I'm not so sure about the cookie idea, though, as our medical information is something to be kept in confidence. But I don't fully understand how information works in cyberspace and how or if individuals can be identified with their info-- I'm just raising the issue.
Secondly, if any strong trends were to show up in the database, special discussion groups could form around those patterns to more fully explore the issues through discourse, rather than tabulation, and as a supplement.
The result would be interesting. Judging from an unscientific acquaintance with the message board, I doubt that we would arrive at a scientific breakthrough enlightenment, but it might yield some food for thought. For new sufferers, it might be a less than random way to make a decision about what to try. It might add a few ounces of faith in that decision, enough to keep them on their chosen track long enough to see a result.
I wonder, though, that if there were some other way to organize information and discussions besides the 'word search,' if that wouldn't suffice. It may be premature-- certainly it is before establishing a database-- to act on impressions of different syndromes and establish their 'reality' with a divide in the web page.
Also, it is chronic sufferers-- it seems to me-- who habitually visit the board and post. One might think, for instance, that I am a socially inept person who needs contact and so I keep visiting here. In fact my life is full of people-- far too many-- but still because of my chronic condition I come here all the time. Its those sort of message board addicts who answer simple questions and give advice to new sufferers, perhaps heading off disasters for them. were these people to migrate to a special board, there is a sense in which that board would be 'the place to be' for all sufferers.
I think it is wrong to fault new sufferers for not doing thorough searches of the site, however important. They know not what they do! At one time, I did not know. At first, I was mad because I thought I was going to miss a week of yoga. That was a drag, a whole week-- that really disrupted my life.
My doctor took it even less seriously. It's only chronic sufferers-- many of the atypical types-- who know how to tell a new one how to get serious, and what to do. Perhaps these two groups need to be in constant contact.