Member's "Private Notes" Tool

Apologies for not putting this into one of the other threads, but they seem so full of other stuff that’s new or broken or whatever and so I’ll start a new thread.

What I’df like some feedback on is whether there might not be a better way to state something.

Private Notes

Notes added here are for your eyes only. No one else (including the profile you are looking at) can read them.

It is the part in the parentheses that seems a tad odd, no?

A “profile” is not a person, which seemed to be what was meant by the pronoun “one” in the “No one else …”

And I only got to that grammatical point after a few minutes of trying to figure out what it is all supposed to mean. I just don’t understand the meaning of what’s written inside the parentheses. Sorry for being dense.

Oh yes, I also tried to do a search for any other post about this business, but finally gave up after about thirty minutes of reading other threads and searching. Another sorry if I am duplicating something.

Good point! It really should read something like this:

No one else (including the member whose profile you are looking at and creating the note on) can read them.

So, you can post a note on your own profile that no one can see, and you can also post a note on someone else’s profile that they can’t see—even though it’s their own profile page.

This is handy for moderators who want to make notes about a questionable member’s activity, but I can think of reasons where any member might want to make similar notes about other members.

EDIT sniped by Ralph !

I agree that it does read a bit confusingly, but I can’t think of a better way to explain it without getting overly verbose.

Any member can leave a User Note on any Profile that only they can see.
I imagine this is best used to remind yourself of whatever. eg. If you don’t Star a Topic or Bookmark a post, you could leave a note on your profile something like
“remember to send a PM to OtherMember asking about his project in the Jobs category” etc.

You could also leave a User Note on someone else’s Profile that only you can see, but I can’t think of how that might be useful for you to do.

I wanted to post a reply but I am having some serious difficulty navigating around here.

I clicked on the topic title listed under the “Community” tab and was sent to an editting tool for my first post. And that happened twice. I’m not even sure how I got to a reply button.

Okay, enough of that.

As for what has been written I am even further confused.

To me, the first key point is that a profile is not a person. Quite frankly, there’s no getting around that in that sentence structure. Once that is straightened out then it might be easier to fix the confusing nature of that sentence. If it means you can’t be so brief, then that’s what it means. Sometimes brief isn’t so good because it just can’t be.

As far as being able to put notes into somebody else’s Profile Section, or whatever that is called, I didn’t read that into that sentence. Not even close. Putting my notes into somebody else’s Dashboard/Profile, without them knowing and for me only to read is a new one for me on any bulletin board software. And, again, I sure wasn’t able to see that in any of that sentence structure that I was confused about. Of course, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so that’s probably my fault.

Oh yes, and thank you for the replies thus far. Now let me see if this is going to post okay.

As far as getting the post editor, that is a feature of Discourse - auto saving drafts - AFAIK it saves only one draft on a per category basis (not sure, I’ve never used it).

So if you start to reply to a topic but later close the editor (technically it’s minimized, not closed) without clicking cancel, the next time you visit that topic the post editor will open containing whatever your “draft” was. Confusing if you forgot you started a post that you had abandoned, but good if you get called away mid reply and don’t want to start typing from the beginning again.

I don’t think I left a draft unattended. I think it was related to that notice about “Welcome to the New SitePoint Forums” which I had been seeing since I popped in from the notice sent to my email account. As soon as I closed that everything seemed to work just fine.

Well, I just ran into some crankiness in another thread that wouldn’t let me get back to the first post, but no sweat there. New forum builds always have some crankiness for a few months, so no really big deal.

But maybe I should stop taking my own thread off-topic. Just thought some notification to y’all management folks about that odd language there was a good idea. Plus I suppose I was sort of wondering if I was the only one that thought something seemed odd in the way that is phrased.

I’m still trying to digest that information about sticking notes into somebody else’s Profile. That’s mighty interesting.

I just had a bit of coffee induced creativity :coffee:

So instead of

Notes added here are for your eyes only. No one else (including the profile you are looking at) can read them.

Do you think this is less confusing?

Any Notes you leave here can be seen only by you, whether this is your own Profile or that of another member.


A much clearer explanation. I had eventually figured out that was what the note meant but it took several times reading the original version before it occurred to me what it actually meant.

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I think it is less confusing, yes. Might want to get more feedback, though. Somebody else might have a better way of phrasing it. I was actually just thinking that all that was missing in the original line was a preposition, like in. But your way of phrasing the idea is better, in my view, because it makes it clear that we can put notes into someone else’s Profile.

By the way, what other BB software allows that – has that feature? Just curious while we’ are on this topic.

This is longer, and I don’t like it as much, but maybe it’s better? (new bolded)

Notes added here are for your eyes only. No one else (including the owner of the profile you are looking at, unless that’s you) can read them.

None out of the box that I know of. I guess it might come in handy for something like

This guy chewed me out for suggesting WordPress as a CMS
Don’t suggest it to him again !

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User notes are pretty common although usually only as a moderation tool. Discourse has opened up that functionality, which I think is great.

Thanks for pointing out the ambiguity in the description. I’ll bookmark this to revisit.

@Mittineague, I think you are on to something, both of the new wordings you wrote up seem like something Discourse would easily accept (actually, this may still be a plugin… so it may need to be submitted to the plugin project).

For some reason I thought it was one of our devs that wrote it, but it was lightyear.
I bumped his feature topic

For what it’s worth, you’re not alone here. I quite often find myself in unexpected places after clicking a link. I can’t put my finger on when or why it happens, so I can’t repro the error and report it, but it is very definitely happening.

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Using a tablet is a pain. I continually hit the wrong link. The stylesheet has something switched off that prevents two or the links jumping out and expanded which makes it easier to hit the correct link. Why is this standard tablet feature disabled?

Jeff has made some improvements that are at meta but not here yet. Someone said that their members wanted to have the entire row be clickable, but he did make the target larger to help for “tap” by giving links padding.

at meta


From a Mods perspective I can see the value of Private Note. But from a user perspective as in my perspective it is useless. I would like the ability to have multiples and be able to set them to Public.

Oh, I don’t know but you just might find it useful. Discourse lets you add GET variables to URLs to let you have some pages display different data. For example, I like to check for posts that haven’t gotten answered by other members to see if I might be able to help so I saved various links in mine such as this one

I think the extra that you added, Mittineague, is better.

Notes added here are for your eyes only. No one else (including the owner of the profile you are looking at, unless that’s you) can read them.

I suspect there just isn’t any way to phrase this with few words. Especially as most folks are not going to be expecting to see this feature. If it were a common tool it might be a different situation, but my first read was like, ‘What the heck is this!?’ The newness of it adds a need for more wording, in my view.

Anyway, it seems that the matter has garnered the necessary attention so that it gets fixed and that’s all I was going for. Appreciate that from y’all management folks. Thank you.

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Over time, you will interact with various members, and I often think to myself—“Is that the person I helped with such and such a few years ago?” etc. So sometimes I like to add a note about past interations, perhaps with a link to some relevant thread, so I can easily go back in time.

On the old forums, you also used to have the ability to "ignore"certain members if you didn’t get on with them. Usernotes can help you remember. :stuck_out_tongue: