Topics

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
_._,_._,_\


 

I assume the post was meant as a feature suggestion (downloadable manual) to be posted in this group, rather than as a direct critique of the volume of GMF emails, which probably more appropriately belongs there (and you can always use advanced options to filter your messages). Either way, I agree with you that a downloadable (and/or other kind of) comprehensive user guide would be great, even though it would not solve all the problems. In my cats group, which is about a specific disease, we get the same basic questions over and over again from new members, even though the information is almost all contained in our set of files. I think it's natural for this to happen. That said, I did unsub from GMF long ago for some of the same reasons you cite. And bottom line, I agree with your suggestion. I think Mark said he hired a tech writer at some point. Hopefully that person is still at 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


Thomas Gruber
 

Hi,
why don’t you set your GMF subscription to „No emails“ or „special notices only“? That way you stop the flood of emails without ending your subscription.
Thomas


Am 18.01.2020 um 17:57 schrieb txercoupemuseum.org <ercoguru@...>:

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


 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 09:30 AM, Thomas Gruber wrote:
why don’t you set your GMF subscription to „No emails“ or „special notices only“
He could also use Advanced Preferences, muting, following, etc., to cut down on his email. I think the OP brings up multiple issues in one message - overall GMF problems, his problems with the email flood, and the idea for a user manual, all of which are somewhat related.
 
--
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 18/01/2020 17:57, txercoupemuseum.org wrote:

I am receiving upwards of a hundred emails in 24 hours from GMF.
First, put yourself on no-mail. Then, use the group only if you need to ask something.

Unfortunately, AFAIK, it is not yet possible to subscribe to a single topic. You can mute a topic, but you can't mute all except a topic. So, if you do ask something, you're going to have to check back via the web site every now and then to see if anyone answered your question, or... you're going to have to go "normal" for a day or two again.

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 “???”.
It may be obvious to you what the picture says, but there is a chance that it might not be obvious to someone else. Saying "???" only tells us that you think something is wrong, and the picture is a clue.

I found that disrespectful.  A simple request for further information could and should have been made.
Well, I'm not criticizing, but: earlier you complain about the large number of messages, and now you find it is okay that in your case, 3+ messages should be posted (the initial unclear message, then the reply asking for clarification, and then the reply) instead of 1.

But it get's worse: if you post a message that people don't understand (or that different people may interpret differently), you're bound to receive not one reply but several replies (either from people who ask for clarification or from people who have different ideas about what it is what you were saying, and then each responding according to his own interpretation). All of this is a recipe for a multitude of messages.

I fully agree that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but a 1000 words isn't always enough if it isn't the right 1000 words. Typing a short 2-sentence paragraph explaining what it is that you're trying to say, shouldn't take too much time.

There are times when an *answer* can be given as a single picture, without any text, but a picture alone is seldom sufficient as a *question*.

Apparently some, if not all GMF advisors/moderators don’t receive screen shots sent...
No, I can confirm that attachments are included in the "message approval needed" message received by moderators (at least, in my test posts).

That doesn't mean that moderators look at the attachments. I myself ignore attachments if the textual content of the message is lacking.

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.]
Yes, but that is what happens when the initial posters fail to include sufficient information in their posts. It means that responders respond to what they *think* the original poster meant, when the original poster thought that he had omitted only that which is obvious.

Samuel


 

Hi All,

It's my intent to have a set of manuals written, and several months ago I set out to hire a tech writer to do that. Unfortunately I wasn't able to find anyone good at the time. I will make another effort. If anyone knows a good tech writer, please have them contact me directly.

Thanks,
Mark


txercoupemuseum.org
 

Comments in bold and “< >” below.

WRB

On Jan 18, 2020, at 12:24 PM, Samuel Murray <samuelmurray@...> wrote:

On 18/01/2020 17:57, txercoupemuseum.org wrote:

<snip>

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 “???”.

It may be obvious to you what the picture says, but there is a chance that it might not be obvious to someone else.  Saying "???" only tells us that you think something is wrong, and the picture is a clue.

I found that disrespectful.  A simple request for further information could and should have been made.

Well, I'm not criticizing, but: earlier you complain about the large number of messages, and now you find it is okay that in your case, 3+ messages should be posted (the initial unclear message, then the reply asking for clarification, and then the reply) instead of 1.

But it get's worse: if you post a message that people don't understand (or that different people may interpret differently), you're bound to receive not one reply but several replies (either from people who ask for clarification or from people who have different ideas about what it is what you were saying, and then each responding according to his own interpretation).  All of this is a recipe for a multitude of messages.

I fully agree that a picture is worth a 1000 words, but a 1000 words isn't always enough if it isn't the right 1000 words.  Typing a short 2-sentence paragraph explaining what it is that you're trying to say, shouldn't take too much time.

There are times when an *answer* can be given as a single picture, without any text, but a picture alone is seldom sufficient as a *question*.

<In this case you speak without knowledge.  I has asked about the “speech bubble” mentioned in another thread.  I was told to look at the upper right of a web page.  What I saw on that web page was different, apparently I was not visiting it “online”, whatever that means.  Because the specific thing I was directed to was NOT PRESENT, I took a screen shot of it.  If the person to whom I spoke in that thread had looked at my email the problem would have been obvious.  I’m STILL don’t know any more than I did when I asked my question.

Apparently some, if not all GMF advisors/moderators don’t receive screen shots sent...

No, I can confirm that attachments are included in the "message approval needed" message received by moderators (at least, in my test posts).

