to let ppl here feel that there convos are only seen by other members.

    4 people found this helpful
  2. Guest_1643
    blueVoices member
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    16 July 2021

    hi there, not sure how it works on a phone, but from my laptop,

    on left hand side there is a big beyond blue slogan and butterly.... just accross from that on the right hand is alittle search box.

    it's a bit terrible and never helps me find what i want! i think it searches more the titles of the thread, so if you want to search for a thread by its name its okay, but if u cant remember the name but only some parts of it, the search doesn't seem to identify it.

    3 people found this helpful
  3. LJpd81
    LJpd81 avatar
    254 posts
    16 July 2021 in reply to Guest_1643
    thamk you. I am on my tablet
    1 person found this helpful
  4. Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Valued Contributor
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    16 July 2021 in reply to LJpd81
    Look for the little magnifying glass in the top right :)
    2 people found this helpful
  5. LJpd81
    LJpd81 avatar
    254 posts
    16 July 2021 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel
    Thank you. Found it
    2 people found this helpful
  6. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    17 July 2021

    I despair that this one will never happen, despite that I believe it a moral imperative in line with the Community Rules.

    A link in the terms and conditions, or Community Rules that leads to the exact words and/or phrases that are not permitted.

    One doesn't have to read the content of the link of course, just like all the billion other links in the TOC, but its there for people who need explicit instructions on what is Banned language.

    So it'll have all those swear words and abusive words, it'll have all those terms that used to be OK but are now not. It'll be providing direction on what are appropriate terminology by highlighting what isn't explicitly.

    That'll help the censorship software too because the software can be directly updated from the document.

    Then what BB does is have the community vote upon words that BB considers should enter the banned document, or be dismissed from the banned words document.

    Open and transparent language development.

    Thanks for considering.

    2 people found this helpful
  7. Guest_1643
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    17 July 2021 in reply to Guest9337

    ur really onto something david n goliath. i look a lot on the reach out forums, they are so much more open and transparent. a few examples

    guidlines:

    "Be kind! We respect and value a range of opinions and experience. We don’t tolerate any form of abusive or aggressive behaviour towards staff or other community members. Swearing generally is okay; swearing AT other people is not. Respectful disagreements are okay; personal attacks are not."

    2 people found this helpful
  8. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to Guest_1643

    Hey Sleepy21, I been doing this a long time mate, a very long time.

    For instance. Are you aware that some Australian policy makers have the position that every one who is able to work must work. Then they place vast amount of conditions upon not-being able to work and force people to go through all those processes to prove that they cant work.

    But.. and here's a kicker. Other policy makers recognise that an idling work force, of say 10% unemployment, encourages the employed to accept lower income and poorer services from employers, because, hey look, there is a lot of people unemployed who are very hungry for work, and if you don't want my conditions for employment, no worries mate, some one else will.

    So the unemployed drive wages down, which keeps particular groups of policy makers very happy!

    What does all that have to do with our topic? Ah well it's all about choice, and the perception of it.

  9. eight
    eight avatar
    374 posts
    18 July 2021 in reply to Blue's Clues
    oh my god we need an nd board 💗
    2 people found this helpful
  10. romantic_thi3f
    Community Champion
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3186 posts
    19 July 2021

    Hello,

    I love all of these suggestions and the conversation happening here. I am so excited about the new platform although I know that there will be people who love it and people who hate it.

    A few thoughts on some things that have come up -

    - Notifications: these are coming to the next update.

    - Ability to edit posts: This is something that has come up a lot. I think we did have this ability initially but people would edit their posts significantly so the replies to it made no sense and the conversation went haywire quickly. So we are trying to navigate that.

    - Medication names: It's true that medication names are not permitted but subgroups are, so saying "taking an SSRI" is appropriate, but not "citalopram" or similar. Unfortunately because there are so many medication names with new ones coming through all the time, it can go through without mod checking. So it relies on people like us (champs) to check and report posts that are either sneaky or misinformed. While it's certainly not on you and not your responsibility, if you do see any a (or any) post that you believe doesn't follow our rules, you can report it.

