1. Alan has completed the new Pain Recovery Program. To read or share it, use this updated link: https://www.tmswiki.org/forum/painrecovery/
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102 logged in members in 48 hours!

Discussion in 'About This Site' started by Forest, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Hi everyone.

    The most important metric that I monitor regarding the health of our community is the number of people online in the last 48 hours. The number is important to me because my goal is to help nurture an organic conversation here, and that requires a certain critical mass. You need a lot of people coming back on a regular basis for friendships and relationships of mutual respect to develop (over the course of years).

    I still remember how happy I was when we broke 60 people. Perhaps you remember the post I made about it when we broke 70 in Feb 2014.

    Well, I'm happy to say that recently we just broke 100!

    Thank you all so much for your support of this community. If you are reading this then chances are, you are one of the people who keeps the conversation vital. Even if you don't post much yourself, talkers need listeners, so your participation is greatly valued.

    Have a great new year!
    North Star, tarala, Becca and 4 others like this.
  2. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    I forgot to mention that you can view the current number of members online recently as well as the current record by going to the main page and looking on the right hand side. You may have to scroll down a bit:
    North Star likes this.
  3. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    brilliant. I can imagine by the time ''All the Rage'' gets made and seen all over the world that the number will be well over 1000 or maybe much more given the power of the internet.

    I couldn't find the thread to post this is in but regarding your own situation have you spoke with the fibromyalgia guy Dr Goldenberg regarding your recovery? I understand he coined/identified the condition formally?

    I'm sure your own personal recovery story would be very important for 'fibro fighters'.
  4. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    Forest likes this.
  5. Ellen

    Ellen Beloved Grand Eagle

    I have thought about writing to several of my past doctors who diagnosed me with fibromyalgia and treated me for it (including a national expert in the field) to tell them how I recovered using Sarno's theory and techniques. I think this is a powerful thing to do.

    Thanks for bringing it up, IrishSceptic. I will try to get that done in the next few weeks.
    North Star, IrishSceptic and Forest like this.
  6. IrishSceptic

    IrishSceptic Podcast Visionary

    I'm just thinking in terms of Fibromylagia sufferers who dismiss Sarno out of hand once you mention ''psychological''.
    I understand too well how bitter and frustrated/depressed you can get when you have seemingly no solution to your pain.
    Of course those folks will just say ''I have a different type of fibromyalgia'' . When the student is ready, the teacher appears < this is how it has been for me. It immediately resonated and I laughed at times reading the book thinking of things Physiotherapists had told me and my own internal reactions to stressors.
    North Star likes this.
  7. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    He was one of the team who first developed the criteria for Fibromyalgia, including identifying the tender points.

    I asked about Dr. Sarno when I met with Dr. Goldenberg, and he said that Dr. Sarno's approach had merit but was "too Freudian." Overall, his prescription for me was close to a TMS approach in that he advised increasing activity and invited me to a group lecture. In the end, though, my diagnosis always felt more like a repetitive strain injury, so it wasn't until I saw some success stories posted online that I was really ready to change my way of thinking.

    Dr Jerome Groupman described Dr. Goldenberg's role in "the FMS movement" as well as some of the contradictions in FMS in an excellent (but long) profile for the New Yorker:
  8. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    upload_2015-1-8_9-50-12.png Woohoo! (look to the right)

    January and February seem to be our peak months in terms of pageviews. People seem to want to get out of the cold and into a warm community!

    Indeed, if you look at the following graph, which shows how many pageviews we've had each week over the last 3 years, you can see that much of the growth typically happens in December, January and February and that it flattens out after that.

    The above graph only shows data for the new tmswiki.org site and does not show other sites in our network, such as thankyoudrsarno.org, rsi-backpain.co.uk, tmswiki.wikifoundry.com, or conquerrsi.com. The data only goes back to December of 2012 even though we were founded in 2008 because that was when we transitioned over from our old site to this new one (the old site was tmswiki.wetpaint.com, but is now found at tmswiki.wikifoundry.com after wetpaint sold its wiki unit to wikifoundry). #dataisbeautiful!

    Edit: sadly, four of the recent members were spammers from Pakistan trying to advertise a "male testosterone" site. They have been banned and reported. Hence, a more accurate current record is 105, not 108 or 109. Either way, at least we are growing!
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2015
    yb44 and Becca like this.
  9. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    This is awesome, Forest. Slow and steady wins the race every time. And then it doesn't happen overnight until it does. All thanks to your on-going labor of love and the wonderful community.

