I have like half of the issues on the list of topical chatrooms, and I like finding new communities of cool people. But I don't want to sit in a room full of people who self-select around that locus. From a literal standpoint, ADHD, anxiety, etc are "mental illnesses", but apart from diagnostic and self-care optimizations, I don't find it productive to think of myself in those terms.
I'm not excited to jump in a room of people talking about being sick. The support I want is in the form of fascinating and electric co-conspirators, and that's not a specific support I need because I'm a specific kind of ailing. That's just the support that humans need.
I'm not "unusual" because I have anxiety and anxiety is weird. Anxiety is normie as fuck. I'm weird because my specific flavor of brokenness tweaked my trajectory in a way that, compounded over 30 years, is fairly off the beaten path. I wanna talk to and about people like that.
It's why I'm on HN. There are so many blindingly smart people on here, and the baseline quality of takes is way above most other places.
But looking closer, I don't think that's this website or the plan it has. There's a thing about how soon there will be doctors involved? And a dating service?
At a glance, it seems like the goal is to get a bunch of mentally ill people into a pen and then monetize them in uninspired ways.
The fact is most people with mental health issues want to be a part of some sort of community. Having a mental health issue isn't a community itself - just like "people that fly on planes" isn't a community, or "people who drink coffee from starbucks".
I assume that the intentions are pure here - but its both culturally and tonally offensive. It comes across as patronizing and does not meet anyone where they are - the tone of the site addresses people the way a parent would a child with poor mental faculties. I'm sorry, but I don't think you realize how "normal" people who deal with anxiety, depression, bipolar, etc are. Its almost like you've taken the view of mental illnesses from the 1950s and slapped bootstrap on it.
Some examples -
> Earning points and prizes for creativity, art, hobby
> Jobs board for people with psychic problems
> We know that despite your difficulties you have necessary skills and intelligence to use web applications and internet surfing.
I'd beg you before you go further - meet and get to know some of the people who you're creating this site for. Theres a fundamental lack of understanding on display here.
But, going past that, I think the bigger problem is that this site seems to lack a clear vision. Is it for support groups? The tagline makes it sound like it's just for "anyone who isn't mainstream", but then further down it gets very medical about mental health. It's unclear who the site is really aimed at and what purpose it's trying to serve, as well as what makes it different from standard social sites (aside from not asking for tons of personal information).
I get the sense you're doing this from a good place, so I wish you luck, but it needs some work if it's going to get traction, at least in the U.S.
1- I think you have muddled thinking. This results in muddled messaging. Look at what you write:
> I saw them and I don't understand how they live
> I know for an average person it's hard to understand the people with mental issues
> they are all just as normal as anyone in the earth, just little problems, everybody has problems
Do you see the contradictions in these? It feels dishonest (not saying it is, just how I feel)
Also, you are truly trying to capture everyone. That's not how it works. Facebook started as a college campus thing, with specific colleges.
You start out niche, then you go broad. Not the other way around.
My other suggestion: be personal. Why are you starting the site. How do YOU feel? What do YOU want? If you have a specific mental health issue, then focus on that. And find like minded people. Maybe mental health issues for the Russian diaspora?
Right now, you want: everyone who has any level of mental health issues (i.e. 25% of the population) and you want them for... chats (billion dollar industry), dating (billion dollar industry) and medical advice (billion dollar industry). Even facebook, google and amazon isn't that ambitious, and they have tens of billions of dollars in their war chest.
You need to be able to have a specific person in mind who is your idea brand ambassador, and have a service or something that they value enough to tell friends.
Both (or actual all three) examples seem like totally valid communities. There are groups of flying enthusiasts, starbucks-lovers, as there are coffee-lovers, star wars fans, FreeBSD users, etc.
And of course there are (existing) forums and online communities of people sharing the same issues, whether it's mental illness, the big C, abuse, trauma, and so on.
Isn't that the point of the board?
The lost in translation bits can be fixed of course, but in itself it's not a bad idea.
I think there's more than a translation issue here though. I don't think the author really knows much about the community he's trying to serve - and its not just a subtlety of language thing.
The guy just provides the backend tools (forum service, targeted to specific audience, etc).
If enough people with those interests come in, it can be a totally viable community, regardless of whether somebody "asked for" it or not.
The kinds of people who describe them selves as 'unusual' brings to mind very conventional folks trying to project an image of 'wackiness', or otherwise people who have adopted a genuinely rare or controversial lifestyle... like freegans, nomads, cultists, furries or people with other strange kinks, etc etc. Not exactly communities with much in common!
On the other hand, those with mental health issues often don't want to be considered 'unusual'. People take great comfort in knowing, for example, that depression and anxiety are actually incredibly common.
