Procrastinators Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from chronic procrastination.

Do you want the PA forum to be private - visible only to members?

Yes - make all the boards private.
6% (1 vote)
Yes, but make some of the boards private, not all.
41% (7 votes)
No - having a private chatbox is enough, and the public forum helps attract new members.
53% (9 votes)
Total votes: 17


Hi, I want to vote for


I want to vote for option 3, but I don't see how to do it.


ah, the polls are closed

that's why u can't vote. But your choice won, so dont be sad :)

fall down seven times, get up eight - japanese proverb

procrastinating by studying procrastination:

Why close the poll so relatively quickly?

As I understand it, there was definitely no rush required to decide this issue.  Also, some people don't necessarily log on each day and even those who do may have not noticed that thread initially or decided to wait until another time to vote if they were busy at that time.  As such, why was the poll closed after only about a day?  Would it not have been better to have it open for at least a few days, or even over a week, to give more people a chance to vote?  Also, with more time to contemplate the issue, a few people may have changed their minds later as well.

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

The second option is actually at least 3 different options.

The second original option above is not clear on what it means.  Actually, the term "private" is misleading, as pro mentioned elsewhere, so I prefer to use the more accurate and unambiguous term "member-only".  There are at least 3 different possible specific options:

  1. Make some of the current public boards member-only.
  2. Add one or more member-only boards, but leave all current boards fully public.
  3. Make some of the current public boards member-only plus add one or more member-only boards.

Regarding my vote, I wrote below to make sure that it is clear that I meant the specific option #2.  Also, I get the impression that at least 2 people voted No but would have voted for the specific option #2 if that were clear. 

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

propose ADDING a private subforum for indepth personal stuff

I do like the idea of having one private forum.

All of the other 12-step groups to which I belong have private discussion forums.

The lack of privacy here is why I rarely post.

My posts here are most often just theoretical ones about concepts.

I find that checking in about "project A" is so vague, and I can't say anything that has any meaning to it.

My vote would be to keep the current forums as is -- but to add an additional private board -- a "subforum" -- where one could discuss deeper personal stuff.

I don't feel comfortable discussing deeply personal issues in the check-ins chatroom while people are actually trying to work on practical tasks.

However I might be open to a second 12-step chatbox meeting during the week, if there is enough interest.

-- movingalong

the illusion of a private forum

I must again emphasize that the privacy in a member-only board is an illusion. Anyone can join here. The only block to membership is the captcha, which insures the registrant is a human being and not a spambot.

It would be a shame to have people share too much in a private board due to the illusion of privacy, and come to regret it. Better for people to realize that they need to be careful.

The other downside to a private board is that it disorganizes the forum - messes up the topic structure - so the forum is much harder to browse.

The only way to make boards truly private and safe for open sharing is to require a fee for access. I've seen this on other sites, and it screens out all the insincere very effectively. But this obviously is not appropriate for a 12-step site.

Under the circumstances, I see no upside to a board that the public can't see (since the public can join with a click), and plenty of downside. In any case, the majority has voted for no private boards, so I'm leaving it as is.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Thanks, pro!


Thanks again for getting everyone's input.  And, as always, thanks for everything you do to keep this site alive!


members-only forum? PLEASE VOTE

Most of the discussion on this is here:

To vote, scroll up! 

Please vote - we need broad participation to make sure the vote is representative. 

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.

Another no with caveat

Another echo of what Kristen said. . . I'm fine with keeping the boards as they are, but would also be o.k. with adding a private section if others want it and pro wants to do it.

Pro is the one who makes this site happen, so it's pro's decision.  Pro -- thanks for soliciting our feedback!


PLEASE NOTE: membership does not guarantee safety

I would also like to point out that any living human being can register for this site. The only screen is that the registrant not be a spambot (an automated registration by a computer). The person doesn't have to say they are a procrastinator or promise to be nice or anything. And even if they did, just saying so doesn't make it so.

As it happens, we have a lovely community here and we have no had problems with unpleasant people. But I can't control whether unpleasant or dishonorable people join. Just being a member of this site does not mean you are safe person that others can entrust with their secrets. What is to stop someone from copying a message from a members-only board and reposting it somewhere, or sending it to a mailing list? It hasn't happened and hopefully it never will, but potentially it could and there's no way I could prevent it.

This is the internet, and there is no guaranteed safety on the internet. You might not want to post very private information that identifies you even on a board that is members-only. I'm just saying that maybe it's better not to have an illusion of privacy. Maybe it's better to encourage everybody be aware that this is the internet, to post under a pseudonym, and not post identifying details.

Personally, I think there is a big downside to private forums - we will lose membership and many people who would have been helped would not be - and very little upside. I voted no, and I'm happy to see that most people are voting no. 

