Hi - I’ve been on this site for over a year and have often thought members could benefit from a section called “Tools for Your Tool Box” or perhaps the use of virtual stickies (like post it notes) that would host many of the great ideas people have contributed over time. The stickies would remain at the top of each section for everyone’s reference and would highlight commonly sought after information. They wouldn’t interfere with regular discussion posts and they'd be easy for new and regular users to find on the site.
Thinking about the possibilities, the following topics could work using virtual stickies (assuming the site administrators could implement such a feature).
Introduce Yourself: Sticky on how to tag people, a link to an acronyms page that doesn’t seem to exist yet. Also include #hashtags: what they are and how to search the site with them.
Treatments & Side Effects: List of common side effects (nausea, dry mouth, mouth sores, chemo brain, cold sensitivity, fatigue, loss of appetite etc) and under each a list of suggestions to help people get through …the list would be made up of commonly posted ideas collected from this site and vetted by mentors.
The Emotional Roller Coaster: dealing with scanxiety, handling toxic positivity, suggested coping strategies, approaches to communicating with others which could include the spoon theory recently posted by @WestCoastSailor.
Reading Corner: Sticky with recommended books, @Trillium posted about bereavement books and @Lacey_Moderator posted about cancer related books. Why not have a sticky at the top of the Reading corner for these commonly sought after topics so it’s easier for people to find.
Other Important Links
Acronyms: link to a reference page for A-Z
Common questions to ask your oncologist when starting out
Link to Canadian cancer trials
Like others, I keep my own word document with tips, ideas and links to discussion posts but it sure would be nice to have some quick links available.
YES, YES, YES!!!
what a fantastic idea! I like the organized & efficient way you think, girl! 💜
would make accessing these important posts much simpler.
who knows if it is possible with the package #cancerconnectioncommunity utilizes?
I guess the folks to address this with are @Lacey_Moderator & @Lianne_Moderator .
if we are compiling a ‘wish-list’ of site features I would add: 😂 & 👎 & 💩 to the response options for posts.
@RBION It's great that you have been on the site for a year and that you have taken the time to provide you list of suggestions. It's one thing to say that you don't like something and it's another thing to actually take the time to document them.
Instructions about how to tag people and use hashtags. There are actually instructions at the bottom of each page, but I don't think the link to those instructions is properly named and visible enough. I have had the same concerns as you and have commented that we should make this information available when it is already there, just hard to find. If you scroll down to About this community, there are instructions about how to do various things if you select FAQ. I would like to see this changed to something like “How to use this site” or maybe “Tagging people and topics”. Whatever it's called, I don't think it is visible enough at the bottom of the page. I would like to see these links/instructions at the top of each page.
Your idea about acronyms is a good one. I saw something similar done on a Facebook site and I was excited to see it. I would however like to see some of the terminology in the corresponding cancer type in the Forum. Not everyone goes to Introduce or Pre-diagnosis. Some people jump right in and would miss the list. There are also a huge number of acronyms that it might be less intimidating if only those specific to the cancer type are included there, with the common ones repeated or a link to them posted on one central place on the site.
Stickies vs. Hashtags
I'm not quite sure how stickies would work differently than hashtags. Technically, if we all get really good at using hashtags, I would think that you would be able find whatever you need. It's just remembering (guilty as charged), to put hashtags in my posts. There are many people who post under one heading when something posts something similar in another place. It's not always clear where someone would look and how someone would determine if something deserves to be at the top of the post. Personally, I think it would be good to be able to sort by number of likes or comments. Usually those posts that are the most helpful are the ones that are the most important to people.
Well, I'm going to stop talking now. It's just great to get some discussion going about how to improve the site. Changes are always being made to this site in an effort to provide people with a better experience.
Thanks for the reminder on the FAQ section @cancertakesflight! I agree it could get better mileage if presented differently.
From a web designers perspective, discussions on site improvements should always be welcome, even if some ideas can’t be accommodated. People coming here are already facing stressful situations so anything that can make navigating the site easier for members, including even the most non-tech-savvy members warrants consideration.
In terms of hashtags, the issue is they rely on the user. Members need to 1) know they exist 2) remember to use them 3) be consistent and 4) understand how to search with them. Virtual post-it notes differ because they’re created by the site admin’s and managed by moderators and mentors. The ‘stickies’ remain at the top of each section and don’t need members to do anything when visiting the site. Because the information is always at the top of a section, it’s visible, easily accessible and intuitive, unlike links such as the FAQs in the footer of each page.
If the moderators think this is worth pursuing, their next step is to ask the web designers whether this idea (or similar) is possible given the framework behind the site. The web designers would be able to suggest what can or cannot be done. If stickies aka virtual post-it notes can’t be used then perhaps a Tool Box section that links back to pertinent information throughout the site could be discussed instead. I’ll leave it for the mods to decide what’s best but I’m open to further talks and hearing other good ideas.
@RBION - Thank you so much for the feedback! We will definitely bring it back to our team.
Something that is currently available is bookmarking topics so they appear under your dashboard- my home screen for easy access. Every thread has three dots in the upper right corner of the first post of the thread- click the dots then click add bookmark. I think this is similar to your idea for stickies. Check it out and let me know what you think!
How to Bookmark:
Accessing your bookmarks:
Dashboard- My home:myHOME - CancerConnection.ca
Keep the suggestions coming,
@Lacey_Moderator Bookmarks are another great user-driven method for members to refind information that's important to them. I use bookmarks on this site as well…any tips and tricks to help keep track of helpful information is a bonus. Thanks Lacey for your comments on the virtual post it notes idea and the use of bookmarks. :-)