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BBWolf+3Pigs

New Message Center...

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Actually, Keystone's statement that the reviewers prefer the new messsage center for communications between cachers (assuming that I did not misunderstand something completely) scares me even more (which does not mean that for the statement about the foreseeable future is not scaring in its own right).

I'm pretty sure you misunderstood him (unless I'm misunderstanding you). His point #2 was "As noted in the FAQ, correspondence with reviewers should be done by email, not through the message center."

 

I'm not referring to his point #2, but to his reply to my question in post #39. I had asked about the rationale behind Groundspeak's belief that the usage of the new message system is the better option for contacting cachers and was very surprised about his reply. How did you understand that reply?

My reply was the word "yes." If that scares you, I apologize profusely for any unintended frightening double meaning.

 

The "yes" meant that "yes, there are good workflow reasons why reviewers would want to save their correspondence in email." That should not be a scary statement.

 

As a player I think the message option is cool, and my "yes" meant that there are good reasons to make it available for player communication. That should not be a scary statement.

Edited by Keystone

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One of the biggest drawbacks to the "new" message system is that it presumes that the intended receivers of messages regularly log-in to gc.com, but ample evidence and experience shows that many cachers and COs sometimes go for long periods (i.e., days, weeks and even months) without logging in.
One of the advantages of email is that it doesn't rely on the recipient logging in (or using the app). But that works only if the recipient has a validated email address, and one of the possible advantages of the message center is that it doesn't rely on the recipient having a validated email address.

 

Why on earth would I send a "gc-message" to a cache owner or cacher without some certainty that they'll actually log in to read it in a timely manner?
The one I can think of is:

 

The "send message" feature is disabled because this email address has not been validated by the user.

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I'm not referring to his point #2, but to his reply to my question in post #39. I had asked about the rationale behind Groundspeak's belief that the usage of the new message system is the better option for contacting cachers and was very surprised about his reply. How did you understand that reply?

Oh, sorry. Forget I said anything. I don't understand what either of you are saying in the exchange, so I didn't mean to comment on it.

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One of the advantages of email is that it doesn't rely on the recipient logging in (or using the app). But that works only if the recipient has a validated email address, and one of the possible advantages of the message center is that it doesn't rely on the recipient having a validated email address.

I admit I don't really have any idea whether the numbers would back me up, but my guess is that anyone without a validated e-mail address is as unlikely to check their gc messages as to correct their e-mail address.

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Thanks for this new feature. We discussed the new message center in our local community. This is what we would suggest to be added /changed.

 

1. Links from the MC to user profiles. While being within the message center it would be nice to click on a user's photo/avatar and get to their profile. It's common that I wish to know a bit more about who I'm communicating with.

 

2. Links from user profiles to the MC. I would like to have a hyperlink in a user profile to take me to the MC and send a message to this person.

 

3. MC settings available from the MC webpage. Currently I see only one setting for the MC (switching email notifications on/off) and it's hidden in the general settings section. It would be great if there is more straightforward/simple way to get to settings from the MC.

 

4. To delete messages/conversations. Currently there's an option to hide conversations. This may be useful sometimes but I believe it's not good at whole because once a conversation is hidden it's too easy to just forget about it. For privacy reasons (and also to save resources) I think it's necessary to have an option to delete conversations completely. It could be implemented somehow similar they used to do this in Facebook.

 

5. To limit the number of potential message senders. There are "friends" feature on this website already. I've never had any profit of this feature. Perhaps this could be the case: to have an option to select people to get messages from ("All", "Friends only").

 

6. To block any user at once. Currently I can block someone but to do this I actually need to communicate with them first. It may easily happen that I wish to block someone whom I don't want to communicate at all (for example, someone who has already proved to be rude with my friends).

 

7. More space to enter text. With the limit of 1000 characters per message it's not comfortable to have only two strings to enter text. Normally, you even have more space in feedback forms at websites. In the MC I have to scroll again and again and again to compose a message which is bigger then a general SMS message. Four or at least three strings would be much better.

 

8. Different types for attachments. I suggest that .GPX, .LOC, .ZIP and .TXT files are also allowed. Perhaps it would be OK to limit size of an attachment.

 

9. Number of new messages shown on the frontpage of geocaching.com / in user account. There are currently two ways of knowing that I've got a message: following an email notification and manually checking the MC. It would be great if the number of new (unread) messages are somehow displayed along with the envelope icon in the header of the website. If this is not done, it often happens that there's no conversation at all, I have to wait until my friend opens his email inbox - in this case I better send him the same message by email.

 

Geocachers here also asked if the new feature appears in your mobile app.

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Geocachers here also asked if the new feature appears in your mobile app.

 

I was just thinking about that myself. If the message center was built into the mobile app, that might be the quickest way for a user to receive a message. Many users might not log onto the web site often, or log onto an account to check their email but mobile apps can allow notifications with an audible alert and users could then get notifications of message almost anywhere.

 

Suppose GS integrated the message center with their instant notification feature and into the mobile app. Now, whenever a new cache was published in a users notification area they'd get an almost instant alert.

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The "yes" meant that "yes, there are good workflow reasons why reviewers would want to save their correspondence in email." That should not be a scary statement.

 

That neither was a scary statement nor is it something that surprises me. My question was whether there is a rationale why Groundspeak thinks that the new message system is the better option for contacting other cachers.

What scared me was your reply to my question where you mentioned the input of the reviewers. The way you replied made me believe that the reviewers encouraged Groundspeak to come up with a message center for cachers which forces them to communicate within gc.com.

 

So to sum up, you do not know why Groundspeak thinks that the new message center is a better way for contacting cachers than the old system, or do you? That was my initial question.

 

 

As a player I think the message option is cool, and my "yes" meant that there are good reasons to make it available for player communication. That should not be a scary statement.

 

It would get scary at the point where cachers are encouraged or even forced to use the new tool.

As long as the old e-mail system stays available and links to that system stay on the cacher's profiles, I do not mind whatever additional systems are offered. An opt-out option would definitely be useful to avoid that other cachers contact me via the new system where I easily might overlook messages.

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I find the new "message center" annoying and unnecessary.

 

I much prefer the email through player's profile, or the private message through the forum systems. Simple, straight-forward, already exist.

 

 

B.

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The "yes" meant that "yes, there are good workflow reasons why reviewers would want to save their correspondence in email." That should not be a scary statement.

Perhaps not scary, but I do find it disquieting because it recognizes that there are well understood, sound reasons for wanting to manage arriving correspondence as e-mail while simultaneously denying that those same sound reasons could possibly be invoked by anyone other than a reviewer.

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I find the new "message center" annoying and unnecessary.

 

I much prefer the email through player's profile, or the private message through the forum systems. Simple, straight-forward, already exist.

 

B.

 

Annoying? Is the new message center supposed to replace the mentioned ways of communication?

