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Admins: Why On Earth Get Rid Of Oily Skin Forum?!?!?!?


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#1 CBIOT13

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:28 AM

What a horrendous decision fellas. After having been a long time browser and now recent member of acne.org, I really expected the Administrators to better understand the ailments each board represented. The Oily Skin Forum was a great spot for those of us with clinically oily skin to discuss treatments, research, and tips on how to cope with the issue. Hiding it within the General Acne Discussion forum was a great disservice and slight insult to those that frequent the Oily Skin forums. 

 

There are varying degrees of oily skin. That forum was not for the average person who had some acne and the oily skin that went along with it. It was for those who wash their face and then 1 hour later can literally see the oil coming out of their pores, or those that wake up in the morning with their face looking soaking wet from the accumulated oil production overnight. It is hard to deal with and is nothing like regular teenage oily skin, it is a problem caused by an imbalance or sensitivity to various hormones. It is those people you have slighted.

 

Products that work on acne will likely make severe oily skin worse, and vice-versa. The experiments I'm doing now using topical DHT conversion inhibitors could have great results for those with severe oily skin, and would do nothing for those with regular acne. As a college student I see everyday the vast differences there are in people with just acne prone skin, and those with actual oily skin. The differences are much too great to lump them both in one forum, let alone generalize it further by placing it in the "General Acne Discussion" section.

 

And in doing all of this you have significantly reduced probably the single most effective part of this website, its Specificity. Instead of small, individualized forums you are simply creating mega-forums in which there is such a broad range of topics nothing gets accomplished, and posts are answered poorly due to the vast number of people with different skin types trying to answer the same question.

 

Yes, the Oily Skin Forum did not have the traffic that some of the bigger forums did, but is it worth down grading the quality of your forums simply to make it appear that every forum has lots of daily activity?

 

Acne.org administrators, I believe you guys dropped the ball on this one.


Edited by CBIOT13, 14 March 2013 - 09:30 AM.


#2 real maverick

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 10:30 AM

Hi CBIOT13, I'm sorry you don't like the new changes. Our aim is always to create the best experience possible. However, it's rarely possible to please everybody, although we'll always do our best.
 
I'd like to think you know that we'd not base such a decision on something as silly as increasing the perceived activity in a particular forum. There were 2 major flaws with the old structure and member feedback reinforced these issues again and again.

  • There were too many forums, this made it difficult to navigate and moderate. It was overwhelming, especially to new comers.
  • Many of the topics in particular forums overlapped others and it was often difficult to know which forum to post in. I've even had difficulties myself.


We listened closely to member feedback, discussed it in detail with the moderators and tried and tested many different setups before we made the decisions, none of them were made lightly.

Now about the oily skin forum specifically, oily skin is something almost everybody with acne suffers from. However, it's usually secondary to their acne. The majority of the posts within the oily skin forum, were from acne sufferers who hated the fact their skin was oily. I appreciate there were also a few people who frequented the forum almost exclusively, trying to find the cure for their oily skin. However the same can be said for almost all of the other forums that were merged, it was always going to upset the few that did use those forums exclusively.
 
I actually went through every post on oily skin and ensured it was tagged with "oily skin", so that they could all be easily found via the search. I appreciate the search is a different way of using the forum, but it's also almost as easy as scrolling down to the desired forum. You can even bookmark the search page, so that you can jump directly in to posts specifically about oily skin.
 
I have a very strong feeling that moving the oily skin posts in to general acne, isn't going to change the kind of people frequenting those threads or effect the quality of the posts.
 
Also, if you look beyond the few forums that are missing and take a look at the changes as a whole, I hope you'll see that it's now much less overwhelming and more obvious where specific posts belong. Though I realise you can't see the old forum to compare, but trust me, it was a bit of a mess.
 
