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This new board layout is terrible.
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Galileo1962 posted:
Administrators: if you're wondering why there's rarely any activity here these days, it's because the new layout is awful. I've heard it from members who are now doing their communication on other boards--like CancerForums.net and HealingWell. If you want to see a vibrant discussion forum, visit HealingWell.com and look at the prostate cancer discussion forum. This forum used to be just as busy! Here are some differences that make HealingWell better, and attract more traffic.

1. Easy to find the discussion forums on HW. On WebMD, on the main page, you really have to hunt to find the discussions, and you'd better know beforehand that they're called exchanges.

2. Less clutter on HW. Here, you feel like you're being squeezed from both sides The ads are huge! HW has a nice clean look and feel. Here you have to type in this tiny box--which doesn't always work, btw. Sometimes your typing runs outside the box for some reason.
We don't need to see the huge stock photos of the old guy at the top every time we visit, either. Nor do we need to automatically see pictures of every person who posts--and most of them don't use them, anyway.

I don't see any difference when I follow the tip to click on the discussions tab.

3. Easy to get to the newest post on HW. Here you have to scroll all the way down and find the arrows.

4. Chat. There used to be a regular chat here, but it's no longer available, as far as I know.

5. The "Anonymous" thing here. What's wrong with just making people use screen names? All the anonymous posters seem the same.

6. Better moderation. Sorry, Caprice, but this board needs some hands-on moderation. The "Welcome" from Dr. Moul got hijacked over and over again by people starting specific topics. It got quite confusing. Someone needed to step in and move postings to their own threads. I tried to do that with responses, but it only made it worse.

7. Email updates. The discussion watchlist feature continues to send me updates that something new has been posted to the RiverRat radiation question, when in fact nothing has.

Things I like:

1. It's fantastic having experts like Dr. Moul involved

2. I like being able to post resources.

3. The WSIWYG text editor is nice.

4. I like that you can create your own exchange.

I hope this is helpful. I've always loved the WebMD forum--it was the first prostate cancer forum I was active on when I became diagnosed, and I found REAL help here, from people like John (az4peaks). I hope that I've been helpful to others here--and therefore helpful to WebMD. But the interface has got to improve.
Reply
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
Hi Galileo,

Thanks very much for your (great) feedback! I will be passing it on (WebMD is listening and we'll continue to see changes in the weeks and months to come). In the meantime....

1. Totally agree. We have made that point as well and we know that they are working on making exchanges more apparent.

2. The ads are actually the same as they were on our old message boards. I think that when we visit the same place all the time, we start to filter all that out, but now that it's a new environment, we notice them that much more. The one you mention at the top of this exchange (the old guy) isn't an ad so much as letting everyone know that we have a Duke expert here. Having said that, plans are already in the works to take that away because we realize that it's taking up more room than we'd like.

There is a difference between viewing the exchange via the What's Happening Now feed and the Discussions index. In the What's Happening Now feed (currently, the default feed), you are shown who posted the last response in a discussion. And the feed will include tips and resources, not just discussions. The Discussions index displays them much as the old message board did, albeit with a different decor, displaying them by the person who posted the initial post in a thread. This is the reason many of our members go quickly to that discussions index as it makes a bit more sense to them.

3. We hear you on that one as well and we can expect changes on this soon.

4. You're right; we no longer have even our rather wonky chat area we once had. It became a huge problem for more members than it helped. When and if we bring chat back to WebMD, we want to ensure we have a good product.

5. The intent of anonymous posting is so that a regular member on one community could easily go to another one and ask a question without their online identity being known. For example, someone on the parenting board may have a herpes question. This way they can stay logged in but post anonymously. Having said that, we can still track them if they are a problem and even beyond that, you're not the only member who has expressed some real concerns about this feature. So it's something being considered.

6. We never did move posts and still cannot. And members often did that, asking questions on another's discussion. That hasn't really changed with Exchanges. I will admit it happened less often in this community but it's very common on most.

7. And yup, that's a known glitch and is being worked on. It can't get fixed fast enough for my liking. *chuckle* The only way to stop it is to take those discussions off your watchlist once you've realized there are likely not going to be any new responses. To do that, click on Preferences beneath the My Discussions watchlist and remove it/them there.

Whew! I hope that addressed everything. I'm very glad you have found some positives in Exchanges. I see them too and think we'll eventually have a fantastic product but we definitely have some tweaking to do.

Thanks so much for taking the time to write it all out here. :-) You are definitely a HUGE asset to this community. Quiet as this community has always been, it's also always been one of my favorites because of members like you. I know when I send members here for support and insight and information, I am confident they'll get just that. :-)
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff responded:
I wanted to address a bit more regarding your 6th point.... we are working on that, better moderation. And we appreciate your patience with us. :-)
 
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Galileo1962 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Caprice, thank you very much for your detailed response. I feel a lot better about the future of this exchange.
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to Galileo1962's response:
Whew! Thanks Galileo. :-)
 
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HIFU4me replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Thanks Galileo, your list couldn't be better, I'd just go back to the old format or change to CancerForums.net style.
 
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jump62 responded:
I also think the new layout is terrible so much so i have almost totaly quit posting here
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to jump62's response:
I am glad that those of you who found the change difficult continue to peek in now and then and hope the new changes helps to make things easier.

We will continue to tweak in the weeks to come. :-)
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
 
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Galileo1962 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
Caprice, this is off topic, but I love your signature tag line.

Yesterday I watched an old film of Viktor Frankl,
the holocaust survivor and author of "Man's Search for
Meaning" speak about this very quote.

It's on the TED Talks website. Have you seen it?
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to Galileo1962's response:
I don't think I have, Galileo and will have to check it out (being in Canada, the one you pointed me to may not work for me but I'll look). I love documentaries and have read a lot of accounts from various holocaust survivors, as well as appreciate philosophical discussions. Thanks for the recommendation; I will remember.

It's a quote I really believe in, along with many other Goethe quotes. :-)
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
 
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Galileo1962 replied to Caprice_WebMD_Staff's response:
I have also linked the video to my blog at http://pcabefore50.blogspot.com . I think it's relevant to cancer patients. We expect a lot from medical professionals, and if you believe Goethe, if we expect too much from them we don't hurt them, but rather help them achieve their maximum, even though that maximum may fall somewhat short of our expectations.
The video is short, humorous, and uplifting. When you consider what Viktor Frankl experienced at the hands of his fellow human beings, his optimism is itself a miracle.
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to Galileo1962's response:
VERY interesting take on it, Galileo, thank you. I never thought of it in those terms but I agree that it fits. You've given me a lot to think about.

I also agree about Frankl's optimism. It's always stunning to me and very humbling what people will go through and not only be left standing but shining for all the rest of us.
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe
 
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Caprice_WebMD_Staff replied to Galileo1962's response:
I just watched the video on your blog, Galileo, thank you for pointing me there. I've always believed this philosophy and use it in my own life, with the people in my life, but now realize I need to broaden it out a bit.

Again, lots to consider. :-)
Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you'll help them to become what they are capable of becoming. ~Goethe


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