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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Knowing How to Send a PM

    My website has the ability for Users to add Comments below Articles.

    Next to each Comment - in the left margin - I have the User's Info just like how SitePoint does in the threads.

    As a new feature, I am allowing registered Users to PM other registered Users.

    Is it intuitive to send a PM to a User by clicking on the blue Username as seen here??

    Attachment 59450


    Or would it make sense to add a "PM User" beneath the photo??

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Is it intuitive to send a PM to a User by clicking on the blue Username as seen here?
    Anyone who's familiar with forums and similar sites would probably figure it out, but not necessarily less practiced users. It's safer to make the link visible ... though it depends also on how important this feature is.

  3. #3
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ralph.m View Post
    Anyone who's familiar with forums and similar sites would probably figure it out, but not necessarily less practiced users. It's safer to make the link visible ... though it depends also on how important this feature is.
    Yeah. That's what I was thinking. Do you want the forum to be a big inter-user communication platform (it'll be one anyways)? I think it'd be a better idea to have it focus on comments because they're easier to moderate, control, and they encourage discussion amongst many people, not just two.

    ~TehYoyo

  4. #4
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    Yeah. That's what I was thinking. Do you want the forum to be a big inter-user communication platform (it'll be one anyways)? I think it'd be a better idea to have it focus on comments because they're easier to moderate, control, and they encourage discussion amongst many people, not just two.

    ~TehYoyo
    Let me clarify...

    When I click on "TehYoyo" - because I am a powr user and know to look there - I see a JavaScript Dropdown with things like "View Profile", "Send PM", etc.

    Problem is, *my* website is not offering JavaScript this millenium, so I want to be sure people know...

    1.) That it is possible to PM other Users

    2.) How to PM other Users

    I appreciate your point that the emphasis should be on "Comments" and not on PM's, but at the same time, I am trying to build a vibrant community like SitePoint has, and the more I can allow Users to interact the better.

    Thoughts?


    Debbie

  5. #5
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    First of all, just because you're not pming doesn't mean you're not interacting. Obviously, pms are good places to grow relationships.

    Let me give you a little story. I used to be a very addicted involved member in a certain online game. For that game, there was what's known as a fansite - what Sitepoint is to the web, this forum was to that game. A forum and also a help guide for anything in-game. One thing that I really liked was having 'community events' where we would all get togetheringame and hang out and play. Now, can you imagine Sitepoint members getting together and building a website? No, not really (although I think that that would be really cool hint, hint...), but when you do things as an entire community then that really helps people to grow together and enhance the community and not individual relationships.

    If you aren't in any rush, I find an effective way is to hint to someone else that you sent them a pm. W/ your moderating staff (if you have them), tell them to do that. That is try something like:

    Quote Originally Posted by Dee
    I really agree with Steve Shelton about generic topic. Makes a lot of sense.

    @Frank Flubbers: LOL! I totally agree. I sent you a pm about that.
    It's really subtle, and a lot like advertising. Next time, someone might remember that and shoot the other person a pm. That helps people know that it's possible to pm other users.

    As for how to? Meh. Most people know how to email, and I don't think that PM is much different than email, if maybe a bit less formal (I'm like a suit-and-tie guy in email )

    ~TehYoyo

  6. #6
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    DaveMaxwell's Avatar
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    Before the SPF had all it's javascripty goodness, there were icons/links for each user which allowed you to perform certain pieces of functionality - view Profile, email, PM. It cluttered up the display a little, but it was only one click.
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  7. #7
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    First of all, just because you're not pming doesn't mean you're not interacting. Obviously, pms are good places to grow relationships.
    True true.


    Let me give you a little story. I used to be a very addicted involved member in a certain online game.



    For that game, there was what's known as a fansite - what Sitepoint is to the web, this forum was to that game. A forum and also a help guide for anything in-game. One thing that I really liked was having 'community events' where we would all get togetheringame and hang out and play. Now, can you imagine Sitepoint members getting together and building a website? No, not really (although I think that that would be really cool hint, hint...), but when you do things as an entire community then that really helps people to grow together and enhance the community and not individual relationships.
    And the feature I just added which allows registered Users to post Comments underneath Articles should help to do that, because it will change things from being *one* voice (i.e. Debbie's) and opening things up into *many* voices discussing the Topic/Article at hand...


    If you aren't in any rush, I find an effective way is to hint to someone else that you sent them a pm. W/ your moderating staff (if you have them), tell them to do that. That is try something like:


    It's really subtle, and a lot like advertising. Next time, someone might remember that and shoot the other person a pm. That helps people know that it's possible to pm other users.
    Interesting tactic.


    As for how to? Meh. Most people know how to email, and I don't think that PM is much different than email, if maybe a bit less formal (I'm like a suit-and-tie guy in email )

    ~TehYoyo
    Everything is easy when you know how and where to do it...

    Maybe I am not giving new Users enough credit. I just wasn't sure from my screenshot above whether people who immediately realize that they can PM other Users, although I think seeing a green or yellow indicator should lets people know the User is alive!


    Debbie

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveMaxwell View Post
    Before the SPF had all it's javascripty goodness, there were icons/links for each user which allowed you to perform certain pieces of functionality - view Profile, email, PM. It cluttered up the display a little, but it was only one click.
    As I see it, I have two options...