    BRAVO! on this wonderful new milestone!
    Forest likes this.
  10. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Yeah, it really makes me happy to see it. :D

    I wrote the following earlier, but didn't want to overwhelm people. I think it's good to share my take on how things work, though, so here goes:

    After 10 months of zero growth, it is wonderful to see things picking up a bit, recently. I think that that is in no small part due to the increasing maturity of our community. Every single account on this forum is less than 3 years old (everyone had to make new accounts after leaving WetPaint), which was a real shock to the community. Luckily, we had some amazing members, so we were able to keep things going.

    These new records for the number of "Members Online Recently" (now 105!) are the best measure (that I know of) of the health of our community and the discussions that happen here. As time passes, we have more and more "old-timers", who see a discussion here that they like and decide that this place is worth visiting regularly. As an economist, I'm trained to trust people to know what is best for them (if you've taken econ 101 you may recognize this idea), so when I see that more and more people are choosing to visit our forum regularly, it makes me feel like we must be doing something right and that we have a very special group.

    So what is it that people are coming back regularly for?

    Basically, it's people like you (the people reading this). It's your thoughtful posts, guiding the conversation in a helpful direction and sharing what we've learned from your own personal journey and perspective. Even if you just read, every member of a conversation is important, as people generally write their posts because they want them to be read. It's the conversation that matters, and I'm so happy to see that our conversation is alive and well.
  11. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's great to see so many people liking that post. I guess others feel the same way, too! :)
    North Star likes this.
  12. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    You never know, Forest, these spammers might suddenly experience a flurry of symptoms such as RSI and might regret not being able to wander back over to this site for some support. :D
    North Star and Forest like this.
  13. Buckeye

    Buckeye Peer Supporter

    I'm completely new, just signed up, but a friend suggested TMS might be related to my panic attacks. I've only been looking at it a couple hours, but have already sent links to three people (two that have the classic back pain issues) along with two youtube interviews. I'm mostly house bound (as in even being outside during the day evokes severe anxiety) and have hopes that this might help me get closer to the 'normal' self that used to be a professional consultant not even 5 years ago. Anyway, thank you Forrest for approving my account. You might put a message at the front that says there is manual approval so people don't loose hope when they're not automatically approved. I understand why you do it. No problems there.
  14. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    They might! Another person from northern Pakistan using Pakistan Telecommuication company limited Internet service just signed up during the same time period (3AM-6AM) and spammed the exact same website in the exact two locations of their profile. Usually there are 3-4 signups per night, but maybe they are getting the picture because last night there was only one from that group (there was another from the Indian group near Ludhiana that was doing profile spam and trying to sell a specific infertility clinic).

    My own personal "Recent Visitors" display is getting to look like a war zone!
    Generally, the Norther Pakistani/PTCL spammer group chooses very "anglo" names usernames (often with numbers after them) to hide their national origin.

    This group of spammers also frequently use provocative images for their avatars, presumably because they are targeting young men in their marketing efforts (supposed "testosterone supplements," but who knows what is in them!).

    Generally, anyone can make an account. However, they can't post anything and aren't publicly visible until they are manually approved. I always do a very careful investigation (letting out my inner goodist and perfectionist in order to "protect the innocent") before rejecting any applications (if I ever make any mistakes, people can also contact us via the contact us link on every page of the forum at the bottom. If someone send a real email, we immediately know that they are real. Spammers are too rushed to do anything like that.) If I find documentary evidence of spamming during the investigation, I also report them to spam databases - this takes some time, but once you've done this for a while, you tend to develop pretty strong anti-spam feelings and want to help others in their anti-spam efforts.
    North Star likes this.
  15. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    Welcome to our community, Buckeye! I love your username. :)

    It looks like you've already responded to a thread about panic attacks, so I hope you are getting good information. I think you'll find a really terrific group here, who can relate to your struggles and support you in your journey.

    Edit: here is Buckeye's introductory post: http://www.tmswiki.org/forum/threads/anxiety-panic-more-fun.7036/
    I'll add it to my list. My hope is to add a software package that automatically blocks memberships from the current three teams of spammers so that they give up more quickly (the three teams are from the Phillipines, Pakistan, and India). Once we do that, we can turn off manual approval entirely. This would be great because some people may not make an account until they are ready to post, and I don't want to lose those people to frustration.

