Topics

moderated Anonymous suggestion box #suggestion


Samuel Murrayy
 

Hello everyone

[Reposting as a separate topic because I'm curious about what others think of this idea. Following on Mrs Catlady's suggestion about a separate suggestion feature.]

I would like to propose that opportunity do be given to people to make anonymous suggestions, i.e. make suggestions without revealing their own identity and without feeling a need to be drawn into a discussion about their suggestions.

This feature would take the form of a suggestion box that is linked to from the About page.

However, unlike Mrs Catlady's suggestion of a separate mailing list, I would propose that such anonymous suggestions get sent straight to the beta list.

Such tips would obviously be moderated, so that people can't use the
feature to spam the group anonymously.

The messages can get a special subject line flag [anon] or a hashtag #anonymous to make it clear to group members that it was submitted anonymously, and to make it easier for the developers to find such suggestions' initial posts.

This would allow people to submit RFEs without themselves having to sign up for the beta list, while giving the developers all the benefits of new suggestions being discussed.

The only downside is that proposers would not be able to help clarify their suggestions, but presumably they would not want to do so anyway, even if given the opportunity. In some cases the fact that the original proposer is not there to "defend" his suggestion may even lead to higher quality or more tightly focused discussions in some cases.

Upon clicking the submit button, the anonymous tip giver can then get a
confirmation message on screen, saying that his suggestion was successfully posted to the suggestions mailing list, and that if he is interested in what others think of his suggestion, he can bookmark the link and visit back.

This suggestion does not solve Mrs. Catlady's problem about "ownership" of the idea, but I don't understand the idea of ownership of ideas anyway. If a user really, really wants to "own" his suggestion, he can mail the developers directly.

So, what do you think?

Samuel


 

I was going to propose something like this on an individual group basis, in addition to an overall groups.io suggestion box. In my version, the groups.io box is routed to Mark or a surrogate (not to a group) and is not anonymous, leaving Mark with the ability to ask questions about the proposed suggestions; whereas the individual group suggestion boxes would be anonymous, one-shot messages touted to the group owner.

On Apr 3, 2019, at 12:18 PM, Samuel Murray <@ugcheleuce> wrote:


Hello everyone

[Reposting as a separate topic because I'm curious about what others think of this idea. Following on Mrs Catlady's suggestion about a separate suggestion feature.]

I would like to propose that opportunity do be given to people to make anonymous suggestions, i.e. make suggestions without revealing their own identity and without feeling a need to be drawn into a discussion about their suggestions.

This feature would take the form of a suggestion box that is linked to from the About page.

However, unlike Mrs Catlady's suggestion of a separate mailing list, I would propose that such anonymous suggestions get sent straight to the beta list.

Such tips would obviously be moderated, so that people can't use the
feature to spam the group anonymously.

The messages can get a special subject line flag [anon] or a hashtag #anonymous to make it clear to group members that it was submitted anonymously, and to make it easier for the developers to find such suggestions' initial posts.

This would allow people to submit RFEs without themselves having to sign up for the beta list, while giving the developers all the benefits of new suggestions being discussed.

The only downside is that proposers would not be able to help clarify their suggestions, but presumably they would not want to do so anyway, even if given the opportunity. In some cases the fact that the original proposer is not there to "defend" his suggestion may even lead to higher quality or more tightly focused discussions in some cases.

Upon clicking the submit button, the anonymous tip giver can then get a
confirmation message on screen, saying that his suggestion was successfully posted to the suggestions mailing list, and that if he is interested in what others think of his suggestion, he can bookmark the link and visit back.

This suggestion does not solve Mrs. Catlady's problem about "ownership" of the idea, but I don't understand the idea of ownership of ideas anyway. If a user really, really wants to "own" his suggestion, he can mail the developers directly.

So, what do you think?

