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Last post Author Topic: Attention Mod  (Read 14286 times)

CodeTRUCKER

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Attention Mod
« on: January 25, 2008, 04:18:21 PM »
Maybe this is already in effect, but in 15 months of participating/lurking on this board, I have not seen it.

What we're talking about is a forum modification/device/method that will "call" any particular member to a discussion rather than just hoping they drop in.  Here is a tangible example.

Imagine being in a thread where the issue of servers arises and no one on the thread is particularly versed in servers, it would be beneficial IMO to be able to "call" f0dder.  You might add to the bottom of your post in that thread...

"Attention:: @f0dder@ - we need assistance with some aspects of servers, can you help?"

The next time f0dder logs in or if he is online and clicks to the next page a similar window to the announcement that he has PMs waiting would alert f0dder to check his "call box" or display the "call" with a suitable link that would allow f0dder to go directly to the thread and offer whatever he would.

Likewise if there was a discussion on UltraEdit, a "call" could be dispatched for @zridling@ and @mrainey@.  A discussion on Microsoft could call @Veign@ and one on Python might "call" @tinjaw@, etc.  Oh and we would need @CarolHaynes@ if we had a discussion on the English equestrian scene. :)

I am sure you get the idea and I think there would be great value with instant R.O.I. rather than relying on chance, but this is only my view.  I can tell you I would have used such a mod twice yesterday, if it had already been available.

What do you say?    Could you have used it? :feedback:

[Disclaimer - the use of "f0dder," "zridling," "mrainey," " Veign," "tinjaw" and "Carol Haynes" are only for example due to their related involvements with the subjects and does not suggest that they should be involved in any way.]

<edit> added disclaimer, spelling and formatting </edit>
« Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 10:40:16 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

app103

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2008, 04:22:15 PM »
Hmmmmm....

Don't we already have a private message system that can serve that same purpose?

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2008, 04:26:49 PM »
Hmmmmm....

Don't we already have a private message system that can serve that same purpose?

It could, but the message isn't necessarily private and leavig the thread to post a PM might be counter-intuitive.

I was seeking something more intuitive so it would be used.  Given the member being sought was not on the thread in the first place,  you know what effort would be involved in setting up the links to have available for the "sought member" in his/her PM.  I don't see that as an incentive to calling needed help.  Still if that is the method, I'm game.

Maybe I'm just dull, but in 15 months of being at DC, your suggestion never ocurred to me. :-[ 

I stated above, I could have used this tool.  I'll use your suggestion as a test case.



Reporting back...

Here is what was involved with using the PM for this purpose...

Here are the steps I used in "calling" tinjaw to a thread involving Python.  We'll assume we are already in that thread.  I will also use what short-cuts I am aware of, but keep in mind others might not be familiar with them.  I'll flag these points with "**" and expound.

**(1) I acquire the thread/post address by right-clicking on the title link and "Copy link address."  (A novice may not be familiar with this.)

**(2) - Since I need tinjaw and he is not in this thread I can't just click his "PM" icon under his name.  (I know I can click on ayone's PM icon and chage the name, but again a novice might not understand this.)

**(3)  Now I am in the PM and it is addressed I leave tinjaw a message that says something like, Hey tinjaw... I can Python be used in LINUX for a text title formatter/inserter?  See this thread <right-click and paste thread/post link here>.  Thanks in advance  for the help! - Calvin  (Once again, the novice might not know the "right-clicking" options)

Take a look at the time stamp of the this post and the "Edit" time-stamp below.  Ok, I'm slow, but it would still take a number of steps and time to accomplish the "call."  On the othe side, it would require an extra step to get to the needed location.

Agreed, the PM is a viable tool for this purpose, but like I said, my hope was to have a tool that would be intuitive so it would be used.

Even if this idea never gets off the ground, I learned something! :Thmbsup:  Thanks, App! 



<edit> for clarity </edit>
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 05:21:25 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

app103

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2008, 05:23:42 PM »
This is where something like the deskbar really comes in handy.  ;)

No need to wander off the page/thread you are on.

Type in the member's name (or part of it), change the dropdown to 'Members', and click the search button. It will open a new browser window that you can use to locate the member's profile and send the PM from there.

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2008, 05:50:43 PM »
This is where something like the deskbar really comes in handy.  ;)

No need to wander off the page/thread you are on.

Type in the member's name (or part of it), change the dropdown to 'Members', and click the search button. It will open a new browser window that you can use to locate the member's profile and send the PM from there.

Thanks for the link.  That will be pretty handy!  For this application, there are still plenty of steps.  Maybe it will grow on me as I use it more.  Maybe my idea would be too much work to put it in operaton.  I certainly wouldn't want to unduly burden any of the tech staff.  I wonder what they have to say about it?

Attention:: @mouser@, @Gothi[c]@, @Wordzilla@ - Can you help over here?   :D

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2008, 05:56:20 PM »
Ah! I just stumbled across a real-time example of where this idea would be useful.

Carol Haynes

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 06:02:40 PM »
How about a button along side the user name (like the current set of icons on the left) that displays when someone is online - clicking on an online button would send an instant invite (pop up) to join the IRC chat? Users could have the option to disable the icon in their user profile if they don't want to get invited.

app103

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 06:05:44 PM »
I can see how this idea can become very annoying really fast, with people calling you to a bunch of different threads, and even demanding your attention on a thread you might be avoiding for personal reasons.

Under the right circumstances, for some members, something like this could be quite invasive and a royal pain in the butt, and could even cause some to avoid the forum.

I really don't like this idea for a forum mod.

Darwin

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 06:10:15 PM »
Interesting idea. I confess that I was conflicted reading your initial idea because on the one hand my first reaction was the same as apps: that's what the PM system is meant to do. However, on the other hand I instantly appreciated first how useful this would be and second how many times I would have benefited from it in the past! Not being a coder by any stretch of the imagination, I've no idea how difficult such a mod would be to get up and running, but I think it is an idea with merit  :Thmbsup:

App - I wasn't aware of your deskbar; will take it for a spin!

Couple of posts have come in as I pecked out the above:

App - good point. Perhaps this could be something similar to the "Show new replies to your posts" page?

OR

maybe it could tie in to, and utilize, the PM system? Some sort of code like: [PM=CodeTrucker]I wonder what CodeTrucker would think of this idea?[/PM] in the body of a posting that sends a PM to CodeTrucker with the text enclosed in the code along with a link and the subject line of the thread? I envision it having a built-in error return if the username entered isn't in the DC database...
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

Darwin

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 06:14:36 PM »
PS I like Carol's idea as well - there should be an opt-out option available for those who do not wish to be disturbed. Maybe the mod could even be set up something like Yahoo!'s newsgroups where  you can choose to be alerted for each request to join a thread individually, or be sent a digest daily or weekly that includes the relevant posts (or at least the one that contains the requet for an opinion/advice/website address, etc.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

app103

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 06:32:04 PM »
Ok...let's say we added something like this.

Now a member is being called to threads they would rather ignore and it is known that they have notifications turned on.

How would one tactfully explain their choice to avoid a thread now that they have brutally and publicly been demanded to respond to that thread? They can't even gracefully get out of it by saying they were unaware of the thread's existance.

I consider this invasive, even if you can opt in/out.

If one were to use the PM system instead, then they could explain to the person that sent them the PM that they would rather not respond for personal reasons without going into detail. Making their response to a thread a publicly made demand takes away that amount of privacy by demanding some sort of response even when one would rather not do that. And if they choose to ignore that thread, it will leave people wondering why.

I'll say it again...I don't like this idea.  :down:

Darwin

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 06:49:54 PM »
OK, fair comment. How about a mod that makes sending a PM to someone who has NOT yet participated in the thread simpler? Something in toolbar to call up a window that will allow one to search for a user by username and PM them without having to leave the thread? This would also facilitate providing a link in the PM to the thread/message in question, would be private - between inviter and invitee, and would allow the user invited to bow out gracefully.
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

app103

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 07:01:37 PM »
Maybe an additional button here:

SNAG-0306.png

It could open a popup to enter a member name, with option to search if you don't recall exact spelling. Then it could send a preformatted message similar to the type that is sent when you give someone some donation credits, but including a link to the thread. It could have an optional comment box, too, just like giving credits has.

app103

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 07:05:14 PM »
Actually, the "Send this Topic" button is exactly what I had in mind, but instead of asking for an email address, it asks for DC member name(s).

