A message created by anyone but a Moderator cannot be sent as "Special Notice". And, in many Groups, some members only want to receive/know about Special Notices - they aren't really interested in daily drivel.
I proposed a modification that would allow a Moderator - with permission, be given the opportunity to recognize an item that should be a Special Notice - and be able to Reply or Forward (to the Group) any item that comes through.
Currently, the only way to do this is to 'hijack', then Copy the original message and create a new message from the Moderators own address, then Paste the original message into a New Message and send it on. Credit to the Originator is lost this way - if nothing else.
This would apparently take a programming change.
I proposed a modification that would allow a Moderator - withPossibly this could be implemented by adding an item to the More menu: "Resend this Topic as a Special Notice".
There are a couple of potential gotcha's in that implementation.
First is the word "Resend" - I'm saying that the topic would be resent to all members (excluding No Email) not just those on Special Notices. In that way it is not different from your Copy/Paste method.
One reason to be clear about this is that a Special notice goes out with a subject prefix "[Special]" to catch the member's attention and/or activate an email filter. Another reason is that Special notices are sent both inside a Digest and as an Individual Message, for members on Digest Delivery.
Second is that word "Topic" above. IIRC a message sent as a Special Notice (the usual way, New Topic with the checkbox checked) can be replied to by members, and those replies come through as special also. So what I'm saying here is that if Topic you apply this command on has replies already, those would be resent also.
Currently, the only way to do this is to 'hijack', then Copy theSo that suggests another implementation, add an item to the More Menu:
"Copy this Message to a New Topic".
This would be effectively the same as your Copy and Paste manually, but it would copy also the original message's From information (and possibly Date/Time?) into the New Topic composition page. From there you could check the Special Notice box and send it out.
This has the advantage (or disadvantage, however you see it) of isolating a single message to be resent, rather than potentially a whole topic.
I hope this helps (rather than confuses) some issues for you and Mark.
On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 03:14 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
a message sent as a Special Notice (the usual way, New Topic with the checkbox checked) can be replied to by members, and those replies come through as special also.I just tested this in one of my subgroups and a reply to a Special Notice by a member account does not come through with the [Special] subject tag and is listed on the Activity Log as 'sent message' as opposed to 'sent special message'.
OUTSTANDING! Thanks for testing and reporting this.
Dan Tucker, Groups.io Owner
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com> on behalf of Andy Wedge <andy_wedge@...>
On Fri, Jan 15, 2021 at 03:14 AM, Shal Farley wrote:
I just tested this in one of my subgroups and a reply to a Special Notice by a member account
does not come through with the [Special] subject tag and is listed on the Activity Log as 'sent message' as opposed to 'sent special message'.
This is my take on this; if there is some pending message and Dan thinks Special Notice users might/should/will find this message of interest, or some previously-posted message (or topic?) which (those Special Notice users did not receive originally) and has now become of importance/whatnot to those users for the same reasons as before, Dan would like to send (forward) that message to them (if posted already) or ensure they also get it if a moderated message, even if it's not a special notice.
The quick and dirty solution to that would be to add the ability to "mark" (masquerade) an incoming message in the pending queue as "Special Notice" in the message approval screen. Yes I know from a procedural POV only admins are supposed to send (i.e. originate) Special Notices, but from a code POV, the marking of a message as a Special Notice is really nothing but a flag to the mailer code to also include the Special Notice user subset in the emailing (and add the [special] taggery); after the Special Notice message has posted in the archives, it's treated as any other message in terms or replies, etc. anyway, so if there was a checkbox in the message approval screen that means "Treat this message as a Special Notice, for email delivery purposes only", it would take care of his request: When that option is checked and the pending message approved and posts, even if it posts just like a regular message, it would also be sent to the Special Notice users as well. The caveat is that the mailer code would need to somehow know that this is a regular message that should be treated as a "Special Notice" only as far as recipients are concerned and therefore not add the [special] taggery, unlike when a mod creates a real Special Notice, so a message author admin status check would determine that.