 

To use forum messages one needs to use this forum but the forum has its own atmosphere and community and it's not in language which the majority of my compatriots understand. You may notice that there are not many people from this part of the world here. They use different means of communication (forums, chats, blogs, social networks). The new message center is translatable. In fact, we already translated its interface into Russian. And you don't need to enter any community to use it.

 

Email is good but it's common that people use email accounts they don't check often or their incoming email suffers from antispam filters. I personally have tons of email every day at all my accounts. Sometimes I risk to simply miss this or that email message. The new message center is single-purposed and integrated into the geocaching website.

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I fully understand why e-mail is better than the new system to contact reviewers. I just wonder why what should be better for reviewers should not be better for other cachers too.

^^this.

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I was just thinking about that myself. If the message center was built into the mobile app, that might be the quickest way for a user to receive a message.

What mobile app? Not all of us use mobile apps, and of those who do, not all use the Groundspeak-provided one.....

Edited by EngPhil

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Direct links to message someone via their profile page are coming very soon.

 

Will these links come in addition to the old link? I sincerely hope that this will be the case.

 

There are currently no plans to make Message Center an opt-in/opt-out feature.

 

That's bad news as long as the new system stays not e-mail based. when e-mails are used those users who suffer from slow connections to the Groundspeak server are not affected while they are heavily affected when they have to login into the gc.com server and this is very slow to not possible at all. While Groundspeak is not responsible for these connectivity issues, it would a good idea to take into account when making decisions about whether to enforce a message system to all cachers.

 

Yes, the existing link to email another player will exist side by side in loving harmony with the Send Message link for players.

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I was just thinking about that myself. If the message center was built into the mobile app, that might be the quickest way for a user to receive a message.

What mobile app? Not all of us use mobile apps, and of those who do, not all use the Groundspeak-provided one.....

 

You should use ours, it's pretty rad.

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Thanks for this new feature. We discussed the new message center in our local community. This is what we would suggest to be added /changed.

 

1. Links from the MC to user profiles. While being within the message center it would be nice to click on a user's photo/avatar and get to their profile. It's common that I wish to know a bit more about who I'm communicating with.

 

2. Links from user profiles to the MC. I would like to have a hyperlink in a user profile to take me to the MC and send a message to this person.

 

3. MC settings available from the MC webpage. Currently I see only one setting for the MC (switching email notifications on/off) and it's hidden in the general settings section. It would be great if there is more straightforward/simple way to get to settings from the MC.

 

4. To delete messages/conversations. Currently there's an option to hide conversations. This may be useful sometimes but I believe it's not good at whole because once a conversation is hidden it's too easy to just forget about it. For privacy reasons (and also to save resources) I think it's necessary to have an option to delete conversations completely. It could be implemented somehow similar they used to do this in Facebook.

 

5. To limit the number of potential message senders. There are "friends" feature on this website already. I've never had any profit of this feature. Perhaps this could be the case: to have an option to select people to get messages from ("All", "Friends only").

 

6. To block any user at once. Currently I can block someone but to do this I actually need to communicate with them first. It may easily happen that I wish to block someone whom I don't want to communicate at all (for example, someone who has already proved to be rude with my friends).

 

7. More space to enter text. With the limit of 1000 characters per message it's not comfortable to have only two strings to enter text. Normally, you even have more space in feedback forms at websites. In the MC I have to scroll again and again and again to compose a message which is bigger then a general SMS message. Four or at least three strings would be much better.

 

8. Different types for attachments. I suggest that .GPX, .LOC, .ZIP and .TXT files are also allowed. Perhaps it would be OK to limit size of an attachment.

 

9. Number of new messages shown on the frontpage of geocaching.com / in user account. There are currently two ways of knowing that I've got a message: following an email notification and manually checking the MC. It would be great if the number of new (unread) messages are somehow displayed along with the envelope icon in the header of the website. If this is not done, it often happens that there's no conversation at all, I have to wait until my friend opens his email inbox - in this case I better send him the same message by email.

 

Geocachers here also asked if the new feature appears in your mobile app.

 

1. We are working on this right now!

 

2. We are working on this right now, too!

 

3. We'll take a look at that suggestion - since we already have an area for account based settings that don't get changed often (like other email preferences) we decided it made sense to add this there as well.

 

4. While we may look at something in the future, for the time being conversation hiding will be the only way to remove them from the message center. This, coupled with blocking another user, will ensure that the conversation does not show up again (unless of course you decide to unblock that user and the conversation can continue!)

 

5. We are actually currently looking at a way to integrate the current friends list into the Message Center in an unobtrusive way! But that won't come for a bit still.

 

6. Good suggestion - we'll add that to the list (I've seen a few others mention this as well)!

 

7. This is also a great suggestion that we've been hearing from others as well; we're currently looking into this.

 

8. I think we actually included this one in the survey as well - thanks for the format suggestions. .ZIP would be the sketchiest one there - we don't want to facilitate people sending viruses and the like to each other, but verifiable file formats with size limitations are of course on the table!

 

9. We actually have a way for the header icon to update with the number of individual conversations that have unread messages, but had to turn it off because it was not playing well with the rest of the website; we're currently hard at work getting at working again so we can get that back in.

 

10. I can not independently verify or deny the possibility of the mobile app getting Message Center messages in it as well. ;)

 

Thanks for compiling all that together in one place!

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What mobile app? Not all of us use mobile apps, and of those who do, not all use the Groundspeak-provided one.....

You should use ours, it's pretty rad.

And see, there's the problem right there. There are many different apps, with different feature sets that appeal to different users, and many people who don't even use apps at all. Some may not even have a phone which can run your app. Having a choice of interfaces is good. The API is (generally) a Good Thing.

 

But Groundspeak seems to only care about those who use their own apps, or browsers on mobile devices, and everyone else is a second class citizen. The recent website releases are testament to this.

 

[Yes, we're drifting off topic a bit, but if the endgame here is, as suggested, integration of comms with the app, then this is a concern for those of us who choose not to, or cannot, use this app.]

 

Regardless, thanks for coming in here, seandynamite. I hope you can understand why some of us prefer a choice in the way we interact with Groundspeak and each other.

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I was just thinking about that myself. If the message center was built into the mobile app, that might be the quickest way for a user to receive a message.

What mobile app? Not all of us use mobile apps, and of those who do, not all use the Groundspeak-provided one.....

 

I was thinking of the official Groundspeak provided apps. Obviously, if someone doesn't use the GS mobile apps they wouldn't be able to take advantage of features in those apps. If GS puts features into their mobile that integrate with their web site, one of the reasons they might do is would be to entice you to switch from whatever you're using to the GS mobile app.

 

 

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A few thoughts...

 

1. Email notifications - These should definitely be improved. Provide the option for immediate or digest. Primarily: provide a way to treat the MC as an email communication tool for those who don't want it or don't want to use it. If someone sends a message to a user who doesn't check the MC, the worst is for it to remain there unchecked unbeknownst to anyone. Email notifications for new messages without the content would go ignored by such people too. So treat a new message like an existing communication. Include the message in the email.

