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moderated Make sequence of mods receipt of pending member notice more consistent #suggestion


 

There's some inconsistency in the sequence in which mods receive a pending member notice relative to when (before or after) the member confirms. I don't know if some of the inconsistency is intentional or inadvertent and wanted to get a handle on it and discuss what we actually want to happen, vs what happens now, if unintentional.

Case 1: member with an existing gio account applies via email --> mod does NOT receive the pending notice unftil after the member confirms
(Possibly this is intentional?)

Case 2: person without an existing gio account applies via the web --> mod DOES receive the pending notice, and the member goes in with an NC badge (note: this allows a mod to "resend confirmation notice" to the person, unlike in case 1)

Case 3: person withot an existing gio account applies via email --> I have not tested this and don't know what happens in this case, or should

The advantage I see of mods receiving the pending notice before the person confirms, regardless of the existence or nonexistence of a gio account, is that the mod can resend the confirmation message. Also, they are at least made aware of the application to the group. In the case, or cases, where mods don't receive the pending notice until after confirmation, neither of those is the case. I would prefer to be informed whenever someone applies to my group, even before they confirm, not only when they happen to apply via email and have no existing gio account, but in all cases.

--
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


 

On Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 07:20 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Case 2: person without an existing gio account applies via the web --> mod DOES receive the pending notice before the member confirms, and the member goes in with an NC badge (note: this allows a mod to "resend confirmation notice" to the person, unlike in case 1)
should read as corrected above ^^^
 
--
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


Duane
 

On Fri, Dec 4, 2020 at 09:20 AM, J_Catlady wrote:
Case 1: member with an existing gio account applies via email --> mod does NOT receive the pending notice unftil after the member confirms
If that address already has an account, it should never receive a confirmation email.  Are you possibly referring to the email to verify that they want to join the group?

Duane


 

Duane,
Possibly a matter of semantics. Yes, that's what I'm referring to, and they need to respond to it. They receive an email asking them to "confirm" that they want to join the group. The group/mods are not made aware of the application until after the "confirmation" or whatever you want to call it.
Perhaps the language needs to be sorted out as well.
--
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


 

The email is entitled "Confirm your groups.io subscription." If you or anybody else doesn't want to that a "confirmation email," then Houston, we have a problem. :-) Granted they're not confirming the account itself. But the email is identica in every way to the "confirmation email" they do receive upon applying to their first groups.io group.
--
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


 

J,

It's déjà vu all over again.

Case 1: member with an existing gio account applies via email --> mod
does NOT receive the pending notice unftil after the member confirms
(Possibly this is intentional?)
...
Case 3: person withot an existing gio account applies via email ...
I believe it is intentional, because hobgoblins and spambots. That is, all email commands (except +help and +owner) require confirmation before they do anything, +subscribe follows the majority.
https://groups.io/helpcenter/membersmanual/1/additional-information/standard-group-email-addresses

The intent is to keep the group managers (and unrestricted groups) from being flooded by spambot-generated +subscribe requests.

I can see two improvements that could be made.

1) Eliminate the confirmation requirement when the From address passes reasonable authentication criteria. For +subscribe the group managers can be notified of the request immediately (as with web requests).

Replace the request message with a notice that the command was received (where appropriate). This would be a boon for all of the email commands.

2) Maybe notify the moderators immediately in Case 1. While it is possible that a spambot may have spoofed an already registered address, it may be sufficiently less likely as to not represent the problem that general addresses would.

Shal


 

Shal,

I like all of those suggestions.

And as an added bonus, let’s please clarify the language. People with existing gio accounts DO currently have to respond to an email asking them to “confirm” their request to join a group. Yet every time this issue comes up, we’re distracted by shouts of “no, people with existing accounts don’t have to confirm” or “that’s not a confirmation message.”

Well, it walks like a confirmation message snd it quacks like a confirmation message. It’s identical in every way, shape, and form to the “real” (yuck, yuck) confirmation message. The title is the same and the message body is the same. So if we have to call them something besides a confirmation message to avoid being pedantically corrected every time, let’s distinguish the two in some way. “Verify” your irterest instead of “confirm”? Something, anything. Otherwise we are forced to refer to two identical objects differently simply because they were generated by distinct processes.

On top of that, because of the (incorrect) statements here that current account holders don’t have to confirm, some group owners wrongly state in their home page that “only if this your first gio group, you will have to respond to an email to confirm” your interest. This is particularly a-factual for restricted groups with a pending member questionnaire as well. Only non-current account holders are warned that they must look for and reply to TWO messages if they happen to apply via email.
On Dec 6, 2020, at 2:54 PM, Shal Farley <shals2nd@gmail.com> wrote:

J,

It's déjà vu all over again.

Case 1: member with an existing gio account applies via email --> mod
does NOT receive the pending notice unftil after the member confirms
(Possibly this is intentional?)
...
Case 3: person withot an existing gio account applies via email ...
I believe it is intentional, because hobgoblins and spambots. That is, all email commands (except +help and +owner) require confirmation before they do anything, +subscribe follows the majority.
https://groups.io/helpcenter/membersmanual/1/additional-information/standard-group-email-addresses

The intent is to keep the group managers (and unrestricted groups) from being flooded by spambot-generated +subscribe requests.

I can see two improvements that could be made.

1) Eliminate the confirmation requirement when the From address passes reasonable authentication criteria. For +subscribe the group managers can be notified of the request immediately (as with web requests).

