Bringing negative posts to the top

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

21 Mar 2003, 20:53 #21

We have a lot of new members. I thought it would be a good idea to help people see how we try to structure the board and posts so that we can get an accurate portrayal of what quitting is like without making it appear that staying off is as bad as many people think that it is going to be over the long-term. The post below title of posts is a good case in point. I was actually thinking a good string to have brought up to see how things improve with time was the one titled, "God I Want a Cigarette!!!!," but as you will see from the comment below I prefer to get the message of that one string out on the board without bringing the title up to do it.
From: Joel. Sent: 12/28/2002 12:04 PM
Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.

Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.

But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.

Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.

Start a new string with a title like:

"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."

Then in the body write something to the effect:

"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.

A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)

In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."

By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.

We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!

Joel
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

25 Mar 2003, 01:11 #22

For Rickdabler
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Apr 2003, 15:47 #23

We had an incident where a person wrote kind of a desperate post a few days ago, got lots of replies, came back and said she was better, thanked all of the people who responded and even said that she was a little embarrassed that she wrote the post, and then, two days later it got brought back up again leading to people addressing a problem that had long since past. This string addresses the reasons to avoid bringing such posts back to the top.
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Apr 2003, 22:29 #24

We had an incident where a person wrote kind of a desperate post back in mid-January, got lots of replies, and wrote back a few days later that she was better. Then, almost three months later now a member popped up the post telling the person not to panic that things will get better. Bringing up this post made absolutely no sense today and to avoid any other confusion or embarassment to the member who first made the post I just pulled off the entire string.
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 May 2003, 21:44 #25

Image
Reply

OBob Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

07 Jun 2003, 11:47 #26

This message has been deleted by the author.
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

27 Jun 2003, 20:48 #27

Image
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jul 2003, 07:10 #28

From: Joel Sent: 3/21/2003 6:53 AM
We have a lot of new members. I thought it would be a good idea to help people see how we try to structure the board and posts so that we can get an accurate portrayal of what quitting is like without making it appear that staying off is as bad as many people think that it is going to be over the long-term. The post below title of posts is a good case in point. I was actually thinking a good string to have brought up to see how things improve with time was the one titled, "God I Want a Cigarette!!!!," but as you will see from the comment below I prefer to get the message of that one string out on the board without bringing the title up to do it.




From: Joel. Sent: 12/28/2002 12:04 PM
Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.





Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.





But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.





Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.





Start a new string with a title like:





"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."





Then in the body write something to the effect:





"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.





A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)





In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."


By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.





We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!





Joel
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

06 Nov 2003, 22:32 #29

I think you were the one to bring up that thread Michelle and I had the sense that you had somehow missed that warning. There were times where a person would bring up the thread with the message on it and make it clear that he or she saw the message but just had more to say anyway. In those cases we will just pull the string and the person's membership. But we do want people to really be careful for if they bring up the string by accident it is going to cause the deletion of the string and comments that might have been helpful in the early part of the string will be lost.

We don't actually have to bring this point often. Actually, weeks and usually months pass by without people popping up emergency or negative posts. Although this week we have had two such occasions. The one we are corresponding about here and another one from a few days ago. I added the comment of "Let this string drop" in bold letters and referred all readers to this string.

It was another example of where a person was having a tough time a few days ago, posted back that he was doing better, even posted in a new string that things had improved and yet the string was brought back up again. As this string here talks about, it is giving a false impression of where the member is at this point in time and can often bring people who have a limited time to post to support a person who is doing fine taking away their time from giving support to others who may be in a more problematic state.

Also, one other thing happened in that string that was a cause of concern. A day after the post was made and the person wrote back that he was fine, another member popped it up again and asked if he was still okay. You could see that the person started a new post saying that he thought that he made it clear that he was better and was sorry that he had worried others. He had nothing to apologize for, he did make it clear that the problem had passed.

I am going to recopy from the original post in this string why we don't want people bringing up posts like this:



There are a few already existing strings that address why we feel this way. They are:

Misery Love Company

(If you have not already read this one today please do and pay special attention to post 10 in that string.)
"Please don't smoke."
Acknowledge the negative--but dwell on the positive
Buddy Systems
Each of these string address issues that are likely explaining some of the possible reasons that this post did get raised today. There was no real reason for this man's post to be singled out.

