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Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

Hi all! We want to do some work to improve the process of when people first arrive on through signing up and making your first post, then your 2nd, 3rd etc!


We want to make it as easy as possible from the moment of arrival to becoming a regular.


Can you reflect on when you:

1. First arrived on SANE Forums, what were your first impressions of the site? did you land on the home page or straight to a thread (from search for example)? Did you know what to do next?


2. How was the sign up process? What was easy? what got in the way?


3. How was it making your first post? Again, what was easy? what got in the way?


Please tell us how we can improve sign up etc!



Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

It is too long ago to remember exactly the process @s-jay but there was certainly no Introduce Yourself thread and my first post was in starting a new thread. It was a very different forum back then however with significantly less members and threads. That meant we all got to know each other quite well as well as new members being identified and welcomed quickly.


In the current format I think it would be good to have the Introduce Yourself thread linked to the sign up - so once a new member signs up they are taken directly to that thread to introduce themselves. It could also include a direct link to the Community Guidelines and a description on how to post eg. using the @symbol to tag others and to post replies to members and how to start a new thread.


There could also be a very quick description on what is the difference between the Lived Experience and Carers Forums.


What I also see as essential is at the top of the sign up page it is clearly stated that this forum is for Australian residents 18+

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

Hi @s-jay  

it was a few years ago when I came on here. I found it ok to use. But I do agree eith @Zoe7  

I love the fact that the moderators/managers  will work with you to help you; not like other mentsl health forums who just ban you completely. 

I didn’t know that the forum wasn’t for under 18. 


Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

Hey everyone 🙂

I remember spending a little time deciding which forum to join and this one feeling right from the start. I think it was the look and feel of here. I saw images being posted (something there wasn't anywhere else) and amazingly friendly people and decided to try here (and haven't looked back!).

I started by reading through the guidelines and terms and conditions etc. I need a clear understanding of rules and what's OK and not before I do anything and I appreciated being able to do that here. I then went across to the "introduce yourself here" thread. I don't remember how I got there but I found my way. I was able to ask a couple of questions including how to tag which I found super helpful. I had some lovely welcomes and early on the wonderful @Shaz51 included me in a few threads which helped me find my way around 🙂 I signed up around the time a couple of new people had also signed up and we kind of seemed to make our way around together for a little while which felt good. I found the sign up process pretty easy and liked the way it clearly told me not to use my real name ehich set the anonymous tone for me.

The only thing that made it kind of tricky and got in my way was my own anxiety and nerves. It really helped to have people include me by replying when I posted and by tagging me around the place.

Not sure whether I have any ideas on how to improve sign up as I was lucky and found it easy enough. The thing I can see might be tricky is what to from there, if that makes sense, which I think many of us are working on often.

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

Hi @s-jay  and everyone else.  I first joined the forums I think in sept/oct 2014 and have since learned that the forums were very new then.  I didn't pick up on that at the time, which seems to say they've always been pretty well organized in terms of understanding the guidelines and getting started.  I remember my first post was starting a thread called Onset of Bipolar when Travelling and it fairly quickly broke down into a conversation about cars between a couple of guys!  So I think in those days moderation was probably not as well done as it has evolved to now.   It's always been clear to me about anonymity and age limit, but is clearer nowadays about Oz residents only.  I can remember a few people from Canada, the states and even Germany in the early days.

I agree with @Zoe7  about linking the Introduce Yourself Here thread to the welcome page.  It would be great as a CG if I knew I could find all newbies there - sometimes it's hard to find them if they start out with their own thread so they don't get responded to in a timely way.  That can make a huge difference to someone staying involved.  

I would add that I have a couple of close friends to this day that I met on the forums way back then.  It's lovely to continue to stay in touch with them.  The Night Shift thread kept a lot of us going for a long time.  

Thanks for all you do @s-jay  this is an important conversation.

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

Hello @s-jay  & Everyone,

I don't remember when I first joined, I think it was a year or so ago. I've been on & off a couple of times - not because of the Forum but due to my personal thought & emotional processes. One thing I do remember is that I didn't know about the @ symbol & I suppose when you first join you don't know anyone to tag. But the members & especially the community guides { @Shaz51  @Faith-and-Hope  @utopia } were amazing in telling me the basics - particulary considering I think I started with a hissy fit! What to do about it I don't really know, maybe a link to the introduction page as others have suggested, with a message explaining the tags? I actually felt it gave me more confidence with the members on the Forum, I felt accepted even though I was scattered, Thank you to everyone involved in this Forum Heart

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

Hi @s-jay @eth @Exoplanet @Zoe7 @CheerBear  and anyone I have missed .....


