F.A.Q.: Frequently Asked Questions
Last Update: June 2011 Welcome to Young Mommies! Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions and their answers to help you quickly get used to being a member!
Newbie to YM Questions
Q- I have just found YoungMommies.com, how do I "join"?
A- There are lots of ways to be involved in YM! You may browse the site without signing up. Young moms/moms-to-be may join our YM Boards (message board discussion groups), or join us in our YM Chat (24/7 Chat Room). You may add yourself to our mailing list or Follow YM on Twitter to find out what's new at the site.
Q- What makes YoungMommies.com so different from the other teen mom support sites out there?
A- The first thing that makes YM so different is that we were one of the first websites out there created to support young moms. We also have many features that set us apart from the rest, including a set of YM Guidelines that ensure our discussion areas are as secure and supportive as possible for our members. We also have a Mandate & Pledge that respects young moms from all walks of life, and at any point in their lives as parents. We are the only site out there (to our knowledge) that supports and welcomes both pro-life and pro-choice moms and does not allow discrimination on a political level, or towards any minority group. We are a queer-positive site, we celebrate the diversity of ethnicity and race, we are a very pro-woman/pro-wimmin site. Add to that the fact that we're free, that we're Canadian-based, and that we're run by and for young moms or moms that used to be young moms, and there's no question that we're the most unique site out there for young mothers!
Questions about sharing photos online
Q: How do I post pics on the YM Boards?
A: Upload your photos to a photo storage site (like Photobucket) and place the url in your post using the BBCode tag "img" (button on top of the posting box). OR you can add a picture directly as an attachment (scroll down and find the "Upload Attachment" tab).
Q: Who can see my pictures?
A: If you post your pictures in the Salute area, only moms who have posted a Salute can see the picture. This is a very small group and includes only other moms who have taken steps to reassure everyone they are real moms. If you post your pictures in the other areas, only registered users of the Boards can see them.
Q: How would I remove my pictures?
A: Although the boards aren't set up technically to allow members to delete all pictures at once or delete posts with pictures, there are several things you can do if you ever wanted to remove some pictures. You can either edit the posts (and remove the picture) or delete the posts (posts can only be deleted if there are 0 replies) by hand. Or, you could move the pictures into a different album where they are stored, which breaks the link code. When members leave the boards (whether by request or because of loss of account from violating the guidelines), their previous posts remain in the forums and are pruned automatically with the other posts.
Q: What are some of the precautions I should take when posting pics online?
A: Choosing which pictures you want to share is a good start. You can always put the bulk of your photos in a password-protected album for family and friends and then pick a small handful that you'll share to others. Putting a watermark on your photos can help prevent the misuse of photos by dishonest people out there (like someone pretending to be a teen mom). You can add text to your pictures by using a free program like Paint.net.
Q: How do I get those picture siggies with added effects?
A: You can create your own "siggie" using a graphics program OR an online photo or scrapbooking site that has an editor set up. Or, you can request a siggie to be made for you in YM's Graphic Art forum and a member of the design team may have time to create one. :)
Questions about the YM Boards
Q- What are the YM Boards I have just joined all about?
A- The YM Boards are message board forums where young mothers with common ties and interests can talk to each other through about parenting, life as a young mom, personal issues, and everything else! They were created as part of the mandate of The Young Mommies Homesite @ www.youngmommies.com (which is to "support, inform, and connect young mothers so they can better face the challenges of parenting").
Q- What makes them different from the other online forums I've seen?
A- Although we are sure there are plenty of good online discussion places for young/teen mothers out there on the internet, we also know that YM is among the very best. We offer a very secure and supportive atmosphere for moms. Our extra security measures and our community guidelines mean that only real moms (no "fakers"), participating moms (no "lurkers"), and moms who follow appropriate "netiquette" (no "spammers", "flamers", etc.) are members. We also combine the "best of both worlds" when it comes to forum size. We have smaller forums with more specific topics so that moms can feel very connected to a handful of individuals that they have a common link with, but they are also connected to a large network of young moms from all walks of life.
Q- What sort of things do we talk about in the group?
A- You are welcome to talk about anything that is on your mind, not just limited to parenting! We have all sorts of forums available for different types of conversations, so it's a helpful way to "organize" topics and get the discussion you are looking for. Feel free to ask questions to other members, start conversations, introduce a media topic and discuss it, etc.
Q- Which topics of conversation are not appropriate to talk about?
