Every so often I wonder how we are meeting the needs of people who come on to this community, and think about whether there are things we should be doing more, or less of?
Every month there are about 40 people who join as new members, and in the last 18 months the number of active members has increased from 271 to 375. The 'sessions logged' and 'Page Views' have nearly doubled, but the average duration of people staying on the site has fallen, to just over two minutes at the last count.
We started this community five years ago, primarily to link up people who had undergone surgery to their oesophagus and/or stomach who would not be able to attend a patient support meeting - and it has really been a lot more successful than we hoped for or dreamt at the time. That is really due to the spirit and wonderful contributions of many different people. Thank you so much!
We have a wide variety of different kinds of post. Some are tentative enquiries; others quite technical medical stuff. We want to encourage people to ask simple questions without fear of feeling daft, and believe it is important to answer those questions at the right level. Some people have got quite complex problems and do need to check out some quite tricky medical issues; so if we can help with those, that is also important. I think we have to leave it to our readers to sort out the posts you want to read, and those you give a miss to. With such a wide range, this is inevitable.
My guess is that as people make progress after their treatment, they may no longer need to visit HealthUnlocked. This seems perfectly sensible, but if there is anything that turns poeple off, as it were, it would be good if we could hear about it.
As the community becomes larger, the spirit and tone of contributions is even more important, and we must all do what we can to respect each other. The HealthUnlocked guidelines make this clear. There are many people who want to help others who have not been down travelling along the same road for so long.
So, if you do have ideas, suggestions, or topics you wish to raise, please do make your contribution. There is also a new poll that aims to clarify the different conditions that people using this community have, and this may help us to understand where we are all coming from.
Thanks for reading this!