Samuel


--
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


 

ps I’m not “Mrs” Catlady. :-)

On Apr 3, 2019, at 12:18 PM, Samuel Murray <@ugcheleuce> wrote:


Hello everyone

[Reposting as a separate topic because I'm curious about what others think of this idea. Following on Mrs Catlady's suggestion about a separate suggestion feature.]

I would like to propose that opportunity do be given to people to make anonymous suggestions, i.e. make suggestions without revealing their own identity and without feeling a need to be drawn into a discussion about their suggestions.

This feature would take the form of a suggestion box that is linked to from the About page.

However, unlike Mrs Catlady's suggestion of a separate mailing list, I would propose that such anonymous suggestions get sent straight to the beta list.

Such tips would obviously be moderated, so that people can't use the
feature to spam the group anonymously.

The messages can get a special subject line flag [anon] or a hashtag #anonymous to make it clear to group members that it was submitted anonymously, and to make it easier for the developers to find such suggestions' initial posts.

This would allow people to submit RFEs without themselves having to sign up for the beta list, while giving the developers all the benefits of new suggestions being discussed.

The only downside is that proposers would not be able to help clarify their suggestions, but presumably they would not want to do so anyway, even if given the opportunity. In some cases the fact that the original proposer is not there to "defend" his suggestion may even lead to higher quality or more tightly focused discussions in some cases.

Upon clicking the submit button, the anonymous tip giver can then get a
confirmation message on screen, saying that his suggestion was successfully posted to the suggestions mailing list, and that if he is interested in what others think of his suggestion, he can bookmark the link and visit back.

This suggestion does not solve Mrs. Catlady's problem about "ownership" of the idea, but I don't understand the idea of ownership of ideas anyway. If a user really, really wants to "own" his suggestion, he can mail the developers directly.

So, what do you think?

Samuel


--
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


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/04/03 09:24 PM, J_Catlady wrote:

In my version, the groups.io box is routed to Mark or a surrogate
(not to a group) and is not anonymous, leaving Mark with the ability
to ask questions about the proposed suggestions...
Routing the suggestion to just one small group of people who may have better things to do, would defeat the purpose of my proposal, which is to save the developers from having to "ask questions" to suggestors individually.

The developers are subscribed to the beta group, and they are smart enough to set filters on their mail clients to flag initial posts labelled #anonymous... if they really believe that such suggestions are likely to be of higher value than suggestions made by people who took the effort to join the beta group and offer their suggestions up for peer scrutiny.

Samuel


Bob Bellizzi
 

I think that an Anonymous suggestion box would increase Mark's burden; he would be the only one who could promote the suggestion initially to review.
What I think is a better system for Mark but would likely not fly with this group is a more formal change request system,.
You enter your change request into a form, including detail and justification and forward it (to Mark via the Submit button)
Mark weighs it for overall value to his venture (he does own this domain.)
If he decides that it fits into his overall plan and would be a general improvement for groups.io, he posts it to the "shooting range" (Beta group) 
Beta group does what it does and Mark at some point, halts conversation (freezes the topic) and makes a final judgement based on his analysis of the suggestion and the conversation which he posts to the Beta Group ( and the initiator)
He can reject it at any time in the process, from right after submission all the way until just prior to integration into the system.

I'm going on break for a bit now so have at it

--

Bob Bellizzi

Founder, Fuchs Friends ®
Founder & Executive Director, The Corneal Dystrophy Foundation


 

Bob, this sounds really good to me, modulo details that would need to be worked out. I like the general scheme.
--
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


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/04/03 09:47 PM, Bob Bellizzi wrote:

I think that an Anonymous suggestion box would increase Mark's burden; he would be the only one who could promote the suggestion initially to review.
Please read my suggestion carefully.

My suggestion is that suggestions made through the suggestion box be posted straight to the beta list, so it would not affect the developers' burden in any way.

Samuel


 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 12:36 PM, Samuel Murray wrote:
Routing the suggestion to just one small group of people who may have better things to do,
We may not be understanding each other. That's not what I proposed.