    The great news that I have is that I had a great conversation with @Ellen yesterday about how she could help out with the nonprofit. Her support will allow us to move forward with a new project that I am referring to as "easy moderation." The "Easy Moderators" will help us with the moderation tasks that are relatively easy and non-stressful.

    This is crucial for the long term-growth of our nonprofit. Eventually I hope the organization will grow to the point where it can win grants and hire staff. In the meantime, though, we are a volunteer organization, so the easiest way to grow is by adding members to the team. Right now we don't know how to do that very well, but the Easy Moderators program will help us to learn more about it. Even once we do grow to the point where we can hire staff, having a team of committed and experience volunteers will help our financial and human resources go far further. Our main programs - a wiki and a forum - are perfectly designed for volunteers to become involved with, and every nonprofit must safeguard it's money and make sure it goes as far as possible. This is, of course, especially true in this current environment where very few people are interested in psychosomatic medicine.

    upload_2015-1-10_12-8-14.png The tentative name, "Easy Moderator," was chosen because the vast majority of our most committed, responsible, and helpful members are very busy and don't think of themselves as "computer people." :) I'm very grateful for every volunteer's help, and the goal of this program is to give people a way to help out that won't be be a big drain on their time or be overwhelming. The hardest part of being an Easy Moderator will be keeping up with what is going on on the forum, so the ideal person will be someone who is profession and responsible and keeps up to date with the forum already. I'll hopefully be making an official announcement in the next several weeks, though it may take months to roll the entire program out. I just though I'd make a quick "soft announcement" now to the core members who are keeping up with this thread.

    Many thanks to Ellen, who has demonstrated her compassion, care, and good judgment over hundreds of posts in the last several years. I think she will be an ideal moderator and am so very happy to have her as a friend and, now, colleague!

    If you'd like to become an Easy Moderator or volunteer in some way, please contact me like Ellen did, and I will try to help you come up with a way of helping out that works with your needs and schedule.

    If not, however, there are many other informal ways to help out around the community. I was up until 2:00 AM last night configuring our new Linux server. I've been working on it for the last two weeks and hope to roll it out this weekend (if I do my job well, no one will notice the change, except for a brief period when you can't post, most likely at around midnight EST tonight). Sadly, of necessity, my emails are becoming more businesslike and my posts aren't as frequent as I'd like. We are often congratulated for being an incredibly warm and helpful community, and over the last several years, I have come to rely on you for that. I am continually amazed at how good people here are at listening to others (most are better than me!), understanding the other person's needs, and then helping them based on their own experience.

    So I guess we are a big team. Everyone has different roles and finds ways to contribute that work for them. Whatever your role is, whether it is unregistered lurker or formal volunteer, thank you for your participating in our community! You are the ones that make this place worth working for.
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2015
    Ellen and North Star like this.
  16. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    Love, love, love what's happening here! And Ellen - KUDOS! You are indeed one of the shining stars here. :)

    Forest - I'm curious about the spammers. Are these the same goobers that spam craigslist too? As soon as I see an anglo name in a reply, I know it's a spammer. (Their email addy is usually at gmail too.) Are there like sweatshops in these foreign locations where there are teams of low paid worker doing their nefarious deeds? Do they really make any money? Is there ever actual product that is sold? I know on CL, they're fishing for the naive in order to get $$ sent for non existing items.

    My western mind has a hard time understanding their motives.
    Forest likes this.
  17. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    And now 127! It's so wonderful to see how the conversation is growing!


    I missed this earlier, @North Star, but yes, they do have businesses that do the spamming. I suspect it's not super profitable:

    Many of the spammers that we get are just doing what I would refer to as "black hat Search Engine Optimization (SEO)." What this means is that someone with a small web site hires them to get other sites to link to their site in hopes that Google and other search engines will send them more traffic and they can make more money. However, particularly since Google's Penguin update, this form of activity can actually lead to a decrease in traffic from Google. My hunch is that the websites who hire the spammers to buy the links don't know this, and he spammers are just happy to scam them. I don't know for sure, but it's hard to think of any other explanation for why small web sites would be paying for links that will end up harming them so much.

    I ended up doing this and it is working quite well. Now every registration is run through a number of automated checks. About 95% of them are approved immediately.
    North Star likes this.
  18. North Star

    North Star Beloved Grand Eagle

    You're awesome, Forest. And thanks for the enlightening article on the spammers. Interesting stuff!
    IrishSceptic and Forest like this.

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