moderated Re: non-mod usable beta tag set for private replies only #meta

Hi Mark,

For every person confident enough to try to voice request for help there will always be many more “lurkers"who breathe a sigh of relief that someone else was having the same problem.  So, after you have read through this post please share with us what hashtag it should have had and perhaps share a screen shot as to how that would look.

Main@beta seems to be where to submit requests or ideas for consideration.  It’s a “different set eyes, ears, and mindset" from GMF.  Any response from you is, by definition,”official.  Nothing from GMF is "official words”.  That difference is what brings some of us newbies here seeking authoritative words from “on high”.

That need doesn’t make us “draftees” to be put or kept in “our place" by a drill sergeant.  Many of us find confusing in many ways because we simply do not have the time (or the will) to educate ourselves to “expert” level here.  These are neither complaint nor public confession, merely simple impersonal facts.

No one can change the fact that half the solution to any problem is someone perceiving said “problem” as such in the first place.  By their very nature, “problems” are often situations concerning that which we “don’t know that we don’t know”.  With my limited IT background, I don’t claim to be able to definitively identify a “Bug” from a “feature” that is less than “intuitive”.

So when, inevitably, a newbie like me makes a suggestion out of inexperience with, I find those “...long, drawn-out “how to” threads that don’t belong in beta…” to often be of considerable help; whether in clarification of that which is already here, or in FINDING information I didn’t ’t know enough to successfully search for.  

While individual responses may very well NOT “belong in beta”, I have found some of these most useful on occasion and believe they DO “belong” SOMEWHERE.  I still don’t understand how to use a hashtag as J_Catlady suggests, but I do think there should be a “OT” discussion place, thread, whatever works to which such “follow-up” could transfer without the stigma of having somehow erred from the established path.  

Anything that improves comprehension and understand here serves an important purpose until such time as overall documentation and/or help risers to the level of a “manual”.   So inasmuch as such would seem desirable and positive in the overall, I see merit in allowing such PUBLIC conversations on/off Main@beta. can have “structure” without forcing one and all into conforming to a complex and inflexible series of procedure and “topics”.  




On Jan 20, 2020, at 7:21 PM, J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:


Thanks for your response. It is very helpful, after making a suggestion, to have an idea of which way you are leaning on it. 


The main kinds of off-topic posts I see in beta involve “help” questions. Even with the new hashtag restrictions, topics here frequently start with a valid suggestion but then quickly devolve into long, drawn-out “how to” threads that don’t belong in beta. I think that adding a “private” hashtag even to those kinds of threads, once they take off in that kind of direction, could actually cut down on clutter and messsges that don’t belong in beta.

I think a hashtag like #OT would be used very infrequently by group members themselves, and when used, would result in only a single message onlist. Whereas if the hashtag could be used by you to stop topics from going in the wrong direction.

That’s the only case I can make right now. 

On Jan 20, 2020, at 4:35 PM, Mark Fletcher <> wrote:

On Mon, Jan 20, 2020 at 04:28 PM, J_Catlady wrote:

It might be helpful to allow beta members to start topics that they only want private replies to, either because they are somewhat off-topic and they don’t want to clutter up the message list with the replies, and/or they want to communicate with others offlist about the subject for some other (non-nefarious) reason, thinking that beta members may be the best-equipped to discuss it with. To that end, I suggest a beta hashtag set to private replies only and usable by non-mods.

My first inclination is to not do this. I thought there was too much off-topic stuff on Beta recently, and I'd like to avoid that going forward. I'd like it to be more focused than it has been recently. If you have a specific example, I could be open to changing my mind. But I think it'd have to be compelling.

Thanks, Mark


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