The developers are subscribed to the beta group,
The developers? You mean Mark? :-)

--
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


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

Personally, I see no point in a truly anonymous suggestion box, as Mark has solicited and continues to solicit suggestions from the membership at large.  If one is making a suggestion to him there's no reason he shouldn't know who made it if he wished to explore it further with the person making the suggestion.

I come back to supporting the idea of a suggestions e-mail address that would be "off-beta" and go straight to Mark, but where he would obviously know from whom the suggestion originated.

This seems, in the final analysis, to be what he wants anyway based upon his post, Feature bloat and what should and should not be added.
If no discussion of suggestions by others is desired, and that does appear to be what is wanted, having same being made on an open forum makes little sense to begin with.  Another option, were suggestions to still be made on the beta group, would be instant moderation on any topic using the #suggestion family of hashtags (and I would include a number of others that exist as being just another term for suggestion).

Also, not every feature change is, will be, or should be subject to review by the membership at large.  You cannot please all of the people all of the time, and if Mark elects to make a change one must remember that Groups.io is "his product."  I have to deal with product changes that I don't like with virtually any cyber-product I've ever used, and Groups.io has not been any different in that regard.  And some of the things I don't like others adore.  You just can't please all of the people all of the time, and trying to do so is a recipe for disaster.
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 01:36 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
I come back to supporting the idea of a suggestions e-mail address that would be "off-beta" and go straight to Mark, but where he would obviously know from whom the suggestion originated.
Brian, I totally agree with this.

Also, not every feature change is, will be, or should be subject to review by the membership at large.  You cannot please all of the people all of the time, and if Mark elects to make a change one must remember that Groups.io is "his product."
And with this.
We seem to be on the same page now.

As for the "anonymous suggestion box' idea, that's something I was thinking about proposing on a per-group basis - not for groups.io product suggestions (as Samuel proposed). People could then easily voice their concerns and complaints with a particular group to the group owners without having to suffer, or worrying about suffering, negative consequences.

--
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


Brian Vogel <britechguy@...>
 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 04:53 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
People could then easily voice their concerns and complaints with a particular group to the group owners without having to suffer, or worrying about suffering, negative consequences.
If this were to be implemented just wait until you get your first crank.   If you can't or won't put your name to your concerns or complaints for an online group then they're not that essential.  And I can say this with decades of experience with these venues.

But, again, it comes back to, "Doesn't matter to me if it's an option," as it's one I would never, ever exercise from either side of the equation, so if it's felt this idea has merit then have at it!  I do think that one must consider what this might mean when one gets a crank, and I've now made that cautionary statement.
 
--

Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763 

     I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half.

           ~ Jay Gould, U.S. financier & railroad robber baron (1836 - 1892)


 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 04:04 PM, Brian Vogel wrote:
If this were to be implemented just wait until you get your first crank. 
Right, which is one of the many reasons I had it on my backburner as a thought and hadn't yet suggested it. When Samuel posted his "anonymous" idea, I just thought I'd mention it.
 
--
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


Marv Waschke
 

I've worked on a lot of software projects, used, designed, developed, presided over a lot of different defect/suggestion systems. How well they work seems to depend more on the people who use them than the mechanics of the system. I observe that people who own and moderate discussion groups tend to be chatty, opinionated, contentious, etc. (myself included.) It's why we're here.  Given the nature of the user base, this system works pretty well. No one is excluded, the discussions are pretty much to the point, and good ideas surface and are wrung out.

If I were to do anything, I'd add a formal tracking and queue management system with priority rankings, status(reject, under consideration, queued, in  work, testing, whatever) and ETAs like bugzilla but that's overkill for the size of Mark's operation. If he had 10 engineers working, sure, but tending a tracking system is work too. On my projects, we usually had someone assigned to administer the tracking system and that often approached a full time job.
Best, Marv


Chris Jones
 

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 09:53 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
People could then easily voice their concerns and complaints with a particular group to the group owners without having to suffer, or worrying about suffering, negative consequences.
As a group moderator / co - owner I am most unhappy with the idea that our members could post anonymous messages of any sort to our triumvirate. It might not result in "suffering, negative consequences" for the anonymous member(s) but it most definitely could for the owner and moderators for the group in question. As things stand if any member sets about causing trouble of any sort we are able to deal with them appropriately, up to and including banning them completely. If they were to be anonymous, we couldn't.

