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moderated Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed #suggestion


Charlie McB
 

Suggestion: Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed

Background: When a person who is not already a Groups.io member sends a group subscription request via email (via groupname+subscribe@groups.io), they must confirm their email address before they are placed on the group's "pending approval" list.  This is typical listserv behavior expected by most owner/moderators.

However, if they subscribe through the "Apply for Membership" button on a group's web page, they are immediately placed on the group's "pending approval" list, and assigned a "NC" (not confirmed) tag.  This has caught some group owner/moderators unawares (myself included).

I understand from previous discussions that this process is by design.  I also understand that it is problematic for some group owner/moderators.  For one thing, it is too easy to approve an unconfirmed address, which is not good security practice.

Rather than reopen the debate about the merits of this process design, I suggest a possible enhancement that would serve as a workaround for those who find it problematic:

Specific Suggestion: Add a group configuration option that controls the "Apply for Membership" button.  This could have the following options:

1. Make the button work as it does now (default);
2. Make the button not show at all on the group's main page;
3. Make the button a "mailto" link directed to the groupname+subscribe address;
4. Make the button a link to an owner-supplied URL.

           -- Charlie


Michael Chopra
 

 hi. First of all, I don’t want to be accused of hijacking a thread. But could you not also say that group owners/moderators should be able to control what the member has to give when they subscribe? Essentially, what I’m saying is the owner or Moderators  could configure it so that other options have to be required in order to gain approval to the group.
Thanks.
From Michael.  

 


From: main@beta.groups.io on behalf of Charles M. Register <charlie.register@...>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2018 10:33
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: [beta] Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed #suggestion
 
Suggestion: Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed

Background: When a person who is not already a Groups.io member sends a group subscription request via email (via groupname+subscribe@groups.io), they must confirm their email address before they are placed on the group's "pending approval" list.  This is typical listserv behavior expected by most owner/moderators.

However, if they subscribe through the "Apply for Membership" button on a group's web page, they are immediately placed on the group's "pending approval" list, and assigned a "NC" (not confirmed) tag.  This has caught some group owner/moderators unawares (myself included).

I understand from previous discussions that this process is by design.  I also understand that it is problematic for some group owner/moderators.  For one thing, it is too easy to approve an unconfirmed address, which is not good security practice.

Rather than reopen the debate about the merits of this process design, I suggest a possible enhancement that would serve as a workaround for those who find it problematic:

Specific Suggestion: Add a group configuration option that controls the "Apply for Membership" button.  This could have the following options:

1. Make the button work as it does now (default);
2. Make the button not show at all on the group's main page;
3. Make the button a "mailto" link directed to the groupname+subscribe address;
4. Make the button a link to an owner-supplied URL.

           -- Charlie


 

I think having these options would be confusing to people trying to join groups. Why does one group have a join button and another one not? etc. However, I agree that the current method causes confusion and I haven't thought about a solution.
--
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


Charlie McB
 

I'm not exactly sure I entirely understand the question.  If you're suggesting a feature whereby that owner could establish additional group-specific subscriber requirements (a web-based questionnaire, perhaps), that would be beyond what I was suggesting, and still may not address the issue at hand.

Along those lines I have found the "Pending Subscription" notice option to be very helpful.  For a neighborhood group, I use it to ask a potential subscriber to provide their full name and local street address.  When a person subscribes via email, they receive this message after they confirm their email address with GIO.  I like that process because it keeps it simple -- one step at a time.  However, the "subscribe via web" applicant sees a more complicated process, with the "please confirm" and "pending subscription" notices arriving at the same time, possibly creating confusion where it otherwise might be averted.  (Please forgive if I am creeping into the realm of design intent, which I was hoping to avoid.)

Based on recent comments to the GMF group there appear to be some owner/moderators who would like the "subscription via web" process to work the same way as "subscription via email" does now.  Personally, I'd prefer that a would-be subscriber be confirmed before they appear in my "pending" list.  At that point I'm happy to help them through the requirements of my own particular group.  Other owner/moderators may prefer the current design.  Hence the suggestion to provide a choice.

Thanks,

                     -- Charlie

On 10/21/18 5:40 PM, Michael Chopra wrote:
 hi. First of all, I don’t want to be accused of hijacking a thread. But could you not also say that group owners/moderators should be able to control what the member has to give when they subscribe? Essentially, what I’m saying is the owner or Moderators  could configure it so that other options have to be required in order to gain approval to the group.
Thanks.
From Michael.  

 

From: main@beta.groups.io on behalf of Charles M. Register <charlie.register@...>
Sent: Monday, October 22, 2018 10:33
To: main@beta.groups.io
Subject: [beta] Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed #suggestion
 
Suggestion: Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed

Background: When a person who is not already a Groups.io member sends a group subscription request via email (via groupname+subscribe@groups.io), they must confirm their email address before they are placed on the group's "pending approval" list.  This is typical listserv behavior expected by most owner/moderators.

