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10 July 2014 @ 11:55 am
I've been thinking: How can we better help newcomers to this list and to cup usage in general?

It seems that the same questions come up time after time, and many of us repeat the same advice in the same words in post after post after post.  Many of us tell newcomers to read the replies under the (insertion, cleaning, leakage, whatever) tags but as the thread progresses, it becomes clear that they haven't.  Similarly with posts at the FAQ.  Even when told to read specific posts, it soon becomes apparent that many haven't.

Similarly, how can we undo the "damage" that the instructions that come with cups do?  The illustrations showing a cup-length or more between the rim and the cervix are WAAAAY out of proportion.  No wonder so many newbies struggle while trying to follow "impossible" directions!

What we're doing here is good but it must not be that effective because we are repeating ourselves over and over.  How can we make it easier for newbies?  How can we head off most of these issues before they happen?  How can we get our good advice and information out there?
debbs1 on July 10th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
I think the issue isn't that they haven't read the FAQs; i think every person here is slightly paranoid that their issue is unique to them, and therefore asks anyway.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 10th, 2014 07:21 pm (UTC)
I think you're right that everyone thinks it has never happened to anyone else before. And/Or (an issue my tech support friends have) that people want to be spoon-fed information rather than putting forth any effort to find the answers themselves.
(no subject) - beuk on July 10th, 2014 08:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on July 10th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
I think something to keep in mind is that many (possibly even most, now) posters don't come from LJ - they're not familiar with the idea of tags or memories. The FAQ doesn't really serve as a FAQ in the normal sense, you have to dig through it. One possibility is making and linking a comprehensive guide to cups; we used to have one, but its maintainer took it down and it hasn't come back. I would be happy to work with people on that, but I do not have the best technical knowledge and wouldn't be able to do it all.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 10th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
I like the idea of a comprehensive guide. Uathann seems to be on to something in her next comment.

Even if the reading list is links to existing posts...
like the Virgin's Guide to Cups, Myths, a category for size charts, etc.

(no subject) - tisiphone on July 10th, 2014 07:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - scien on July 11th, 2014 07:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 25th, 2014 09:41 pm (UTC)
One more idea is posts specifically aimed at pads users and tampon users? For pads, explaining that there are many people who didn't use tampons and switched directly, and that if tampons don't work for you, that's no reason to rule out cups. Also introducing cloth pads and pointing out the capacity differences (ie that your flow might be lighter than you think, especially if you tend to change pads when they get uncomfortable or use overnight pads because they are longer).

i could write such a post, but i think we need to cover the common concern of being anxious about inserting too, whereas the only reason i never used tampons was that they absorb, so cups fit perfectly :)

and of course the post for tampon users could explain the differences with insertion and removal and possibly suggest trying non-applicator tampons to get more comfortable with your body.

i think it might be helpful to add some info to my post about cervix position too? do you think it's accurate to say that those with a high or average cervix are likely to be able to use tampons (apart from the unrelated issues like dryness, capacity, leaks etc), while those with a low cervix might encounter problems, especially with applicator tampons? also if the top part of a tampon remains dry/white, this points to a low or dangly cervix?

@kuradi i'm asking for your opinion too ^_^
(no subject) - kuradi8 on July 25th, 2014 10:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 26th, 2014 12:26 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kuradi8 on July 26th, 2014 11:49 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 26th, 2014 12:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kuradi8 on July 26th, 2014 12:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 26th, 2014 04:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
uathannuathann on July 10th, 2014 06:57 pm (UTC)
Maybe a "post-it" post would help? One with big, bold, red titles to direct new people towards the right FAQ? I've never used it myself, but I know there's a date function that lets users date a post to somewhere in the future so it stays at the top of the list.

With a big "READ BEFORE POSTING" title. :D After all, it works on many types of forums.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 10th, 2014 07:25 pm (UTC)
OOOOOH! Good idea with the date field!
(no subject) - beuk on July 10th, 2014 07:55 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - trejoy on July 15th, 2014 06:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
kelly8910 on July 10th, 2014 11:56 pm (UTC)
I tried to use the lists but it was confusing. I checked the leaking section but all I got were other peoples posts about leaking and the comments people made on them. Which could help but no ones situation was the same as mine or so I felt at least in the first 10 or so posts which is why I posted my own. Maybe I'm just not using the site properly given I'm cry new to livejournal.

Also I entirely missed the FAQ section lol.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 11th, 2014 02:19 am (UTC)
Oh good, I'm glad you're weighing in on this since you're a newcomer. Others who are new to livejournal are having the same navigational issues that you are.

