Greetings BDD Contributors!
The role of the Basic Drug Discussion forum at Bluelight has changed a lot over the years. It has seen periods of lawless mayhem, strict military discipline, and pretty much everything in between. Throughout it all though BDD has been the first stop for members, both new and old, when they have questions about the safe use of drugs. The current BDD mod team has embraced this designation as Bluelight's biggest, busiest, and primary drug forum, and we've taken some steps to ensure we can continue helping the largest number of people as effectively as possible. We would like to take this opportunity to communicate to you our vision of BDD.
For the past few months BDD has been steadily retooled into what we call a Question & Answer Forum. In order to efficiently handle the large volume of questions that the forum receives every day as well as give each user as individualized and thorough an answer as possible, BDD is now encouraging each and every person with a question start their own thread. That's right, you read that correctly. In a departure from the method of pretty much every forum on Bluelight which asks that you spend hours searching for the perfect correct thread to post your question in, we encourage you to make your own.
It may seem like we are setting ourselves up for a huge mess of threads, however let us break it down to you for a moment. The content matter of topics in BDD is by definition basic. Almost every question posted can be fairly easily answered by a large percentage of our members, and anything that is more advanced will be moved to another forum where it belongs. The only real advantage of having large continuous threads (a.k.a. megathreads) is to facilitate ongoing and in-depth discussion as well as have a record of that discussion. The type of material that BDD covers is simple and therefore doesn't benefit from any in-depth discussion and there is clearly no point in saving the same stuff over and over again. Furthermore these megathreads have a lot of downsides which we are going to avoid: they make it difficult to find the correct place to post wasting time and energy; multiple concurrent questions will clash and clutter up the thread meaning answers are confused and questions completely missed; the topic of a thread limits the scope of a question and doesn't allow for related follow-up questions; and ongoing conversations must be interrupted for questions to be asked. Personal threads are really the way to go!
One of the downsides to giving each user their own thread to ask a question in is of course that there will be a lot more threads to deal with. What these means is that staff are going to have to be much more particular about what topics are permissible and how far a thread can continue. The BDD Guidelines are an excellent start to see what sort of material is allowed and what isn't. Even the threads that are legitimate however will be closed if the question is just too simple, goes too far off-topic, dissolves into endless debate, or become too advanced for the forum. It is worthwhile to note however that in each case the original question will be answered before the thread is closed and (especially in the latter) recommendations for threads and other resources for further information and discussion will be offered.
Luckily for all those people asking somewhat inappropriate non-harm reduction or very simple straightforward questions we have also opened The BDD Social and Information Booth which can handle all that and more. Stop by whenever you have the chance!
Speaking of further information and resources, another downside of not having megathreads is that their first post often acts as an excellent source of common information for the topic they cover and BDD won't have that. At the moment we have our Threads of Note which has answers to some of the more common questions, but it is woefully lacking compared to more established forums such as the Other Drugs and their OD Directory. In a step towards the future BDD is planning on one day having all of its questions answerable by information found in articles on the BL Wiki. Since this project still has a fair ways to go any help that you can give in working on an article in a subject you have experience with (to be immortalized on what will one day be the greatest resource for harm reduction information in the world) would be much appreciated. (more information here)
Finally, to really clarify how we expect things to work, we'll now briefly outline the steps that should be taken both in asking a question and in what our members can do to help the forum run smoothly.
Asking a Questions:
- Ensure your questions fits within the BDD Guidelines.
- Check if it is already answered in BDD Threads of Note.
- Start a thread (with a descriptive appropriate title) asking your question.
- Post any more required details, follow-up questions, and get the information you need to keep safe.
- Once you feel you have all your answers, mention in the thread you consider it answered so we can move on to help others.
- If a mod closes your thread and you think you still needed more info just send them a PM and we'll help you out.
How Members Can Help:
- Keep an eye on The Social and Info Booth when online for any quick questions you can assist with in a timely fashion.
- If you have any free time put a little work into the BL wiki (every bit of info helps).
- Contribute advice and information to assist answering questions. Linking to relevant threads and other resources is a huge help as well.
- Report inappropriate posts or anything else that a mod would want to know about (click the exclamation point in the bottom left corner).
- Try and keep an upbeat, positive, and friendly attitude especially when dealing with new members.
That's it folks! We're all really looking forward to seeing BDD continuing to improve day by day as we have witnessed these last few months, and now with all our members on board we're hopeful for even greater strides. That being said this is a fluid and dynamic process where we all have to develop and adapt as the forum, and the people who make up that forum, dictate. Remember that we are all part of the same community and we each have our part to play in making our community the best it can be.
Stay tuned to this thread for future updates and announcements and as always feel free to PM any mod about pretty much anything.
-BDD MOD TEAM