May 18, 2017 at 4:04 pm #3765
Hi Keith, hope your well.
I was just wondering if you’ve considered a private messaging facility on your forums. I think some readers occasionally prefer to message particular gout sufferers at a more personal level and maybe even make long term friends (meet-ups, visits, etc.). Maybe a facility to turn off private messages too so users don’t get flooded or for those who wish to just browse less often.
What do you think?
May 23, 2017 at 9:47 pm #3835
May 24, 2017 at 7:42 am #3838
Keith TaylorKeymasterŦallars: Ŧ 1123.04Rank: Scholar
I know this is very rude, d_q, but I was simply proving a point.
Private messaging isn’t much use if only one person wants it.
Sorry. Forgive me. 😉
May 25, 2017 at 6:12 pm #3941
@keith, Your the boss mate. The reason I asked was simply because some users may want a little more personal advice, for example I wanted to privately message Patrick and see how he was. I also wanted to privately message nobody to discuss a few options without having to take up forum space on the “help my gout” board. The idea was to put less load on the main boards and offload a few personal questions to individuals. An ignore function could always be implemented if it was getting too much for users.
Anyway no worries mate 😉
p.s. your forgiven.. 🙂
May 29, 2017 at 9:12 am #3982
Keith TaylorKeymasterŦallars: Ŧ 1123.04Rank: Scholar
OK, I was being flippant. Because I’m very interested in this topic. Obviously, for me, I have an incentive for keeping as much public chat on my websites as possible. Because, as I explained in Personal Contact and how Keith works, that’s how I make my living. But, I hope we can ignore that bias for now. Though I’ll probably come back to it ( 😉 ).
Generally speaking, I think personal messaging can be very useful. As we chat in these forums, we make human contact. So, it’s natural to want to talk more about mutual interests. In fact, when I had a general discussion board on my old gout forum, we had some fascinating discussions. I called it the “Water Trough” as a sideways reference to the “water Cooler”. I would have called it the Tea Machine, but this particular Brit has gone global. Anyway, it was good for a while, but not directly related to private messaging.
I did enable a private messaging feature for a while. Unfortunately, it was abused. You might have seen occasional forum posts by people who’s only agenda is to promote some self-serving nonsense. Now, that’s bad but quite easy to control. However, when abusers send private messages trying to exploit other users, it’s much harder to manage. So, I abandoned it.
I did toy with the idea of introducing friendships, groups, or some other arrangement whereby members can mutually agree to private discussions. In the end, I realized I was simply reinventing Facebook, so, I abandoned the idea. But, I haven’t forgotten it.
It’s certainly possible for me to add many more social features to this forum. But, I feel I need to be convinced there is a need for it. After all, my whole online existence is driven by what I perceive to be unfulfilled needs. But, I’m not convinced there is an unfulfilled need.
For instance, we do not have regular discussions in the General Discussion Forum. I occasionally try to encourage off-topic discussions. But, it’s not a priority for me.
Also, what can I do that Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or one of the other social networks cannot do? Again, if everyone is fed-up with overcommercialization of those services, I’m happy to consider a people-driven alternative. I just don’t think I can do that alone. But, if you want to work with me on it, add to this suggestion. Or, we can discuss your ideas in General Discussion. This is certainly part of my 10 Year Plan. Or, it would be if I had a plan 🙂 But, I want to focus on getting more than 50 active members first.
Thanks for raising this topic d_q. I hope you can see beyond my earlier flippancy. Because, I believe this is very important. But, I need more people actively involved before I can persue it.
If you prefer not to get involved in such a project, I quite understand. In that case, maybe you could include a short sentence in an active discussion that involves other members. For instance, include your public contact details in your GoutPal Profile. Then, your short sentence could just say something like:
“If you want to discuss this privately, please click my profile link to see how to contact me.”
Another option is, I could start a topic for inroductions. There, you would post a message saying that you want to swap email addresses with a named member. Then, if that member posts an acceptance, I could email you both privately with each other’s details. I think I will have to think about the exact process to make sure it is not open to abuse. But, I think it would be an easy service to introduce.
Sorry for the long-winded reply, d_q. As you can see, it’s a subject dear to my heart. I just didn’t have time to respond fully earlier. Because it was sunny. And now it isn’t – typical Bank Holiday! 🙂
June 16, 2017 at 11:00 pm #4194
Hello Keith, sorry for the delayed response mate. As you can see I was trying to take a little load of you on the forums by moderating them for you a little. Duplicate posts, posts that don’t belong in the correct forum, etc.
I’ve also tried to work closely with nobody and Patrick to take some load of you by answering the most common questions and giving out as much duplicate information as necessary in the help my gout forum.
Anyway mate, if you need ideas or really wish to develop a private messaging system to help users get more in touch with others and allow them to potentially ask questions without the entire board reading their personal situation then let me know. I am more then happy to help both from an IT perspective and from a systems design / workflow method on how it would work.
Let me know what you think.
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