I think you're right that "tags" aren't working here. Even though the original poster might have some concerns in that area, the advice they receive might not be worthy of tagging that subject. For example, if their main issue is leakage and that's where the conversation goes, then their "cleaning" tag would be irrelevant even though they asked a question about it.

In other livejournal lists, only moderators can tag posts. That is probably not a viable option here because they have better things to do with their lives than read and tag our posts and threads. I don't know what the solution would be.

But THANKS! I have learned to point newcomers like you to specific posts -- not tell them to go to the Community FAQ that you and others can't find.
Serpent: neutralserpent_849 on July 11th, 2014 01:52 pm (UTC)
a couple more factors:

-using/searching the internet can correspond to various offline behaviours. the most successful users tend to treat communities like a library. for others it's more similar to calling a friend who has more knowledge in a particular area - in this case, they like not having to ask a specific person, since *somebody* is going to know the answer for sure. i think most also assume that those with a similar anatomy/using the same cup should know best, although most active members know the "default" answers to all the common questions.

-similarly, experience carries over from one site to another. nowadays most things are ranked with stars somewhere, and i think many don't understand the difference between choosing a cup and choosing, say, clothes or movies. we can rank the most reliable online stores, the best customer service or the fastest delivery times, but maybe we need an explanation why there's never going to be a sensible ranking of the best cups themselves.

-not everyone is a native/fluent speaker of english. terms like cervix, popping open, punchdown, inside out might all be confusing.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 11th, 2014 06:22 pm (UTC)
Well, my point is that we don't mind giving advice but repeating ourselves over and over could be avoided with some general "Read This First" information. Unfortunately, livejournal isn't necessarily set up for that kind of posting -- though uathann may have come up with a good way to trick the system.

In that General Information, newbies need to learn that cups aren't "better or worse" or "1 star to 5 stars." And that they need to figure out what size/shape will fit them best. Just like clothing and shoes, they fit everyone differently.

As for non-English speakers... this is an English list. Everyone is welcome though we'd appreciate if they tried to translate -- even if it's via a bot. I'm sure other lists exist for other languages as well. Let's let them worry about theirs and in the mean time, let's do our best with this one.
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 11th, 2014 08:07 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - m03m on July 12th, 2014 06:27 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kuradi8 on July 12th, 2014 02:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 13th, 2014 02:46 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kuradi8 on July 13th, 2014 02:20 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 16th, 2014 08:39 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - kathlyne on July 16th, 2014 05:17 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - serpent_849 on July 16th, 2014 06:08 pm (UTC) (Expand)
silentrebuke on July 13th, 2014 05:14 am (UTC)
From a newbie, with love
This community is so wonderful! I am new to cups and livejournal. From my perspective the tags are difficult to navigate. I dont remember where the directions for using the search feature are, but that has been a lifesaver for me! Maybe mentioning the search more often than the tags would help new users?

However, I agree that many (myself included) seem to want reassurance more than anything. Menstruation is such a taboo subject STILL that when finding a wonderful community that is so open and helpful, I think we all just want to have OUR questions answered. Maybe for no other reason than to open a dialogue that has been closed to us for most of our lives.

Also, in my short time here I have observed several posts that include " warning: too much information" or similar. This confuses me. Nothing and at the same time everything on this site is "tmi". I am very open and not at all shy, and feel we shouldn't have to disclaim our posts in that way! I read many posts before posting any questions myself and learned a great deal in the process. but maybe some newer users shy away from reading the wealth of info under tags because of discomfort on the subject? Just a thought.
Kai: 2Cupskuradi8 on July 13th, 2014 02:19 pm (UTC)
Re: From a newbie, with love
THANKS! Good points, especially about reassurance.
trejoytrejoy on July 15th, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC)
Re: From a newbie, with love

I so agree that this site is all about TMI. If we have a "Read This First" sticky, it should probably mention that no disclaimers or warnings are necessary.

I've been here a while and still struggle with the tags.
Re: From a newbie, with love - serpent_849 on July 16th, 2014 08:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Re: From a newbie, with love - trejoy on July 18th, 2014 04:52 am (UTC) (Expand)
Sarcasticia Nitpickersontisiphone on July 16th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
I've just added a new tag (new faq) that we can use to collate posts that would be helpful for a real FAQ. It'll take me a few days to get to any of it, but if anyone wants to add it to their favorite posts, go ahead :)