    1/2

    4 people found this helpful
  11. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3186 posts
    19 July 2021

    - Character limit: This one has come up a lot. (Major irony in having this reply in two threads!) The reason that it has been capped at this number is a big part of engagement. When people see long introductory posts they are less likely to talk with users in comparison with shorter 'digestable' ones. So while I understand wanting to get things off your chest, people also want to talk with others which sometimes means reducing what you say. I understand both sides though. So far, the best alternative is to post underneath, or to save the rest of your post for later on.

    - Sections on neurodivergent. This is such a good idea. One of the reasons we don't have more 'sub threads' is because of the number of posts. We need enough posts to 'justify' having a section for it. At the same time, it's a catch 22 because if there's a section, people make more posts.

    - Public forums: A big part of this decision is not about branding at all, but engagement. We know that people find the forums helpful to read, even if they're not a member. We also know that people join the forums because they've been a 'lurker', short-term or long-term. You can also do this on the SANE forums as well, by looking around first before deciding whether or not to join.

    - Lost threads. It's awful, I know. Part of this is because it is an ancient platform, so one of the things that I do is copy what I reply into Word before sending. I've lost posts too.

    Sorry if I've missed some things. I know that Sophie M is taking on everyones feedback.

    I just wanted to provide a little background and context as to some of these decisions. I think all of the decisions we make is incredibly complex and long-winded, because I do see all the sides. It's a good thing that I'm not making the decisions personally because I'd never choose!

    I hope sharing this is helpful
    rt

    5 people found this helpful
  12. Guest9337
    Guest9337 avatar
    1001 posts
    19 July 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi rt,

    Your sharing was helpful for me, thanks.

    1 person found this helpful
  13. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    14701 posts
    19 July 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    hello everyone reading and posting,

    RT
    Thank so much for your detailed explanation. I knew some of the reasons but you have expressed it all so clearly so everyone can understand.

    I think making decisions that Please everyone is like that old fable about the Miller the boy and the donkey. You can’t please all the people all the time, but you can please some of the people all the time, please all the people some of the time ans some of the people some of the time. I am remembering that fable and not googling so I may have confused it but you get the general meaning.

    1 person found this helpful
  14. Katyonthehamsterwheel
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    19 July 2021
    What can we do about posts getting missed? Anyone have ideas? I try to respond even with just a welcome if I notice a new post has been up for awhile, but wonder if there’s something that we could do to better ensure people get a more timely response.
    2 people found this helpful
  15. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
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    19 July 2021 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Katy

    That is very helpful of you. Champions are aware of new posts and we try to answer them as quickly as we can. Sometimes posts take a bit longer to answer but they are always watched to see that all are answered. Often Sophie answers new posters. I look out for new posters on very long threads as sometimes it is hard to find them.

    Thanks for answering and caring it is something that we are aware of and always try to anser the new posts as soon as we can.

    1 person found this helpful
  16. Guest_1643
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    19 July 2021

    thats interesting to note

    i worry about posts getting missed.
    It seems to me some of the rules and stuff is pretty outdated so its now at a point where no one knows why or how it became a rule.
    Re not mentioning medications, im okay with that rule, but yep, it does happen all the time.
    I noticed on the ReachOut forum they have an example of a thread which they say discusses medication safely.

    Can we discuss the side effects of our med in detail, how it made us feel, how we feel about taking it?

    I think it's good to be as clear as possible, otherwise you have both issues, ppl totally avoiding talking about their meds when they might need support around ths, or ppl sharing every detail because they dont understand the rule.

    Also re encouraging ppl to take medications, i think i'd be erring on the side of caution there, and saying while its okay to say - that may be helpful, telling ppl they need meds or how meds will improve their situation.... it borders on unethical. we just don't know. we don't know at all how someone may react and meds that are okay for one person could literally be dangerous for another.

