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Requests for private comments via PM - What's your opinion?

T

triad

#21
I think I found a useful option in the profile to block PMs except from friends/contacts. That will avoid the 'as you're a consultant, I'm sure you'd be interested in this wonderful ProductName/Software Name/Whatever it is we sell) PMs.

I don't remember seeing it before... might be just another CI from Marc. Thanks Marc.
Why don’t you just ignore the PM?
 
#23
I would like to take the opportunity to point out Moderators and Administrators in the Cove are special cases in that they actively solicit private messages about a number of topics most regular members have no interest in.

We see our role first as helping folks make the most of the PUBLIC forms to get a cross section of answers from folks in the Cove. Many old hands in both Quality and the use of Internet Discussion Forums easily forget how confusing it all can be for a newbie. So we help sincere newbies as best we can and don't turn them away because the questions are repetitive or even "whiney."

Precisely because we field so many emails and messages, we've developed pretty good radar at detecting frauds, fools, and internet trolls. Rarely do we answer questions in private which should be in the public forums. Such questions we redirect back to the public forums so the answers can be available for all future readers.

We turn down private requests for free copies of copyrighted documents for the same reason we turn them down in public forums - it's not legal.

Messages directed to us in our role as moderators and/or administrators are often shared with other moderators and administrators so we can present a consistent response on behalf of the Cove.

Personal messages addressed to us as individuals are kept private. Sometimes, though, our view of what is a moderator message versus personal may be more liberally interpreted than the message sender expected.

One last tip - it doesn't seem to me to be a smart move to try to harass any moderator via emails and private messages using the Cove software because an aggrieved moderator can always make a case for suspending a person's Cove access or even banning such a person outright from future participation in the Cove.
 

Jim Wynne

Super Moderator
#24
I would like to take the opportunity to point out Moderators and Administrators in the Cove are special cases in that they actively solicit private messages about a number of topics most regular members have no interest in.

We see our role first as helping folks make the most of the PUBLIC forms to get a cross section of answers from folks in the Cove. Many old hands in both Quality and the use of Internet Discussion Forums easily forget how confusing it all can be for a newbie. So we help sincere newbies as best we can and don't turn them away because the questions are repetitive or even "whiney."

Precisely because we field so many emails and messages, we've developed pretty good radar at detecting frauds, fools, and internet trolls. Rarely do we answer questions in private which should be in the public forums. Such questions we redirect back to the public forums so the answers can be available for all future readers.
I don't think you should present yourself as representing all (or even a consensus) of the views of moderators on this topic unless you're sure that you are indeed speaking for all of them. I can say personally from my own experience as a moderator that I don't receive fewer PMs now than I did when I was a moderator, nor is the subject matter of the messages I receive any different, nor do I respond any differently.

Messages directed to us in our role as moderators and/or administrators are often shared with other moderators and administrators so we can present a consistent response on behalf of the Cove.

Personal messages addressed to us as individuals are kept private. Sometimes, though, our view of what is a moderator message versus personal may be more liberally interpreted than the message sender expected.
This is just wrong, imo. Unless there is a really compelling reason to divulge the contents of PMs, no one should be sharing them unless the sharing is disclosed and agreed to.
 

CarolX

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
#25
That will avoid the 'as you're a consultant, I'm sure you'd be interested in this wonderful ProductName/Software Name/Whatever it is we sell) PMs.
JaneB and all Covers - please know that solicitations like this are against the Terms of Service here at the Cove. If anyone receives what they believe to be an inappropriate use of the PM system, please use the "Report" button that should show up on the PM.

Marc and all the modertors work very hard to keep this site as a "free exchange of ideas". We spend a lot of time discussing post as described in JaneB post above. We are not against learning about new product, along as we have interaction with the user. Most folks that have been around know we do not tolerate posts that say "Try my thing - it will solve your problems" - we also do not tolerate it in the PM or e-mail system.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Marc

Captain Nice
Staff member
Admin
#26
This is just wrong, imo. Unless there is a really compelling reason to divulge the contents of PMs, no one should be sharing them unless the sharing is disclosed and agreed to.
It is very rare that a PM (Personal Message in the forum software) comes up for discussion in the moderator forum. The ones that do are always ones where privacy isn't an issue.

