I’m not sure if this has been covered elsewhere? I’m curious to know if it’s possible for a user to restrict private messages? I’m thinking of using Discourse in a software support context, I’d like to encourage users to conduct open conversations so everybody can benefit from the shared wisdom. I’m afraid that without this facility many forum users would PM the support staff for help whenever they got stuck and any response would offer no benefit to the rest of the community.
Are you saying you want a setting that says: “Don’t allow PMs to ‘users in group’ IF trust level is below X”?
At meta, that is largely a support forum, I barely get pinged manually (cause you need trust level one anyway to PM). When I do and it should be public, I simply reply, this is better as a public topic.
I very much dislike the idea of making staff uncontactable, it can lead to some very weird sociological issues. Instead, I think, teaching the community as you go is a better approach.
You already have a very reasonable level of protection with trust level one anyway.
I think that would work! You probably have a better angle on this than I do as you are already using Discourse in a software support context. The only difference here is that the majority of your users are tech savvy and tend to understand and obey forum etiquette. I’m not sure our users would exercise the same discipline? What I’m afraid of us dealing with users who abuse the PM system just to try to get your undivided attention, because many people think their problem is unique and requires special consideration.
I may be over-egging this problem, I guess I’ll find out when we start using Discourse for real.
I am pretty confident this will not be a real problem, if you launch and it becomes a problem I will be happy to work with you to resolve it.
We have very mixed feelings about “mute” lists for users, but one thing I definitely support is “don’t allow this user to PM me any more”.
I’d rather wait until this becomes a problem and deal with it then rather than building speculatively.
This feature was delivered in 1.3 as civilized mute – turns off all notifications from a particular users including PMs.