    1 person found this helpful
  17. ecomama
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    19 July 2021 in reply to Guest_1643

    Great post Sleepy. I agree with everything you said.

    I just try to be supportive of ppls own decision making process here re: to take or not to take prescribed meds. I'm not their Dr or a Dr at all, so who am I to DIScourage any prescriptions?

    They didn't work for me but that's not saying they won't do wonders for another person.

    Each to their own under expert guidance.

    EMxxxx

    1 person found this helpful
  18. ecomama
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    20 July 2021 in reply to Guest_1643

    I would also like an Option of being able to take a Thread OFF the list of threads we responded to ie on "My Threads".

    This way (I hope) ppl will understand that once a person DOES respond to a new member in a timely fashion as we'd hoped, then more members join in, the "first responders" lol can leave if they choose without it constantly coming up on My Threads as a reminder.

    I know we have the option of whether to respond or not.
    But I have responded to many new member's posts because it had been "a while" just sitting up there and my intention was to keep the person here sharing. Not left hanging, wondering what's going on.

    But as content became richer in stuff eg I didn't want to know about, the reminder is coming up all the time.
    It can be a tad triggering tbh.

    I'm personally managing it better but I still feel "rude" not joining in when I KNOW the OP knows I'm getting reminded lol.

    Does that make sense?

    Even a "Hide Thread for later" option perhaps?
    Then we can find it easily if we want to.
    But now I'm just getting fussy.

    I'm grateful for everyone here, thankyou!
    EMxxxx

    3 people found this helpful
  19. Guest_1643
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    20 July 2021 in reply to ecomama

    100 percent!! I think we shuold be able to subscribe or unscubscribe to threads, follow or unfollow.

    Even if u aren't writing on a thread, then u can click "subscribe" and then keep it on ur list to respond to later. And if it gets too much, u can "unsubscribe"

    Having the threads pop up when u wrote on it at one point to it i think is probably not the best from some users, from what i understand. I reckon it's just a tech thing but i have absolutely been on other threads where u had an option wether you were following the thread or not, and know that some users decided not to follow ANY threads when they needed a break, and that gave them control over that. More choice is better, because we're all vulnerable. Thanks so much to all for the comments. Much love.

    1 person found this helpful
  20. blondguy
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    20 July 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Hi Quirky

    You mentioned 'Champions are aware of new posts and we try to answer them as quickly as we can'

    Many members are aware of new posts and try to answer them as quickly as they can. I hope that our current Champions can also engage in answering post from new members too

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  21. geoff
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    20 July 2021 in reply to Katyonthehamsterwheel

    Hello All, missed posts is something I've also been frustrated about and can happen if there is a glitch in the forums because your second reply is never the same as the first and even if you click on 'history' your reply that has gone swimming elsewhere doesn't appear, I realise that's not necessarily B's fault, but somehow they should be saved elsewhere.

    The Character limit has always been a concern because once you open a thread and it's got what appears to be 3 pages of comments, turns people away, so my idea is to have a short introduction, then they can have a 3 page reply.

    Hi Rt, I'm pleased to hear your comments, I just wonder whether Champions have been told this, whereas others haven't or am I behind the ape ball here.

    Thanks.

    Geoff.

  22. blondguy
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    20 July 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff

    its great to see you again...I havent been online for a while..I hope you are doing well

    Just a polite note...RT is a Champion ...You arent behind the 'eight' ball at all. The previous community forum manager did an excellent job with interviewing various tech companies. The new forum platform was expected to be rolled out in early 2019. Unfortunately the reasons why this didnt occur werent communicated to the Champions at the time

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

    2 people found this helpful
  23. geoff
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    20 July 2021 in reply to blondguy

    Hello Paul, yes we have missed you on the forums and are pleased to have you back.

    We do hope after all these promises that the new forum does happen, as I've heard this many times over the past years, but nothing actually happens.

    Take care.