That doesn't mean that moderators look at the attachments.  I myself ignore attachments if the textual content of the message is lacking.

<This is precisely the specific “culture” I complain of.  Attachments can only be PROPERLY ignored if a question is clear without it, and there is NO way to determine that with certainty without looking.  FUNCTION here should take precedence over  FORM (or convenience).>

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.]

Yes, but that is what happens when the initial posters fail to include sufficient information in their posts.  

<When a screen shot can provide that “specific information” with clarity, it is NOT appropriate to PRESUME information insufficient by ignoring the screen shot.>
 
It means that responders respond to what they *think* the original poster meant, when the original poster thought that he had omitted only that which is obvious.

<Let me put this another way.  An effective responder makes every good faith effort to collect any and all information from a post.  If the responder’s confusion is due to “going through the motions” rather than providing a good faith response, they are NOT doing the “job” their title/position requires.>

Samuel





 

Comments/discussions about GMF or any other group are NOT appropriate here. No more, please.

Mark


 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 10:24 AM, Samuel Murray wrote:
You can mute a topic, but you can't mute all except a topic.
I would disagree with that slightly. You can set yourself to "following only" and then affirmatively follow only your selected topics, with the rest left unfollowed. That is sort of equivalent to muting everything except the one, or ones, you want.
 
--
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


West Coast Compañeros Staff
 

On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 08:57 AM, txercoupemuseum.org wrote:
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”
WRB --

Before you take the radical step of unsubscribing, consider trying one of the advanced subscription options. (From the left side menu, select Subscription, then scroll down and click on Advanced Preferences.) The combination that might be most useful for your situation is Following Only, First Message Also, and Auto Follow Replies. These settings will work if you have selected Individual Emails or Digest, but do not override Special Notices or No Email.

With those options selected you should receive the first message in a new topic. You can choose Follow in the message footer if you want to continue receiving messages in this topic. Replying to the message has the same effect. If you do nothing, you won't get anything further on this topic. You will also receive all messages in topics that you start.

At first, with the large number of topics in progress in GMF, you may need to Unfollow quite a few threads (again, using the footer options), but after that initial investment of time your participation in the group should become much more feasible for you. When you click on the Groups.io logo on the left side of the top blue bar, you wil have the option of viewing all topics or just those that you are following.

Robert R.


West Coast Compañeros Staff
 

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 11:46 AM, West Coast Compañeros Staff wrote:
At first, with the large number of topics in progress in GMF, you may need to Unfollow quite a few threads (again, using the footer options), but after that initial investment of time your participation in the group should become much more feasible for you. When you click on the Groups.io logo on the left side of the top blue bar, you wil have the option of viewing all topics or just those that you are following.
Sorry, the bold section in the quoted paragraph is wrong. As far as I know, you won't receive any more messages in topics that are already in progress, so you won't have to do anything more to Unfollow them. If there are any topics in progress that you are particularly interested in following, I think you would need to make a brief reply to them using the web interface. If there is a better way to do this, I hope someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

Robert R.


 

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 12:26 PM, West Coast Compañeros Staff wrote:
As far as I know, you won't receive any more messages in topics that are already in progress, so you won't have to do anything more to Unfollow them
That's correct. 
If there are any topics in progress that you are particularly interested in following, I think you would need to make a brief reply to them using the web interface. If there is a better way to do this, I hope someone more knowledgeable will chime in.
Brief reply is probably the easiest way, but if not wanting to reply, you can go to All Topics in your groups.io page, click on the topic you want to follow, and then click on "follow this topic" at the top.

 
--
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


txercoupemuseum.org
 

Robert,

Thank you.  I’ve never done any of this (to me such options are new and little time to figure out how to use), but your suggestions are to the point and I will try them and let you know how that works out.

Thanks!

WRB

“We should be thankful we don’t get all the government we pay for.” - Boss Kettering 

— 

On Jan 19, 2020, at 2:26 PM, West Coast Compañeros Staff <westcoastcompaneros@...> wrote:

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 11:46 AM, West Coast Compañeros Staff wrote:
At first, with the large number of topics in progress in GMF, you may need to Unfollow quite a few threads (again, using the footer options), but after that initial investment of time your participation in the group should become much more feasible for you. When you click on the Groups.io logo on the left side of the top blue bar, you wil have the option of viewing all topics or just those that you are following.
Sorry, the bold section in the quoted paragraph is wrong. As far as I know, you won't receive any more messages in topics that are already in progress, so you won't have to do anything more to Unfollow them. If there are any topics in progress that you are particularly interested in following, I think you would need to make a brief reply to them using the web interface. If there is a better way to do this, I hope someone more knowledgeable will chime in.

Robert R.


txercoupemuseum.org
 

Thanks!

WRB

— 

On Jan 19, 2020, at 2:29 PM, J_Catlady <j.olivia.catlady@...> wrote:

On Sun, Jan 19, 2020 at 12:26 PM, West Coast Compañeros Staff wrote:
As far as I know, you won't receive any more messages in topics that are already in progress, so you won't have to do anything more to Unfollow them
That's correct. 
If there are any topics in progress that you are particularly interested in following, I think you would need to make a brief reply to them using the web interface. If there is a better way to do this, I hope someone more knowledgeable will chime in.
Brief reply is probably the easiest way, but if not wanting to reply, you can go to All Topics in your groups.io page, click on the topic you want to follow, and then click on "follow this topic" at the top.

 
--
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