I can say without hesitation that anyone can PM a moderator in confidence. None of the moderators, nor I, share PM information unless it is obvious that the issue raised is important, and typically in such cases the PM content and sender are typically not revealed because the subject matter is usually forum related, not personal in nature. When we DO discuss a PM it is one moderator asking the others (and me) what to do in response to a PM they themselves received. Keep in mind that this post is in regard to moderators discussing PMs sent to them.

In the same vein, since the topic has been broached, neither the moderators nor I can see or read PMs between Registered Visitors. The software was written with that in mind.

It's the same with passwords. People 'lose' (forget, whatever) passwords every day, they use the Contact Marc and I help them out.
Lost Password email content said:
I have no way to know anyone's password. Check these out and then if you need me to help just reply to this email.

NOTE: Your email address *MUST* be correct. If it isn't, you'll have to ask me (email me) to manually adjust your database record.

Forgotten Password and/or Changing your Password 'How To' thread:
http://Elsmar.com/Forums/showthread.php?t=22711

NOTE: User names AND passwords are *Case Sensitive* and spaces in a Forum User Name, if any, count as 'characters'.
E.g.: Larry ≠ larry, and sAm ≠ Sam, and G Masters ≠ GMasters.

Lost Password Link:
http://Elsmar.com/Forums/login.php?do=lostpw

If you are Logged In, change your password and/or email address here:
http://Elsmar.com/Forums/profile.php?do=editpassword
NOTE: The link says 'editpassword', but both email and password changes are on the same page.

Instructions --> How To Use the Forum Software
http://Elsmar.com/Forums/forumdisplay.php?f=86

If you are having a specific problem, you will have to give me more details of exactly what you are trying to do and what happens when you try. For example: What is the error message you get?

Let me know if you have further problems that you need personal help with. My phone number is below if you need me to walk you through something.

Thanks!
Technically I *can* set a password for a Registered Visitor (Moderators can not, only I can), but I try to keep out of people's passwords. But, there are cases where I see it as a technological issue where the person isn't fully acquainted with the software and make the decision to set a new password for them, email it to them (along with my 'notes' in the quote above) so they can at least log in and change it to whatever they want.

Ultimately, for anyone who is seriously concerned with privacy in the PM system here, they should exchange personal email addresses in a PM to the person they want to contact and carry out their business directly between themselves on their private email accounts, not through the forum PM system.
 
#27
<SNIP> I can say personally from my own experience as a moderator that I don't receive fewer PMs now than I did when I was a moderator, nor is the subject matter of the messages I receive any different, nor do I respond any differently. <SNIP>
You are a special case - you have the highest karma in the Cove and you are frequently in the top five of all posters in number of posts each 30 day cycle. Such visibility makes you a target as much or more [since you don't have the "stigma" of officialdom] as any moderator.
 
J

JaneB

#28
Thanks for your input all, I appreciate the various sharing of opinions, even though in places the discussion has wandered along some byways & ways from the original topic, as is the way of the Cove at times.

I started the post as a result of receiving several requests for private help in a row, all from people completely new to the Cove, and none of whom I'd even 'met' before. I wasn't asking about PMs in general - I think there's a definite use for them and don't want to disable mine.

But I still think immediate/almost immediate requests for private coaching from a new and unknown registrant is against the spirit of a forum in general, and not something I agree to. I tend to consider it selfish and inconsiderate.

I wasn't ever querying the use of PMs in general, but I have learned a few things along the way, as one does. And yes, if I get another 'my widget is wonderful' post, I'll report it. I don't get too many of those though.

I do think you all - you moderators, administrators and of course not least Marc - do a quite wonderful job in keeping the Cove free of would-be opportunists and free of commercial exploitation, as well as a professional, friendly and polite place, and take this opportunity to thank you all for what you do.

You are a special case
How nice of you to acknowledge Jim's specialness.
 
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