    Geoff.

  24. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3186 posts
    20 July 2021

    Hi,

    Oh gosh I can't keep up with the replies! Please tag me if you want me to reply otherwise I might miss something important. I'm really glad everything has been helpful so far :)

    Quirky I will have to look up the old fable.

    - Missed posts: I hear you. In the system we plan to have a way to filter posts that have been new and unanswered, as so far it kind of relies on our community to jump in. Sometimes when I go on the forums I'll go page by page to see what only hasn't had any replies. This is a real pet peeve of mine but I'm super optimistic that this is one of those big issues that won't happen in the future.

    - Medications: This is great feedback, love it. Yes, we can talk in detail about side effects so long as it's not dosage specific. I went up 10mg and got diarrhoea is not ok, I increased my dose and got explosive diarrhoea is a-ok. I completely agree with you re taking medication. My only worry would be for people who make changes in their medications without telling their care team, like "I have diarrhoea, I hate it, so I'm just going to bin the rest". Excuse my poop references ;)

    - Follow/Unfollow: This is something on my wishlist too. I have threads pop up I contributed to once or twice and the conversation has gone on without me. I know sharing this isn't helpful, but hopefully it is helpful to know that this is something I'm really pushing for. I hope that you are being kind to yourself in the meantime! We don't want anyone here to ever feel obliged to reply even though I totally get it.

    rt

    1 person found this helpful
  25. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    3186 posts
    20 July 2021 in reply to geoff

    Hi Geoff and Paul,

    Wanted to reply to you both directly, and thanks Paul for jumping in to clarify as well.

    Geoff- To answer your question, both! A lot of these questions and suggestions have come up earlier in this thread as well as throughout parts of the forums and BB has jumped into clarify. The other part of this is general conversations that I've had as a CC.

    For me, I'm nosy- so it's important for me to understand the rules so it's not just no and no. I also think if I can understand them I can talk here about the why.

    Paul- ah, we've been way too patient for these forums! I know we've both had long wishlists so I'm advocating and pushing and listening. (Not in that order! :)

    rt

    3 people found this helpful
  26. quirkywords
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    quirkywords avatar
    14701 posts
    20 July 2021 in reply to blondguy

    Paul welcome back.

    I know that many members answer first time posters. And am very grateful. I only mentione champions because this discussion has been about beyond blue and how it can improve.
    it is wonderful that so many members including life members , and recent members and member who have been members for a while, contribute so much to the forums and communicate with so many on the forums.

    I am sorry if my post gave the wrong impression. I was answering Katy’s post about how more new posts can be answered .

    Thanks best wishes

    3 people found this helpful
  27. Katyonthehamsterwheel
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    20 July 2021

    Thanks everyone for a great discussion.

    I want to echo EM’s concerns about triggering threads/thread contents. Sometimes triggers are more easily managed, some days not. I’d love an “unfollow” for that reason alone.

    Good to see you here Paul. Hope you’re going ok.

    Katy

    2 people found this helpful
  28. Katyonthehamsterwheel
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    20 July 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Forgot to thank you for your reply, Quirky!

    cheers :)

  29. Guest_1643
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    20 July 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    hi rt,

    amazing response and clarifying. helpful to us here trying to understand

    so some ideas that have gained traction are

    1) ND board

    2) being able to follow and unfollow threads to help us manage our mental health on here

    3) more specific info on what it is or is not okay to use here - eg swearing, how to talk about meds, etc.

    I liked ur examples on this rt.
    I like how ppl here are open to hearing this input and validating the suggestions.

    1 person found this helpful
  30. geoff
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    21 July 2021 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hello Rt, I quite agree ' ah, we've been way too patient for these forums', time after time we're always being told 'it's going to happen', yet year after year and nothing happens, guarantees are not honoured, we deserve to be given an exact date, give or two a couple of days.

    As I've said I've heard promise after promise, could some action begin, please.

    Geoff.

    3 people found this helpful

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