On several specialised lists where I'm a member, it is useful to be able to see some basic information about a poster when you read his mail.
For example, on a software support group, it is extremely useful to know which version the person is using and/or what operating system. On a beekeeping list, knowing what kinds of bees the poster has and in what region he keeps bees, is very useful. On a translators' list, knowing what the poster's native language is and/or what his qualifications are, can help a lot. We can't be expected to know everyone personally.
So, I propose that such information be added to the footer.
The group owner will create customised fields that get added to every member's profile page, which the member can fill in, and then that information is added to the footer of e-mails sent by that member.
I think most fields should be free-form, but drop-down fields (e.g. country names) may also be useful. For drop-down fields, it would be nice if the group owner could specify the drop-down options.
Whether it would be compulsory for members to fill in that information, should be up to the group owner.
I think the customisable footer fields footer should appear *above* the "Groups.io Links".
I wonder if perhaps group owners should have the option of making this information appear at the *top* of the mail instead of the bottom, if they really, really think it's a good idea (depending on the type of list), but my original idea was for a footer.
For example, the beekeeping group owner would add e.g. five fields:
- In what region are you
- What kinds of bees do you have
- What kinds of hives do you have
- How many hives do you have
And in the footer of a mail from a member, it may be shown as e.g.:
Region: (not specified)
Race: Buckfast F2, Carnica F1
Hive: WBC, DN
# of hives: 90-100
I don't know if something similar has been proposed before. What do you think?