WebMD Community is a collection of forums where you can meet people with similar health or wellness interests and share information, support, and get expert insights. More than just support groups, WebMD Community is a place to interact and share with others like you.
What is a WebMD Expert Community?
WebMD Expert Communities are hosted by one or more experts who specialize in that specific topic. Our staff of WebMD moderators supervise these communities to ensure that only safe, trusted conversations take place.
Can I make my own community?
Yes. Member-created communities are communities that are started by members like you! If you can't find the topic you're looking for, just create your own. It's easy and fun. But you have to be a full-fledged WebMD member to post in our forums or create your own group. Check out Slide 12 to find out all about becoming a member at WebMD.
Can my community be private?
You can make your personal community either public or invitation-only. A public community is open for anyone to join, so if you want to reach the masses, this is the way to go. But if you want to reserve discussions to only folks that you invite, such as friends or family members, choose the invitation-only option. Once you choose an option you can't change it, so give it some thought before you hit "create."
Remember, the communities that include "WebMD" in the name are WebMD Expert communities and include both experts and WebMD moderators. If "WebMD" is not included in the name, the community was created by one of our members.
If you've tried to find a group that is right for you but still don’t see what you are looking for, visit our Welcome Center Community and ask one of our knowledgeable moderators to point you in the right direction.
How do I find my way around?
Before you start participating, you'll probably want to learn your way around. Communities are primarily made up of three pages: the home page featuring "What's Happening Now", thread-level pages which are like conversations, and index pages.
What's Happening Now
This is the home page for the community. The middle of the page displays the members interacting in real time. You will see the latest replies to posted topics created by our members, WebMD moderators, or experts. Select any topics that are of interest to you and see if you'd like to join in the conversation. Remember, to join the conversation you have to be a member of WebMD.
Left Navigation Channels
On the left side of the page you'll see navigation links that will help you find your way around. Once you are a WebMD member and are logged in, these are customized for you so that you can quickly access any discussions you are following as well as view your Watchlists. (See slide 18 for more information on Watchlists.)
Right Side of the Page
On the right side of a WebMD Expert community you'll see the expert's credentials. Click there to read more about the expert and see a list of the posts he or she has created. Also listed are popular discussions, helpful tips, and helpful resources, based on the number of times they were replied to and voted on. Click to join the conversation and see what others found to be most valuable.
Our Index pages allow you to filter the What's Happening Now feed to reflect only one content type, such as Discussions. Click on Discussions, Tips, or Resources at the top of the What's Happening Now area, or in the navigation channels on the left side of the page. The Index pages display the latest Discussion, Tip, or Resource threads replied to, so you can focus on the content in which you are most interested.
How do I get started?
Ready to be a part of the vibrant WebMD health community? The WebMD community is an amazing place to meet other folks like you, get support and information, and get expert insights. But you've got to become a member of WebMD to take full advantage of everything the community has to offer. It's simple and free to join. Just go through the quick registration process and join the conversation!
How do I reply to a post?
You've chosen a post (discussion, tip, or resource) to read, and now you want to participate. At the bottom of each post is a REPLY button. Choose the post you want to comment on and hit REPLY. Type your response in the window that comes up and then click SUBMIT. You can reply to any post anywhere it is displayed.
How do I start my own post?
Once you've learned your way around Community, you'll probably want to start a thread of your own. If you're new, you may want to begin by posting an introduction. Just go to the home page of your group, and hover over the orange "Post Now" button. Choose "Discussion" and introduce yourself in the window. Or if you have a tip or resource to share with the community, select "Tip" or "Resource."
How do I add a poll?
Polls are a great way to find out what other members think about a topic and have a little fun. If you'd like to start a poll, choose the Discussion option from the Post Now drop-down menu. Enter your discussion title and body in the form, and then add your poll question and possible answers. You don't have to enter all five answer options.
How do I search posts?
At the top of every community you'll see a text field that says "Search This Exchange." Type in keywords to find posts other members have made about a topic.
