Apologies if the search engine has failed me here, but I don’t see a way to cause welcome messages to be sent already closed; that is, to prevent replies. I see lots of posts about how to send the messages from a system user, to hide notifications, etc., but I’d simply prefer it be impossible to reply to such messages.
My forum is a software support forum, and I don’t want to create the expectation that replies to the welcome PM are a means to obtain that support. (The text of the message itself asks users not to attempt that, but…)
Ah yes - I can see how this may present issues for larger forums.
I worry that if users of my forum don’t have a clear way to communicate with a human in charge, they may simply use a different website in the event of issues, rather than making the effort to resolve them.
But I see your point of view and I will look for alternative ways to present a friendly face to new signups after this bot has been rolled out.
I have this issue a lot on my forum, where new users receive the welcome PM which is sent in my name.
They see the welcome PM as an invitation to a conversation (and do not realize it is automated) so they reply to it.
I get dozens of messages from people either thanking me for the kind welcome, or asking complex tech-support questions about video games… I don’t have the time or expertise to answer all of them. It seems to me the welcome PM is a nice idea but could use some work.
@codinghorror do I understand correctly that you have plans to phase out the welcome-pm or replace it with something else?