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The Down side of online forums

dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:30 AM in Spine-Health Announcements
For the past couple of days, I have had to direct my attention to two problems that keep coming up:

- Spammers
- Improper use of Chat

The Spammers are getting more and more bold and explicit in their posts. Since this is an open forum and allows anyone to register, we can expect to see some of this. Lately, there just has been a rush of this.

Chat room.. What can I say here that I have not already said a dozen times.

The biggest problem with all of this, is that it takes time to track each one down and handle it. This takes away time , that I or any other moderator has in helping other members.
We are all volunteers, so are time is limited.

I do apologize to new members that I have not been able to address and welcome properly.
Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com


  • I think this is a well moderated forum, esp. since it's voluntary. The spammers are paid in many cases to do their job, so they have more time on their hands ;)
  • I agree that you moderators are doing a great job. I don't go into chat so I have no idea what's going on with that. I am glad I'm not one to go into the chatroom cuz I would rather spend my time helping members rather than causing problems.

    A BIG THANK YOU!!! to all the moderators who spend their own time volunteering to help others.
  • i havent noticed any problems in chat my self. i find it a great place to chat with many friends from around the world, maybe i miss all the good stuff/ or bad stuff not sure, depends how u look at it. then again i have very thick skin, and im not easily offended. all i can say is try to have a sense of humor.
  • Ming...don't think you should make a judgement about the chat room if you've never been in there..After my surgery I recieved so much support and answers from very caring people. Now that I am better I offer support and answers to the new members...Sometimes you get some improper chat..but if you correct them they change their way...Stop in sometime Ming and see how supportive we are
  • I totally agree with Cynthia, it is really important to not judge, especially if you have never been in chat.
    I have received so much support from some wonderful people that literally carried my through quite a few of the hardest challenges in my life. I and most others members try to pass that support along to others that enter chat.

    We also have friendships and always try to have a giggle. Humor is a great gift and a great medicine itself.

    Are there issue, you bet. However read some of the threads, there are issues on forum as well. So really i would say online forums have many challenging issues...

    So please don't make judgements that chat is nothing but problems, cause that is not a fair assessment of chat at all. We all get support in different ways, forum , chat, or both, the main goal i thought at spine health was getting and giving support. We offer a hand up.
  • Ming isn't here,and while I can't speak for her.I'm fairly certain that she didn't mean that statement the way that it read.She normally posts helpful info,and is a compassionate type personality,but she has been in a lot of pain lately and having problems with medication.

    ..but she never said,or even implied that chat was nothing but problems.I have been in chat and witnessed some issues firsthand.
  • Without the chat room, I would have remained very isolated, lonely and depressed. I have met many wonderful people, especially my new Mainiac friend, lol. I can only share my experience with chat.....we try very hard to be supportive and helpful to all, especially newbies. I make every effort not to get involved with gossip (poison!) or to take inappropriate chat personally. Negativity only harbors more negativity. And....HUMOR is a great pain antidote! I love all my new spiney friends who understand my pain and frustrations. So wonderful to chat with people from all over the world!

    Chat is not for everyone. Forums are not for everyone. But for me, chat has transformed my life.
  • dilauro, there is no need to apologize for not welcoming members properly. :? they are welcomed in a timely manner and by a great group of volunteers. <:P the newcomers are not being neglected in any way. i think alot of us realize how tough your job is and that you only have two hands, i think that is why there are so many great spineys welcoming the newcomers. :H it is one area we can all help you out with.. and it is such a pleasure to do!! thank you for all your good work! =D> Jenny :)
  • Sorry guys,
    I didn't mean to offend those who do prefer chat. It's just not my thing cuz I have a hard time following the conversations. I have popped in a couple of times. I run out of things to say too which I don't seem to have a problem with on the forums.

    Thank you so much for defending me as like you said, I haven't been on here lately due to increased pain and med issues.

    As long as we are all here for the same reason it doesn't matter whether it's in chat or on the forums. We are here to reach out for support for ourselves, loved ones or to offer support to those who may need it as well as forming great friendships with people who understand what you are feeling and going through.