Replace the request message with a notice that the command was received (where appropriate). This would be a boon for all of the email commands.

2) Maybe notify the moderators immediately in Case 1. While it is possible that a spambot may have spoofed an already registered address, it may be sufficiently less likely as to not represent the problem that general addresses would.

Shal




--
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


 

Here are a couple of other/alternate suggestions. The main problem for me is the lack of consistency, and not just for consistency's sake, but because it is confusing to group owners currently. Why do you sometimes see an NC member, and sometimes not? Why are you sometimes notified of an application to your group right away, and sometimes not until the member confirms?

My suggestions are either to (a) ALWAYS require a confirmation of interest in joining a group, regardless of whether the application is via email or via the web; and/or (b) NEVER or ALWAYS notifiy the group owner before the member confirms.
--
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


 

J,

I'm sure you know the answer to both of these, but are asking "in the voice of" the confused group owners, in order to emphasize the inconsistency.

Why do you sometimes see an NC member, and sometimes not?
The NC appears only for unconfirmed email addresses.

I believe that can only be seen for members who joined/requested via the web.

For those who joined/requested by email, their response to the +subscribe confirmation also confirms their email address. So you (the group manager) either don't see them at all or you see them as confirmed.

Why are you sometimes notified of an application to your group right
away, and sometimes not until the member confirms?
That was the prior message.

My suggestions are either to (a) ALWAYS require a confirmation of
interest in joining a group, regardless of whether the application is
via email or via the web; and/or (b) NEVER or ALWAYS notifiy the group
owner before the member confirms.
I'll paraphrase the saying: let not the consistent be the enemy of the practical.

I think option (a) is a worse experience for members joining by web. Especially those who joined by web because they're having issues with email.

The NEVER clause of (b) is a worse experience for members and mods because mods can't help web applicants who might otherwise be helped.

The ALWAYS clause of (b) is a worse experience for mods who may have to sort through scores, hundreds, or thousands of bot-generated +subscribe requests that would otherwise have been culled by the confirmation requirement.

Shal
Dispelling hobgoblins since 2007


 

On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 04:28 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
I'm sure you know the answer to both of these, but are asking "in the voice of" the confused group owners, in order to emphasize the inconsistency.
Yes, exactly. They were all rhetorical questions.

I'll paraphrase the saying: let not the consistent be the enemy of the practical.
 Which is exactly why I tried to emphasize that I don't want consistency for consistency's sake. I want it because the current inconsistent situation is a hot, confusing mess.
--
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


Mark M
 

On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 07:32 PM, J_Catlady wrote:
Which is exactly why I tried to emphasize that I don't want consistency for consistency's sake. I want it because the current inconsistent situation is a hot, confusing mess.
This. Why do I have to care or think about all the various reasons why I as an owner/moderator am sent/not sent apply or confirmation message? I'm not sure that is practical or consistent.

My use case (which I believe is common): As an owner/moderator, I want to get a notification when someone applies to join my group and/or confirms. I'd like to be able to turn these notices off or on at the group level.

Thank you all for this good discussion.

Mark


Mark M
 

On Sun, Dec 6, 2020 at 05:54 PM, Shal Farley wrote:
I believe it is intentional, because hobgoblins and spambots. That is, all email commands (except +help and +owner) require confirmation before they do anything, +subscribe follows the majority.
https://groups.io/helpcenter/membersmanual/1/additional-information/standard-group-email-addresses

The intent is to keep the group managers (and unrestricted groups) from being flooded by spambot-generated +subscribe requests.
After re-reading Shal's comment about no notice sent to owner/mod when subscribing via email from non-gio account, I understand why it may be set up this way. Are web subscribe requests less likely to come from spammers and bots?


 

On Mon, Dec 7, 2020 at 09:48 AM, Mark Murphy wrote:
Are web subscribe requests less likely to come from spammers and bots?
Yes, that has been known to be the case. But so what? The issue of the confusion-causing inconsistency remains.
 
--
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


 

Mark,

Why do I have to care or think about all the various reasons why I
as an owner/moderator am sent/not sent apply or confirmation message?
You don't have to care about why. Or when. You can just handle them as needed.

My use case (which I believe is common): As an owner/moderator, I want
to get a notification when someone applies to join my group and/or
confirms.
You will, if you've opted to. The consistency question has to do with "when".

I think the proper way to look at the system behavior is that the +subscribe email user hasn't actually requested to join your group until they respond to the confirmation request from Groups.io.

That point of view is based on the fact that Groups.io ignores any unconfirmed email commands, as if they never happened (except +help and +owner, as mentioned previously). Not only do the group managers not get a notice of a pending member until then, but also the address isn't added to the Pending Members list, nor is the command even logged in the group's Activity log*.

To paraphrase the social media meme, where concerns the email commands like +subscribe: "confirm or it didn't happen".

I'd like to be able to turn these notices off or on at the group
level.
Not sure what you mean by "at the group level".

In each group you own or moderate, you can choose if and how you'll be notified by selecting the desired option for "Pending Members", in the Moderator Notifications panel of your Subscription page in that group.

Shal
*I happen to be sympathetic to the notion that failing to even log it may be a problem, notwithstanding the possibility of a spambot flooding the groups's Activity log.


Mark M
 

Shal, thank you clarifying the consistency question is about "when" I get notified -- I agree.

Sorry, I couldn't resist this: