Now you can follow and friend. Tell us what you think.

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette Terry Latest Reply 2012-02-29 18:07:48 -0600
Started 2012-02-03 18:03:43 -0600

There is a new way to find the information you are looking for and to meet people here in the community: You can now follow members you think have great things to say. If they follow you back, or vice versa, then you become friends! This evolution gives us the same great ability we've always had to make friends, but adds this "following" element to offer you another way to connect with people and relevant information. (For more information on how the new following feature works, check out the community update in your inbox.)

We're always looking for more ways to help you feel empowered, supported and informed. But it's all of you who make this a vibrant community where we help one another – so, thank you! Let us know your thoughts on this new feature and what you would like to see in the future.

31 replies

GabbyPA 2012-02-29 18:07:48 -0600 Report

I have used the "following" system on many other sites. I never saw it as being stalked. I saw it as someone was interested in what I was sharing on the site. You can block someone who is following if you feel uncomfortable with it for some reason.

dietcherry 2012-02-28 21:37:13 -0600 Report

Jeanette please lets get back to Friending members and do away with the Following! Its awkward and unconfortable to tell new members that you are Following them! Please please please lets go back to the user-friendlier version of making friends!!!!!

Caroltoo 2012-02-04 17:49:00 -0600 Report

Hi, Stead,

Thanks for your personal involvement in the issues relating to friends, following, and followers. I see the new development around friends/following/followers as a systems' response to recent personal security issues created by site users who are socially inappropriate in their personal messages. This is one more way for us to limit access to personal information and to protect ourselves from unwanted communications.

I appreciate hearing that you are concerned about how we, the participants, are experiencing these changes. In view of this, I would like to take an opportunity to mention a couple other issues that have puzzled me in the three months I've been using the site.

1. Would it be possible to give us some advance notice before the site is going offline to make changes? Twice recently, I've been typing a comment and, from the time I started until I finished, the site and the comment was gone. I've worked with other agencies that would post a warning such as: "In 15 minutes we will be going down for some systems changes." Doesn't take a lot of planning, just gives people a heads up.

2. When vendors are approved (Joslin's, USMed, etc.), could these folks be introduced to us by staff BEFORE they come on the board on their own. Then we would know who they are, that they are approved by Alliance, and what they are here to do for us. USMed recently got a very negative response that was undeserved, but caused by the confusion that came from lack of an introduction and definition of what their role would be.

Thank you for being available to us and participating in these discussions. It is much appreciated, as are the sites themselves!


Nick1962 2012-02-05 15:28:43 -0600 Report

Carol; off topic, but for your item #1, if i do anytjhing longer than a sentence i do it in word first then just cut and paste in one shot.

Caroltoo 2012-02-05 15:54:37 -0600 Report

Oh, true, and that is a way to deal with it. Question is: should that be necessary. There will always be systems problems that take a site down without warning, but for the regular stuff, a warning is just a courtesy.

Nick1962 2012-02-05 15:59:39 -0600 Report

Agreed, some form of maintenance notice would be helpful. I've just always done the cut & paste thing because often what my first thoughts are aren't what ulimately ends up on the site.

jayabee52 2012-02-09 22:37:59 -0600 Report

nor for me also, Nick, but I usually edit "on the fly" I've very rarely done the word processor thing.

pixsidust 2012-02-05 11:07:43 -0600 Report

Carol, you talk about safety but I disagree .
Now I can send a private email to someone I am not friends with
but I can not post publically for the world to see on their wall.

Before you could post publically on a non-friends wall where the world could see it but not send a private message to them unless you were friends

To top it off is the impersonal and convoluted way you become a friend
I am put off to see I have new followers and have no idea who they are
and yet they can private message me…Safer no!

Caroltoo 2012-02-05 16:05:39 -0600 Report

I have just posted twice on your profile and had an email to someone whom I am following rejected by the system because the person was not a friend.

I agree, it is a rather convoluted way of friending. It's always required acceptance by the second person, so that's not too different. It is actually nice to be able to see who you have started the process with and who has not yet responded.

pixsidust 2012-02-09 08:46:10 -0600 Report

I guess since I do not mass mail those I usually know. The system could still be kept straight forward with the friending term and request. I can't get people off of me who are following me because there is no decline option

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2012-02-09 10:15:42 -0600 Report

There is a block option if you do not wish someone to follow you. It is located on the left side of the page near the bottom underneath their profile picture.