Finally, we appreciate feedback like this and nothing is ever final. I'd really appreciate it if you can try to use the forum as suggested above and if you still face problems or feel that the decision has still greatly hindered your ability to use the forums, then please let us know. Though of course I can't promise I can revert the decision, but I'll certainly work with you to hopefully come up with a solution.
 
Thanks again for your feedback.
 
Paul



#3 Omnivium

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 11:59 AM

I agree with cbiot13. I don't think almost everybody with acne has oily skin. But for the people who do have really oily skin, it is not a secondary issue. For a lot of people it's a primary issue, with acne being secondary or not an issue at all. We need somewhere we can go to focus on our specific problem, instead of it being mixed with everything else in some kind of walmart style forum. Now people going in to the general acne section are going to have to sift through the oily skin posts to get to what they really want, and vice-versa. I think it makes it harder for new users to find posts about oily skin when it's hidden away in a completely different forum.

 

Oily skin is not acne. It is associated with acne, but so is everything else on the website. Oily skin is a separate issue, and it should get its own forum like all the other topics that have one.

 

Also, the treatments for acne and oily skin are different. Treatments that decrease inflammation won't do anything for oily skin. Acne washes or topicals like benzoyl peroxide won't do anything for oil skin either. Oily skin treatments won't get rid of acne either, unless you get rid of all the oil like with accutane. But things that just reduce oil or help us cope with the oil will not decrease acne.

 

As for your reasons for getting rid of forums, I think it is easier to navigate when there is a separate forum for a separate issue. We could just scroll down until we found exactly what we were looking for. But like I said, now we have to click on a different forum than what we want, and sift through all the irrelevant posts to find a few posts we actually want. It's so much easier when all the posts about one topic are in one spot. And the search doesn't work nearly as well as a separate forum. When you search "oily skin", you get plenty of threads that happen to have the word "oily" in them somewhere, and a lot of them are not actually about oily skin at all. I know sometimes there is confusion about where to post a thread, but I think for the most part, people are not going to be torn on posting something in oily skin or general acne, as they are so different.



#4 CBIOT13

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 12:01 PM

Real Maverick,

 

I do appreciate your speedy reply. 

 

When I first started browsing the acne.org forums, the number of individual forums I saw as a great advantage. When I had a problem with a large red cyst, or how to deal with bacne from my shoulder pads during football season, or I was curious about techniques to get rid of scarring, I knew exactly where to look and could refine my search further simply by going into the specific forum and searching through posts there.

 

The greatest thing about Acne.org will always be its biggest problem. It's huge. The range of topics covers literally every issue that someone with less than desirable skin could possibly have. Now while that can result in a long list of forums, I think there are other ways around actually merging forums. With some slight tweaks to the main forum page, you can better the user experience without sacrificing specific forums. Simply reducing the font size slightly and taking away a little of the unnecessary space in between forum names would result in a more compact and easily read page without too much scrolling. 

 

Or possibly making the "The Regimen" forum one actual forum, and then have sub forums inside it similar to how the "General Acne" forum works? But then again for marketing purposes shrinking the user views on that would be a bad idea.

 

And if Acne.org members were polled as a whole, I'm pretty sure the majority would prefer a more comprehensive and slightly lengthy forum list over a shorter, more general list anyway.

 

And yes, I do remember exactly what the old forum layout was. If your aim truly was to consolidate and clean up the forums, how was the "Shaving" forum not placed into the "Cosmetics and Grooming" forum? It belongs in there just by definition, and the mere fact that has around 1% of the number of posts as other forums shows it should not be a stand-alone forum at all.

 

Again, I thank you for responding.


Edited by CBIOT13, 14 March 2013 - 01:28 PM.


#5 real maverick

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:27 PM

I think there have been some good points made and certainly worth a lot of consideration. 

 

Playing devils advocate here: oily skin that doesn't relate to acne, is acne.org therefore the best place to discuss it? The same of course could be said about the rosacea forum, as it's not strictly related to acne. 

