moderated Customizable footer fields #suggestion

Samuel Murrayy

Hello everyone

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 " 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?


Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>

There has been previous discussion on something similar, but related to usage in a signature. However, the topic did spread as far as thoughts about forms and databases.


Samuel Murrayy

On 2019/04/03 03:46 PM, Gerald Boutin wrote:

There has been previous discussion on something similar, but related to usage in a signature. However, the topic did spread as far as thoughts about forms and databases.
Thanks. I did think about the signature, but my idea was for the group owner to be able to enforce (or suggest!) certain quite specific pieces of information that would be displayed in a very brief kind of way.

You could, of course, tell members that they should add certain information to their signatures, but its easier for all (and more likely to be implemented/adhered to) if it is a separate setting. It would also ensure that the footers all look more or less alike.

I believe that this is the opposite of the case with the thread you mention, where people wanted to write whole biographies and case histories in their signatures. For that (case histories, etc.) I would actually suggest a prominent link to an "about me" kind of page. There is (or must be) a limit to the amount of information that should be automatically added to an e-mail.

I did not read all of it, but I can imagine that linking a signature to a database can offer all kinds of possibilities. Still, that would be a bit overkill for my suggestion. Group owners are not all database experts, and getting them link things like that is for real experts. My suggestion is for something that looks simple and works simple.

The fields would be on the /editsub/ page, ideally above the signature section.