GabbyPA 2012-02-09 10:24:45 -0600 Report

If I want to send you my "clean up list" should I do it this way or the way I have been doing it?

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette Terry 2012-02-09 11:02:03 -0600 Report

Gabby if it is a big list I thnk it is best to continue doing it the way you have been through email. If it is an individual or a few you can just report them if you want.

red flower lady
red flower lady 2012-02-04 23:41:51 -0600 Report

A warning would be awsome! I agree on how US MED was added. I think if they had told us before hand that this is the company, they sell the following, ask only questions related to what they sell and they don't help non-insured people, other then some test strips and not hype them as diabetes expert, but maybe expert on how to use their product then they would have had a better reception. I don't like having to call a number and be expected to give my insurance info, etc just to have a question answered. If they had told us the above, then I would have just by passed them.

dietcherry 2012-02-04 15:03:29 -0600 Report

I thought the idea of Twitter was, because we dont personally know the people we follow, we couldnt call them friends exactly, so Follower is a term of convenience, not endearment.

I concur with others below that following is impersonal and almost an insult in that, although I want to follow you, I dont want to be bothered with actually being friends with you. Huh?

Im interested in what EVERYONE has to say here, no matter if its of extreme importance or just how they are feeling today. :)

jayabee52 2012-02-03 19:49:36 -0600 Report

I like the mingle machine, but the newest improvement following others and being followed I started out thinking it was OK and getting used to it, to becoming a bit un-nerved by it.

Sometimes progress means staying the same.

Rather than putting effort into new bells and whistles I would like more effort placed on starting a Kidney Connect site as a sister to DC.

Many of us on the DC site have kidney problems, and I feel it would be good to talk about kidney problems. I know when it has gotten around that I have had kidney problems, was on dialysis and now may be returning to dialysis soon it seemed like I was one of the go to people on the issue.

Young1s 2012-02-03 19:41:10 -0600 Report

I posted this in an earlier discussion but thought I would re-post it here.

"I don't necessarily have a problem with Following per se, because that's kind of what I do anyways. If I come across a person, in a discussion, that I want to become friends with, I may check out their profile and other discussions, then send the request. I assume that others do the same.

But I think the old way felt more special, and yes, it was more personal. To me it meant that someone thinks that your contributions are helpful and appreciated. Sure this new way means the same thing but we're talking about the friending aspect of it.

And what if someone is Following someone else and the Following isn't reciprocated? Are they to assume that that means the other person doesn't want to be friends? I can see how it can be interpreted as such and could be very hurtful to someone.

How about meeting in the middle? Maybe, give us the option to do both?"

What I would add to this is, just because I'm Following someone, doesn't mean I want to become friends right away. My thinking is that the Following option should give us a chance to get to know someone better and then decide if we want to cultivate a friendship. Not to be thrown together just because.

Here's the flip side to that. Someone is being Followed and then decides to Follow back. Then the original Follower decides against the friendship and and drops the second person. Not a good situation on a couple of levels.

Then there's the question as to why it's necessary to display the Followers and Following numbers/lists to everyone. Meaning, why does everyone need to know who everyone else is Following or being Followed by. Let's say someone is being Followed and never decides to Follow back (for days, months, years). Now things become uncomfortable between the two parties.

Yes, this is a community oriented site, but shouldn't some things still remain private? How about keeping the numbers private, put the followed members and the friends on separate lists (to avoid a nightmarish search for those who have friends in the hundreds), make the following feature just that and figuring out how to incorporate the old way of friending with the new following system.

But of course this is just my opinion. I do not speak for anyone but myself.

cindygal1 2012-02-05 01:44:28 -0600 Report

I like the old way, this way you could make friends with anyone, and was not being told what to do. It would be nice to be made aware of changes to the site and to get our feelings on this. I agree with Renee, we should be made awarwe of changes in advance, if it wasn't for all of us there would be no site for people to come to for advice and commuication with others.

Young1s 2012-02-05 09:58:59 -0600 Report

Some advanced warning would be nice. Then we'd at least know why the momentary glitches in the system are occurring.

Next Discussion: US MED LINK ON HOME PAGE »