How fine-grained does this need to be? It seems like potentially a lot of functionality to have to implement, and ultimately hard to manage for the user anyway (e.g. user search box, comma separated usernames, etc). I guess what I really want to know is what is the specific concern that you have mind, and would it be similarly addressed by simply being able to designate groups (or Trust Levels?) that you allow to mention you? E.g. only Staff, or only TL2 and above, etc.
Similar to the above, but also, what if the “adding you” is really just inviting you to chat? In other words it requires a confirmatory action from the added/invited user. That’s how I’d want it to be anyway. Again it feels to me like proactively controlling who (specifically/individually) can “add” a user is kind of a “heavy” solution and probably only going to be used by a small majority of users anyway, vs. more broad options or behaviors like “invite vs. add”, and “control invite/mention by trust level or group”. Perhaps you meant it to work on a group/TL level anyway, but I think it needs some clarification.
This is a good point to have this similar setting for chat.
I think that the user has not any weapon against mentioning @all (like in skype), @group, @here.
I don’t know how to deal with mentioning in chats with hot discussions. For instance, there are 3 chats: team A, team B and team C. I am a person who was chosen to support them (to fix servers, for example) Team A and B was active last night and mentioned me twice (like 'hey guys, did you remember what @rapekas said last time on the same problem?). Team B and C mentioned @all (I am in this group hardcoded). Do you know how many users wrote after mentioning @all?
Do you agree that it was difficult to read the last paragraph? I should visualize it with a diagram/picture instead of writing, right? And when somebody mentions me in looong chat, I have to find each mention and read carefully everything near mention.
Business communication → Disaster
When I started using Discourse (as a support ticket system) in my company I got some facts:
User should never register Discourse account using shared mailbox (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com etc). Such users in chat? Never.
When external users realize that I answer them, they try to solve all their questions in one place/the same topic. They imagine that they are at the phone call. Nevertheless, I divide questions into separate topics, customers still bombing at the single topic. It is dangerous to open chat for them.
Next, even if everything is OK with 1 and 2, when customers know my nickname, they begin mentioning me in each post.
If I don’t answer them quickly, they push me private messages.
Unfortunately, when my company went to MS Teams, customers who use Teams too, immediately got my corporate email (after the first conference call). At the next level, they begin to email me instead of asking in Discourse. I could not (and honestly did want) support them by Teams because as a guest for their Teams I did not receive calls or messages in Firefox (only Chrome support it right now).
Next step, the customer call by phone to the Project Manager and he pushed me to connect them quickly at the moment when I sorted mentions by priority from chats A, B, and C.
Chat is a fast lane. Usually, when some moderate human gets access to the fast lane, he doesn’t want to return to the slow lane until the strict rule is triggered. This is an infinite circle.
Maybe. I just want structured and manageable chatting with private space for the user.
I would like to add that I have a role where I’m supposed to have a secretary to make my priority to-do list. But I know people who, despite their high position, read the responses to their posts from Twitter or corporate chat on their own. If the chat feature was so convenient that it wouldn’t be distracting, but still always up to date, that would be great.
Right now I’m reading enthusiastic feedback from alpha testers, but I know how things can change when it goes live in communities with thousands of users.
I have a good amount of experience in customer support as well, via Discourse (and other forums), email, and the like. I certainly agree with/share many of your concerns! That said I think these are broader general problems, and apps like Slack still have not solved the issues with e.g. @ everyone except by just putting a warning when people try to do that (or disallowing certain users/user groups from using it at an admin level - this is not something individual users can control), so I’m not sure we can expect Discourse to be able to do a better job here.
You can, however, control your notification preferences (e.g. whether you get notified if someone @ everyone, etc.). So maybe that’s an option to consider, if not already part of the notification controls being provided by Discourse and with the integration of the new chat features into that.
Anyway, my overall point is that you are describing some large and very real problems, but they are problems that basically no other tool has fully solved to everyone’s liking. This is certainly in part because it’s a really hard problem. I think it is unrealistic if not a bit unreasonable to expect the Discourse team to address many of these issues as a core part of chat design, it feels like something of a “feature creep” to me. I do not, of course, speak for the team in any capacity though. Having said this, I do also hope they come up with some great ways to let people manage their mentions, notifications, etc. that are easy to use, congruent with Discourse design, etc.