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


Different degrees of privacy

My understanding is that you, pro, basically do everything on this site as far as running it goes.  If so, I commend you for all of the hard and excellent work that you have done.  Also, I appreciate you asking the membership what they want even though you will ultimately decide on what, if anything, will be changing.

I basically agree with what you are saying, but not your conclusions.  You make it seem to me like privacy is a boolean, i.e., 1/0, on/off, etc.  However, there are different degrees of it.  Even in the chat room, keep in mind that everybody here is anonymous.  There is basically no verification of even the basic information that people provide in their profiles, i.e., gender, age and location, much less of anything that they write.  As such, you don't really know who you are chatting with in there.  Also, even if you feel relatively confident that you can trust who is in there then, there is a chance that basically anybody can enter just before you post a message there that you intended to be private to only the people present there.

Of course, a "private" forum (I would prefer to use the more accurate term of "members-only forum" instead) does not guarantee privacy.  However, it is considerably more private than a fully public one.  Instead of having over a billion people on the Internet being able to search for and view that content, there are only several thousands.

I disagree with you about there being a big downside to "private" (i.e., "member-only") forums.  I doubt that you would lose membership over it since nobody will ever be required or forced to use it.  As mentioned by somebody else, there are many other 12-step groups, including one that I am involved in, that offer member-only forums.  I suspect that well over 90% of people joining don't even know that these other forums exist before they join and, as such, it will not prevent them from joining.  Even the remaining people who do know, I don't think that it will prevent them from joining.  In all of my personal experiences, I have never before seen a situation where offering more choice actually caused fewer people to be interested in it.

I think that most people know that member-only forums are not truly private.  However, pro, if you decide to offer that choice and are worried about people getting the wrong idea, you can even put something briefly regarding this into the forum description.

I have read what you written but remain unconvinced of your position, and I suspect that I likely have not changed your mind either.  As such, this is one area that we will likely have to just agree to disagree on.

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)

The point is not absolute

The point is not absolute safety, but to prevent spambots from cataloging the site, which becomes public domain.  Several people have stalked me by using google and googlecache, which have access to public postings.  The probability that an individual posts my information is a lot lower than that a spider catalogs it; I have never once found writing I wrote posted by an individual through a search tool.  Rather, the writing is usually indexed by bots.  Furthermore, if someone registers for the site, there is a higher probability that he or she is someone who is interested in the topic for himself or herself, not merely interested in exploiting people on the site.

fudo_shin - the votes are in

Members have voted, and the majority does not want a change. So there will not be a change. The forums will remain as they are - publicly visible, but only members can post.

No non-members can "stalk" you because no non-members can use the personal contact forms. There is no way for anyone to contact you unless they are a member. 

If this doesn't satisfy you, then I suggest you don't post here.

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


chatroom is safer for private info than a members-only board

Also want to add...

The chatroom is much safer for private discussion than any members-only forum could be for two reasons:

1. Chat discussion is temporary - it doesn't live forever in an archive, and

2. You can see who is in the chat and decide if you want to share private information with those people. You can't tell you will read a members-only board. It could be anybody - today or in the future.

I think the chatbox is the better vehicle for private discussion, not a members-only board. 

Procrastination is the grave in which opportunity is buried.


The chatroom is useful, but

The chatroom is useful, but obviously does not have the same facility as the boards do. Clearly the bulk of the program appears to be centered around the boards.  If one cannot participate in the boards for privacy reasons, it reduces interaction with program people by at least 90%.

Again, you can make up for the lack of visibility from the web by posting the salient resources for the program on public webpages that are distinct from the forums.

 I would like to be able to use the check-in board and the 12-step board and have them be private.

yet another no with a caveat

Personally, I have not been unhappy with having the boards open and the chat private. I can have a very private meeting with individuals in chat if I want through pm-ing. I can see, however, that it might be valuable for others who might be at risk in their employment or at home to be able to 'qualify' by telling their stories for others to read in the same vane that other 12 step literature works.

However, this group was founded on the web and not in real time. Other fellowships grew their internet sites with support of their World Councils. We have no paid position yet to fund the extensive time spent in maintaining this site: the amount of time and energy that Pro has to put in to keep up with spam, new member requests, and so forth goes way beyond service, therefore, it must be Pro's choice. As it is, the amount of contributions to the 7th tradition seems to be less than what is needed for us to pay the fees to remain on the net. which reminds, me, please contribute what you can: our recovery depends upon it.

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Albert Einstein

no, with a caveat

Please note that I've voted no, but I would support the creation of a new private board if others want that—I just think all the ones we have right now should remain public.

This means that members who

This means that members who want to interact in private message boards cannot use the 12 steps board or the check-in board.  Maybe we should have duplicate boards, if there is to be a private subsection?

I agree with adding some private boards

I voted Yes to making some boards private but, similar to Kristen, it is with a caveat that you add some private boards rather than make any of the currently public ones private.

- John O.

Carpe Diem! (Seize the Day!)