You can default the sender to no-reply, so you don't have to worry about non-validated users (as currently). And if the recipient wants to reply, then a link going right to that conversation on the site would be HUGE (and as simple as linking to the 'send message' page to reply).

Better though would be to allow replying to the message email and inserting the reply as a response in the conversation (as described in a previous comment here, can't remember which post #).

 

By providing the message content in the email notification, it accomodates users of the MC, as well as those who couldn't care less about the MC, without creating holes of communication with the implementation of the new system.

 

A digest option would be helpful as well, depending on busyness of the user's MC inbox. But that's just an idea.

 

2. Conversation deletion - I'm not positive how forums tend to handle message exchanges and deletions, but afaik I believe that 'deleting' a sent message doesn't remove it from the recipient's inbox. Usuaully PMs don't show up as conversations as it's more a message exchange type format. Facebook however, I can't remember if you can actually delete a conversation. (as opposed to functionally hiding it from your view). Ultimately, I don't think it should be possible for one person to delete a whole conversation. Now, if one person 'hides' (or deletes, by label) a conversation, and all other participants do the same, then it could be wiped form the system. But I think if there's a 'delete' option, it really is just a 'hide' from the system perspective, until it has no more context.

At the same time though, it would also be comforting to know that you retain control so you can delete your own message(s) completely.

...yeah actually I'm not sure really where I stand on what a 'delete' option should do.

 

3. Unread messages - The unread message count should definitely be clearly visible on the website. And I don't mean a white on green number outline in the far right border of the website header that is so far away from main vision that it's easy to miss, or have scrolled off the browser edge if the window isn't wide enough on any page. I mean use the generally accepted scheme of bright red dot with a bold, contrasting number in it.

 

Perhaps as well, if a message/conversation remains unread for a few days or a week, send an automated reminder EMAIL that the user has unread messages. At worst, if they intend to ignore them, then there can (should) be a 'Mark all as read' option.

 

4. Opt-out the MC - Why? Just ignore it. Ideally, some of the things I mention here should make it easier or smoother for people to indirectly 'opt out' by pretending it doesn't exist. But if it's there for all users, it should not be turned off for some.

 

I've never understood the "I don't like... I'll never use... So it shouldn't exist" mentality. At best, an argument could be made for development resources being put to good use elsewhere, but even then it's no tangible loss, even presuming there is actually only one development resource being put to use at any one time :P

 

So, opt-out of the message center? No.

But options to make it as transparent as possible for users if they so desire? Yes, I'd say that should be doable.

* forward messages as emails per the existing system (message content in notification emails) - these shouldn't mark the conversation as read however

* allow replying by email to participate in the conversation (or provide a link to the page on which to send the response)

* clear and bright unread message count badge on every page of the website

* periodic reminder email of unread messages, including a brief summary of the conversations' senders and last message datestamp, if not including more conversation content

 

5. User blocking - Yes! At any time, not just after receiving a message. This should be a transparent effect too - equivalent to an automated ignore. No notifications received for new messages from a blocked user, and conversations are hidden. Blocked user doesn't know they're blocked. Incoming messages are still treated as normal in the chance the blocker unblocks the user (unhides all past correspondance). The blocked user could be left not knowing if the receipient has 'seen' the message(s).

 

One of the advantages of email is that it doesn't rely on the recipient logging in (or using the app). But that works only if the recipient has a validated email address, and one of the possible advantages of the message center is that it doesn't rely on the recipient having a validated email address.

I admit I don't really have any idea whether the numbers would back me up, but my guess is that anyone without a validated e-mail address is as unlikely to check their gc messages as to correct their e-mail address.

Ironically enough, one of the biggest suggestions in the topic of contacting unvalidated-email users was an on-site messaging system. And that's what we've got. Now we're seeing comments that a problem with the messaging service is that people without a valid email may not use the website so won't get the messages...? If there's a user like that, then there is no hope, apart from validating email addresses. While I still firmly believe ALL emails should be validated before being able to do anything on the site (even mobile users), I just find it ironic this circle in the argument :)

 

If the message center was built into the mobile app, that might be the quickest way for a user to receive a message. Many users might not log onto the web site often, or log onto an account to check their email but mobile apps can allow notifications with an audible alert and users could then get notifications of message almost anywhere.

 

Suppose GS integrated the message center with their instant notification feature and into the mobile app. Now, whenever a new cache was published in a users notification area they'd get an almost instant alert.

See THIS is a big benefit. (for those with smartphones).

If one of the senders is the GS notification system, then you could have a 'conversation' where one of notification system options is to send a MC alert. Then if you have push notifications on with your app, you actually would get immediate notification. That would be a huge draw, imo.

 

And see, there's the problem right there. There are many different apps, with different feature sets that appeal to different users, and many people who don't even use apps at all. Some may not even have a phone which can run your app. Having a choice of interfaces is good. The API is (generally) a Good Thing.

 

But Groundspeak seems to only care about those who use their own apps, or browsers on mobile devices, and everyone else is a second class citizen. The recent website releases are testament to this.

heh, you realize you're making an argument that because there are 3rd party apps that compete with their own, they shouldn't offer any features to encourage people to buy and use their own? :)

 

That said, yes I'd love to see the MC, if it's integrated into the official app, have API hooks to allow 3rd party apps to also make use of the in-app messaging. But I think jumping to them considering people who use other apps "second class citizens" is pretty off the mark. They want people, justifiably, to use their app. Even though (afaik) on iOS it's the most expensive and not really the most feature rich at this point :P

Personally, if they actually integrated push notifications in app (not sms alerts or email), then I'd make use of it again.

 

Thanks also, seandynamite for chiming in this thread :)

Edited by thebruce0

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Nope! This page will continue to exist for the foreseeable future and is the best way to contact your local Community Volunteer Reviewer. However, we hope that you’ll find the Message Center to be the best way to communicate with your fellow geocachers!"

 

Respectfully, as the owner of just 3 earthcaches (yeah, we're lightweights :)), if we can't opt out of the new system, there would now be three places I'd have to search for verification answers:

 

1. New message system - e-mail notification followed by log-in to site and no ability to save the message.

2. Old message system - just read the e-mail, reply if cacher enabled it, save message as desired.

3. PM - yeah, someone did that - said in their cache log that they PM'd the answers. I never did find any message, so either I didn't look in the right place or they never answered. I got frustrated looking, so just let their found it log stand.

 

Add in the frustration of cachers with unvalidated e-mail addresses who log it as found without sending the answers and I'm just about ready to give up on owning EC's. In the release notes thread, someone asked for an explanation of how this new message system actually makes it EASIER for EC and virt owners. Can someone explain that?

 

Mrs. Car54

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I've never understood the "I don't like... I'll never use... So it shouldn't exist" mentality.

If I ignore the message system, messages sent to me are lost. If the message system doesn't exist, people contact me through e-mail.

