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Unread March 7th, 2006, 02:28 PM
Rod Whiteley Rod Whiteley is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 7
Talking Re: How can we liven up the discussion?

1. I have lurked here occasionally and this is my first post. Although I have a role in delivering psychotherapy, I would not describe myself as a mental health professional. This has made me feel that participating actively would not be appropriate.

2. In other online forums, there are many people who only post rarely. I wonder if that is a good group to target. It seems to me that the "Ask Jim Pretzer a Question" model works well for those people who very occasionally need to know something.

3, 4. I think it's fine for you to respond to every post, if no one else gets there first and says all that needs to be said. There is a forum where I do that, and it does not seem to inhibit discussion.

5. Yes, I think it is good for others to respond too.

In the UK, the BABCP's mailing list is a very active discussion of cognitive therapy and related subjects, with something like 200 - 300 posts a month. I have been wondering what the differences are.

One difference is that it is e-mail (although it has a web interface too). Perhaps posting on a web site feels scarier than sending an e-mail.

Another difference is that access is controlled. Indeed, participants sometimes have to be reminded that non-therapists are able to join the list. Perhaps you should eject people like me to create a feeling of "amongst ourselves" here.

Some of the topics here have a heavywright quality that makes them daunting to respond to. I think forums work best with brief comments and questions that have transient relevance. For longer articles that have persistent value, a wiki might be more appropriate. Then the discussion of an individual point from an article in the wiki would make a manageable thread in the forum, and more people might feel able to join in.

Regular readers of the forum can help to promote it by deliberately moving discussions that arise in e-mail and elsewhere into this public arena, saying, "Let's continue this discussion in the forum, because it might be of value to other poeple" or "...because we might value what other people have to say."
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