If you go back over the board for the almost three years since Freedom has existed, there are hundreds of people whose posts like this could be brought up every day if we wanted to. Why pick out one and forget the others? Why are we not working at dragging all these people into posting and maybe quitting?


The reasons given above don't apply to this what was happening in this particular situation but still the concept still applies. No one should be put on the spot or feel like they have to post. The only time that we request people to post is if they feel like they are going to smoke. We want them to write us first. We want them to give us the opportunity to point out what they are setting themselves up for. We want them to give us a little time to reply. In truth, we are just trying to give them a little time to really think through the moment.

If the person gets replies and decides to smoke anyway, it is of course his or her prerogative and choice. We hope they have the courtesy of just quietly pulling their own membership. For the person has clearly decided at that point that he or she does has changed his or her mind and realizes that Freedom is no longer the place for him or her. When the person joined he or she had basically promised himself or herself that he or she was going to quit smoking and to work at staying free, giving in essence a 100% commitment to the process. But once a person takes a puff it is clear that he or she is no longer committed to these goals. As our Our Mission Statement points out we are not here to force anyone into quitting and we are not here to enforce personal resolve. We are here to help people who have already decided to quit and are sticking with that commitment. We are here to make sure that everyone remembers that the way to successfully stay smoke free for as long as you want is to simply stick to that commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
Reply

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

13 Nov 2003, 22:07 #30

Its sometimes tricky running a board such as ours. Some past strings have great content and using them for an example or a point of reference can be a great benefit for new readers. But as this post covers, sometimes the title is the only thing that a lot of people are going to read and that message alone can start a chain reaction of negative postings or just leaving a person looking in thinking that a person or various people are in trouble of having a harder time than is actually occurring.

Today we had the post God I Want a Cigarette!!!! brought up. It is in fact a great string illustrating how a person who in the early days of a quit and sounding and feeling that quitting is impossible can develop into a strong and secure ex-smoker who very rarely if ever experiences any such moments months or years into his or her quit. To some degree this illustrates an almost universal experience to most ex-smokers.

But again, when it is brought to the top the string poses a problem. The best way to avoid this complication and still use benefit from use of the string is to keep the original string down by not attaching any new posts to it, and using a new string linking over to it and saying how that string serves as a great example of how a person will become stronger over time.

Here is an example illustrating what I mean, using the exact post that was utilized this morning.

Start a new string with a title like:

"It really gets better over time," or "An example of how it gets better over time."

Then in the body write something to the effect:

"When people are first quitting smoking they often feel that quitting smoking is impossible and life will be a constant battle of trying to stay smoke free. But this is not how it will be for the vast majority of people. Even if you are having an absolutely terrible time now, know that this is temporary and it will soon be much better.

A good case in point can be seen by reading the post, God I Want a Cigarette!!!! Just a notice of caution, please do read this post but do not reply to it. If you do it will elevate it to the top and give the board that the person who wrote it is currently in trouble which is clearly not the case. (see the string Bringing negative posts to the top that discusses this issue)

In that post you will see how a person who sounded as if she were on the verge and likely feeling that she was going to lose a quit has become one of our many multi-year success story."


By using a technique like this, you will still get the value of the original string without leaving anyone quickly reading the board thinking that there is a crisis happening. By putting in the link to Bringing negative posts to the top you are even educating anyone reading on how to be careful not to respond and create a similar negative post himself or herself when reading the suggested link.

We have a great wealth of experience and information in our past posts and want people to feel free in being able to utilize these strings. Lets do it in a way that keeps our board being as positive as it deserves to be. Quitting smoking is a good and positive thing and nobody should ever have the impression that being an ex-smoker was a bad choice. Becoming an ex-smoker is one of the greatest decisions and one of the greatest accomplishments that all of our members and all successful ex-smokers have ever pulled off. We want everyone here to always recognize this fact and to always stay happy, strong and resolute in his or her decision to never take another puff!

Joel
Reply