Something like this however would require the group (or user(s)) to be moderated so the messages can be intercepted before they post, therefore doesn't provide the same capability for posted messages, still leaving only the current way, copy+paste.So taking Shal's proposed solution (for already-posted messages) and twisting it a bit, it now becomes a Message/Topic Forward capability, which allows it to be used for more than as a fix for this particular case. If Mark was go through the work required to implement Shal's proposed solution, I suspect for just a little extra effort more he can implement it as a Forward instead, with the possibility of generating income, i.e. for Admins it can be a provided tool but for users it could be a (group-account or GIO-account) paid feature.
Possibly something like this, assuming we would want to also be able to forward a whole topic:
1. Topic button -> Forward Topic
2. Hamburger -> Forward Message
3a. If user FWD, action results in a note, "Message/Topic emailed to your group account address" or something, and that's it; not sure if it should be logged or not.
3b. If admin FWD, a popup Forward-To screen comes up:
4a. Reply-To dropbox:
- Group (default, allows the recipient to (re-)engage the Topic online or through email if a Special Notice or No Email user)
- Sender possibly (admin wants to forward a message to another member and discuss it further between them)
- Group Owner possibly (again admin wants to forward a message to the mods only and discuss it further between them only)
4b. Recipients/Forward-To dropbox:
- Some special-flag entries, such as maybe [Everyone regardless*], [Mods Only], [Special Notice members only], or [No Email users only*]; possibly add the other delivery subsets as well, [digest users only] etc.
- And the full member list for forwarding to individuals.
(* This would also give a way for the admins to easily reach out to the No Email users with something important - this can be done now but it can be a PITA doing it through the Member List, you have to play around with the URL per-page count parameter value to get the sorted list paginated as such so the majority of No Email users are taking up the whole page and one can use the SelectAll checkbox)
4c. - Some kind of a "forwarding note" textbox, maybe with the default "Note: Forwarded Message" or something, inserted by the mailer code as bolded/delimited text at the top of the message body (and I guess for all messages within that topic, if forwarding a topic). That would allow the admin to use this forward functionality for several possible scenarios; for example, in Dan's case, an existing topic has become of interest to Special Notice folk, note could be "Hey guys, this topic might be of interest to you". Or, you just posted a Special Notice about your group now accepting sponsorship or about upgrading the group to premium, and you want to let the No Email users aware of it**, so possibly "There is a matter of importance to the group's future and I thought you would want to become aware and participate if you want."
** You may argue, why not just sent them the link to the topic instead of forwarding the actual message/topic? Yes you can, but that precludes email-only users; if you send them the actual message, I assume it would also contain the footers***, so they can go online that way and engage if they want, OR they can reply to the message and their reply will post as a regular topic reply, and can engage through email only. Or you could include the link in your FWD note as well.
(*** I guess care should be taken when the footer code generates those forwards, it uses the original posted topic/message IDs for some of the specific footer links such as View Topic Online, Follow Topic, etc. Something similar would also probably need to be done to the message headers as well so an email-client reply (to Group) references that actual posted message and not the forwarded message itself)
4d - Maybe also a checkbox like "subject-tag notice's subject as [Special]" (as in a real Special Notice) because the full/real Special Notice moniker & functionality is not really applicable to this functionality.
Clicking OK will initiate the emailing-out.
In Dan's case, the workflow for moderated messages of possible importance kinda stays the same, after approving it he still has to get involved, but instead of copy+paste+side-effects he would then instead just forward the already-posted message to the Special Notice users only.
PS: There's also an alternative interpretation of Dan's request, make certain users (who just happen in this case to be Special Notice users) aware of that message/topic, kind of a "tag" functionality if you will, be able to tag/alert folk of a topic or message who otherwise wouldn't be. This would be equivalent to emailing out a link to the online topic/message in the above proposal though, so it still has the preclusion problem of email-only users.