Some of the Alzheimer’s Association’s online community guidelines are:
* That users be aware that when they post personal information on a message board it is available to everyone on the board, and so posting personal information is discouraged.
* That users be aware that the Alzheimer’s Association is not responsible for the information — including accuracy of that information — posted on the message boards.
* That derogatory messages, such as those that include profanity, discriminating language, personal attacks or sexually inappropriate comments, will not be tolerated. Posts deemed to be derogatory will be deleted, and repeat offenses could result in the individual being banned from the community.
Kallmyer says organizations interested in offering message boards to constituents first should locate a group of people — perhaps from an already active support group or known active constituents — that can feed the message board and sustain it, because “it doesn’t feel much like a community if there’s not people in there answering the posts and talking to each other and providing information to each other,” she notes.
Beth Kallmyer can be reached via www.alz.org
For a look at the Alzheimer’s Association’s message board offerings, www.alz.org/living_with_alzheimers_message_boards_lwa.asp