 

At best, an argument could be made for development resources being put to good use elsewhere, but even then it's no tangible loss, even presuming there is actually only one development resource being put to use at any one time :P

I have no idea what you're thinking here. Yes, people are arguing that other changes should have higher priority. That has nothing to do with how many development resources are available. But having said that, I wouldn't make that argument here because I see the message system having no advantages and some disadvantages, so I consider it a negative even if there are unused development resources available to implement it.

 

Ironically enough, one of the biggest suggestions in the topic of contacting unvalidated-email users was an on-site messaging system. And that's what we've got.

I don't know what's ironic about that, but I still claim that people are confused when they think someone not interested enough to validate their e-mail address will, instead, spend significantly more effort to come to GC.com regularly in order to check their messages. Indeed, my guess would be that 95% of people with unvalidated e-mail addresses have never been back to GC.com since setting up their account. People thinking a GC.com message facility will solve this problem just aren't really thinking it through far enough.

 

Despite your advice, I probably won't be able to ignore the message center because I want to see what people send me. These people will ignore the message center because they don't want to see what people send them.

 

Suppose GS integrated the message center with their instant notification feature and into the mobile app. Now, whenever a new cache was published in a users notification area they'd get an almost instant alert.

See THIS is a big benefit. (for those with smartphones).

If one of the senders is the GS notification system, then you could have a 'conversation' where one of notification system options is to send a MC alert. Then if you have push notifications on with your app, you actually would get immediate notification. That would be a huge draw, imo.

It would help me a lot for you to explain why this would be even slightly better than the current system that sends a publication notification via e-mail to your smartphone. You're acting like there's an advantage to setting up a second path to get information that you can already get without this feature, but all I see is more work just to get into a position where I have to check yet another place for incoming communications.

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4. Opt-out the MC - Why? Just ignore it. Ideally, some of the things I mention here should make it easier or smoother for people to indirectly 'opt out' by pretending it doesn't exist. But if it's there for all users, it should not be turned off for some.

 

The issue with owners of ECs, virtuals and other caches that involve a lot of messages is that the cache owners cannot decide on the manner they are contacted.

 

With the current system I would end up with 3 and more separate messages instead of a single e-mail I get right now. Filing and organizing these messages even when they are forwarded to the mail folder gets much more annoying.

 

I wonder if owners of ECs and virtuals could at least insist on e-mail being used for contact and deny to act on the basis of messages sent via the MC.

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yowza dprovan, you sure pulled a bunch of negatives from my post to criticize... dry.gif Let's see...

 

If I ignore the message system, messages sent to me are lost. If the message system doesn't exist, people contact me through e-mail.

Thus everything else I wrote about email notifications so email communication would not change.

 

Yes, people are arguing that other changes should have higher priority. That has nothing to do with how many development resources are available. But having said that, I wouldn't make that argument here because I see the message system having no advantages and some disadvantages, so I consider it a negative even if there are unused development resources available to implement it.

I really don't want to respond to this in detail, because once again it's a one-sided comment, but I will. Yes, there are definitely advantages, just maybe not for you. In that case, it's not unexpected you'd consider the feature negative. That's fine. But to say it has no advantages - objectively - is wrong.

My comment was a bigger picture thing - musing, merely, that people had suggested an on-site messaging system as one way to contact people with unvalidated emails who couldn't be contacted by email; which was now followed by criticism of the on-site messaging system in that users who don't have a validated email probably won't use or know about the it.

As for the 'one' development resource comment, one answer to the complaint about using resources elsewhere is that those community suggestions can indeed be worked on while new features are being developed, with no tangible loss on our end, even though the perception is that many new features being released with (seemingly) little attention paid to suggestions if any.

Anyway, these points in my comment were just in passing, and the rest of my comment was about the messaging center feature, so to remain on topic I'll refrain from commenting more about Groundspeak's general development process.

 

my guess would be that 95% of people with unvalidated e-mail addresses have never been back to GC.com since setting up their account. People thinking a GC.com message facility will solve this problem just aren't really thinking it through far enough.

I don't disagree. My point was only that the message center was a suggestion for that issue, now we have it, and it's no longer a feasible solution. I merely found that ironic :P That's it.

 

Despite your advice, I probably won't be able to ignore the message center because I want to see what people send me. These people will ignore the message center because they don't want to see what people send them.

Sure. But there's no hope for them :P See also my points about how to make it so that people wouldn't have to use the MC on the web as it was intended, without leaving communication holes.

1. People who ignore the MC - see suggestions above to make it transparent and incorporated into the current emailing system

2. Unvalidated email users - if they don't use the MC, there's no hope for guaranteed contact with them anyway outside GS requiring validated emails for any web use.

My intent was to suggest/support ways that this new feature could be incorporated into the existing one so that it still remains feasible to use for all users, directly or indirectly.

 

It would help me a lot for you to explain why this would be even slightly better than the current system that sends a publication notification via e-mail to your smartphone. You're acting like there's an advantage to setting up a second path to get information that you can already get without this feature, but all I see is more work just to get into a position where I have to check yet another place for incoming communications.

Yes, there is, for those who want immediate notifications. That's the whole point of push notifications. If you don't want immediate notifications, then it's no tangible loss for you if they're created.

Depending on your device or OS, you may have to pull some strings to mimick actual live, push notifications (Not every mobile setup gives you actual push notifications of new incoming email messages). So if emails were the answer to that, then push notifications systems wouldn't exist - developers would just use emails. But we have the technical ability for mobile live push notifications for a reason - developers can make use of them without having to resort to the variety of email implementations that don't guarantee live immediate alerts.

So, someone who wants that, can toggle it in their notification settings, so that the app will, as soon as an alert is pushed, notify the device holder, without resorting to email. Advantage. For them. Maybe not for you.

 

Push notifications in the official app would be beneficial for live communication with other geocachers if they have access to *a* message center (on web or in app), and for actual live notifications if desired applied to the existing notifiications system.

 

Just suggestions, as message center features. (that's what this thread's about, right? :ph34r::laughing: )

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4. Opt-out the MC - Why? Just ignore it. Ideally, some of the things I mention here should make it easier or smoother for people to indirectly 'opt out' by pretending it doesn't exist. But if it's there for all users, it should not be turned off for some.

 

The issue with owners of ECs, virtuals and other caches that involve a lot of messages is that the cache owners cannot decide on the manner they are contacted.

 

With the current system I would end up with 3 and more separate messages instead of a single e-mail I get right now. Filing and organizing these messages even when they are forwarded to the mail folder gets much more annoying.

 

I wonder if owners of ECs and virtuals could at least insist on e-mail being used for contact and deny to act on the basis of messages sent via the MC.

 

Well, per my other points, in the context of EC/Virtual owners, then people would have two ways of contacting an EC owner:

 

1) Send an email. Current method. Owners get the email, free and open text, no incorporated reference to the cache listing that's relevant (only if the sender remembers to make reference to it). If the sender's email address isn't included, there's still a link to reply via their web profile which sends an email to that user (if they have a validated email).

