Eesti naiste motivatsioon ning kogemused veebifoorumi kaalukadu.ee kasutamisel
The purpose of this research was to explore the overall usage practices of a web forum kaalukadu.eu and to evaluate its functions as a online support-group. Furthermore, the aim was also to study what kind of problems the users of the forum have and what is the feedback given to their problem-postings. Ten semi-structured informant interviews were carried out with the users of weight forum kaalukadu.eu. Results of the interviews suggest that all the participants were motivated to join the forum due to individual problems about weight and were in the hope of solving their concerns with the advice and moral support from others with similar worries. A major advantage of this forum is that in addition to finding sympathizers and friends the forum also acts as a big motivator. A lot of women have successfully lost weight and found solutions to their problems thanks to the forum and its members. In addition it appeared from the interviews that the forum kaalukadu.eu is extremely necessary to its users. That is because the forum provides an excellent environment for women to suggest their ideas, thoughts and feelings on the subject that is affecting so many girls and women. New members of the forum are usually absorbing the content passively, however after a certain time they start participating more actively, i.e. writing new posts and commenting the posts of others. Passive consumption is widespread especially when user has a specific problem to which she hopes to find solutions from the forum. Active discussions usually take place when it is obvious that the person who has posted the topic is desperately in the need for help. Respondents named excessive eating (which was often related to stress) and „slipping” as the main problems they have with weight. Interviewees believe that weight loss has become an obsession within younger and slimmer women. In other words it is very widespread within these women who actually fall into the healthy weight category. It was also found that these concerns about weight emerged due to low self-esteem and influence from media. Based on the interviews it is suggested that the forum acts as a big community where women support each other in good and bad. Members of the forum kaalukadu.eu share all the different personal experiences with others as well as offer moral support to those in need. Although the participants said that there is not much negativity inside the forum, it emerged from the interviews that majority of members still have come across negative comments and opinions. It is emphasized that members of the forum have similar concerns and individual experiences are playing a big part in helping others with their problems. From the research it appeared that people are happily sharing their ideas and recommendations with other users. Although visitors of the forum have a lot of experiences to share it was found that majority of problems unfortunately will not be solved. To make the forum more effective it is suggested to invite professionals like doctors and food specialists to take active part in discussions and give women professional advice.