Author Topic: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora  (Read 2232 times)

polly_mer

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Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« on: May 18, 2019, 07:19:48 AM »
Eventually, this list should be a moderator post somewhere, but I think a discussion is worth having on technical aspects that will help new members troubleshoot some of their own problems.

Q: I registered, but I can't see how to post.

A: Does the upper left hand corner say, "Hello <moniker>"? If the word "guest" appears, then a log in is required, even if forever had been chosen at some point.

Q: I submitted a registration request and didn't get an emailed answer in 24 hours.  What should I do?

A: Try logging in.  Sometimes the confirmation email goes astray.  If you can't log in, then please <what action should people take?>
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 07:23:07 AM by polly_mer »
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eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2019, 07:24:26 AM »
I think guests should be able to send a message to me or one of the mods.

polly_mer

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2019, 07:32:02 AM »
I didn't see a way for guests to send messages to moderators.  Is that a feature you'll have to enable?
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eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2019, 07:35:49 AM »
I’ll check after my flight this evening and see. I need to be at a computer to dig into the settings.

fast_and_bulbous

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2019, 07:54:05 AM »
Eigen, are you reading thefora.org on your phone? One of my big criticisms of the old forum is that it does not format for mobile devices. I just loaded the front page (not logged in) on my phone and the text is tiny. Do we want to try themes that work well on phones or...? I hate mobile, well, anything, but I'll bet we'd get more involvement if people could post and read comfortably from their phones/tablets.
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polly_mer

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2019, 07:58:38 AM »
I suppose the question is for what we're optimizing.  Some of the very newest mobile-friendly websites are terrible to try to navigate on my desktop computer, which is a problem since I really need the big screen for my worsening vision.

I sympathize with wanting decent size font on a device, but I'd hate to end up with the suboptimal experience on my desktop because the assumption is "most" people are on tiny screens.
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eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2019, 08:23:38 AM »
I am, and a small one at that (iPhone SE). But I’m young and have good eyesight.

This forum is better than the old one, but not optimized. I’ll play around with themes- we can enable several and let individual users decide what they want to use on a personal basis, but as we saw with the previous core theme, some of them may have bugs.

eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #7 on: May 18, 2019, 08:34:36 AM »
Ok, so a quick look through while sitting at the gate:

1) No option for allowing guests to send PMs.

2) We could make a single “Help” forum, and enable guests posting there, with some heavy restrictions in terms of number of posts.

3) We could make new members dump into a “Probationary” user group, with access to only the one “Help” forum, and moderators could add them to the full membership group.

4) We could disable moderator approval, and have a more severe restriction on the first 10 posts a new user makes (specific forums, time limits between posts, require verification).

Thoughts?

polly_mer

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #8 on: May 18, 2019, 08:54:54 AM »
Goal: Have a way for pending members to contact moderators/administrators to ask for help with the registration process.

Options I like (most to least):

* Can we do a form to get help that requires some minimal hoops to limit help to humans who need it instead of spambots?
* The single "Help" forum to which guests can post, but that has heavy restrictions on number of posts.
* Public email like help-thefora@<provider> that will get spam, but will also provide a way to contact a human.
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eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #9 on: May 18, 2019, 09:01:52 AM »
Generating such a form would require custom coding a second database in addition to the current forum, so no. Or at least, I think that’s a long shot to make and maintain.

Especially given the very small rate of issues, all of which have been solved by your first point (make sure you’re logged in).

We want to make sure there’s some system in place, but I think we want to be careful not to over-engineer something that’s going to add a lot of work to maintain for fringe cases.

eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 09:06:06 AM »
Ok, as a trial I made a “Help” forum and enabled guest posting. We can check the limits of what that allows for a few days and see how it works out.

I’ll be out for most of the next few says, but I’ll check in as I can. Several of you also have my email if something critical pops up.

fast_and_bulbous

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2019, 09:11:25 AM »
As long as it doesn't become too onerous, I think we should stick with the moderator approving new members, again, to add a bit of friction to the system to avoid spam. It also kind of discourages stuff like 50 people from one IP block registering (for spamular purposes).

I am hoping this place becomes more popular over time, but unless it really takes off I think we won't be seeing more than 10 or 20 legitimate folks registering per day, which is pretty manageable with a handful of moderators.

I am fine with guests not having the ability to PM. So long as a guest can read the help section (for commonly found problems that we'll keep an eye on) I don't see the need to escalate guest privileges... they're guests after all and I'd be concerned about possible abuse.

Just my thoughts; so far things are going better than I envisioned with the current setup.
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polly_mer

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2019, 10:52:09 AM »
Ok, as a trial I made a “Help” forum and enabled guest posting. We can check the limits of what that allows for a few days and see how it works out.

When I posted as a guest on the board, I didn't get a message about who could see my email.  I can believe people might be reluctant to use the board if they think their email will be visible to the world.
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eigen

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #13 on: May 18, 2019, 04:02:23 PM »
Ok, as a trial I made a “Help” forum and enabled guest posting. We can check the limits of what that allows for a few days and see how it works out.

When I posted as a guest on the board, I didn't get a message about who could see my email.  I can believe people might be reluctant to use the board if they think their email will be visible to the world.

I’m unsure what you mean by this?

Hibush

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Re: Assembling the Technical FAQ Related to Using These Fora
« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2019, 05:43:28 PM »
Ok, as a trial I made a “Help” forum and enabled guest posting. We can check the limits of what that allows for a few days and see how it works out.

When I posted as a guest on the board, I didn't get a message about who could see my email.  I can believe people might be reluctant to use the board if they think their email will be visible to the world.

How would the system know a guests email?