How do I bookmark my communities?
It's easy to bookmark your favorite communities. Once you join a community and you are logged in, it will show up in the left navigation channel bar of every community you visit under "My Communities."
How do I watch a post?
When you create a post or find one you want to keep an eye on, click "Watch This Discussion" at the bottom of the message and it will be added to your Watchlist. You can receive email alerts when someone responds, or you can check your Watchlist by clicking on it from the left side of any community. For your privacy, you must be logged in to see or make any changes to your Watchlist.
If you've signed up for email alerts, you'll get them once a day if anyone has replied to one of the posts you've added to your Watchlist. When you check new replies, whether you're logged in or not, the system will register that you've been there and won't send you any further alerts until there are more new replies.
What else can I do in Community?
There are many wonderful features that make being a part of the WebMD Community fun and helpful. You can add an image to your post, post a tip or resource, vote for helpful content, create a personal member story, post anonymously, and more!
Add a Photo or Image
Add a photo or image to your post if you want to share a little more of your personality with your Community friends. Click the photo icon in the post editor and drop in a link to your image. Any link publicly accessible via the Internet can be uploaded (don't worry, we'll resize it for you). Read our Photo Uploading Guide for more information.
Post a Tip or Resource
Post a Tip: If you don't want to start a full-blown discussion, use the tip option to share something that worked for you. Posting Tips really helps new members quickly benefit from all the knowledge of existing community members.
Post a Resource: Just want to share a link to some information that was helpful to you in your health journey? Choose the Resource option to post.
If you are a regular member of one community but want to post something in another without identifying yourself, choose the anonymous option. Just keep in mind that though other members won't know it's you, our staff is always aware.
Voting for Helpful Content
Was a tip or a resource helpful to you? Vote "yes" and see it rise higher in the ranks. We count on our Community members to look out for each other. This is one way you can provide your own insights to other members of a community.
All About Me
Now that you've joined a community, you may want to personalize your Member Story. Your story will be different for every community you join.
My Story: Share a little about yourself.
My Signature: Create a signature that is another way for others to quickly identify you on all your posts.
My Latest Activity: Your member story page lists your latest activity in that community.
What can others see about me?
Others see what you choose to share, so be sure to protect your privacy by not sharing your real name, address, phone number, or email address. If you really feel the need to share an email address with other members, it's best to create one JUST to use for your online friends. Keep your private work and family email addresses safe by not using them for public forums.
What does a WebMD Expert do?
Experts on WebMD communities provide feedback to a limited number of posts each week. They also post content that they feel may interest their members and ask questions or start polls to get feedback from members. Our experts cannot provide a diagnosis online or be available for emergency situations. Never wait for a response from an expert before seeing your own personal health care provider.
Are all experts the same?
Not at all. Experts have lives and personalities just like us! Some experts answer many posts, some answer just a few. Some experts are chatty and become more a part of the community, whereas some experts are more formal. WebMD experts come in all shapes and sizes, so take some time to figure out what type of expert is part of your Expert community.
How many experts are in a Community?
Some Expert communities will have one, and some will have a group of experts working together to give feedback and interact with members.
How do I tell if an expert posted?
All expert posts in a WebMD Community will have a green "expert" tag. If someone is posting and seems to be an expert but this tag does not appear, then that member is not an official WebMD-approved expert. You can also look for "Includes Expert Content" in the post heading.
What are Guest Experts?
Sometimes we may find an expert that can visit an Expert community for a short period of time and give feedback about a specific aspect of a topic. Those experts will be tagged as "Guest Expert." If you would like to suggest a guest expert, we encourage you to write to us at CommunityExperts@WebMD.net.
Still have questions?
Be sure to visit our WebMD Community Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page linked on the left side on each Community for even more information, or write to us at CommunityManagement@WebMD.net.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
The opinions expressed in WebMD Communities are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. Communities are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.
Do not consider Communities as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.