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Make Psychforums Great Again

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Make Psychforums Great Again

Postby RottenFish » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:31 am

It's a growing concern that Psychforums may be dying a slow death. So how do we make this place great again? Well, I have a few suggestions:

1. All new members should receive a warm welcome. In the member's introduction area, all new members spend a great deal of time introducing themselves, but no one responds. A moderator should be welcoming all new members.

2. Remove the friend/foe option. This is a mental health support forum, not Facebook. All members need to be supported equally and fairly. The foe option creates friction between members, so this feature should be completely removed.

3. Members who are successful in their journey should be encouraged to stay and support struggling members. A rising trend in Psychforums: members suddenly feel better and then they leave. We should be asking these members to stay and give their advice on how they recovered.

Success and recovery is a team effort. We will better people by helping one another.
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Re: Make Psychforums Great Again

Postby Snaga » Wed May 01, 2019 4:48 pm

RottenFish wrote:1. All new members should receive a warm welcome. In the member's introduction area, all new members spend a great deal of time introducing themselves, but no one responds. A moderator should be welcoming all new members


Sometimes we do pop into the new member introduction thread. But remember all the mods are volunteers, and members of PF themselves, with our own issues to deal with, in addition to moderator tasks. This is a peer-support forum; moderators can't be everything.

RottenFish wrote:2. Remove the friend/foe option. This is a mental health support forum, not Facebook. All members need to be supported equally and fairly. The foe option creates friction between members, so this feature should be completely removed.


This is the main reason I crafted a reply...

As far as I know, only the user knows who they have Friend and Foe. Those functions are poorly named, and not really used in a social media sense, but that is how the phpBB is set up.

All Friend seems to do, is place a person on your PM speed dial- your Friends will appear to the side of your PM screen. It's handy for easier correspondence. My Friends list consists of the mod team, former mods, and those with whom I initiate conversations with on a regular basis. It's a convenience, a shortcut, nothing more. I have no idea who has me as Friend, and as far as I know, no way of knowing. Nor would I care, because in a social context, it's meaningless- as you said, this ain't FB.

Foe, rather than create friction, actually does the opposite- more than once, in extreme cases, we have had to advise members to Foe those with whom they vociferously disagree and are triggered by, when they are prone to get into arguments with each other in forum. Foe allows a person to block the foe's posts.

We encourage people to Foe, rather than get pulled into a flame war. A flame war will earn people formal warnings- we don't like having to do that. If they rub your fur the wrong way that bad, Foe them. No one has to, or ought to be made to, read posts from someone they can't stand.

Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to extend to quotes from Foes, in other posts. Nothing's perfect.

PMs don't work quite the same way- IIRC, Foes are not automatically blocked from sending private messages to you, but you can set up PM rules to automatically delete messages from people you really wish to not hear from.

Keep in mind, that if someone is engaging in actual harassment, we ask folks to report such PMs, or forum posts, via the report feature. But sometimes people simply do not get along, with neither of them in the wrong, or having expressly harassed the other... and that's when we ask they please try to ignore each other, even if it requires blocking them via Foe. To avoid things from escalating.

As with Friend, I would have no idea who has Foe'd me, unless they told me.

Note that the moderator team members can't be blocked by Foe, or PM inbox rules, since they might be conveying forum information. We have had members think they can do that, then they find to their disappointment, they can't.

RottenFish wrote:3. Members who are successful in their journey should be encouraged to stay and support struggling members. A rising trend in Psychforums: members suddenly feel better and then they leave. We should be asking these members to stay and give their advice on how they recovered.


I hope no one ever leaves PF, but we can't make them stay. In my own forums, when I catch a post by a long-absent member who is returning to give a good report, I'm very happy to hear from them, and thank them for giving the rest of us an update! It's always good to hear encouraging news and I'm always very happy to hear a good report. But a lot of posters drift away, whether they're doing good, or not. We can't make them come back and post, if they don't want to.

Also, some people, once having got better, might find they are healthier, staying away from the forum they were a regular in. For example, I would hardly want a former self-harmer to come back, if it's going to tempt them to self-harm again.
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Re: Make Psychforums Great Again

Postby NewSunRising » Thu May 02, 2019 6:49 am

I want to echo some of Snaga's points . Internet forum membership is often a very transient thing . I love to see former members come back and share their stories of healing and success but their participation in the forum is a very private and personal choice .

I have also warmly greeted many new members and tried to reply thoughtfully to their threads only to see them post once and never return . The ones who stay are here because they choose to be and are finding peer interaction on subjects they can relate to . I agree , it would be great if there were more activity in some forums but it is and always has been , a peer support site . It is the membership that makes it what it is .
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Re: Make Psychforums Great Again

Postby RottenFish » Mon May 06, 2019 3:51 am

Snaga wrote:But remember all the mods are volunteers, and members of PF themselves, with our own issues to deal with, in addition to moderator tasks.


Thanks Snaga for reminding me. I often forget that moderators are volunteers, and many of you are dealing with your own mental issues, as I am.

Snaga wrote:We encourage people to Foe, rather than get pulled into a flame war. A flame war will earn people formal warnings- we don't like having to do that. If they rub your fur the wrong way that bad, Foe them. No one has to, or ought to be made to, read posts from someone they can't stand.


Initially I thought I figured out a way who has Foe'd me. For example, when I click on someone's profile, and I cannot see when they last visited PF, I assume they Foe'd me.

I also understand that some people get triggered by some posts much quicker than others. It makes sense to block posts that could lead to a worse mental state.

Snaga wrote:
Also, some people, once having got better, might find they are healthier, staying away from the forum they were a regular in. For example, I would hardly want a former self-harmer to come back, if it's going to tempt them to self-harm again.


Makes perfect sense. I wouldn't want to return to a forum that reminded me of something I haven't emotionally dealt with.
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Re: Make Psychforums Great Again

Postby xdude » Fri May 10, 2019 6:00 pm

Nod, and it's a bit non intuitive, but if someone goes to the hospital to get something fixed, it's actually a positive that they do not come back once their crisis has passed.

Similarly I think it's fine if someone comes to PF, hopefully gets an answer or insight that helps them, and then moves forward and leaves PF behind.
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Re: Make Psychforums Great Again

Postby Parador » Wed May 22, 2019 7:54 pm

I noticed it started going downhill after they made it impossible to delete posts. Our thoughts should be OURS and we should be able to delete them. It makes people wary of posting anything when they know it cannot be deleted. And if deletions cause some threads to make no sense then so what? Anyone with a question about it can make a new post and ask.

The other thing that I suggested a long time ago is to consolidate forums - for example put all anxiety problems in one forum - AvPD, SA and GAD. Maybe even SPD.
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