 

I'm not so sure that most would prefer a more comprehensive list. Remember that people are more vocal when something is wrong, rather than exactly how they want it. That's why the feedback forum only ever really contains questions or complaints. So although it would appear more people have a problem than like the new layout, it's definitely not a reliable gauge. But I guess at this point, we're both guessing.

 

I mentioned somewhere else earlier, that The Regimen is a big part of acne.org and a big feature of The Regimen is the high level of support that we give to users using it. It was 5 forums, condensed now to 3, so we did also reduce this section.

 

You've definitely given us some food for thought and I promise everything you've said will be taken in to consideration and discussed thoroughly by the team.

 

I'm not around until Monday after this evening, due to a family event, so please excuse my lack of replies over the weekend. But I'll check back in early next week.

 

Thanks again.



#6 CBIOT13

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:28 PM

And apparently after reading some other people's posts, other forums were cut and merged unfavourably as well. It seems like the only advantage to this new format is fewer forums.

 

On the hand..... This could simply be a new design intended to increase the focus on the "The Regimen" forums. Less forums to look at increases the odds someone will click on The Regimen's forums, and thus increasing the chances of them buying The Regimen's online products.

 

I understand this site is a business, I really do. I'm not naive enough to think that the sole purpose of these forums is to educate and help people with their acne. They are a vehicle designed to get you thinking about your acne, and exposed to the products the website sells. Any traffic that is generated in these forums usually means revenue will follow.

 

BUT if this is true, remember that there are ways to increase the focus on your products without harming the environment that makes them so successful.


Edited by CBIOT13, 14 March 2013 - 01:31 PM.


#7 real maverick

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:37 PM

The Regimen wasn't even a consideration and I will do a forfeit of your choice, if sales of acne.org products were to go up, as a result of these changes.

 

I think similar to you, and not knowing Dan, I'd have made the same assumption too. However, the purpose of the forums truly isn't to generate exposure of The Regimen, actually I know when he reads that, he'll be horrified. His integrity is immense and something that makes me really proud to be a part of this team.

 

But again, I really do want to stress that The Regimen wasn't in any way related to this update, it was all based on usability and feedback, as well as watching how users use the forums.

 

We are reading all the posts and trying to digest everything, to ensure the best outcome for our users.



#8 CBIOT13

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 01:51 PM

I am certainly not attacking Dan's integrity, as far as acne products go his are probably some of the best on the market both in terms of effectiveness and clarity in what they do and how they do it.

 

If I had noticeable acne, I'd be using them.

 

Anytime you change something that people are used to, you can always expect a little backlash. If you were to leave these changes as is, in a week or two everyone that wants to use Acne.org will have acclimated to the new ways and criticism would be minimal at the worst. We use this website for free, and I am impressed by the level of concern you have given towards user complaints.

 

Thank you for listening to my concerns. 

 

 

 



#9 real maverick

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 02:09 PM

I'm really grateful you guys are vocal and honest, it has always helped make acne.org be what I believe the best acne resource on the web.

 

Thanks again and I'll check in with you early next week.



#10 Omnivium

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 07:29 PM

Cbiot13 made a great point. If shaving and rosacea get their own forums, then oily skin definitely should. Practically no one uses the shaving forum, but people used the oily skin forum pretty regularly.



#11 BSider

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 08:13 PM

I also agree that the oily skin forum should be brought back as separate forum. Given that most of my acne comes from the most oily places on my face, I found it VERY useful to read about strategies for improving oily skin.

#12 paigems

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Posted 14 March 2013 - 09:11 PM

I know I've already stated in another thread that I am unhappy about the disappearance of the oil skin forum, but I just wanted to chime in again here. I agree with everything already stated, and I really hope it is brought back. Same goes for the research forum.



#13 AyeAye

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 12:52 AM

As a moderator, I can tell you one reason why having too many sub forums is a bad idea - it limits the number of people who see and help with a question.  Time and again we see a member posting a question seeking advice in one particular forum, and if they don't receive replies they then post the exact same entry into another forum, and then again in a third.