 

2) Message center: Send a private message. Proposed (heavily, in pretty much every thread about the MC): Email notification contains the message in full. It appears that incorporating the related cache reference is in development, so the email the CO receives contains the message and a guaranteed reference to the relevant cache (at this point, the effect is the same as in #1, but including the cache reference). Then -

 

Option A] If no email reply is made possible with the MC, then there's still a link to reply to the conversation via web which sends a message to that user in the same manner as they sent it to the CO (for #1 it's the email via profile link, for #2 it's the conversation via the MC; repeat favoured communication steps as desired).

Option B] If email reply is made possible with the MC, then an email reply will always be available, so the CO can reply easily and the recipient will be notified by their desired communication method - whether by MC message, or through the email notification - because the reply the MC receives by email will be added to that conversation as a new message, followed by email notification to that user. Repeat favoured communication steps as desired.

 

So in this case, if the CO only communicates by email and the cacher uses the message center, both can interact without any difference in their process.

You can exclusively use email exchanges if you so desire, and they can send messages exclusively by web interface if they so desire -- with or without a validated email address.

 

To me, incorporating the MC with the email system then has numerous advantages for EC/Virtual owners, including 1) source geocache reference always included, 2) people who like and use the MC won't be left in the cold when communicating with people who hate it or ignore it, 3) people who hate it or ignore it won't be left unknowingly with unread messages as they'll receive them all by email as usual, 4) people using email for EC/Virtual correspondence won't have any of their process altered.

The only drawback I currently see is the 1000 character limit, but it sounds like they're (hopefully) working to increase that eventually.

Edited by thebruce0

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2) Message center: Send a private message. Proposed (heavily, in pretty much every thread about the MC): Email notification contains the message in full. It appears that incorporating the related cache reference is in development, so the email the CO receives contains the message and a guaranteed reference to the relevant cache (at this point, the effect is the same as in #1, but including the cache reference).

 

With the current 1000 char limit, it would not be one message per cache.

 

My caches are unique - I always know about which cache people talk about when they send me a mail with answers/request for a check-up/help.

 

Option A] If no email reply is made possible with the MC, then there's still a link to reply to the conversation via web which sends a message to that user in the same manner as they sent it to the CO (for #1 it's the email via profile link, for #2 it's the conversation via the MC; repeat favoured communication steps as desired).

 

When using e-mail I can keep my replies in a suitable e-mail folder if I want to do so, and I'm also not limited to any length restriction.

I organize my mails cache-wise and not cacher-wise. The MC follows a completely different type of concept and that also makes the reviewers prefer e-mail.

 

 

Option B] If email reply is made possible with the MC, then an email reply will always be available, so the CO can reply easily and the recipient will be notified by their desired communication method - whether by MC message, or through the email notification - because the reply the MC receives by email will be added to that conversation as a new message, followed by email notification to that user. Repeat favoured communication steps as desired.

 

I cannot think how that should work. I prefer to have my sent messages in my out boxes. I'm the sender and not Groundspeak the sender and I'm the recipient.

My mail system works text based and not with this annoying html Groundspeak messages use.

 

 

, 3) people who hate it or ignore it won't be left unknowingly with unread messages as they'll receive them all by email as usual,

 

Not necessarily true. Under certain circumstances no notifications are sent out at all.

 

The only drawback I currently see is the 1000 character limit, but it sounds like they're (hopefully) working to increase that eventually.

 

I do not have big hopes that the limit will be increased to the current 5000 chars and even now I'm also using e-mail directly whenever I have the address and do not go the slow and unpractical way

via Groundspeak's server.

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With the current 1000 char limit, it would not be one message per cache.

Yes, that's why I said "but it sounds like they're (hopefully) working to increase that eventually. "

 

When using e-mail I can keep my replies in a suitable e-mail folder if I want to do so, and I'm also not limited to any length restriction.

I organize my mails cache-wise and not cacher-wise. The MC follows a completely different type of concept and that also makes the reviewers prefer e-mail.

Yes, that's why I made the point about email notifications containing the full message sent in the MC. No change for you.

 

I cannot think how that should work. I prefer to have my sent messages in my out boxes. I'm the sender and not Groundspeak the sender and I'm the recipient.

Yes, that's why I echoed the point about making the notifications repliable (if that's even a word). You reply by email. You're done. Recipient gets the message by MC, or via email notification just as you did. Which is irrelevant to you, because any response they make you'll also get by email.

 

Not necessarily true. Under certain circumstances no notifications are sent out at all.

Yes, this is why I made the point about the option for immediate or digest notifications. This presumes any notification delays or lack of notification would be 'fixed' (especially if mobile app push notifications were implemented).

Since I didn't say that explicitly, here:

 

I'd suggest that the 15 minute buffer (or whatever length) delay of new message notifications be removed, made optional, or at least that all messages sent within that period be grouped and included within the email notification. If message content is to be included in the email notification of new messages, then no message sent to a conversation should be skipped.

For example, if someone sends 3 messages right after each other, the recipient should not get only one email notification with the most recent message content - the email notification should contain all unread message content. Whether it's one long message (currently up to 1000 characters), or multiple messages sent within the 15 minute (or whatever length) buffer period*.

Also dependent on whether they have immediate or digest mode set.

 

* Hey for now, this also means that if you want to send a 5000 character message and the limit is 1000, you can send it as 5 messages in quick succession and the recipient would get only one email notification containing the entire message :P (yes, this is not an optimal solution, I just made the comment for fun, even though it would be a possibility)

Edited by thebruce0

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Yes, that's why I made the point about email notifications containing the full message sent in the MC. No change for you.

 

Has there been ANY indication whatsoever that Groundspeak is willing to accept this suggestion? If not, then Cezanne's and my concerns about EC's and virts are valid.

 

Mrs. Car54

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With the current 1000 char limit, it would not be one message per cache.

Yes, that's why I said "but it sounds like they're (hopefully) working to increase that eventually. "

 

My hope that they will increase the limit to at least 5000 is very small.

 

When using e-mail I can keep my replies in a suitable e-mail folder if I want to do so, and I'm also not limited to any length restriction.

I organize my mails cache-wise and not cacher-wise. The MC follows a completely different type of concept and that also makes the reviewers prefer e-mail.

Yes, that's why I made the point about email notifications containing the full message sent in the MC. No change for you.

 

First if I receive 3-4 messages in the MC to replace one e-mail, I would in any case end up with 4 mails instead of one. Moreover, I would still not be able to handle my

replies in a convenient manner (quoting etc).

 

Not necessarily true. Under certain circumstances no notifications are sent out at all.

Yes, this is why I made the point about the option for immediate or digest notifications. This presumes any notification delays or lack of notification would be 'fixed' (especially if mobile app push notifications were implemented).

Since I didn't say that explicitly, here:

 

It appears to me that not sending out notification if someone has had a communication within a certain period (30 minutes ?) is a choice of design and not a big to be fixed.

That's not an issue of immediate vs digest notification. Right now the system on purpose does not send out any notification at all under certain conditions chosen by the designers.