A- Conversations which violate the community guidelines are the only things that are off-limits. This includes anything that is hurtful/disrespectful towards another person, spam, advertising something for yourself or someone else, etc.
Q- What is the QOTD/QOTW/QOTM?
A- QOTD/QOTW/QOTM stands for Question of the Day/Week/Month, and it can be posted daily/weekly/monthly by either a Moderator or designated member. Don't feel as though you have to answer the QOTD/QOTW/QOTM each and every rotation, but it's a fun way to get involved, find out things about other members, and let them get to know you as well. Jump in with your answers if you can! If you're wondering about other letter combinations (like "DH", "MIA", and "BD"), don't forget to check out our Dictionary of Mommy Chat Slang!
Questions about the Guidelines
Q- Why do I need to agree to the Guidelines?
A- In themany years that the Communities/groups have been around, we've had numerous problems with members and outsiders, and learning from all these situations led to the creation of the Community Guidelines to try to guard against them. We've found that all these negative experiences really hurt the "spirit" of the group, and were uncomfortable/sad/distressing for all the moms who were genuinely seeking support. For example, there were some moms who joined the group looking to "spam" other moms regularly about a product they were selling. Or a single father might join looking for a dating site instead of a support group! With the Guidelines now in place, these situations virtually never happen.
Q- What happens if someone breaks a guideline?
A- The YMTeam is informed when a group member breaks a guideline and they decide what to do about it on a case-by-case basis. This means what happens will depend on the mom, the group, the type of guideline that has been broken, etc. What usually happens is that the mom who has broken a guideline is given a reminder that she is done so, and is reminded that if she continues to break guidelines, she will be unsubscribed from the group(s) she is in.
If this were a perfect world, a new mom would immediately feel "at home" and would have no problems as a newbie… However, we don't live in a perfect world, so here are some answers to potential difficulties that a new member may encounter…
Problem: I am not able to log on
Possible solutions: First, you'll need to make sure you received your confirmation e-mail. This is a step every-one needs to go through in order to register for the YM Boards as it helps a lot to cut back on the number of spam bots we get! Our registration is created to make it easy for real moms to get through but more difficult for spam programs. If you don't remember getting an e-mail from YM to confirm your registration, check your Junk mail or Bulk mail folders and filters to be sure the e-mail did not get routed as junk mail. If you are sure you have already gone through the confirmation, check back to this e-mail anyways - although it won't give your password, it does show your user name and sometimes the name we think we've registered with is only a close or typo-ed version of what we wanted originally (maybe "Jen" wasn't available and you went with "Jen19" or maybe when you were trying to spell our "priceless", your toddler pulled on your elbow and an extra "l" snuck in there!).
Problem: I am finding there are way too many messages to keep up with!
1. Wait and see - The level of activity tends to vary over time, and we can have very busy periods before settling back down to a more regular level. If you wait a little while, maybe things will become less busy.
2. Learn your way around - spend some time getting familiar with the technology of the message boards. When you're a newbie, things can seem overwhelming, but you may find yourself easily and quickly zipping around the forums before you know it!
3. Get some tips - Check the forums for helpful posts and tips and ask for help. There are some short-cuts to make things easier, such as using the "Posts Since Last Visit" link to only show you the messages that are new.
Problem: I am having a problem with one of the other members.
1. Talk to that mom directly - Maybe this mom does not know that what she is saying is bothering you in some way. Or maybe the communication was not clear and she meant something different (unfortunately the written medium lacks so much of the body language we rely on for social clues about the meaning of what is said!!). If something in her message was offensive, let her know "hey, what are you trying to say by _______ ?". If she has a reasonable explanation (or just a quick apology for not realizating she said something wrong), this may be all that is necessary.
2. Talk to a moderator - Your forum mods are there to help things run smoothly, and she can send a message to the other group member on your behalf to let her know there's an issue that needs to be worked out. Also, if what the other member is doing is in clear violation of the Guidelines, your Moderator will alert the YM Team so that they can address the inappropriate actions however is needed.
3. Model the behaviour you want to see - a variation of the Golden Rule of "Do unto others"... Be sure your own opinions are always stated in a way that is respectful.
That's It! Thanks for taking the time to read through the F.A.Q.! We hope it will help you get the most out of YoungMommies.com! If you have any questions that this FAQ file can't answer, please don't forget that your Administrators/Coordinators/Moderators are available to answer whatever other questions you might have! :)