Sorry, but I think that is a dreadful idea.

That said I can see some merit in the concept of being able to make a suggestion anonymously, but (to raise another negative) not via About as suggested by Samuel. It would give anonymous access to far, far, too many people. But a new tab (on beta), called New Topic (Anonymous) might work. It would guarantee that the user was already a member of beta, which would cut down on the possibility of crank posts. IMHO having a wide open door to anonymous posts would result in a log jam either at Groups.io HQ, or here on beta, or possibly both.

Needless to say Reply (Anonymous) must not be an option!

Chris


Samuel Murrayy
 

On 2019/04/04 08:08 PM, Chris Jones via Groups.Io wrote:

As things stand if any member sets about causing trouble of any sort
we are able to deal with them appropriately, up to and including
banning them completely. If they were to be anonymous, we couldn't.
No, that's true, but I imagined that such anonymous posts would be
moderated, and that the bar for having one's post approved would be
quite high.

I tried to make the suggestion as simple as possible, but obviously n
improvement would be to require that people are registered to use the
suggestion box, and that the person's identity is revealed to the
moderator, even if the post is "anonymous" when it gets to the group.
But I assumed that that would be more effort to program.

But a new tab (on beta), called *New Topic (Anonymous)* might work.
It would guarantee that the user was already a member of beta, which
would cut down on the possibility of crank posts.
Nice idea. I think the identity of the poster should still be visible
to the moderator who gets to approve the post. I wonder how useful such
an option would be for groups in general.

Needless to say *Reply (Anonymous)* must not be an option!
No, that would be silly (at least in the case under discussion).
Whether anonymous replying should be available if such a feature were to
be implemented for all groups, would be up to the group owner, but for
the beta group, anonymous replying would serve no purpose whatsoever.

Samuel


 

Hi Chris,

Just to clarify, I would never even consider the idea of anonymous posts. Dreadful? It would be worse than dreadful. But I sometimes think it would be good to get honest thoughts from group members about their perceived problems with the group, to go to the group owners *privately*. Not as group messages! I think many organizations could, and do, benefit from allowing complaints and other thoughts from clients/constituents/ and others without requiring them to identify themselves.

I am not making the suggestion now, as I said, because I haven’t thought some of the details through. I will do that if and when I have a better idea of how I’d want it to look. It came up now, half-baked, only because of Szmuel’s somewhat related idea.


On Apr 4, 2019, at 11:08 AM, Chris Jones via Groups.Io <chrisjones12@...> wrote:

On Wed, Apr 3, 2019 at 09:53 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
People could then easily voice their concerns and complaints with a particular group to the group owners without having to suffer, or worrying about suffering, negative consequences.
As a group moderator / co - owner I am most unhappy with the idea that our members could post anonymous messages of any sort to our triumvirate. It might not result in "suffering, negative consequences" for the anonymous member(s) but it most definitely could for the owner and moderators for the group in question. As things stand if any member sets about causing trouble of any sort we are able to deal with them appropriately, up to and including banning them completely. If they were to be anonymous, we couldn't.

Sorry, but I think that is a dreadful idea.

That said I can see some merit in the concept of being able to make a suggestion anonymously, but (to raise another negative) not via About as suggested by Samuel. It would give anonymous access to far, far, too many people. But a new tab (on beta), called New Topic (Anonymous) might work. It would guarantee that the user was already a member of beta, which would cut down on the possibility of crank posts. IMHO having a wide open door to anonymous posts would result in a log jam either at Groups.io HQ, or here on beta, or possibly both.

