Date   

moderated Downloadable Groups.io Manual

txercoupemuseum.org
 

I am receiving upwards of a hundred emails in 24 hours from GMF.  As Owner of two groups that have operated decades with very little “moderation” I just can’t afford the time necessary to separate the wheat from the chaff.  So I will soon unsubscribe...I have another life which cannot afford the seemingly ever-increasing time necessary to even skim all these questions and answers.  Too much “noise”.

But I am not one to complain without suggestions for improvement.  GMF advisors/moderators do an amazing job considering the chasm between their incredible experience and comprehension and that of those asking most questions.  Nonetheless, the process needs swift and drastic improvement.  I can read 1000 words per minute with good comprehension, yet find GMF exchanges overwhelming.  

Several issues stand out to me in the overall.  I recently had a message “rejected” because I sent a screenshot self-explanatory to the topic with “???”.  I found that disrespectful.  A simple request for further information could and should have been made.  Apparently some, if not all GMF advisors/moderators don’t receive screen shots sent; or so severely limit attachment size that meaningful discussion of photo size and clarity are unnecessary difficult.   

If this is because of security or data overload, surely Groups.io can and should change such “culture”.  Groups/advisors/moderators exist to prioritize service to members.  Screen shots are the modern “picture” that takes the place of a thousand words.  Again and again I read repeated good faith attempts by various parties to explain a location or procedure when each side is looking at different screens [online vs offline emails, menus, etc.]  

Below Bill Hazel describes the GMF Wiki as “...mostly a huge FAQ since many pages are based on repeat questions on the group.”  The fact that “repeat questions” comprise so much of the current email traffic of GMF identifies the very problems most in need of clarification.  A common and comprehensive “beginner’s” definition of terms commonly used here is usually the “lead-in” to any “instructions” or “operating Manual”.   

Below Bruce Bowman was more to the point stating: "Expecting a single Help page to provide more than a FAQ for total newbies may be unrealistic. What is really needed is a downloadable, groups.io manual.  At one time this was discussed:  (https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/20986).”  Discussion without action resolves nothing.

An enterprise as complex and versatile as Groups.io MUST distill the information necessary for ALL groups joining to thrive jnto an easy to use dynamic form.  No matter how brilliant the product or software, if the average user can’t understand or use it reasonably well, those OPTIONS NOT USED, for that user, do not exist.  Focus on the ball, not the players or the fans.

Compiling and maintaining such Manual(s) should be given appropriate priority as well as intellectual and financial resources in perpetuity.  It should be obvious that a single “manual” would be so intimidating in size and scope as to be useless.  Like Disneyland, such an effort is never done so long as Groups.io capabilities continue to expand.  

To paraphrase what Michael Pavan says below, IMPROVE WHAT RAISES THE [most] QUESTIONS first.  Much of the current unnecessary and unproductive day-to-day “chaff” on GMF will go away as these issues are properly addressed and resolved by adequate documentation and cross reference.  The best manager is the one that organizes his/her areas of endeavor to the point that their services are no longer necessary.

Of greatest need is a “basic” manual describing a “default” map new groups can quickly be operational.  This would introduce definitions of common terms used and cover such fundamental decisions such as “public” or “private” choices (and pros/cons of each), and step-by-step instructions for filling out the Administrative “Settings” page options of “General”, "Privacy", "Spam Control”, "Message Policies”, “Reposting Policies”, "Message Formatting” and “Features”.  The IRS does a pretty good job with its simpler forms and instructions.  A “Decision Tree” such as is frequently used in troubleshooting is another excellent way to show interrelationships when choices are made.  

There could be multiple “intermediate” manuals covering the pros/cons of functions (and warnings) of being “public” or “private, extending and accepting “invitations” (with options, advantages/disadvantages of each, and examples), etc.  In my opinion inherently complex subjects such as optimizing use of each of your present “Features” choices (with options, advantages/disadvantages of each, and examples) should be covered in one or more “complex” manuals.

Best!

WRB

— 

Re: [GMF] Does anyone have a high participation wiki that non-subscribers can view?

On Jan 17, 2020, at 11:43 PM, Michael Pavan <michaelpavan@...> wrote:

On Jan 17, 2020, at 10:45 PM, Duane <txpigeon@...> wrote:

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 08:13 PM, Bill Hazel wrote:

<snip>

The [wiki] here on GMF probably is as good an example as any.  Yes, most of it has been written by a limited group of people, but more are beginning to assist.  I think that's mostly a matter of becoming familiar with how it operates.  Way back when, it started with a couple of simple pages and has evolved as things change.  You could say that it's mostly a huge FAQ since many pages are based on repeat questions on the group.