It could probably be added to that, and you could check an option to send either to an email and/or dc member.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 07:08:48 PM by app103 »

Darwin

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 07:10:31 PM »
Yeah - I just tried "Send this topic" (wiped out the post I was writing here, though!) and if it could be configured to prompt for a username and offer to send a PM that would be ideal.

I had been writing about your DC Search Deskbar - very NICE  :-* :Thmbsup:
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2008, 07:21:00 PM »
App, your "No" vote has been heard loud and clear, but in all fairness I was offering the idea to the "Community." 

I would like to hear what others have to say. :)

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2008, 07:35:22 PM »
How about a button along side the user name (like the current set of icons on the left) that displays when someone is online - clicking on an online button would send an instant invite (pop up) to join the IRC chat? Users could have the option to disable the icon in their user profile if they don't want to get invited.

Carol, a button would be a good idea for calling someone to IRC in real-time, but as the "sought member" might not be online/available in real-time the "call" might not be "heard."  Also, even if a "You have been called to...." it would "summon" a member to the thread, but there still remains the reason why the member was sought?  This is why I was suggesting some free-form method that would allow the text of the reason for the "call" to be included.  Like App has said, we don't want to bother or take advantage of those we receive help from unnecessarily.  I'm thinking providing some explanation in the "call" could allow the "Guru" to determine how, when, or ever they would respond to the "call."   Any thoughts?

Frankly, I think your button idea to request someone to join IRC is splendid in itself! :Thmbsup:  Maybe we should split this thread and see what the community thinks of your idea?  :)

f0dder

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2008, 07:42:10 PM »
I (very!) often miss private messages, for some reason - even though they do crop up in my email client. I dunno if I overlook them, or if I actually do read the email notify and then forget about it. But it happens all the time :-[. So something to "alert" me via forum PMs certainly wouldn't work. For some reason, I don't forget about regular emails as easily, though :-\ :huh:

Dunno about the mod idea... I personally usually get around to most threads since my main way of browsing the forums is the "show unread since last visit", so unless there's a very dull thread title, I usually see stuff :)

PS: I'll see if I can find time to reply to your PM tomorrow, CodeTRUCKER, I only read (or re-read?) it right now, but I'm heading off to bed :)
- carpe noctem

Darwin

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2008, 07:58:54 PM »
Quote
Perhaps this could be something similar to the "Show new replies to your posts" page?

In light of f0dder's comments about PM's going astray/unanswered/overlooked, perhaps my earlier suggestion (quoted above) deserves consideration? Essentially, a mod of this type would add another link underneath your username at the top of each page and would take you to a list of recent requests to join conversations. I guess at this stage this would be a fairly large undertaking, come to think of it, because we'd have to come up with another PM type system wherein a poster could click on the "send this topic" link at the bottom of a thread and select an option to send an invitation to another user...

OK, I guess I've talked myself out of my own idea  :o
"Some people have a way with words, other people,... oh... have not way" - Steve Martin

CodeTRUCKER

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Re: Attention Mod
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2008, 08:24:13 PM »
This thread is still alive and well, so anyone who has thoughts, please play right through and offer your perspectives and ideas.  :)


I have been working with App's idea to use the "Send Topic" button that is on the bottom of every thread. The benefit is it is already in place. :Thmbsup:  This means no need to build from the ground up, only some adjustments would need to be effected.  Our Tech Staff will be happy with this, provided the "adjustments" aren't to taxing.  If the changes were simple enough, the mod could be used very soon.  Here are the present caveats and some ideas to overcome them...

    Caveats
    • The "Send Topic" button is to vague IMO.  It does call attention to the thread, but it is impotent to direct the Recipient to the post where assistance is needed.  I don't think it can be assumed that the Recipient can just go to the bottom of the thread to locate the post.
    • If anything is invasive, The "Send Topic" surely qualifies.  As a Sender I, personally, would not want to use my email address.  Actually, I'm not sure what SMF was thinking when they came up with this.  Perhaps the email address is for verification.  Whether it is or isn't the mail that is sent to the Recipient does show the Sender's email address. 
    • The requirement to have the Recipient's email is a no brainer, so that's all I'll say.
    • The interface for sending needs a face lift, specifically the email boxes would need to be removed and the "Comment" box should be enlarged from its present 20-character length to see the whole comment.