Needless to say Reply (Anonymous) must not be an option!

Chris

--
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


 

Chris, in a statement that ignores how others might run their groups, stated firmly:
Needless to say Reply (Anonymous) must not be an option!
This seems to illustrate where the beta group in the past was much more thoughtful and open-minded toward ideas. It was understood that every idea might have some utility for someone.

What would have been said before is that an anonymous comment =should= be an option that can be turned off by the individual owner.

There can be ideas implemented that some groups don't use. That doesn't make them bad - it simply means they might not work for you.

Dano


 

I agree with Dano about the open-mindedness. I usually try to make evaluative statements only explicitly as my opinion, but I figure my signature covers that caveat. In the case of anonymous suggestions, I happen to be of the same opinion as Chris that I would not want them onlist in my particular group. We’ve had our share of trolls and disgruntled members. But I agree with Dano that it would be good for us all to be more open-minded. In some groups, anonymity would be just fine. (I even weighed in on someone elses’s idea of anonymous groups as something that I would personally use for a different application.)

On Apr 4, 2019, at 11:37 AM, D R Stinson <@steeplecab> wrote:

Chris, in a statement that ignores how others might run their groups, stated firmly:
Needless to say Reply (Anonymous) must not be an option!
This seems to illustrate where the beta group in the past was much more thoughtful and open-minded toward ideas. It was understood that every idea might have some utility for someone.

What would have been said before is that an anonymous comment =should= be an option that can be turned off by the individual owner.

There can be ideas implemented that some groups don't use. That doesn't make them bad - it simply means they might not work for you.

Dano


--
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


Chris Jones
 

On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 07:37 PM, D R Stinson wrote:
There can be ideas implemented that some groups don't use. That doesn't make them bad - it simply means they might not work for you.
Quite so. But in some instances proposals which might be all upside from the proposer's viewpoint might have serious downsides for others; the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I don't get involved with Databases, Calendars, Subgroups etc for the simple reason that no group of which I am a member uses them. I might well read GMF/beta posts about them, but I do not participate because they are subjects on which I am insufficiently informed.

However, if there is a proposal which IMHO has a potentially serious downside that would affect the way in which "my" group works, then I will say so, and it may be worth emphasising that I will raise my concerns irrespective of its originator being identified or anonymous. Having an unidentified originator does not make a poor, ill thought out suggestion a good one!

Now - at the risk of going on a bit - I want to illustrate how misunderstandings can arise. In my previous post I quoted this as a starting point: People could then easily voice their concerns and complaints with a particular group to the group owners without having to suffer, or worrying about suffering, negative consequences.

As written that means anonymous complaints to group owners. However, one or two "comments on my comments" read it as meaning comments posted to a group anonymously, but being identifiable to moderators at moderation. What moderation? Messages to group owners aren't moderated. So (IMHO) there was a clear misinterpretation of what had been written, with a completely different meaning assigned to it.

If what had been written hadn't meant concerns and complaints with a particular group to the group owners then it simply should not have been written that way, and it shouldn't have been interpreted as saying something it doesn't. I know that is a bit pedantic, but it does illustrate that things can be capable of misinterpretation and that care is need to make sure that what we write is actually what we mean to write. 

Chris


KWKloeber
 

As I have posted before. 

Why does making a suggestion automatically turn some into thinking it’s license to start a popularity poll???  

If you have something to ADD to it, or BETTER it, or something meaningful re: the suggestion then post.   

Otherwise one IS NOT necessarily required to exercise their fingers and mouse clicks, just for the sake of seeing their words in print on a screen or email. 

Do y’all realize IT’S NOT all about YOU. 
We are all not even a small cog in the big wheel of life. 
It’s NOT ABOUT anyone’s opinions.  
Everyone has an opinion, but it’s meaningless.  
Different folks/different strokes. 
If anyone needs some security in knowing peeps agree with their opinion, start an EFFIN POLL. 

Beta isn’t about meaningless OPINIONS.