    Paparon, just out of curiosity...do we have a missiong statement?

    Hugs to all my spiney peeps (((HUGS)))
  • I also like the chat room but, like Ming, have a hard time keeping up usually. (Stupid meds...) But there is a real sense of camaraderie in the chat room. It really is a place to just kinda have fun and put yourself in a different mindset.

    The one thing I dislike about forums (and chat and email and other electronic forms of communication) is that it is very easy for someone to misinterpret what is often times an innocent statement. Take Robin's post just a bit up the page. There is difficulty in conveying emotion, meaning and/or intent electronically that is not an issue with face-to-face communication. Even reading your own post (knowing what you meant!) after the fact you can get a whole new meaning. And then you find yourself defending and/or explaining your earlier posts. (Sorry Robin don't want you to feel picked on but your post is a perfect example!) One last drawback is that I feel bad in making any complaint for a couple reasons. First, there are a lot of folks who have it much worse than I do. Second, I have a hard time posting. Don't get me wrong, I start writing posts but only submit maybe a third of them. I can't get my thoughts down on paper, if you will, they just don't sound right. And sometimes I just don't know what I can say that would be helpful.

    What do I like about online forums? Can't forget this part! The online forum brings together a group of people that have something in common, which, lets face it, is not the greatest thing in our case. But each of us has "walked a mile" in those shoes and has an intimate understanding of the difficulties and issues of all the other members. Everyone's experience is different which helps develop a rounded, "big picture" atmosphere. Spine-health, in particular, seems to be one of the best groups I have seen as a place to get advice, information and, most importantly, an electronic shoulder to cry on or ear to listen. Everyone here has something valuable to contribute.

    I gotta finally say thanks to the moderators, I've done the job and know how it can eat up a lot of time. I think you do a fantastic job of keeping S-H focused and headed in the right direction.
  • I can understand what you meant,and I think you convey you thoughts perfectly.

    I don't even mind being made an example of...it's kind of a compliment..lol.I did actually mean that post pretty much how it sounds,but certainly not to hurt anyone,and not directed towards anyone here.

    ..I could explain exactly what I meant by issues,but then it would sound as if I'm stirring up trouble,and that is not my intention.I just found forums better for me,but chat is great for others I'm sure.
  • has always done an excellent job. Keep up the good work :H I have visited chat and it was a blast, but I kinda prefer the forums. It's been awhile since I chatted but I'll try to return one of these days. PS..I think Ming was just expressing her personal preference, that's all O:) I too find it tricky to keep up at chat..darn meds! :/
  • You guys are doing a terrific job, keep it up, and way to go!!! A prime example is one post that made it to every forum about a blog site last night, so annoying, but each post was deleted very quickly, thanks!!
    As for chat, I have popped in a couple of times, it was great to talk in real time to people, but I do have problems keeping up with the flow too, lol. But it is a good laugh at times, and great for stress relief, so thanks to those people, and everyone who answers posts on the forums, too. Everyone is so helpful and caring, aside from the spammers. Be well everyone and hope all can enjoy their weekend.
    APROUD CANADIANveteranButNOTa doctor, my thoughts are my own
  • I think this is a very well-moderated forum. (I can't speak to chat room issues as I have never been there.) You all do a very professional job in moderating content - I am quite impressed. Keep up the good work.

  • dilaurodilauro ConnecticutPosts: 9,859
    So much of the credit goes to the member community.
    Its everyone who makes the difference.
    I've been moderating other technical forums and I can tell you it can be a real nightmare. Most of the time is spent correcting posts, telling people that they are inappropriate, etc...
    Here, I can spend a lot of time being just like another member and talking about our spinal conditions.
    Now that really does say something about this site and most importantly it says a lot about our member community.
    Thank you for being who you are.....
    And thank you for allowing me to be who I am
    Ron DiLauro Spine-Health System Administrator
    I am not a medical professional. I comment on personal experiences
    You can email me at: rdilauro@veritashealth.com
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