After talking about the mental health features you're planning, you say "maybe you're a real geek", which again is conflating to wildly different types of 'unusual'. (Besides, in these days of superhero blockbusters is being a geek even unusual anymore?)
If you want to be a site for people with mental health issues, then you need to understand that:
1) Though there's an overlap between this and niche interest subjects; the two things are VERY different, and,
2) Language is INCREDIBLY important if you want to be accepting of everyone and project that you truly understand these diverse conditions and are properly committed to supporting them.
The latter implies more empathy and is less formal and patronising.
Also "unusual" hints more at "eccentric". Bjork is unusual. Brian Wilson had a mental illness...
You could go out and spell it out: people with mental issues, or disabled, or whoever you like to include.
That said, I think the verbiage on the page could use some help. "Unusual" people isn't descriptive enough. If the site is for people with anxiety or some other mental issue, specify that. I also have to wonder what purpose the site will serve that an anxiety or ADHD subreddit doesn't already. I'd also recommend dropping the "doctor communication" part until you've got the site really rolling. There's a whole mess of legal issues that come with sharing medical information online.
I'm just using Scientology as a stand in. But if you are interested, they are a (pseudo) religious organisation with a habit of pitching psychological tests to vulnerable people.
This landing page looks to me as if it's trying to attract the most mainstream audience possible, like trying to be Facebook or ChristianMingle or something. It doesn't have to look too crazy, but it should look different from the norm, at least in colors or themes or something. Try looking at some unconventional sites and see how they sell themselves.
You know people with common mental illnesses are just normal people, right?
It doesn't look targeted at anyone in particular. Doesn't help that the text on the page doesn't make it clear either. The hacker news headline says "unusual people", the landing page headers says "atypical people", the first bullet point says "you can chat about whatever you want" (so does every other social network ever). I admit if I read more closely further down, it would be clearer it was more social anxiety and mental illness targeted, but I had made a judgement about as fast as 95%+ of other random users would when reaching the website.
Besides that, something _original_ or eye catching might be worth it. But that's something that requires excellent execution.
I'd suggest that you get someone to edit some of the content on your front page. There are a lot of language/grammar cleanup opportunities, for example:
>> How to date someone if you so insecure and nervous when trying to approach a person? Probably you have never even tried it yet. Here, at Holynetr you can easily ask someone for a walk with you knowing that your partner having the same social anxiety disorder just as you are or doesn’t mind to be with you anyway.
Scrolling down on the front page, it mentions people with mental illness. What I understand from this copy is that the site is for people with presumable diagnosed mental illnesses to talk to others with mental illness, and boards organized according to what mental illness you have.
Interesting and obviously no ad tracking or any third party access could be allowed, restrictions on disclosing identity should be in place. This could be a legal minefield.
Now if the board isn't meant for only this then they should maybe update their front page to explain in greater detail what the site is about.
Not to diminish the sentiment, but to hopefully bridge the estrangement to some commonality.
Edit: seems this was meant for people with mental illnesses; that seems noble but very difficult. What severity? How to keep that from going off the rails really fast?
Yes, it gets done all the time. It also runs into a lot of issues. Sometimes, people even sue for discrimination.
That doesn't mean it should never be done. I'm just saying this is a space that really takes a lot of savvy and effort to do well. Expect to really need to work at PR, positioning, messaging, moderation and similar.
It's generally better to try to attract people based on mutual interests. Support groups, where the idea is that we all have some personal burden in common and this is where everyone will feel welcomed, tend to become very negative spaces where everyone is free to kvetch all day but no one can offer any constructive feedback lest they be accused of victim blaming.
It's usually better to position it in a more goal-oriented fashion.
So, for example, a community for diabetics will probably be a sad sac experience where everyone whines about how terrible their life is. But a community for people making their own artificial pancreas to deal with diabetes will probably be a whole other ballgame.
Think about what kind of social climate you want to foster. There's a lot of bad examples out there of communities that, say, positioned themselves as free speech havens and quickly became notorious gathering spaces for pedophiles and white supremacists.
This is not intended as a put down or discouragement. These are observations from someone with a lot of experience pertinent to this problem space.
Best of luck.
How will you prevent the abuse of this system? In other SN there are ideologically motivated gangs censoring people just because of disagreements.
On another note, a number of commenters have remarked on the language issue. Much respect to you for building a site in a language that's not your native tongue, that's a lot of work! That said, just like I'd advise someone to work with a professional designer if they needed it, or a skilled coder, I'd advise you to have a professional writer create the copy on the site. Community is all about communication, and if you're going for an English-speaking audience, even the smallest nuance can have a big impact.
Good luck, looks like you've got a real passion for this.
Don't you mean "psychological"? Is it for people who are struggling with depression or summoning Cthulhu?
