"See my Posts Only" Category - Why not?


(ginger man) #1

In continuation with the above discussion, there is a clear need for a solution to achieve 2 things for a community.

  1. Prevent private communication channel in a community to encourage public discussion. All the schools, healthcare communities need this requirement.
  2. Provide a simple support channel to reach the admin / moderators for help from the web app (I am not talking about emails)

For requirement number 1, we can easily disable the private messaging completely. As a side effect, this stops us to achieve requirement 2.

Categories in discourse are clearly secured with groups and permissions.

The most clean and secure way to support the requirement number 2 is by providing a category of type “Create & See only my topics/posts”. (The UI for topics list in a category view is much more intuitive than a personal messages inbox as well.)

I would like to understand why this feature is not encouraged in discourse (based on all old discussion threads I could dig through, I didn’t see any clear reason). Can you please provide your insights. @sam @codinghorror


(Jeff Atwood) #2

I have no idea what you are talking about. What are some specific real world examples of where this would be needed?

What problem does this solve, for anyone?

None of our hundreds of customers are asking for this, so what is the point of it?


(ginger man) #3

Thats exactly what I have explained above.


(Jeff Atwood) #4

Reach the admins for help like you are doing right now? I have no clue what you are talking about and zero of our hundreds of paying customers are asking for it.

Explain yourself with three real world examples, please, of where this solves an actual problem for the user.


(Sam Saffron) #5

I think you are asking for an option that leaves pms to groups open and shuts down pms between users.

“See my posts only” category is not going to happen, group pms solves this problem


(ginger man) #6

What I am doing right now is a public discussion about a normal issue. The real need is in reaching for help in a private discussion.

  • Schools are my main example. PMs are not allowed between students. They still have to reach their Tutors for personal help / complaints in a private channel. How can they initiate the discussion from web ?

  • healthcare communities to reach specific experts in a private channel

  • coaching communities

  • IT - Support Ticketing


(ginger man) #7

Is this going to happen ?


(Sam Saffron) #8

I am not against adding a site setting, but it is not a trivial change, probably half a day to a day of work in it.


(ginger man) #9

Thanks. This would really help.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

OK good, specific examples, this helps. So now we can talk specifics and be clear.

  • If they have complaints they should flag. Flagging is the preferred way to reach staff for problems. Flags allow arbitrary text as well, and can be replied to back and forth as needed – every custom flag creates a topic. Try it!
  • Remember that everyone can reply to the welcome PM, which can be monitored. The Welcome PM even says “reply if you need to talk to staff” at the bottom. Read it if you don’t believe me!

If the goal is for people to get experts one on one, I think a chat solution should be chosen, not a public discussion platform.

Again if the goal is one on one personal coaching, a chat solution is the better option versus a public discussion platform

This is covered rather exhaustively by the email support we added in 1.5, along with staged accounts. Email is preferred for support because you don’t want to force people to create a discussion account just to talk to you.


(ginger man) #11

Flagging can be tried. Thanks for that tip. (Though I dont think I can initiate a flag from outside a topic page. If the complaint is not about a topic but some generic stuff)

I agree that if the whole intention of a community is just to get a private support, then chat is the better option but usually this is done as part (side need) of your regular public discussion forums where you share / comment generic posts as well.

Anyway, if we can implement an option to allow group PMs while preventing PMs between end users that would really satisfy the need ( especially now we have a direct way to call a pre filled group message with a link - Compose a new pre-filled private message via URL )


(Kane York) #12

Wait, why not? Teaching someone else is one of the best ways to learn something – it highlights any gaps in your understanding.

If you’re looking to shut down straight sharing of solutions, admins can inspect all PMs and you can make that clear upfront (that PMs will be inspected).


(Jay Pfaffman) #13

I too found this confusing.

I’ve been working with schools and technology for almost 30 years and have not seen a school that thinks it can disallow students communicating privately. I’m pretty sure that most schools give students email, which allows sending messages to people.


(ginger man) #14

@sam can this be done (enabling PMs only between user and staff) ? It would make the process more intuitive for end users.