 

I'd suggest that the 15 minute buffer (or whatever length) delay of new message notifications be removed, made optional, or at least that all messages sent within that period be grouped and included within the email notification. If message content is to be included in the email notification of new messages, then no message sent to a conversation should be skipped.

For example, if someone sends 3 messages right after each other, the recipient should not get only one email notification with the most recent message content - the email notification should contain all unread message content. Whether it's one long message (currently up to 1000 characters), or multiple messages sent within the 15 minute (or whatever length) buffer period*.

Also dependent on whether they have immediate or digest mode set.

 

That could work but I do not believe that this is what the development team has in mind.

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Yes, that's why I made the point about email notifications containing the full message sent in the MC. No change for you.

Has there been ANY indication whatsoever that Groundspeak is willing to accept this suggestion? If not, then Cezanne's and my concerns about EC's and virts are valid.

...I didn't say they were invalid.

I supported the suggestion that full email content of any/all new (unread) messages be included in the notification. *confused*

If not in this thread, then I don't know if GS is entertaining this suggestion. But at least the suggestion is out there.

 

First if I receive 3-4 messages in the MC to replace one e-mail, I would in any case end up with 4 mails instead of one.
It appears to me that not sending out notification if someone has had a communication within a certain period (30 minutes ?) is a choice of design and not a big to be fixed.

...dry.gif this is why I said:

I'd suggest that the 15 minute buffer (or whatever length) delay of new message notifications be removed, made optional, or at least that all messages sent within that period be grouped and included within the email notification. If message content is to be included in the email notification of new messages, then no message sent to a conversation should be skipped.

For example, if someone sends 3 messages right after each other, the recipient should not get only one email notification with the most recent message content - the email notification should contain all unread message content. Whether it's one long message (currently up to 1000 characters), or multiple messages sent within the 15 minute (or whatever length) buffer period*.

Also dependent on whether they have immediate or digest mode set.

 

As it currently stands, yes, it's a design choice. This is why I suggested the change, as requoted above.

 

That could work but I do not believe that this is what the development team has in mind.

Ok. That's why it's a suggestion.

Have as little hope as you like, but suggestions go farther towards change than just expressing lack of hope.

 

:anibad:

Edited by thebruce0

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Thus everything else I wrote about email notifications so email communication would not change.

So basically you're presuming they'll do a hundred things that will, eventually, bring the message system up to what's currently available in the e-mail system. And then I can ignore it.

 

I don't disagree. My point was only that the message center was a suggestion for that issue, now we have it, and it's no longer a feasible solution. I merely found that ironic :P That's it.

OK. I guess I don't find people being illogical to be ironic, so that's why I was confused.

 

Just suggestions, as message center features. (that's what this thread's about, right? :ph34r::laughing: )

Well, no, actually. It's about gripes and questions, which is why I took your note to be an attempt to repudiate the gripes.

 

2) Message center: Send a private message. Proposed (heavily, in pretty much every thread about the MC): Email notification contains the message in full. It appears that incorporating the related cache reference is in development, so the email the CO receives contains the message and a guaranteed reference to the relevant cache (at this point, the effect is the same as in #1, but including the cache reference).

One of the things I'm most worried about is that they're so enamored with their new child that they'll add such features to it instead of adding them to the e-mail system where they'd be even more useful to everyone today. It would be at least as easy, if not easier, to add a feature to send e-mail with cache references, but at this point, making e-mail more useful goes against the program.

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With the current 1000 char limit, it would not be one message per cache.

Yes, that's why I said "but it sounds like they're (hopefully) working to increase that eventually. "

 

My hope that they will increase the limit to at least 5000 is very small.

 

 

I've got an idea. Maybe they could increase the limit for Premium members to 5000 but leave it at 1000 for basic members. ph34r.gif

 

As I suggested before, if you want the character limit increased from 1000 they you'll need convince GS that the 1000 limit is inadequate for a significant number of messages.

 

 

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Just suggestions, as message center features. (that's what this thread's about, right? :ph34r::laughing: )

Well, no, actually. It's about gripes and questions, which is why I took your note to be an attempt to repudiate the gripes.

True. Good point. I was hoping it would be a more positive thread, but the subtext is indeed "gripes and questions", not "suggestions and answers" :laughing:

 

So basically you're presuming they'll do a hundred things that will, eventually, bring the message system up to what's currently available in the e-mail system. And then I can ignore it.

Presuming? No. Suggesting. Prodding. Thinking aloud and hoping.

So you can ignore it? Sure, if you like. And others can make excessive use of it without affecting you. *fingers crossed*

 

2) Message center: Send a private message. Proposed (heavily, in pretty much every thread about the MC): Email notification contains the message in full. It appears that incorporating the related cache reference is in development, so the email the CO receives contains the message and a guaranteed reference to the relevant cache (at this point, the effect is the same as in #1, but including the cache reference).

One of the things I'm most worried about is that they're so enamored with their new child that they'll add such features to it instead of adding them to the e-mail system where they'd be even more useful to everyone today. It would be at least as easy, if not easier, to add a feature to send e-mail with cache references, but at this point, making e-mail more useful goes against the program.

 

The way I see it, bringing the two together as I was brainstorming is an attempt at improving the communication system as a whole. It provides choice by improving the email communication and introducing messaging, by overlapping features that benefit both without detracting from either.

Ideas, just ideas.

Edited by thebruce0

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I've got an idea. Maybe they could increase the limit for Premium members to 5000 but leave it at 1000 for basic members. ph34r.gif

 

Actually, as it is about other people sending messages to me (I would not use the message center anyway) my member status is completely irrelevant.

 

I would prefer a simple opt-out of the MC about whatever changes to the MC.

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The way I see it, bringing the two together as I was brainstorming is an attempt at improving the communication system as a whole.

I'd be far less concerned if this was an attempt to add new features -- such as the immediate notifications you think would be useful -- to the existing e-mail system. That's not what I see happened.

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In this case there's more than just the potential for immediate notifications being added to the system. That suggestion would sit in between the email system and the messaging system, benefiting both, and making it much easier to have both work alongside each other. ie, if the MC must be developed and released, then this would be a step towards not making it a huge pain for those who hate it or would ignore it. (in addition to the added benefits of instant notifications that many would appreciate ;) )

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4. Opt-out the MC - Why? Just ignore it. Ideally, some of the things I mention here should make it easier or smoother for people to indirectly 'opt out' by pretending it doesn't exist. But if it's there for all users, it should not be turned off for some.

I can't "just ignore it". If someone sends me a message, they are reasonably entitled to a reply. So the first time I realise I want to opt out, is when someone sends me a message. If I ignore it, they will think I'm very rude. I have to log in and send them "Please use e-mail rather than the MC to contact me". I have to do that for every individual who contacts me.

 

I offer a free Wherigo builder (see the Wherigo forums for details). People send me requests for accounts via e-mail, and I keep those neatly filed away so I can search them in 1 or 3 or 5 years time. If they send me MC messages, I've got two places to file those messages, and I can't search one of them.