* The front-page copy "you can easily ask someone for a walk with you knowing that your partner having the same social anxiety disorder just as you" might be difficult to realize in practice with no particular geographic focus. There's not even any way to specify a location in your profile. If this is supposed to have a dating/hookup site kind of side to it, then location should be surfaced everywhere including to the left of every forum post.
* Having a field in your profile for LinkedIn seems a bit much given the target subject matter of the site.
* The homepage should be your profile page or the groups page if you're already signed in
How do you judge that? Isn't better an ignore or block feature than banning people get offended?
I wouldn’t disclose the heuristics of these policies.
I think this has a different meaning to that intended! Did you mean "psychological" problems?
The best thing I did for myself was to surround myself with the people who both displayed the traits of mental health I desired in myself and were understanding enough to forgive me when I "looped out". I've savagely fought this thing long enough to no longer be at great risk of these displays of raw emotion and decoupled thought patterns.
I'd argue communities like these cause stasis, or worse, slipping backward. If you struggled with issues of identity and there were others around you struggling with such issues, would you be any more likely to feel the selective pressures to craft a stable one? No, of course not.
Can I drop a little of the Buddha here? Please forgive the liberal concision I've applied to the original quote, it more or less grasps the gist: "what one thinks upon, dwells upon, one becomes." When the suffering are caught up in themselves, surrounded by their reflections, they're going to be further bent toward it.
Last bit of the Buddha, promise: "And what is meant by admirable friendship? There is the case where a lay person, in whatever town or village he may dwell, spends time with householders or householders' sons, young or old, who are advanced in virtue. He talks with them, engages them in discussions. He emulates consummate conviction in those who are consummate in conviction, consummate virtue in those who are consummate in virtue, consummate generosity in those who are consummate in generosity, and consummate discernment in those who are consummate in discernment. This is called admirable friendship."
An adjunct to therapy I found particularly helpful was to take up compassion meditation (”metta”). You may consider asking your therapist if she agrees.
Much kindness to you.
Thank you for suggesting metta meditation, I will definitely look into that. I guess the realizations are healthy, I just wish I'd realized certain things sooner. I carry guilt for hurting some people in my life without me even realizing in the moment. I was self-absorbed in my own mind. If only time machines existed and I could do things differently!
>>Don’t worry, we’re not sharing any of your private information with anyboby and not asking for it except for your Email address.
It's good that you're aware of privacy concerns that your users might have, but you're going to have to do a lot more to gain your users trust, especially given that the current site uses 3rd party tracking and you don't mention anything about it.
In addition, nearly all of the additional features proposed by the site are predicated on partnerships for services that are ripe for user data exploitation. Providing them in a manner that is respectful of users data and privacy is the real challenge in this space.
That's more than enough to personally identify a user. Given the sensitive nation of your site, it's one thing to ask users to trust your motives, it's another one to expect them to trust google, etc...
"We want to help people with mental illness and social phobia to become more secure and connected, live a happier life."
I personally wouldn't sign up. Being weird isn't necessarily implying mental illness and social phobia. And the fact that you seem to use it as a euphemism doesn't sit well with me.
If I was looking for a site for people with mental health issues, I'd look for it directly and wouldn't mind if the site I was on used plain, clear language. Yes, some people will be offended. No, you can't please everyone.
Just my 2c for the creator of the site.
Congrats on being so proactive. :)
Just my 0.2 cents.
I'm probably a part of your target audience, and I don't have any problem with calling myself unusual. It feels a lot less loaded than "neurodiverse" or something of that ilk. And it's true.
I think being able to recognize that you're unusual and that it's not inherently bad to be unusual is a powerful thing for certain people.
I also like that this is a place besides reddit to talk about that stuff, because I feel awkward using my main account there to talk on certain health-related subreddits.
I'll probably sign up eventually. Best of luck.
People with mental health problems are not unusual. Caring for them and treating their issues as normal aspects of humanity is unusual.
I'm still going to create a group for hypersanity, but I just wanted to point out when I got the activation email identifying the site as being for people with "mental health problems," it seemed like the headline here may have been a little misleading.
The broken English and the weird "holy" part of the name alone give me the creeps. Not that I mind broken English as such (I'm not a native speaker myself), but the site doesn't show anything that points to the origin of its creator(s) (I'm guessing Eastern Europe or Northern Asia?) — it's all so abstract and feels off somehow.
Thanks for this, made my morning.
I’m not sure that is the best marketing line for a site for “unusual people.” The only thing unusual about mental illness is how common it actually is.
Still, A for effort. Love the idea overall.
ADHD, anxiety, and part of the big deal has been for me that I'm not unusual. There are lots of me. Safe space is very alluring - also agree that internet safety is KEY.
Typos and bad grammar?
I'm a product designer and If I can help you in some way, please reach me out. In the meantime, I'll share here some of my thoughts on what's done so far.