However, if they subscribe through the "Apply for Membership" button on a group's web page, they are immediately placed on the group's "pending approval" list, and assigned a "NC" (not confirmed) tag.  This has caught some group owner/moderators unawares (myself included).

I understand from previous discussions that this process is by design.  I also understand that it is problematic for some group owner/moderators.  For one thing, it is too easy to approve an unconfirmed address, which is not good security practice.

Rather than reopen the debate about the merits of this process design, I suggest a possible enhancement that would serve as a workaround for those who find it problematic:

Specific Suggestion: Add a group configuration option that controls the "Apply for Membership" button.  This could have the following options:

1. Make the button work as it does now (default);
2. Make the button not show at all on the group's main page;
3. Make the button a "mailto" link directed to the groupname+subscribe address;
4. Make the button a link to an owner-supplied URL.

           -- Charlie



 

To complicate matters, I'll mention that in one of my groups, someone applied for membership via the web, and was actually sent the group's welcome message while still appearing in the members list as NC for a significant period of time afterwards. My understanding is that "NC" means that the member is not yet in the group in the sense of receiving group materials, having access to group content, etc., so I don't think the welcome message should have gone out before the confirmation. (I've already emailed Mark offlist at support about this, although the situation has since been resolved since the member eventually did confirm.)

In my main group, which is a premium, I no longer have to deal at all with NC issues, since approving a membership in a premium group automatically confirms it. So I have no real dog in this race (my other, non-premium group is smaller and not very active). But there have always seemed to me to be significant problems in the membership approval/confirmation sequence. I posted about this long ago, before premium groups were allowed to confirm their own members. 
--
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


Jim Higgins
 

Received from Charles M. Register at 10/21/2018 09:05 PM UTC:

Suggestion: Give group owners control over how subscriptions are processed

Specific Suggestion: Add a group configuration option that controls the "Apply for Membership" button. This could have the following options:

1. Make the button work as it does now (default);
2. Make the button not show at all on the group's main page;
3. Make the button a "mailto" link directed to the groupname+subscribe address;
4. Make the button a link to an owner-supplied URL.

Yes!... Tho I'd prefer that subscriptions via web simply be handled the same as via email ones are... with sub requests not appearing or owners being notified until the email address is confirmed.

Jim H


Beth Weld
 

We have received numerous join requests for my group this weekend, I really would like to strongly suggest that for restricted groups, we have the option to remove both the Apply button as well as the subscribe email address on the group main page.  I'm trying to redirect people to our website where they need to fill out an application (and pay money), but it hasn't worked for the dedicated folks who won't read. I've changed our verbiage to be in red and 14pt so we will see how that works, but we really don't want anyone to try to join using groups.io. 

I'm also using Bruce's pending subscription notice with stronger wording - basically that they will be rejected until they follow the process, but that is a bit late after they have already applied. Not very nice either, but I don't think we have a choice.
Thanks
Beth


 

I have the first text at the top of our home page, in all caps, informing people that after they apply, they need to check their email for the confirmation link and pending questionnaire. It’s ugly but it’s the only way it works for us.

On this subject, the sequence is still confusing and non-illuminating. People applying via the web are now showing up NC, having received (it seems?) only the confirmation email and not the pending email with the questionnaire (according to their email delivery histories, which of course woefully shows only the most recent single delivery - but I think Mark has it on his Todo list to change that). I thought if used to be the opposite. Bottom line, I have zero idea of what’s happening any more with people’s applications to join, and what they have received etc.


On Nov 4, 2018, at 9:21 AM, Beth Weld <bethweld77@...> wrote:

We have received numerous join requests for my group this weekend, I really would like to strongly suggest that for restricted groups, we have the option to remove both the Apply button as well as the subscribe email address on the group main page.  I'm trying to redirect people to our website where they need to fill out an application (and pay money), but it hasn't worked for the dedicated folks who won't read. I've changed our verbiage to be in red and 14pt so we will see how that works, but we really don't want anyone to try to join using groups.io

I'm also using Bruce's pending subscription notice with stronger wording - basically that they will be rejected until they follow the process, but that is a bit late after they have already applied. Not very nice either, but I don't think we have a choice.
Thanks
Beth

--
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


M Parker
 

Beth

I own a group that works in similar way to yours. It is restricted and is not listed in the Groups.io directory. As a result I get very few direct requests to join. My group has a public website where instructions on how to join, with an application form, are given. Links to the public website are given in other topic related websites and publications.

Maybe it is possible for you to opt to be not listed in the Groups.io directory? (See Settings, Privacy, Visibility <Group not listed in directory, private messages>

Margaret


On Sun, Nov 4, 2018 at 09:21 AM, Beth Weld wrote:
We have received numerous join requests for my group this weekend, I really would like to strongly suggest that for restricted groups, we have the option to remove both the Apply button as well as the subscribe email address on the group main page.  I'm trying to redirect people to our website where they need to fill out an application (and pay money), but it hasn't worked for the dedicated folks who won't read.