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Structured Program and Q&A Sub-forum

Discussion in 'Our Forum' started by Forest, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

    Beach-Girl recently brought up the suggestion of creating a new sub-forum for the Program and Q&A questions. I was wondering what people thought about this idea and if we should go ahead and do it. She mentioned that if we have a special place for people to post about the program and for the Q&A we may get more questions for these programs.

    I am all for trying to find new ways to get more posts, especially for the program, which is one of the most active sections of the wiki. We know that a lot of people check out the program and this may help in getting more people posting about the program in the forum. What do people think about this?

    Will having a separate forum like this for the program entice more people to post in it? There are currently about 14 posts with the program prefix and another 4-5 threads with the Q&A prefix (btw you can filter these threads by simply clicking on the individual prefix and see all of the threads with that prefix). I think we have a good amount of these threads to warrant a sub-forum, but was wondering what other people thought about it.
  2. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    This is why I thought we should have a special place for the Q&A and, and other specialty topics too. Took me awhile to figure out I could click whatever I clicked - and all the Q&A's came up together. A new person may not know that or stay long enough to figure it out. The easier we make the forum for people to navigate and see the important things they need answered before they jump in and post, the better. I think by making the sub-forums I suggested, we'll be able to get more members to join us and cure their issues.

    The cool thing about this forum is there are so many "survivors" that it gives the rest of us a lot of hope. So any way we can clean up the existing forum and make it easier and appear "busier" the more people we'll attract. There are a lot of "mes" out there.

    I hope you guys will consider the changes I purposed and put your thoughts here. Great minds think alike. Sorry Forest, I thought you wanted me to start an email, not here on the forum.

    BG
  3. Enrique

    Enrique TMS Guru

    Hi, I agree with BG! I was already thinking along the same lines when I was having trouble catching up on posts. I realized that we're growing fast. I think we should create a new subforum that would include Q&A with an Expert, Structured Program, and Peer Blogs.

    We should also tell people that they can click on the prefix to filter for all of the same. I didn't know you could do that and I'm an IT guy!! I would propose having a "sticky" thread with this kind of "how-to" information along with a definition of the prefixes and when/how to use them.

    Enrique
  4. Rinkey

    Rinkey Member

    Great idea with the sticky thread!
  5. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

    Well, it sounds like the general consensus is supportive, so let's set up a subforum.
    When I think about it, my only concern about doing this is that when people visit a forum, they may not understand that they need to check multiple subforums, so they may look only in one forum. Furthermore, I think that they are almost exclusively interested in content that feels "fresh" to them, i.e. threads that have been posted to either today or yesterday. (For example, in most cases, the threads that people reply to have been posted in relatively recently.) If we have multiple subforums, then it will become super important that we keep a minimum number of fresh threads, at least in the main forum, so that people know that this is an active forum and is worth exploring further.
    The reason I've hesitated to add a new subforum is that I wanted to make sure that we are ready. I think we are, so I'm willing to give this a try. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, right? But let's definitely keep working hard to keep the forum active and fresh.
    I really love the idea of having a sticky thread. Perhaps we could make a new "Welcome" thread, with an agreement that any moderator is welcome to edit the first post to add additional tips and tricks to it. That way, the collection of tips and tricks will only grow over time and there will always be a simple way to get the information through the sticky thread.

    Anyone have any ideas regarding what to call the new subforum?

    Also, one possible idea would be to move the peer blogs and the structured program threads to that subforum and have it be more for the more personal posts like those, while the Q&A posts still stay in the general Recovery forum. What do people think of that idea?
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  6. Enrique

    Enrique TMS Guru

    I think having a sticky thread with basics of how our forum is laid out will be helfpul. We could do a screencast and/or just some text. If we do a screencast on YouTube we could put a link like we have the "Return to the TMS Wiki" link. (In fact, that link has become redundant now that we have the TMS Wiki tab at the top. Time to remove it??). I also think people generally are becoming more forum savvy especially as Facebook usage has become pretty mainstream. I think it's pretty intuitive that there are many sub-forums.

    Agree with you there. The main forum is the go-to place for most discussions and has to be active. One minor thing that I think we might consider is to add add text for this forum description to identify this forum as a "A general discussion forum for all things related to PPD/TMS". This would show up when the mouse hovers over the forum title.

    So I'm not very creative, but it could be something simple with a hover text description like: PPD Potpourri Description/Hover Text = Forum for Peer Blogs, Structured Educational Program posts, and Q&A with an Expert responses.


    Hmmm.. I don't know. I'm liking the idea of being in a separate forum where it won't get too lost in all of the "general" discussions.
    Beach-Girl likes this.
  7. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    I promise to get in here and contribute more since I brought up the idea. But haven't been feeling too hot as of late and it's spring break here. I've been working a lot. So will jump in again soon.

    BG
  8. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

    It sounds like we should move ahead and create the new sub-forum. I probably could do this next week, but if any of the other mods want to do this, feel free to go ahead and set it up. All you need to do is go into the Admin CP and click on the "Display Node Tree" option. Then create a new child node either under the PPD/TMS Forums option or under the PPD/TMS Recovery Forum. I would probably do the later of these, but it would be whatever you all think is best. It should take all of about five minutes to set up. If you have any questions let me know.
  9. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    I ain't touching nothing in the "back room" - lol

    BG
  10. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

    Any thoughts on names for the new forum, BG?
  11. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    Oh the PRESSURE!!!! Let me think on this. (not going to add a dreaded smiley- not going to do it!)
  12. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

  13. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    OK:

    I think we need to make it clear that the blog section is sort of a commitment. One could write out their progress on their blog instead of posting 20 new threads above. This will keep the "above" section for basic questions.