      Remedies
      • First change needed to make this mod effective as opposed to just usable, would be to have the "Send Topic" button modified or create a "Send Post" button on each post (as Carol suggested).  This would make the notice to the Recipient surgical in locating the specific call for assistance.  Since the Recipient would be essentially offering a service, I think it would courteous to make their life easier by giving them a direct link.  :Thmbsup:
      • As App stated, a change that offered an option to send via email or PM has merit.  After the removal of the email address boxes, the Member's forum name would need to be the only information requested for the Recipient.  The Sender's forum name already populates the dialog, so it would not be necessary to have anything other than that, i.e., no password should be needed, but the added security of requiring the password is never a bad idea.
      • There should also be an "override" available to the Recipient.  Presumably this would/could be an option within each member's profile.  Some Recipients might even prefer both or none.


      FYI - If the "Send Topic" could be cloned and modified as suggested above, it would fulfill the criteria for this mod as it was originally envisioned.


      The only two things left to do is to see if...

      (1)  Anyone else wants it and would use it or if there are other ideas.

      (2)  See what the Tech Staff that would have to do the work, has to say about the "doable-ness" to put it in operation.



      Remember: the window to offer your comments and/or ideas is still open.  Please feel free to post them regardless of the above discussions on this board.  This is your Community and anything you have to offer is welcome! :)[/list][/list]
      « Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 02:41:58 AM by CodeTRUCKER »

      CodeTRUCKER

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      Re: Attention Mod
      « Reply #20 on: January 25, 2008, 08:33:02 PM »
      BTW - this doesn't have to be decided tonight, tomorrow or next week.  Any time before the vernal equinox would be great.  (notice I didn't say what year. :P )

      The whole idea is to connect people with purpose and however that is accomplished is fine by me. 

      Off Topic
      Actually, I think one of the best things that has happened so far is Carol's idea for a button to allow member's to request other members to join IRC, but lest I hi-jack my own thread, I'll leave that alone. :)

      « Last Edit: January 25, 2008, 09:28:32 PM by CodeTRUCKER »

      Carol Haynes

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      Re: Attention Mod
      « Reply #21 on: January 26, 2008, 03:44:02 AM »
      I (very!) often miss private messages, for some reason - even though they do crop up in my email client. I dunno if I overlook them, or if I actually do read the email notify and then forget about it. But it happens all the time :-[. So something to "alert" me via forum PMs certainly wouldn't work. For some reason, I don't forget about regular emails as easily, though :-\ :huh:

      f0dder - in your profile you can enable notify me about Personal Messages. When you have the DC window open a pop up tells you that you have unread PMs and clicking OK allows the PMs to open immediately in a separate window. I didn't used to use that but I have had it switched on for a while now and it is useful for me.

      Re. buttons to invite participation in the IRC channel - I can see that it would be a pain if people were innundated with requests to pop over to IRC but are people really going to be innundated. Perhaps the IRC status of the caller could be checked and only allow invitations from people who are already logged on to IRC (if you aren't logged on yourself perhaps you shouldn't see the status icons by user ids). It can also be restricted to full members of DC.

      mouser

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      Re: Attention Mod
      « Reply #22 on: January 26, 2008, 03:50:13 AM »
      i like the idea of modifying the "Send This Topic" page to allow you to send a topic to a user on the forum not just to an email address.
      this way we don't have to add any new "buttons" and i think the "Send this Topic" idea captures the same idea that has been suggested here -- and why should the "send this topic" only work with emails -- seems natural to extend it to work with forum names and send it as a message through the forum.

      tinjaw

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      Re: Attention Mod
      « Reply #23 on: January 26, 2008, 04:42:05 AM »
      Just thinking out loud here...

      I like the "Send this topic" idea and would suggest a new button be available when you receive one of them that is a simple "Thanks for the invite, but I cannot participate at this time." This would then be promoted as the socially acceptable way to decline to participate *for what ever reason*, no time, not in the right headspace, you secretly despise the person sending the invite, whatever.

      [edit: typo]
      « Last Edit: January 26, 2008, 08:14:02 AM by tinjaw »

      Curt

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      Re: Attention Mod
      « Reply #24 on: January 26, 2008, 05:36:27 AM »
      New button: "PM this topic".  :up:

      :two: