Pre approval email in the dashboard waiting to go

(Andy Crichton) #1

Where all new users are to be approved after signing up, I send them a standard “vetting” email via my email client “Please explain who are you are and why you are interested in being on the forum” (It isn’t as blunt as that, but no spammer has replied yet.

TO speed things up, it would be beyond useful if there were an option for a Pre Approval email in the Content Section and a tag “Send Pre-approval email” on the dashboard, to the left of the “Send Activation email” tag.

I was looking at maybe using the Login Required Welcome Message to pop the question, but asking at that stage, why do you want to join, and these are the buttons to press if you do, seems a bit too much.

What do you think? Better for them to have made the move and signed up before being asked to justify their motives for signing up?

So overall, with my dashboard window permanently open on New Users, any new applicants that come in, I tick their box, click on Send Pre-approval email, and wait for a response. If a reply comes back, Activate and we are on. A lot quicker than what I have going on now.

(Dave McClure) #2

Is this just about preventing spammers?

Discourse already offers a number of features to prevent spam.

Or do you really only want users who are willing to articulate why the want to join?

If so, why not let them sign up, but include the request that they “Introduce themselves” in the automatic welcome message that goes out.

That could be in a special forum topic.

Personally, I would recommend stopping there and seeing how that works for you first.

But if you still feel the need to further enforce and automate things you could consider something like the following:

You could create a badge query to grant badges for members who do introduce themselves, and make it easier for you to find users who did not if need be.

You could also create a query to auto grant a “Lurker” badge for users who have been members for x days and didn’t introduce themselves. Then you could PM those users and remove their accounts if your site policy is really not to allow lurkers.

(Andy Crichton) #3

Thanks for the perspective.
I am mainly not happy with spammers, and mal-intentioned folks, but anyone joining and lurking is fine as a bottom line participant.
My vetting approach may well may be a carry over from a less than stellar anti spam system where it was often down to me to spot the good guys from a list of “unverifieds”!
So I will assume for the time being that Discourse will not allow New (spammers) in the pending tray, and as you say, for the time-being, a simple Please Introduce Yourself link in the Welcome Message may suffice for newcomers.
I have just migrated (well, Discourse Hosting just did a super job of migrating) 500 members, many of whom have not introduced themselves. I like the badge idea to mix it up a bit and prompt some action from them. Keep that one up my sleeve for later.

(Dave McClure) #4

You might want to keep an eye out for this new feature too:

(Jeff Atwood) #5

So how is this going for you so far?

(Andy Crichton) #6

I have put faith 100% in Discourse spammer-spotting abilities! I approve all new users as a matter of course. In amongst the welcome email I include a link to the Introduce Yourself section. Some introduce themselves, most don’t. Ironically, the last two new members left blinding introductions, but that isn’t the norm.

Conclusions I can draw are:

compared to the last forum software, for me, the filtering work keeping out bad players is now negligible, thank you.

This “introduce yourself link” approach hasn’t induced a rise in Introductions. Still, most just want to wander around and ask a question now and again.

As far as garnering more Introductions, could I do more?

I could be more hands on asking outright for an introduction when they have logged in, but I have been a member on a forum in a similar niche to mine, where the webmaster will openly hustle for introductions, politely of course, but despite his best efforts, the numbers don’t bear any evidence that his approach works better than my hands off approach, in that they have 4 figure membership and a fraction have made introductions.

Could I require an introduction as part of the sign up process? I have added that now, as an option at sign up and will keep an eye out.

Use badges as a reward for introductions? Even giving away cash prizes falls on deaf ears in our community!

Later on in a member’s tenure, asking for feedback like you just did, that seems to work!