I think the Wiki has helped.

However the fact that some questions are repeatedly asked really points our what features are not intuitive and/or not well explained where and when users encounter them.
The best solution would be to improve what raises the questions.


Re: [GMF] Groups.io Help Page (was: Adding Display Names to email address in the members list)

On Jan 18, 2020, at 1:11 AM, Bruce Bowman <bruce.bowman@...> wrote:

<snip>

Expecting a single Help page to provide more than a FAQ for total newbies may be unrealistic. What is really needed is a downloadable, groups.io manual. At one time Mark hired a technical writer to prepare one (ref: https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/20986). How far this has gotten is unclear <snip>

Regards,
Bruce
_._,_._,_\


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 08:21 AM, Gerald Boutin wrote:
Group Owners should be exempt from this. An Owner starting a new Topic either online or via email is moderated.
I VERY strongly disagree. Group owners (like myself) may be on moderation to have a chance to edit their posts. Only certain members of my group are set to "P" (which overrides moderation in general - and should also, I feel, override the group MF setting - see my last post). If group owners are exempted from MF, they should also be exempted from moderation. And that should definitely not happen. If you want an owner or mod to be exempted from moderation, set them to "P."
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 11:51 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 11:40 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
A small issue, when someone selects this new setting, the group's home page now shows "Posts to this group do not require approval from the moderators"
Agreed, a small oversight and should be changed.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu

More rough edges...

Group Owners should be exempt from this. An Owner starting a new Topic either online or via email is moderated. I didn't test this for a Moderator, but presumably it happens for Moderators as well. I would prefer that it does not happen for Moderators with the permission to "approve messages...".

Here's what shows up in the Activities log.

... sent message "Does Group Owner Get Moderated if Posting Via Email" requiring approval because the group is set to moderate the first message in a topic and this message is starting a new topic via email 12:02pm
... sent message "Setting now New Topic Post is Moderated - Better not be for Owner/Mod" requiring approval because the group is set to moderate the first message in a topic and this message is starting a new topic via web
 
--
Gerald


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

Ok, I've discovered a slight inconsistency (or what I feel is an inconsistency) with this: with the group is set to MF, a "P" member's first messages are moderated. That feels out of keeping with the fact that P members override moderated topics in general. I can see an argument on both sides, but in general, my "P" members are people I trust completely - co-moderators, experts, etc. - and I don't want to have to moderate any of their posts, including topics they start. That was the reasoning behind my suggestion (years ago? and subsequently implemented) for the P status to override moderated topics. No extremely strong feelings about this but it would be more convenient (and, I think, consistent and intuitive) for them to also override moderation of first messages, since they currently override moderation of moderated topics in general.
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

Yep, messages just crossed. :)
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 07:50 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
If I now set my group to MF, do all the MF badges go away retroactively?
I just tested this in my test group and the answer is no. This is in keeping with setting a group to moderated (after it's been non-moderated) and the M members keep their "M" override badges. I understand that the "override" status in all cases is meant to be an override if and only if it actually contradicts the group setting. (The one anomaly is "P," which actually has an effect even in a non-moderated group, because it allows a P member to post unmoderated even to a moderated topic.) Bottom line, I guess I will have to go through and remove everyone's override-MF status after I change the group setting. It's a PITA now, but will be infinitely easier after this hump.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

Duane
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 09:50 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
I currently have everyone in my group set to MF by hand (except for those who are moderated, NuM, P, etc.). If I now set my group to MF, do all the MF badges go away retroactively? I could try it but I'd rather have an idea first of how this is going to work.
On my test, the MF badge remained on the member listings.

Duane


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 11:40 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
A small issue, when someone selects this new setting, the group's home page now shows "Posts to this group do not require approval from the moderators"
Agreed, a small oversight and should be changed.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

A question about this option:

I currently have everyone in my group set to MF by hand (except for those who are moderated, NuM, P, etc.). If I now set my group to MF, do all the MF badges go away retroactively? I could try it but I'd rather have an idea first of how this is going to work. 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

 

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 11:40 PM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
Added new Messages that start new topics are moderated group moderation option.
I totally missed this! I have been wanting this option for ages. Thanks!
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu


moderated Re: Column Width Problem

Chris Jones
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 04:45 AM, Christos G. Psarras wrote:
I've run into similar display issues when doing member maintenance.
Exactly so.

