Anyone interested in helping me out with my new project?

Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Sep 12, 2019 2:59 pm

Sure, I will help.

Why do you think mental health forums are closing down? Why do they fail? What makes the forum you are starting avoid these same issues?
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Postby Richard@DecisionSkills » Thu Sep 12, 2019 3:24 pm

Might it be the case that anonymity is a large part of the problem?

Might it be the case that one reason mental health forums have been closing is that crowdsourcing solutions from anonymous people is not very effective?

As credentialed mental health care delivered online increases, might it be the case that there will be a natural decline in seeking unqualified advice from random strangers?

I’m just throwing out the above ideas to ponder, before investing your time launching a forum when you observe forums closing. Of course I certainly might be wrong.

A useful analogy is a reality television show losing its ratings. The viewers are not turning off the television, but you really do not know where they have gone. You can’t see all of the alternatives, so you assume there are none. You assume there must be room for a new reality show, but done better than the shows that are being canceled. You don’t see that the viewers are slowly switching to Netflix or YouTube or some other new innovation. You do not see the alternatives people are turning to.
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Postby Candid » Thu Sep 12, 2019 4:26 pm

huddlehumans wrote:I have been browsing mental health forums for about 2 years and at least 50% of them has closed down and the rest almost inactive.

This forum has been running since 2003, with some very active periods and some very slow ones. I've yet to see it at a standstill.

I think firstly, the forums are not maintained well.

The Uncommon Forum uses a largely hands-off approach that works very well. Members can report any objectionable post, and MVPs keep an eye out for troublemakers, but otherwise the owners let people test their perceptions in a realistic community of ordinary people such as they'll experience in real life. Although the Forum Rules say
    Do not discuss religion or politics on the board
    Do not use foul language
    Do not make the same post in multiple locations
    Do not post in ALL CAPS or all in bold
    Discuss ideas, do not criticize, insult or otherwise attack people,
you'll see all of that here. Unless someone objects and reports it, it isn't removed. Naturally reporting is anonymous.

Secondly, the mass demographics of people with a mental health condition do not know that these forums exist.

They don't need to. People can put any question, anything that's bothering them, any diagnosis, medication or weird fetish into their search engine, and odds are they'll find us (as well as other MH forums) among the results. Further, we keep a rolling stock of people who can't spell or can't type, so all sorts of variant words lead here, too.

Thirdly, there has been a rise in facebook groups contributing to mental health awareness which I am very, very happy to see. However, it is not anonymous.

Most Uncommon Forum members use pseudonyms.

Anyway, I hope you'll have a good experience here and I wish you well with your own forum.
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