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  #1    
Old October 4th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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The forum I was previous admin of had a section similar to this and instead of having a single thread for everybody's problems, there was a dedicated section to it.

This section was created so that issues such as what is being discussed here could be made separately giving people more chance to focus on one persons needs rather than having a cluster together. It also allowed them to make a thread anonymously if they were too shy, or afraid to post using their registered name. We also had a usergroup for members who were considered the most helpful with a mod overlooking it all and approving all the posts (Approval being needed to make sure nothing inappropriate was said to the person needing the help.

I can say with certainly that this approach did work as well. It's understandable that young people especially feel they might need to talk about things sometimes and having users with a similar age can help with that. While it is good that the forum has this thread available for anyone, I myself would be more reluctant to post here as everything is merged.

To this date, the section has had 307 threads and 3434 posts. Bearing in mind the forum had an age group that I'd happily assume if close to this one.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:07 AM
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Tentative no for me. While I understand the demand for advice, we are all internet people in the end, so it's not something I want to encourage any further than what exists now: advice threads that are more come and go - ad hoc - with a low level of dedication. Many of us are biased and have particular worldviews, and I really don't want to put that in a position where it can affect personal lives. If it's about anything personal, I would prefer the level of engagement to be low, so I endorse the setup we have now.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2009
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I guess the first issue is one of use. Would such a section see much use. The current help thread only just passed 100 posts and it's been around almost 6 months with long periods where it wasn't really used much. (Lately there seems to be an uptick in use though.)

Then there's the issue of need. Does the forum need such a section devoted entirely to help and advice? Like BiS said, we all generally know how to use the internet so that's going to cut down on the number of things members would come to the forum to ask about. We also have a pretty large number of places where people are free to talk to one another, chit-chat threads, vms, pms, and clubs. Not that they're specifically designed for people to ask for advice, but they're there.

Then there's the issue of commitment. Whose job would it be to overlook this section? A mod, presumably, but how much attention would such a section need? In principle, I like the idea of being able to ask things anonymously because of embarrassment or whatever, but that would mean someone keeping an eye on that to make sure someone isn't spamming anonymously.

I suppose if there was enough of a need/desire for such a section, or subsection, and if it didn't turn into a big mess, I'd be for it in principle. Not sure if we can say there's enough need yet though.
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Old October 4th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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Obviously every forum works differently and obviously we didn't know how it would work out ourselves. We opted for the approach of creating a section straight away. And no, we aren't professionals but even professionals have a certain view of different subject matters. Like you said though Scarf, the current thread hasn't been extremely busy but is that because people don't want to post their problems or because they feel the same way I do about how it is currently implemented?

The section itself would be the responsibility of a moderator and every thread/post would be by default, moderated which as I'm sure you'll already know, requires approval before it is visible to the community. The separate usergroup exclusive to the section would also have a sub-section so that they can work together. Obviously this section would be invisible to the wider community.

Obviously this is just a suggestion but I was thinking about it whilst waiting for my take-away which still hasn't arrived after 45 minutes!
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