 

Hopefully, the integration with the Friends feature will included the same level of opt-out ("Sorry, this user is not currently accepting Friend requests, and since he is only accepting MC messages from Friends, you can't send him an MC message either").

 

I'm sure it's a great feature for people who grew up with IM and social media, but I've been using e-mail since 1979 and it suits me just fine. The introduction of a new feature should have the smallest possible impact on people who don't want it, and right now MC does not meet that standard, in my opinion.

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Here are my concerns about the new messaging center

- as EC owner, I find it already tedious when I got e-mails with answers where the logger didn't (want to) share their e-mail address. The MC will make it even a more tedious.

- performance wise, the MC will put even a more (i.m.o. unnecessary) burden on the servers which suffer a lot lately apparently

- privacy wise, all communication resides on Groundspeak servers. One never knows what one will (ever) do with that. On top one can use this content for commercial use without our consent (e.g. Facebook does).

I don't wanna sound paranoic, but there is also the Patriot Act and the notorious section 215, which I - as non US citizen - don't wanna applied simply because of the MC resides in the US. I wonder how the German law looks at this matter btw.

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1. Email notifications - These should definitely be improved. Provide the option for immediate or digest. Primarily: provide a way to treat the MC as an email communication tool for those who don't want it or don't want to use it. If someone sends a message to a user who doesn't check the MC, the worst is for it to remain there unchecked unbeknownst to anyone. Email notifications for new messages without the content would go ignored by such people too. So treat a new message like an existing communication. Include the message in the email.

Yes, this.

 

Better though would be to allow replying to the message email and inserting the reply as a response in the conversation (as described in a previous comment here, can't remember which post #).

This would be good too.

 

4. Opt-out the MC - Why? Just ignore it. Ideally, some of the things I mention here should make it easier or smoother for people to indirectly 'opt out' by pretending it doesn't exist. But if it's there for all users, it should not be turned off for some.

If it's the only way for another user to contact me, then I cannot ignore it. It becomes yet another place where I need to go for communcation. I have enough already, thanks.

 

Now, if it merely serves as an archive for messages that pass through it both ways via email then I can live with that. It'll just waste the Frog's storage, to no detriment to me.

 

If messages in the MC don't go any further (as it is now) and I must use the MC to respond, then no, thank you, I would like to opt out of that and ensure that others can actually contact me via other means.

 

I've never understood the "I don't like... I'll never use... So it shouldn't exist" mentality. At best, an argument could be made for development resources being put to good use elsewhere, but even then it's no tangible loss, even presuming there is actually only one development resource being put to use at any one time :P

I'm not saying it shouldn't exist. Yes, I do think resources should be used first and foremost to fix long-standing problems that have been... unaddressed.. but that's not my point here. I'm saying that I shouldn't be forced into changing the way I communicate with other cachers to accomodate a gimmicky feature that doesn't solve any problem I currently have.

 

If it exists but it's optional, or it's transparent to those of us who don't want to use it, and we can still communicate via email as we do today, great. I'm happy with that. If it results in a comms black hole, then no, not happy.

 

But options to make it as transparent as possible for users if they so desire? Yes, I'd say that should be doable.

I'll accept that. If I can communicate with you, and you can communicate with me, without me having to log into the Message Centre, then I have no gripe. You can use the MC or not, as you like, as long as I am not forced to use it myself.

 

* clear and bright unread message count badge on every page of the website

This touches on another flaw in the MC. It's generally understood (I think) that, these days, many cachers simply do not even visit the website at all. They do everything from ${app}. They therefore won't even know there are messages waiting... unless they receive an email.. at which point the MC has already proved redundant.

 

I wonder, is one of the aims here to bring eyeballs back to the website, given its slow decline in relevance?

 

But Groundspeak seems to only care about those who use their own apps, or browsers on mobile devices, and everyone else is a second class citizen. The recent website releases are testament to this.

heh, you realize you're making an argument that because there are 3rd party apps that compete with their own, they shouldn't offer any features to encourage people to buy and use their own? :)

Not what I was driving at, but I'll accept that it did kinda come across that way. My point was more that tying a fundamental feature (user-to-user communication) to their own app cuts off communication (or at least degrades it) for those who don't use said app. Adding features is cool, effectively crippling users of other apps (and non-app users) is not.

 

But that's all conjecture, anyway. Who knows what the app integration will be?

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4. Opt-out the MC - Why? Just ignore it. Ideally, some of the things I mention here should make it easier or smoother for people to indirectly 'opt out' by pretending it doesn't exist. But if it's there for all users, it should not be turned off for some.

I can't "just ignore it".

Also

If it's the only way for another user to contact me, then I cannot ignore it. It becomes yet another place where I need to go for communcation. I have enough already, thanks.

 

Now, if it merely serves as an archive for messages that pass through it both ways via email then I can live with that. It'll just waste the Frog's storage, to no detriment to me.

 

If messages in the MC don't go any further (as it is now) and I must use the MC to respond, then no, thank you, I would like to opt out of that and ensure that others can actually contact me via other means.

Note the rest of my comment!

 

Yes, it's clear that ignoring the MC as it stands means there will be communication holes. That's why the rest of the comment and suggestions I made.

 

I'm saying that I shouldn't be forced into changing the way I communicate with other cachers to accomodate a gimmicky feature that doesn't solve any problem I currently have.

For the most part, I agree. In the context of this messaging center, I certainly agree, and as it stands the MC will cause communication problems, because guaranteed there will be people will avoid it at all costs (which I don't get, but understand that it'll happen)

 

If it exists but it's optional, or it's transparent to those of us who don't want to use it, and we can still communicate via email as we do today, great. I'm happy with that. If it results in a comms black hole, then no, not happy.

Yup

 

I'll accept that. If I can communicate with you, and you can communicate with me, without me having to log into the Message Centre, then I have no gripe. You can use the MC or not, as you like, as long as I am not forced to use it myself.

That was the goal of my suggestion, yes.

Because as it stands, there will holes if people ignore or hate it.

 

So

1. Include (all unread) message content in new notifications, and 2. allow replying by email to add to the conversation (and send out notifications as usual to other recipients), if not then 2b. Include the direct link in the email to reply to the message by MC (just as does the current email link to reply by profile message when the email address is kept private)

 

This touches on another flaw in the MC. It's generally understood (I think) that, these days, many cachers simply do not even visit the website at all. They do everything from ${app}. They therefore won't even know there are messages waiting... unless they receive an email.. at which point the MC has already proved redundant.

 

I wonder, is one of the aims here to bring eyeballs back to the website, given its slow decline in relevance?

I think it's been hinted that the MC is coming to the official mobile app. (thus the comments about providing push notifications for new messages)

 

tying a fundamental feature (user-to-user communication) to their own app cuts off communication (or at least degrades it) for those who don't use said app. Adding features is cool, effectively crippling users of other apps (and non-app users) is not.

 

But that's all conjecture, anyway. Who knows what the app integration will be?