    So how about something like: "Structured Program and Blog Section" (man that was hard to think up). We post a sticky at the top that this is where you post items relating to these issues. I think people will start blogs and new people will post up above. If it doesn't work? Then we take it out. But something on Page 5 could help someone. And with blogs, we may be down to three pages or even two on the top. This way nothing will be missed.

    Or you could start a blog as you work through the structured program. Take that piece out altogether. Just a thought.

    Make sense?

    BG
    Forest likes this.
  14. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

    If I'm understanding the two of you correctly, it sounds like there may be some difference regarding ideas for where to put Q&A posts. It sounds like Enrique like the idea of having them in with the Peer Blogs and the Structured Program posts, whereas Beach-Girl is suggesting putting it in with the general forum, perhaps in support of my original suggestion.

    We might want to consider making a third forum for the Q&A posts because they are high enough quality that we might want to have a special place to collect all of them.

    The reason that I say this is that the three of us are all very savvy internet users. Two of us have worked in IT and the third runs a blog and has helped start a forum once already. However, for some of our visitors who have less experience, they may not get the idea of subforums at first. For comparison, several users have attempted to reply to notifications about personal conversations by replying to the notification email (this doesn't work; you have to click on the button in the notification email to go back to the forum). Similarly, at least one person didn't follow that personal conversations are private (unlike public threads).

    The above two examples drove home to me how complicated this software may appear to some people, so getting them to visit multiple forums may be hard. I think that we're going to have to work hard to make it easy to switch subforums and make it very clear that there is much more to read on the other subforums.

    So what does this have to do with the above quotes? Well, if we're going to make a big deal out of having multiple subforums and make sure that everyone knows about them, it's not such a big step to have a third subforum especially for Q&A posts.

    What do you two think?
  15. Forest

    Forest TMS Guru

    All of this sounds great to me.
  16. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    I did that because everyone seemed to want it that way. I LOVE the idea of the Q&A in one section. We have many experts who would give us more credibility - like we're not just "recovering" - we've had contributions to members questions not only from peers, but experts as well. I don't see that anywhere else on a forum about TMS


    *Like*

    I disagree - especially since we're attracting so many new users. I think the top section could field questions that are important to people and as they explore, they can find the SP as well as the invitation to start a blog about their journey. Right now - it doesn't appear to be a big forum when you first access the page, with sub-sections there will (hopefully) be lots more information for people to read while determining whether or not this is for them. Again: SP = blog? (new idea)

    I say: No guts? No glory! We can make this a "full size" forum with many sub-sections where people can easily find what they seek.

    Examples forthcoming.......

    BG
  17. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=16

    This one is THREE HUNDRED PAGES LONG - who is going to wade through all that?

    http://www.crazymeds.us/CrazyTalk/

    Obviously I've done a lot of time on sites that are concerning MI.

    http://fibromyalgia.forumotion.com/

    I am now choosing at random.....if you scroll alllll the way past the TMI on "how to use the site" - you'll eventually find a nicely laid out forum with subsections.

    My point is: I think people are used to this style. I will provide more examples since you're all busy. But you get where I'm thinking? This is how I laid out my board - and we only had 20 exclusive members. We had MANY subsections. Not all were always used, but with 20 people - it's kinda tough.

    BG
  18. Enrique

    Enrique TMS Guru

    OK. I'm liking the idea of two subforums 'Structured Program and Blogs Forum' and "Q&A with An Expert Forum".

    For one, like BG is saying in many cases the SP and Blog could become one things. I've been a member for along time but have not done the full SP yet. So I could, instead of making a bunch of SP threads, I could create a Blog and just note all of my activities there. Those two things (SP+Blog) in one forum makes sense. Separating the Q&A with Expert content puts a really nice highlight on that content and it will all be organized and found in one place.

    As for the issue of the inexperienced folks, I think that no matter how easy you try to make it, there will always be the people who don't "get it" at first. But, I witnessed my father go from noob to experienced when it comes to using a computer and sending emails. I think we cater to the inexperienced by having a good "sticky" thread with how-to type of information or as I think I suggested before somewhere, a video with how to get around the forum.
    In my opinion, we need to keep the forum navigation simple, but also keep it organized so that people can find good content. Otherwise, like BG is saying stuff gets lost further and further down the forum as new stuff is added.

    EDIT: Also, note that I like using the word "Forum" in forum titles as it identifies it as a forum, but that's just an idea I'm throwing out for consideration... not totally locked into that yet.
    Forest and Beach-Girl like this.
  19. Beach-Girl

    Beach-Girl TMS Guru

    Well, since *I* am still trying to find nirvana (recovery) if you start the section with blogs for the structured program included together - I'll create the first blog. I was thinking of doing the SP over again anyway - so this might show an example of how that section works.

    I need to start something again, and perhaps at the end this time I'll be better equipped to suggest exercises for the last pages.

    BG
    Forest likes this.
  20. Chuck

    Chuck Peer Supporter

    Okay, I'm convinced. I just saw the new subforums and they look really good. There was really something about them that I thought was exciting, like they were something completely new. It seems like it would actually get more people submitting Q&A questions.

    Good call on making the switch

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