Advocacy - Is it possible to have a real discussion about it on the web? For quite some time I have wanted to have a constructive conversation about ALL advocacy without it devolving into fruitless back and forth about how one group or another is evil (To put my bias out on the table, to me the evil group isn't the one that has made mistakes while trying; the evil group is the group that stood and criticized without ever trying to do anything constructive themselves). Here are my first thoughts to try and get something constructive started. Feel free to add to the list. Let's see if we can do this in a mature manner. What is it that you'd like to see in an advocacy group? Do we need more than one advocacy group? Where do we expect the funding to come from for the one (or many) advocacy groups we want? Who do we expect to actually do the work required for an advocacy group to gain credibility (shouting on the web doesn't count, that's venting/therapy, not advocating. I'm talking lobbying, patient education, physician education, etc.)? Should we require that board members be patients or family members? Are there mechanisms that could be put in place to keep the big egos that like to be in charge of everything from commandeering good intentions? Is having more than one advocacy group useful in a stick versus carrot kind of way? If so, is that because this is a useful strategy for actually getting something done or is the utility in giving patients a choice of places where they may feel more comfortable? Lastly, I have no ambitions of directing such an effort. I am not well enough at the moment to handle my own daily self-care. I just thought (in a moment of utter cluelessness?) that this topic was important, that in the past it has always been hijacked by trolls attacking one group (with no real intent of doing anything constructive - my definition of a troll) and that we as a patient community deserved better than that.