However, having done a bit more investigating it has occurred to me that Mark may have looked at this and finished up scratching his head wondering what the problem is because he cannot see it.

It depends not only on the way the column widths are sized but also on the geometry of the display unit on which the page is viewed. The DU I normally use (OK; it is now getting elderly rather like me) has a 4:3 aspect ratio. I have also looked at how a 16:9 aspect ratio DU (my not very often used laptop) presents that page and with that there is no visible problem.

Now 4:3 DUs may or may not be passé (I genuinely don't know) but for those of us who don't want to discard them when they are working perfectly well it would be a major bonus if the column widths could be adjusted at source so that some of the detail isn't lost when the members list is viewed on a 4:3 rather than a 16:9. As far as I can see there would be no "downside".

Chris


moderated Re: Site updates #changelog

Christos G. Psarras
 

Hi Mark,

  • NEW: Added new Messages that start new topics are moderated group moderation option.
A small issue, when someone selects this new setting, the group's home page now shows "Posts to this group do not require approval from the moderators".

Cheers,
Christos


locked Re: Favicon?

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 10:36 PM, Laurence Marks wrote:
A favicon is a 16x16 pixel icon, sometimes packed with a 32x32 pixel icon (and rarely a 48x48 pixel or larger icon) into a file customarily named favicon.ico. Browsers display this icon on tabs open to their website. See the date-on-shield on a Google Calendar tab, or the rainbow-colored suitcase on eBay's tab.

There are dozens of online free favicon generators that pack the multiple images into an appropriate file, easily enough for a novice to use.

Has any thought been given to accommodating user-provided favicons? 
--
Larry Marks
Larry,

I am curious as to how this would be used.

As far as I can tell, GIO pages already have a favicon. For example, I bookmarked the page with your post. Here is how it shows up as in my bookmark manager in Chrome.



If you don't like that icon, you can change it. For example, there is an extension for the Chrome bookmark manager to change the icon. I've also used this feature in other browsers.

https://beebom.com/how-change-bookmark-icons-chrome/
 
--
Gerald


moderated Re: Column Width Problem

Christos G. Psarras
 

>>>
Is is possible that you can adjust the column widths used on the Members List to provide more space for the email address and status flags? "Delivery" and/or Applied" are far wider than they need to be.
<<<

I also would like this to be implemented, I've run into similar display issues when doing member maintenance.

As an FYI, Rick also asked for the same thing in another thread, https://beta.groups.io/g/main/message/23641
in case we may want them to be merged.

Cheers,
Christos





moderated Site updates #changelog

 

Changes to the site this week:

  • BUGFIX: Fixed a deadlock issue in some cases during confirmation via email.
  • INTERNAL: Addressed some technical debt around the calendar code, and in the process fixed two timezone conversion bugs in ICS feeds.
  • API: The message object now has an attachments array.
  • BUGFIX: The your subscription is not yet approved banner was appearing one page refresh too late.
  • BUGFIX: Edit buttons were missing from the Hashtags page.
  • API: The docs for /createhashtag incorrectly stated that description was required.
  • BUGFIX: Fix crash when sorting a database by a column that no longer exists.
  • BUGFIX: The user was not being displayed in Message rejected from not confirmed member activity log lines.
  • API: /downloadarchives now supports start_msg_num parameter.
  • NEW: When downloading archives either through the API or through the export group function, each message now has a X-Groupsio-MsgNum header with the message number of the message.
  • API: /newdraft now supports draft_type_dm.
  • NEW: Include descriptions in the list of hashtags on the New Topic page.
  • APP: Created new App subgroup and got approval from Apple for the first test version of the app.
  • BUGFIX: If a pending member was rejected on the group member screen, they were marked as Removed in the Past Members page, when they should be marked as Rejected.
  • BUGFIX: The API call /directadd wasn't returning full member_info object information.
  • CHANGE: Increased concurrency of the process responsible for handling email delivery status updates because it was bottlenecking email delivery due to our ever increasing email delivery numbers.
  • BUGFIX: We were not handling emails with header lines that weren't properly capitalized correctly.
  • BUGFIX: Editing a malformed message imported from Yahoo that was missing a body didn't work.
  • CHANGE: Removed Facebook Integration from the group Integrations page.
  • NEW: Added additional checks for our DNS servers to ensure that we catch any DNS issues.
  • NEW: Added new Messages that start new topics are moderated group moderation option.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Mark


locked Re: Favicon?

Michael Pavan
 

On Jan 17, 2020, at 9:36 PM, Laurence Marks <@LarryMarks> wrote:

A favicon is a 16x16 pixel icon, sometimes packed with a 32x32 pixel icon (and rarely a 48x48 pixel or larger icon) into a file customarily named favicon.ico. Browsers display this icon on tabs open to their website. See the date-on-shield on a Google Calendar tab, or the rainbow-colored suitcase on eBay's tab.

There are dozens of online free favicon generators that pack the multiple images into an appropriate file, easily enough for a novice to use.

Has any thought been given to accommodating user-provided favicons?
Do we really trust or want these...


"Due to the need to always check for it in a fixed location, the favicon can lead to artificially slow page-load time and unnecessary 404 entries in the server log if it is nonexistent.[6]

The W3C did not standardize the rel-attribute, so there are other keywords such as shortcut icon that are also accepted by the user agent.

Favicons are often manipulated as part of phishing or eavesdropping attacks against HTTPS webpages."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Favicon#Limitations_and_criticism


locked Favicon?

Laurence Marks
 

A favicon is a 16x16 pixel icon, sometimes packed with a 32x32 pixel icon (and rarely a 48x48 pixel or larger icon) into a file customarily named favicon.ico. Browsers display this icon on tabs open to their website. See the date-on-shield on a Google Calendar tab, or the rainbow-colored suitcase on eBay's tab.

There are dozens of online free favicon generators that pack the multiple images into an appropriate file, easily enough for a novice to use.

Has any thought been given to accommodating user-provided favicons? 
--
Larry Marks


moderated Re: wording of the confirmation-request

Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

Michael,

I am not in disagreement, I just thought I would try to "herd" the requirements into a summary. It seems that a lot of the topics go back and forth. I like to see the process ending up in a convergence.

-- 
Gerald



On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 05:10 PM, Michael Pavan wrote:
Gerald,

On Jan 17, 2020, at 12:33 PM, Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...> wrote:

Perhaps there should also be two other pieces of info:

1. Timeout: Specify how long before this expires
Yes, but will would-be subscribers understand:
"Your request to join this group will expire in 14 days, unless you request has been claimed by a group Moderator or Owner"...

I'd like to see it say:
"Your request to join this group may expire in 14 days"
"Please address any questions to: <GROUPNAME+owner@groups.io>"

unless it is a Restricted Membership group with an active Pending Subscription Member Notice, then it should say:
"Your request to join this group may expire in 14 days if you do not reply to the <Pending Subscription Member Notice's name>"
"Please address any questions to: <GROUPNAME+owner@groups.io>"

*I'm not sure if "Please address any questions to: <GROUPNAME+owner@groups.io>" is already included - I didn't create a new (unknown to Groups.io) email address to test this.


2. Not you: What to do if you didn't want this (eg - ignore)
Already happens, it says something like:
"If you are not interested, or if <yourname@yourdomain> is not your email address, please ignore this email."

Michael


moderated Re: wording of the confirmation-request

Michael Pavan
 

On Jan 17, 2020, at 4:15 PM, J_Catlady <@J_Catlady> wrote:

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 01:10 PM, Michael Pavan wrote:

unless it is a Restricted Membership group with an active Pending Subscription Member Notice, then it should say:
"Your request to join this group may expire in 14 days if you do not reply to the <Pending Subscription Member Notice's name>"
Good idea in theory, but I would not add that, even if there is an active pending notice, because even if there is one, it may not require a response. It's conceivable that some groups simply send a pending notice informing the member that they are acting on the application in some way, shape, or form, possibly giving out some interim info, etc. Their membership decision may or may not include responses from an emailed questionnaire.
Good point, as there currently is not a good feature to require answers for applicants.
The current Pending Member feature is used by some as an "Additional Information to join required" while others use to provide "Additional Information to applicants"

This reaffirms that there needs to be an additional Member Notice type created so that the 'opposite' uses are no longer commingled, which would support the additional clarity needed in the 'confirmation-request', and a better applicant screening process than current cumbersome workarounds.


moderated Re: Search function for Member Directory #suggestion #done

 

On Fri, Jan 17, 2020 at 11:27 AM, Bill Hazel wrote:
Each choice should be adequately defined since not everyone is a nerd.
LOL.
 
--
J

Messages are the sole opinion of the author, especially the fishy ones.
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. - Desmond Tutu