    1.) Hope people figure out that <username> is a hyperlink, and when they click on it, take then to a "User Profile" page which has a big button that says "SEND PM"

    2.) Add a link beneath the User Info - next to the Comment - that says "PM Member"

    Of course, maybe there are other ways?


    Debbie

  9. #9
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    And the feature I just added which allows registered Users to post Comments underneath Articles should help to do that, because it will change things from being *one* voice (i.e. Debbie's) and opening things up into *many* voices discussing the Topic/Article at hand...
    Right. Although I find that forums are better than comments for communities. But that's an entirely new project.
    Everything is easy when you know how and where to do it...
    Good point

    As for the indicator...meh. Hard to interpret what that means. Hover text with "User is online - send him/her a pm!" would be nice and a good way to do so, but is also a large message to put in hover text for a 3px wide green button.

    Maybe convey online and send a pm in a more concise fashion?

    ~TehYoyo

  10. #10
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    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    1.) Hope people figure out that <username> is a hyperlink, and when they click on it, take then to a "User Profile" page which has a big button that says "SEND PM"
    Most people who want to be a part of your community will at least look at their own "User Profile" page after they've signed up, and the presence of a large "SEND PM" should give them a good clue that they can send PM's by visiting other folk's profile pages.

    When somebody signs up, after registration you could have a "Welcome" page, with basic info about what they can do now as members. e.g. post comments, send PMs, etc. Then at least they'll know they have that facility, and even if they can't remember how to do it when they want to, they'll know to look at the help/FAQ page.

  11. #11
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TechnoBear View Post
    Most people who want to be a part of your community will at least look at their own "User Profile" page after they've signed up, and the presence of a large "SEND PM" should give them a good clue that they can send PM's by visiting other folk's profile pages.
    Would you find it annoying to have to go to a User's Profile in order to have to send a PM (versus clicking on "PM User" next to their Comment)?

    (I know my last client was a *nut* about "I don't want to have so many clicks?!")


    When somebody signs up, after registration you could have a "Welcome" page, with basic info about what they can do now as members. e.g. post comments, send PMs, etc. Then at least they'll know they have that facility, and even if they can't remember how to do it when they want to, they'll know to look at the help/FAQ page.
    Hmmm... More work for poor Debbie, but an interesting suggestion!

    Thanks,


    Debbie

  12. #12
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    TechnoBear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Would you find it annoying to have to go to a User's Profile in order to have to send a PM (versus clicking on "PM User" next to their Comment)?
    Probably not. It would depend how many other options there were next to the comment (like "reply", "flag post" etc.). I might actually prefer to go the the user profile page - less clutter and less confusing. But I've never claimed to be typical.

  13. #13
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Would you find it annoying to have to go to a User's Profile in order to have to send a PM (versus clicking on "PM User" next to their Comment)?

    (I know my last client was a *nut* about "I don't want to have so many clicks?!")
    YES!!!!! I hate that! Let me send a pm from a single page!!! It gets annoying when you have to do it On other forums I've been a member of, that annoyed the heck out of me. Partly because the site in general was pretty slow...

    If you think pms are really interesting, you could have an automatically generate pm welcoming them to the forum.

    ~TehYoyo

  14. #14
    Foozle Reducer ServerStorm's Avatar
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    Really good points of view here. On one of the systems that we had a large number of visitors and had implemented a PM type structure we asked our user base whether they would like it in their profile or below their name in the posts. We got a really mixed bag almost 50%/50%, so we decided to give it as an option when people setup their profile 'show other members private message link in posts' it was by default turned on, but users that liked less clutter could turn it off. The PM link was available in all user profiles so those people that overrode this option knew they had to visit someone's profile.

    Regards,
    Steve
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  15. #15
    SitePoint Zealot coloradojaguar's Avatar
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    I would say to add it and make it visibly clear where the PM is located. Many new users join forums each day and not everyone is experienced. If you want to have a good forum with lots of public and private engagement then I think that everything should be laid out very clearly.
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  16. #16
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TehYoyo View Post
    YES!!!!! I hate that! Let me send a pm from a single page!!! It gets annoying when you have to do it On other forums I've been a member of, that annoyed the heck out of me. Partly because the site in general was pretty slow...
    Okay, one vote for simplicity!


    If you think pms are really interesting, you could have an automatically generate pm welcoming them to the forum.

    ~TehYoyo
    I really like that idea!


    Debbie

  17. #17
    SitePoint Wizard DoubleDee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ServerStorm View Post
    Really good points of view here. On one of the systems that we had a large number of visitors and had implemented a PM type structure we asked our user base whether they would like it in their profile or below their name in the posts. We got a really mixed bag almost 50%/50%, so we decided to give it as an option when people setup their profile 'show other members private message link in posts' it was by default turned on, but users that liked less clutter could turn it off. The PM link was available in all user profiles so those people that overrode this option knew they had to visit someone's profile.

    Regards,
    Steve
    Another interesting idea...


    Debbie

  18. #18
    <title class="lol"> bronze trophy TehYoyo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleDee View Post
    Okay, one vote for simplicity!




    I really like that idea!


    Debbie
    Great!

    Yeah - I'm a fan of the 'less is more' design theory.

    ~TehYoyo


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