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Marina

What can we do to improve the forum?

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Sluggish
Marina

Although we get a fair amount of visits every day, from both members and guests, posting on the forum seems to be becoming less and less these past few weeks or months.

 

I'm not sure what else I can add to the forum to make it even more of a "community" area for everybody, or without having to heavily invest in a better server to handle anything more if any further additions (heavier ones, that is) end up not being used.

 

Has anybody any ideas how we might maybe be able to create greater interaction and get people more involved again? Is there anything you'd like to see on the forum that isn't already here?

 

Please don't suggest having a Facebook page! Apart from the fact that a FB page/group wouldn't bring people here, I personally find the forum format to be far easier to use, far easier to search for topics or to find anything, and so on.

 

I could perhaps start a Twitter feed, which might help bring in some newbies. The feed could contain all sorts and not just MS related items. It's an idea I've been toying with for a little while now anyway.

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Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Mal

May be it could be a good idea to have a video eduction section , with some of the very best reliable

videos out there on the net at the moment ......for me shortly after i start reading text , the words get all fuzzy and mixed up ,

 

To save on the server , its easy to use outside resources " youtube , Vimeo "

same with images , there are a whole load of hosting sites that can be used to store educational images .

 

I also know a lot of people on here like a bit carry on and a laugh so maybe a section The Pub ,

just a place where people can check in every now and again and talk about anything really

 

could also have a bit of a competition on what we call the pub :)

 

apart from naked girls i can't think anything else at the moment :whistle: haha

 

Mal

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Sluggish
Marina

Thanks Mal, all suggestions are welcome!

 

There are a few (admittedly not many) links to videos in the Resources section, mostly neurology based, and I marked them as "Video". If you know where the "whole load of hosting sites" with these videos are, would you please be able to send me links to them via PM so's I can go check them out and then add them somewhere? :thanx: They'd probably still be in "Resources" though, as I wouldn't want to split it up which might confuse people when it comes to where to look for outside information relating to MS

 

Re "The Pub"... we already have that, it's called "The Lounge" here, and for posting and sharing laughs we have "Jokes and Games" :flowerface:

 

What I'm also trying to aim for is to have more people contributing/posting on the forum, as it seems to have become ...ever..... so.... quiet... here these days... :hairraising:

 

Keep the suggestions coming please! :hippy:

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Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Rama

Hi Marina,

First of all can I say that I think the forum is great. I have only been a member for about a month but it has made me feel a little less alone. Just reading other people's posts and replies I get the sense there is a real community spirit among all the members which I hope to become a part of as I become more of a regular.

As a new member I have a couple of suggestions. Perhaps it would be helpful if, when new members join, a short tutorial pops up explaining the best way to use the forum. Where best to post comments etc. I know I used the Blog for my first few posts which I now realise is not looked at as often.

Maybe some way of highlighting new topics. You might get more comments.

As I say I am still quite new to the forum but I do think you are doing a great job.

Gill x

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Sluggish
Marina

Thanks Gill :hearts: and it always touches me greatly when members say how much they find the forum helps them. From what I can see, you've already become part of our community spirit :flowerface:

 

When new people join, they receive a "welcoming" PM and email which I thought gave them a link to where to go for help with how to use the forum. But I see it doesn't; maybe I assumed people would see the section marked "How To's" under "Forum Info and Help". So I'll add that link to that welcoming email/PM, for those who might miss seeing that section.

 

New topics and topics with new replies are already highlighted:

- On the main forum page: the icon with the quote marks in it, to the left of forum names, turns black when there's a new topic or a new reply to an older topic. It turns silver when there are no new topics or replies.

- In the list of topics: topic titles turn bold for new topics or for topics with new replies. When you've read a topic, it's no longer in bold.

These tend to be referred to as "unread" and "read".

 

New topics, topics with new replies, new Blog entries and other new unread stuff has also always been in the "View New Content" link at the top right of every page.

 

It's possible that lots of topics are highlighted as new and "unread" for you as you obviously haven't read every single topic on the forum going back years - nor would we expect you to! You might want to mark everything "read" by going to the very bottom of any page and clicking on the link for "Mark Community Read". Then in future, only new stuff you haven't read will be highlighted for you.

 

Blogs: it's not that they're not looked at so often, it's that they're not the same as topics and are used for a different purpose. The word "Blog" was originally derived from "Web log", a sort of online diary or journal. This might help describe it: http://ms-people.com/forum/topic/13876-whats-the-difference-between-a-forum-and-a-blog/

 

Keep the suggestions coming please! :hippy:


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Lurking
PaulX

There is quite a lively MS community out there on Twitter, so if you can some how tap into that, you may end up with more interaction with this (excellent) site.

 

i too have noticed the drop off and hands up, I am guilty of dropping out to a degree. Several reasons for that.

1) A bit of a life style change. Thought that too has now changed, so I would hope to be here more often then recently.

2) Some old faces seem to have gone, people i would often PM with and hence just loiter about the site.

3) My MS seems to be in the stage where nothing new is happening, one day is much the same as the next. It gets hard to post when there is nothing new to say or ask.

 

As far as i am concerned, the site is fine as it is, it is perhaps just a trend that may reverse.

If you check out other forums, I'm thinking orange here, they seem to have had a drop off in postings as well recently. It could be that like dedicated blogging sites, forums are not in vogue any more. It might be one of those internet trends.

As I said up above, there is a lot of MS related activity on Twitter, so that could be part of the cause.

 

These are just my thoughts and are strictly non-scientific.

 

i like this forum. It is simple enough but also has enough gadgets to keep a closet techie like me happy.

 

All the best,

Paul

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We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,

Running over the same old ground.

What have we found?

The same old fears.

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Sluggish
Marina

I was thinking of getting a Twitter account going (I already set one up yonks ago) and twittering to it... if and when my energy levels allow!

 

I think it's not just Twitter that people are going to, but to FB groups - although for the life of me, I cannot see the benefits! (This is purely my own personal view :hoop: ). At least with proper forum software, like this one, you can look to old past topics, search for this or that, and more, which no way can anyone do on FB. As for trying to read those tiny little replies... ugh. Twitter I like; FB... ferrgit... for me anyway!

 

There is another "gadget" I was wondering about adding :lol4: (as long as it doesn't conflict with any others we have), which is an "activity stream". A page (tabbed at the top) where it would show in chronological order eg:

 

X posted a reply in xxx topic (timestamp)

X made friends with X (timestamp)

X started a new topic called xxx (timestamp)

X updated their status (timestamp)

etc.

 

But I might be a bit loathe to do much else to the forum if it's going to keep being as quiet as it now :think:

 

One thing I would like is a new logo or banner, but I'm too fatigued for it... if there are any kind souls out there who are any good with graphics and who might consider producing something, I'd be grateful to see what you might have to offer :flowerface: Or should I maybe run a sort of competition for it? It would have to be just for the fun of it though, for free...

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Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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PaulX

I never use the FB groups. I know real people on there and the vast majority of them do not know about my "little problem". i suspect this is true for many others too.

Other media, this forum included offer a degree more anonymity and make it easier to be far more open.

 

As for the logo, sorry i can't help. Can I claim that the lack of artistic ability is a symptom?

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We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl, year after year,

Running over the same old ground.

What have we found?

The same old fears.

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Herecomestrouble

Hi,

I am new here, but can I suggest that the 'jokes/funnies' & the 'lounge' become one, it seems to me that a bunch of friends lounging about together would get each other giggling. :irish: xxx


I will decide what to put here one day...........brace yourselves........

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Sluggish
Marina

Thanx for the suggestion HCT :hippy:

 

I hope you won't mind if I say I prefer to keep the jokes completely separate from anything else as that section is meant for, well ... sharing jokes only. These don't usually turn into discussions, the only times anyone might reply is to make some comment related to the joke itself.

 

The Lounge is meant for chatting about anything that's not related to MS, whether the topic is about something funny, sad, annoying, nice that happened to you or just some other everyday event that people want to chat about, as opposed to jokes people find on the internet or in their email.

 

I hope that helps explain it a bit and isn't too much of a disappointment to you :flowerface:


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Nindancer

Marina, this forum is tons easier to use than the other one I joined! Better emoticons etc. tho I'm at work right now so limited use ;) I use both forums as I made some friends there already, but I like it here :)

Sonia x

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The Dragonfly

I agree, as you can tell, I love posting 'my thoughts' I post on there too much I have to stop myself.....haha but I still do. I like how others answer and interact. And I noticed today on my copaxone question that at the bottom you've linked old posts from yonks ago. I like that and trawled through them.

 

I don't use twitter or FB, I like the way this place is set up, it's fun and I don't feel judged.

 

Has the logo been changed? Just thinking, when I was joining an MS forum a 5 -6 months ago the first one that pops up is the orange one, hence being there for a bit, I just played follow the leader who jumped ship to this one.....haha. But I did find it difficult to locate on the computer. I've now bookmarked this so it comes up in an instant.

 

Jen xx

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Sluggish
Marina

Has the logo been changed?

 

No, the logo hasn't been changed. It's only had some Xmas baubles added to it for the Xmas holidays. Otherwise, it's the same logo as has been here since day 1....


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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cazza

Hi Marina,

How about a section called "raspberry's & roses" or "booo's & bouquets"

where you can send a virtual Booo! to some jobsworth; doctor; beaurocrat; friend/family; anyone who has bugged you or indeed a virtual bouquet/roses to someone who has helped you; supported you; been good/kind to you; or simply made you smile/laugh just when you neded it.

 

Cazza x

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*A Christmas Carole*

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Sluggish
Marina

Thanx Cazza :flowerface: Unfortunately, I fear your idea might not be suitable as we don't allow naming of doctors (with the exception of a very few doctors, at the forum's discretion), least of all in a negative light which could lead to accusations of defamation or libel. The same would apply to anybody else who is named or where it could be construed it might be them even if they're not named. Also, someone one person thinks badly of, might be thought well of by someone else - which could then lead to other problems or squabbles between members.

 

As a reminder, this topic is not so much about what new things we can add to the forum, but is more about what we can do to get people joining, posting, and staying on the forum so as to make the forum less quiet (as it's been so quiet now for quite a while). A quiet forum in an uninviting forum... A busier forum is more attractive as people think they're more likely to get a response to any post they may make.


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Softsqueezy

I really don't like the new look MS People, maybe it's my brain fog but I find it so difficult to navigate hence I'm never here anymore.


Edited by Softsqueezy
mistake

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Sluggish
Marina

I'm sorry to hear that, Softsqueezy. What aspect of navigation do you find difficult? Maybe there's something that could be changed...


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Mal

Changing the style you view the forum might help , theres 3 styles to try 

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Sluggish
Marina

Navigation is nearly, if not, identical to how it was before. So I'm not quite sure where any difficulty might be?

 

If anybody else thinks the navigation has changed so much that they now find it difficult, please start a new topic about it and I'll see if there's anything I can do about it :flowerface:


Marina

(belated DX in June '05, SPMS)

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Founded in 2004, MS People UK is a community website and discussion forum by and for people with Multiple Sclerosis as well as for friends, families, supporters and those interested in this disabling condition.

If you’re newly diagnosed or want to ask about possible first symptoms, or if you’ve had Relapse Remit, Secondary or Primary Progressive MS for some time, a welcoming group of fellow MS sufferers is here to chat with you about MS symptoms, diagnosis and treatments.

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