Yes, they're very helpful. But where are you going to put them? I don't think many newcomers look at Computer Tips at first, unless you can have a message directing them here on registration. But that would make the log-on one redundant, wouldn't it.
You did say you were redesigning the index page -- could they go somewhere there?
Sorry, not being negative, just thinking aloud. I'm sure you've already thought of all that anyway!
I wondered if `How to use this discussion board`, should be seperated from `Computer Tips.` But I know the Front Page is cluttered enough, without adding another catergory. Anyway I wouldn`t be surprised if Bruce is either on the case, or has it sorted.
I am also adding some more guides, so will post the content here. Comments welcomed!
Using Talking Point
When a person comes to use Talking Point [or TP], sometimes they may have unrealistic expectations of the forum.
- Is it a chat room?
- Is it person-based?
- Can a person have a one-to-one conversation with another?
- Should I give personal details to another member so we can talk by telephone or even meet?
- Are there qualified doctors there, able to advise?
It will make the process of learning how to use TP easier if you set your expectations to a level that reflects what TP is, and what using it can help with.
Is TP a chat room?
Talking Point is not a chat room, so you can't easily directly have a 'live' conversation with somebody, though to a certain extent that may be simulated using Private Messages. But both parties need to be on the forum at the same time.
The closest that TP gets to a chat room is an off-topic ongoing conversation between members in the Tea Room area.
Is TP person-based?
Talking Point is based on topics/threads, not on individuals. So when someone posts something, the power of the forum is that everyone can chip in to give the widest possible range of experiences.
That does make it harder to reply individually to respondents, and to see in their entirety the replies you receive for all threads you may post into.
Can a person have a one-to-one conversation with another?
To post directly only to a certain person - without including anyone who happens upon the thread/topic - you have to use Private Messaging.
You can address an individual in a public post
- by prefacing your comments with their name
by quoting the comment you are replying to.
Often members do this to a number of different members in the course of one message.
Should I give personal details to another member so we can talk by telephone or even meet?
TP is a public Internet forum, and not only members can see what is posted there.
The open nature of the Internet means that on a forum such as TP we can never know the person who is posting replies to us, from those replies.
In general the advice is never to divulge real e-mail addresses, real names and postal addresses and real phone numbers. This is why we recommend the use of a nom de plume as a member name, and not the real name, or the full e-mail address.
It does happen that members get along really well on line and that they do arrange to meet. If that is done, it is recommended that the first time, the people meet knowing a minimum of information about each other. They can then judge, face-to-face, whether they want to be more open about their identities.
Are there qualified doctors there, able to advise?
There are no qualified experts on TP.
The membership includes many people who have direct experience of caring for someone who has dementia, and that is often more useful than advice from someone who has been less 'involved'.
The membership of the forum may include health professionals, but they are here in a personal capacity and are only as qualified as any other non-professional member to proffer advice and experience.
For diagnosis, discussions on effects of medications, etc then for a definitive response you need to go to your own GP or consultant, or a pharmacologist/pharmacist.
Members of TP can enable you to be more knowledgeable and to ask key questions when you see these people, and you may end up educating them.