IHG’s Forum: Inception
When we first provided the forum at IHG, we intended it as a supplementary tool to continue our discussions and support of those who reached out for our help via our chat room. We offered people the opportunity to register an account with us in order that they could use the forum and chat room in tandem. This allowed us to continue meaningful, personal conversations about their situation and to continue to offer our support for them as they navigated this upheaval in their lives.
This focused our limited time and resources on those who were comfortable with our message, thinking, and tone, and it gave us the opportunity to really get to know our membership and help explore their situations, mindsets, and patterns. As such, IHG has never been a traditional peer-support group, but a free, targeted, staff-led forum where we focused on each individual’s situation and provided tailored, individual support.
IHG’s Open Registration Policy
As IHG’s visibility increased, so did our number of registrants, many of whom were registering with the forum without first:
- understanding our stance, tone, and approach
- researching the site to ascertain if our message sat comfortably with them
- speaking with us in our chat room
Unsurprisingly, we subsequently found that our time was being increasingly divided between:
- those who fundamentally disagree with our message
- those who are unprepared for -and unsettled by- how challenging our approach is
- casual posters
- our original target audience
The result of this has been rapidly growing demands on our time that we are struggling to fulfill. We personally interact with every registrant who posts in the forum and this often turns out to be not the best use of our time after the fact (e.g. people might register and post their story but not return to even view our response). Accordingly and unfortunately, we have concluded that we can no longer operate on an open registration basis and still provide quality, tailored help to our target audience.
IHG’s New Registration Policy
The forum will remain open and it shall remain as a free resource that we continue to staff. However, we will be implementing a new registration process that will allow us to more effectively manage our time and input.
a) Self Registration
Effective today, new members will be unable to register at-will. Anyone who attempts to register will be notified that registration is currently disabled.
b) Application Process
For those who do wish to register with us, an application form will be made available on Monday, March 6th 2017. Some applicants will be registered and others will not be, at our sole discretion. Those who are registered will be provided with their registration details.
Additional Upcoming Changes
In the near future we shall also be trialing some changes to the way we staff the chat room and the services we offer via the chat room and other tools.