 

This causes acne.org to be clogged up with multiple posts from the same member asking the same question in order to get a response. This creates work for the moderators (to keep the boards 'clean') and is also frustrating for members who are seeking advice.  Less forums means more people see posts, which means more people are able to help by passing on their experiences and/or advice.



#14 Omnivium

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 03:14 AM

But the problem with mixing forums together and making more people see threads is it makes it harder for people to find threads they actually want to read. After getting rid of the oily skin forum and making oily skin topics go in the general acne forum, it is way harder for me to find topics about oily skin. I don't think people even know they are supposed to post oily skin topics there, so they don't make the topics at all. So although mixing forums together makes people get responses faster, it makes it harder to find the topics that you want. Before the change I could just scroll down the oily skin forum and every topic was relevant, but now I would have to go to the general acne section and maybe 1 out of 20 topics would be relevant to what I want. It's not even worth the effort.

 

I agree that the sub forums hide topics away and prevent them from getting responses, but getting rid of entire forums just makes it harder to find what you want. If the regimen gets 3 forums, and shaving and rosacea get their own forums, then I think oily sin and acne research should definitely get their own forums.



#15 Jofo

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 02:59 PM

Just throwing in another vote here for resurrecting the Oily Skin forum. I think it's clear that a lot of the clamor in response to the changes seems to be for the Oily Skin forum specifically.

 

I agree that reducing the number of forums and sub forums was generally a good idea, but having the Oily Skin forum separate from the others was very helpful. The uniqueness of the issue of sebum overproduction, the complexity of the problem, and the frequency of the discussions all taken together merit an Oily Skin forum.

 

I'm also curious to know along with everyone else why there is still a Shaving forum. The discussions in it are so sparse that they could easily be condensed into a single "Shaving Thread" on another forum.



#16 forrestgump

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:10 PM

Could you please put the severe acne page back though....



#17 real maverick

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 08:49 AM

Just a small update. We're still looking in to the best way to move forward and I'll update you all when I've got news.



#18 6N4M

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:29 AM

Oily skin is really my main problem, the acne is secondary.The oiliness is just horrible.

 

At least other people understand acne because it's so common. The severe oiliness issue is alien to most people it seems. It makes you a freak.

 

I want oily skin as a distinct forum because it's a complex issue and having it discussed in the general forum will just result in the same discussion over and over again because old posts will be lost in the sea of threads about other issues. It will dramatically decrease quality of the discussions.

 

Honestly, I'm outraged it was removed.

 

"oily skin is something almost everybody with acne suffers from"?

 

Some people have more severely oily skin that requires special treatment.

 

Just like some people have more severe acne that requires special treatment.

 

I consider this tantamount to the people who told me I should just wash my face and my acne will go away.

 

Golly, why these special products? Everyone deals with acne! Just wash your face like everyone else!


Edited by 6N4M, 22 March 2013 - 01:58 AM.


#19 Omnivium

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Posted 22 March 2013 - 01:49 PM

Oily skin is really my main problem, the acne is secondary.The oiliness is just horrible.

 

At least other people understand acne because it's so common. The severe oiliness issue is alien to most people it seems. It makes you a freak.

 

I want oily skin as a distinct forum because it's a complex issue and having it discussed in the general forum will just result in the same discussion over and over again because old posts will be lost in the sea of threads about other issues. It will dramatically decrease quality of the discussions.

 

Honestly, I'm outraged it was removed.

 

"oily skin is something almost everybody with acne suffers from"?

 

Some people have more severely oily skin that requires special treatment.

 

Just like some people have more severe acne that requires special treatment.

 

I consider this tantamount to the people who told me I should just wash my face and my acne will go away.

 

Golly, why these special products? Everyone deals with acne! Just wash your face like everyone else!

 

Don't worry man, they're bringing it back. http://www.acne.org/...tructure/page-2



#20 underneath32

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 09:06 AM

:)