- Posts: 18
- Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 3:57 pm
- Gender: female
- Location: 6330 Cham - Switzerland
The IGAN forum is not a chat room for chatterboxes!
It is an information platform for people seeking advice.
The forum is preceded by a number of so called topic pages, on which the person seeking advice can find lots of information about the subject that led them to the website – comprehensive information and explanations about tumours, symptoms, diagnoses, treatment options and rehabilitation, including pictures, written by a person who has been and is affected themselves.
Who goes to the doctor without having first decided how to present their problem to the doctor? Probably hardly anyone.
How do you prepare for it? Preferably with written notes.
What should you note down? Everything abnormal, the first time you noticed something was wrong, how it has developed, the time and intensity of symptoms, in short, everything about it. Basically, all the issues that are bothering you, described as clearly as possible.
And the same applies if you are looking for advice on a medical forum!
It is perhaps even harder in this context, as usually the person seeking advice turns to the forum after they have been to the doctor. They search and hope to find more information – information that is "better" than that provided by the doctor. Is it therefore not entirely logical that they should describe all the information that they currently have to the people that they are now asking?
They expect comprehensive and high-quality information. It therefore seems reasonable that they should provide comprehensive and high quality information first. It's that simple, but even so, some find it difficult.
It is thus not sufficient to post:
"I have been aware of the fact that I have a tumour for two days. I haven't got a clue what to do. What should my next step be? Is there a good clinic in my local area?"
We have deliberately omitted from this fictitious post any form of address, salutation or signature as this can be quite common when chatting - but please do not do this in our forum!
It is easy to see from such posts that they were written without first finding out information from the topic pages and that the person seeking advice has not browsed (or even better searched) the forum posts.
What usually happens when such posts are made? A long back-and-forth process begins between forum members who want to help and the person seeking advice, from whom the information required in order to be able to provide high-quality advice is slowly extracted, piece by piece.
This is unproductive, and has little informational value. And it clogs up the forum unnecessarily. Such a topic is subsequently difficult to read and is thus off-putting for future forum users.
There are lots of threads that are repeated; the threads are too lengthy; keywords are missing from the title, etc.
We fully understand the feelings people often have when they receive a "tumour" diagnosis and are happy to answer you individually. But please – reflection is called for in the first hours to find a sense of calmness, then find relevant information and then ask others. And please also provide all the relevant information to those you are asking!
A few tips on "browsing the forum":
Based on the list of questions, go through the categories and read the titles of the topics. Read some posts.
Even better – use the search function with one or more keywords, and display the posts that contain related information. Then read these.
Where should I put my post? There will always be doubts and several possibilities regarding where to post. But the moderator can correct this later, and you can also ask him in advance via a private message – as sometimes happens.
However, it is careless and unnecessary, to open a topic such as "Flying after and AN operation" if there are already two such threads in the forum.
If such things are left unmoderated, soon nobody will be able to find anything in the forum, or a search will turn up far too many threads on the same topic.
Please everyone help to avoid this!
In summary, my recommendation to active users of the forum:
1. After receiving your diagnosis, try to remain calm. Note the progression of the illness.
2. Formulate questions.
3. Read the topic pages on the website. Answer questions, formulate new ones.
4. Browse through the forum. Use the search function. Answer questions, formulate new ones.
5. Take stock mentally. Compile the (still outstanding) questions.
6. Make a post in the forum - by adding to an existing thread or open a new thread.
In some situations, such as congratulating someone after an operation or wishing someone good luck the day before an operation, it is of course acceptable to chat a bit. But otherwise we appeal to all users of the forum to preserve the character of the forum as an information platform about a serious issue that uses an appropriate style.