moderated Re: #suggestion Moderators should be able to Reply to or Forward a message of 'importance' and tag it "Special Interest" in the process #suggestion


This is my take on this; if there is some pending message and Dan thinks Special Notice users might/should/will find this message of interest, or some previously-posted message (or topic?) which (those Special Notice users did not receive originally) and has now become of importance/whatnot to those users for the same reasons as before, Dan would like to send (forward) that message to them (if posted already) or ensure they also get it if a moderated message, even if it's not a special notice.

The quick and dirty solution to that would be to add the ability to "mark" (masquerade) an incoming message in the pending queue as "Special Notice" in the message approval screen.  Yes I know from a procedural POV only admins are supposed to send (i.e. originate) Special Notices, but from a code POV, the marking of a message as a Special Notice is really nothing but a flag to the mailer code to also include the Special Notice user subset in the emailing (and add the [special] taggery); after the Special Notice message has posted in the archives, it's treated as any other message in terms or replies, etc. anyway, so if there was a checkbox in the message approval screen that means "Treat this message as a Special Notice, for email delivery purposes only", it would take care of his request:  When that option is checked and the pending message approved and posts, even if it posts just like a regular message, it would also be sent to the Special Notice users as well.  The caveat is that the mailer code would need to somehow know that this is a regular message that should be treated as a "Special Notice" only as far as recipients are concerned and therefore not add the [special] taggery, unlike when a mod creates a real Special Notice, so a message author admin status check would determine that.

Something like this however would require the group (or user(s)) to be moderated so the messages can be intercepted before they post, therefore doesn't provide the same capability for posted messages, still leaving only the current way, copy+paste.

So taking Shal's proposed solution (for already-posted messages) and twisting it a bit, it now becomes a Message/Topic Forward capability, which allows it to be used for more than as a fix for this particular case.  If Mark was go through the work required to implement Shal's proposed solution, I suspect for just a little extra effort more he can implement it as a Forward instead, with the possibility of generating income, i.e. for Admins it can be a provided tool but for users it could be a (group-account or GIO-account) paid feature.

Possibly something like this, assuming we would want to also be able to forward a whole topic:

1. Topic button -> Forward Topic
2. Hamburger -> Forward Message

3a. If user FWD, action results in a note, "Message/Topic emailed to your group account address" or something, and that's it; not sure if it should be logged or not.
3b. If admin FWD, a popup Forward-To screen comes up:

4a. Reply-To dropbox:
- Group
(default, allows the recipient to (re-)engage the Topic online or through email if a Special Notice or No Email user)
- Sender possibly (admin wants to forward a message to another member and discuss it further between them)
- Group Owner possibly (again admin wants to forward a message to the mods only and discuss it further between them only)

4b. Recipients/Forward-To dropbox:
- Some special-flag entries, such as maybe [Everyone regardless*], [Mods Only], [Special Notice members only], or [No Email users only*]; possibly add the other delivery subsets as well, [digest users only] etc.
- And the full member list for forwarding to individuals.

(* This would also give a way for the admins to easily reach out to the No Email users with something important - this can be done now but it can be a PITA doing it through the Member List, you have to play around with the URL per-page count parameter value to get the sorted list paginated as such so the majority of No Email users are taking up the whole page and one can use the SelectAll checkbox)

4c. - Some kind of a "forwarding note" textbox, maybe with the default "Note: Forwarded Message" or something, inserted by the mailer code as bolded/delimited text at the top of the message body (and I guess for all messages within that topic, if forwarding a topic).  That would allow the admin to use this forward functionality for several possible scenarios; for example, in Dan's case, an existing topic has become of interest to Special Notice folk, note could be "Hey guys, this topic might be of interest to you".  Or, you just posted a Special Notice about your group now accepting sponsorship or about upgrading the group to premium, and you want to let the No Email users aware of it**, so possibly "There is a matter of importance to the group's future and I thought you would want to become aware and participate if you want."

** You may argue, why not just sent them the link to the topic instead of forwarding the actual message/topic?  Yes you can, but that precludes email-only users; if you send them the actual message, I assume it would also contain the footers***, so they can go online that way and engage if they want, OR they can reply to the message and their reply will post as a regular topic reply, and can engage through email only.  Or you could include the link in your FWD note as well.

(*** I guess care should be taken when the footer code generates those forwards, it uses the original posted topic/message IDs for some of the specific footer links such as View Topic Online, Follow Topic, etc.  Something similar would also probably need to be done to the message headers as well so an email-client reply (to Group) references that actual posted message and not the forwarded message itself)

4d - Maybe also a checkbox like "subject-tag notice's subject as [Special]" (as in a real Special Notice) because the full/real Special Notice moniker & functionality is not really applicable to this functionality. 

Clicking OK will initiate the emailing-out.

In Dan's case, the workflow for moderated messages of possible importance kinda stays the same, after approving it he still has to get involved, but instead of copy+paste+side-effects he would then instead just forward the already-posted message to the Special Notice users only.


PS: There's also an alternative interpretation of Dan's request, make certain users (who just happen in this case to be Special Notice users) aware of that message/topic, kind of a "tag" functionality if you will, be able to tag/alert folk of a topic or message who otherwise wouldn't be.  This would be equivalent to emailing out a link to the online topic/message in the above proposal though, so it still has the preclusion problem of email-only users.

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