Jump to content
DaveTownsend

Where to from here for Banding Together?

Recommended Posts

Hi Bandits,

For those who don't know me (it's been a while!), my name is Dave Townsend and I originally founded Banding Together back in 2009. Over that time this forum, plus the wonderful people on it, have provided an incredible amount of support to thousands of people who have had bariatric surgery in Australia. 

Over the last couple of years, despite my neglect, this forum has continued to survive thanks to the wonderful work of Nonny, Princess and luvmyband, who have kept this place going while I have ignored it, and left many aspects of this site to break down. 

I can only apologise to them and to the rest of you for letting things get to this stage. To be completely honest, I have had a very difficult journey with my weight and my band journey, which made me feel like a failure and left me finding it difficult to come back here and stay involved. I regained most of the weight I lost with my lapband which had a big impact on my physical and mental health. It's not an excuse, simply an explanation, as I feel you all deserve it. I have been ignoring this place when really, I probably needed to get MORE involved so that I could be supported, just as you have supported so many others. 

I will tell my own story at another time, but things are improving and my life is on the right track since having a band to sleeve conversion last year, and have since lost 40kg. 

This has given me the strength to overcome my fear and come back here, to right the wrongs and get this place back up to scratch and turn it back into the thriving support community it once was. You're going to notice some changes over the next few weeks and months, but before I get too carried away, I want to ask for your help. 

I want to hear any ideas, suggestions or gripes in this thread, so that together we can make this community the best place to get support for bariatric surgery for Australians. No idea is too big or too small. I have seen how little support many people receive post-op, and I want to help change that. I have a lot of ideas, and can't wait to make them happen, but I'm going to start with the changes you guys want, so I can make this a better place for you to be.

Thanks for reading, thanks for sticking around, and thank you all for the amazing support you have given to countless people over the years. 

Dave Townsend
Founder
Banding Together

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd love to see a SIPS section of the forum or bypass in general. There's a sleeve section but I've noticed in real life quite a few of us are having sips surgery. 

Good to have you back. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds good, I am going to set up seperate forums for each procedure. I want to make the site more generic so it's relevant for all procedures, not just banding. Thanks for the suggestion :)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Dave. I don’t come onto this page very often, I felt that for us banders who didn’t transition to sleeve are the odd ones out now. And I felt that asking for help got responses from some that were very discouraging. Hope that things can change and it can go back to the welcoming forum it used to be.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back Dave!

First - just to acknowledge that you folk are all doing this "behind the scenes", and that you are all Volunteers.  Doing this out of the generosity and goodness of your hearts, with the very best of intentions.  And to thank you for all the "work behind the scenes" that you do.

I am not web-site savvy, but I am wondering if, maybe, this site could be jiggled to provide a couple of extra categories e.g. "Bandit's Monthly", and "Sleever's Monthly" under appropriate categories?  This could provide a forum for folks in the same situation to relate to.   Unfortunately, for us sleevers, it appears as though "gastricsleevesupport" has fallen apart due to lack of Moderators/Admin.  This site had forums   - initiated by users - e.g. under "Sleevers Monthly" - "February 2015".

Thank you for taking this into consideration - and thank you for all the "work behind the scenes" that you do.

Kind regards,

and "Thank You" for taking this on.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd really like to see less duplication of posts, and the ability to hide or block other users would be good. Also people who haven't posted for 2 or 3 years could maybe culled, and really old threads archived.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave, thanks for the forum. I don’t know what you did, but it already looks better than it did a week ago!

i really appreciate the forum, and have spent hours reading through the old posts and topics. It’s nice to be somewhere anonymously (so many groups on FB, but I’m not going public about my surgery) so thank you. 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/2/2018 at 7:23 PM, Kimmykay said:

Welcome back Dave. I don’t come onto this page very often, I felt that for us banders who didn’t transition to sleeve are the odd ones out now. And I felt that asking for help got responses from some that were very discouraging. Hope that things can change and it can go back to the welcoming forum it used to be.

Completely agree. I feel like I’m an outcast now, has I haven’t jumped on the sleeve band wagon. Also whenever I have post a question, NO ONE responses. Almost feels like I’m banging my head against a brick wall.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Dave. So sorry to hear that you hit a hurdle in your weight loss journey but it sounds as if you’re back on track again.

We are all so grateful for this fabulous forum that is a testament to your vision and desire to support so many people battling weight issues. The forum contributors come and go as they/ we move through the different phases of the journey  - but it is so reassuring to know that all these wonderful people are here when we need support, advice or a good kick up the backside.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome back :) Glad to hear things are improving for you on your journey. 

A few suggestions; the changes made so far look really good. 

Open up for more active moderators - there was a call a few years ago for people interested to step up but nothing eventuated from it. Online communities that thrive do so because there are safe spaces created for people feeling vulnerable, which as we all know many having WLS do. There have been a few instances over the years where moderation was needed, and in a timely manner but instead users chose not to return instead. The only mod I've seen with any kind of regularity over the last few years is Princess. 

The idea for separate  forums for each procedure is great - it would be really good to see spaces where people feel free to talk about their WLS choices openly instead of being blatantly discouraged for having a preference. When I started here there was so much free flowing, open minded education and knowledge without the judgement but over time and without regular users there has been a cultural shift. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So list of jobs so far, based on the excellent suggestions above:

1. Set up seperate forums for each procedure. 
2. Update code of conduct to make clear the behaviour we expect on here and to return forum to a supportive, caring and welcoming environment. 
3. Put out call for new moderators to support our existing team
4. Look into a way of setting up sub-groups or sub-forums for the monthly bandit groups 
5. Look into seeing if you can hide or block people who you don't want to interact with

I think from here on out I want this site to be procedure agnostic, not just for lap bands. So any "why did you get that, you should have had this" sort of comments will be something we want to say goodbye to. Any sort of bullying behaviour is going to be strictly controlled and I'll set up a warning system. Anyone using the new site will have to agree to the new terms and conditions. 

Finally, I want to invite people back, letting them know that the site is still here, and letting them know about the new changes, new rules etc. 

Any other ideas?

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just wanted to say Welcome back Dave

For those that don't now me I'm admin and moderate this page and have for many many years (i feel old now ha ha) I dont post very often but I'm lways lurking behind the scenes

I wanted to thank every member of this forum. I read your posts and assist where I can but generally all members are responsive, courtous and very supportive to one another.

Thank you for also being very patient with me moderating this page. At times we have had very active spammers but I have tried to keep up with it and remove asap.

Keep recommending changes to this site as no suggestion is irrelavant to the continued improvement and running of the page.

Remember that I am only a click away

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×