I joined Sane forums three and a half years ago on the recommendation of a counsellor, and have had that upheld since by a couple of others (🎉 Sane).


There was no Intro thread, so as with @Zoe7 and @eth , I started my own thread, and it was the interest and inclusion of around three forum members that helped to ground me here.


Then I was contacted on the thread by eating disorders support service (subject topic as it was then) to chat with me further about my situation to give me further support and suggestions.  I had also noticed other support services linked, like PANDA, where a rep would be flagged to offer support to someone whose situation clearly matched with the support service.  It was something I really appreciated and valued, although the ed staff were as stumped by my circumstances as I was .... as is the case I guess when there is no awareness or insight in the person with the ed.


By then I had worked out that here there is connectedness in the struggles, and the challenges and awarenesses of mental earth issues, and from that basis friendships do form.

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

I joined the forum to get support. 


It has helped me with personal responsibility as to how I respond to lifes challenges and I really appreciate the gentle encouragement and understanding that others have shown.


I have noticed that in the carers forum new contributors often do not know how or where to start a new discussion. The @ tagging took me a while.


An example is Nouche here on the 5th September posted a response in the "introduce yourself here thread" followed immediately by a second post in the same discussion thread having changed the thread title. (I did email to ask if the latter post could have been moved and be made into a new post in 'our stories', not sure if this was possible but I did feel Nouche's story got lost in the system).

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

I joined SANE forums in nov 2015 but it took me until the following April to post. For me it was pretty daunting as I’d never been on a forum and didn’t really know much about it. I had followed some of the threads in the background for the first 5 months. 

My first post was nearly my last as I joined in a thread and it was suggested to me to start my own discussion. At the time I was more wanting to relate and connect with someone rather than take what seemed a huge step out on my own. 

After that I think I did start my own thread at the worst possible time. I was in crisis and it was a crisis post which was moderated and I was thrown into a bit of a spin. 

My last attempt was to join a social thread (very clumsily) but i was met with warmth and caring by those on the thread. A big thank you to @eth , @Mazarita who guided me gently until I found my feet on the lived experience forum.....and then I kind of exploded writing many posts on the forum in support and for support from others. 

My advice to new members is to not give up. Once you find the support and connection here it is lifechanging. I was always stressed about what I write and spelling and grammar etc but it didn’t and doesn’t matter. 

I also think it helps to look around a bit to find the kinds of discussions that might be helpful.  I, like other have seen the changes. From my perspective when it was smaller we tended to have a village. Now there are lots of villages all with great connections and support. If you are a new member I think it’s worth persisting and finding your village on the forum. 

Re: Tell us: when you first came to SANE Forums...

I've been using forums of various kinds for literally half my life.


1. I'm fairly sure I landed on the homepage.
I was reluctant to join SANE at first because:
a) I was only joining to find a way to replace a different forum which I could no longer be a part of, and the previous forum had been a big part of my life.
b) I wasn't keen on the name of the SANE forum (especially if someone were to see my screen when at the top of the page, I thought it would be like a beacon attracting unwanted attention from anyone nosey enough to be trying to watch what I'm doing... ie. parents).
c) I didn't really see that I had much in common with many of the members here or their experiences.

I spent quite a lot of time reading posts on the forum, getting a feel for whether it would be a good fit for me.
Ultimately through desperation and loneliness I decided to join, mostly because of a number of older posts from moderators who at the time used to interact more with the members which reminded me of the forum I used to be a part of. Turns out that was an inaccurate perception of what things were like here by the time I joined.


2. I don't remember any issues with the joining process. Not really different from any other place. As part of getting familiar with what I was getting into, I spent time reading the guidelines etc. Only issue I have is that there seem to be 2 entry points - MIFA or SANE - which is kind of weird.


3. No problems with making my first post, same as I'm used to. I never like making intro threads so I'm sure I just posted a new thread about some personal issue I wanted help with.

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