*please please please* API integration if going mobile, so that other app developers can integrate it in their app...

 

Additionally, 'degrades' is a matter of perspective. If everything that's needed is integrated in the website, then adding limited (official) mobile app support isn't a degredation for anyone as long as the website continues to handle everything properly. It feels like a degradation because if you use a 3rd party app and you expect the same integration features to be available as the official app, then you feel crippled. But really you're not. You're just using a competitor's product. But then it gets into more ethics of control and business practice. I don't think there's really a danger of antitrust issues coming into play :P but it feels like an amount of unfair competition if the official mobile app is a separate product with an advantage over its competition. Don't let the official app become the next Internet Explorer with exclusive hooks not available to other browsers! Free the message center! A.P.I.! A.P.I.!:laughing:

Edited by thebruce0

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I'm not even going to pretend that I'm clear on what this is beyond an equivalent to the messaging center here in the forums...and I haven't read through every comment.

 

I would like to see integration with logs, meaning one could, while filling out a log on a virtual or an earthcache, also put in a comment (answers to the questions/requirements) to the CO in a separate field that would route directly through the messaging center. Down with writing separate emails!

Edited by J Grouchy

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I would like to see integration with logs, meaning one could, while filling out a log on a virtual or an earthcache, also put in a comment (answers to the questions/requirements) to the CO in a separate field that would route directly through the messaging center. Down with writing separate emails!

 

I just do not think that there will be many EC owners (the same holds for more complex virtuals) that will support the request. They wish to receive the answers by e-mail and will want to reply my e-mail (in my personal case, I also prefer by far to send my reply outside of gc.com allowing me in some cases to add extra text I never ever would want to send via gc.com).

 

ECs depend on their owners. Their preferences count more than the preferences of those who just want to log ECs.

Edited by cezanne

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I would like to see integration with logs, meaning one could, while filling out a log on a virtual or an earthcache, also put in a comment (answers to the questions/requirements) to the CO in a separate field that would route directly through the messaging center. Down with writing separate emails!

 

I just do not think that there will be many EC owners (the same holds for more complex virtuals) that will support the request. They wish to receive the answers by e-mail and will want to reply my e-mail (in my personal case, I also prefer by far to send my reply outside of gc.com allowing me in some cases to add extra text I never ever would want to send via gc.com).

 

ECs depend on their owners. Their preferences count more than the preferences of those who just want to log ECs.

 

I don't really understand this. So two emails come through, one from geocaching.com for the log and one from a cacher that the CO then has to match up with the log. Why not just have one email come through showing both the log for the cache and the message from the cacher? How are two separate email from two separate places preferable to one?

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I would like to see integration with logs, meaning one could, while filling out a log on a virtual or an earthcache, also put in a comment (answers to the questions/requirements) to the CO in a separate field that would route directly through the messaging center.

Better would be that those answers be routed directly through e-mail.

 

Personally, I see little advantage to combining logging with answering since they're two distinct operations, but I agree answering should be made as easy as logging. I just don't agree that the message center is an interesting component of such an improvement.

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I could see there being a benefit to providing the ability to send answers and log at the same time, but very little... I'd guess that most users don't actually do it at the same time, whether by choice or the fact that they use different methods for logging. Field notes, gsak, mobile; with those (among others likely as well) straightforward web logging of earthcache/virtual finds I'd guess is pretty rare.

 

Actually field notes are sort of irrelevant, since the compose link goes to the log page which presumably is where you'd see the ability to send answers. *shrug*

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I don't really understand this. So two emails come through, one from geocaching.com for the log and one from a cacher that the CO then has to match up with the log. Why not just have one email come through showing both the log for the cache and the message from the cacher? How are two separate email from two separate places preferable to one?

 

First, currently the MC only sends a mail saying that a message arrived (if at all), the message is not provided. Second, the length is restricted to 1000 chars implying that one will have to look at more than one message.

 

Third, I'm owning a virtual - people log after receiving my ok and not before and also not at the same time anyway. I do not keep the log notifications, but I keep many of the answer mails or check-up requests for my mystery caches.

 

Fourth, I sometimes combine private messages with replying to some request. I do not want to go those through a Groundspeak system at all.

Fifth, I do not want to provide Groundspeak with a means to control when and if I reply to certain mails by cachers.

 

I never answered Earthcaches questions that quickly that I could have sent them right away from the cache location not even if I owned a smartphone. I typically have to think over my answers - it's not something done in seconds.

Edited by cezanne

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Second, the length is restricted to 1000 chars implying that one will have to look at more than one message.

 

They will likely be concatenated in the MC so there is really only one message to look at.

 

Third, I'm owning a virtual - people log after receiving my ok and not before and also not at the same time anyway.

 

Not sure it's legit to do that. I email then log for virtuals. I don't wait for an ok.

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First, currently the MC only sends a mail saying that a message arrived (if at all), the message is not provided.

 

Hence my wish that it was more integrated into the system that delivers logs via email...the text of the logs DOES show in the email.

 

Second, the length is restricted to 1000 chars implying that one will have to look at more than one message.

 

Honestly, as much as I like the longer cache logs...one would be hard-pressed to find a reason to write over a 1000 character logs. Even so, no reason such a limit couldn't be increased with such an integration.

 

Third, I'm owning a virtual - people log after receiving my ok and not before and also not at the same time anyway. I do not keep the log notifications, but I keep many of the answer mails or check-up requests for my mystery caches.

 

Again...emails. No reason you couldn't still keep them. As for requiring an 'okay' from you before logging...as chilehead said, I doubt such a thing is allowed.

 

Fourth, I sometimes combine private messages with replying to some request. I do not want to go those through a Groundspeak system at all.

 

Nothing stopping you or others from going through the standard email channels for replies and other communications.

 

Fifth, I do not want to provide Groundspeak with a means to control when and if I reply to certain mails by cachers.

 

I don't even know what you're talking about here.

 

I never answered Earthcaches questions that quickly that I could have sent them right away from the cache location not even if I owned a smartphone. I typically have to think over my answers - it's not something done in seconds.

 

Who said anything about immediate logging or smartphones? Where did that statement even come from?

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I've read it all and thought about jumping in the middle but decided to read it all. I just got here tonight and am playing catch up, I hope the Lackeys are paying attention!! Most of this thread would not exist if the ability to Opt Out was available (in my opinion). The Virtual, and Earth Cache owners like the way it is going now because they can file and sort, why take that away from them?

 

Personally I just want to keep it simple, I do not need to get a email telling me to go log in so I can read something that could have been in the email!! I believe I recall 1 lackey commented that we could ignore the MC if we didn't want to use it. Let's back up, does Groundspeak want responsible cachers or not? I cant't hardly be a friendly and courteous cacher by just ignoring any incoming messages.

 

Give us a opt out or link it to email so we can receive the text and if we reply it goes back into message center from our email. What we had was not broken for 90% of the cachers, all that is happening is that now you are cramming extra steps down our throats, and encouraging phone cachers to not bother with a valid email address. (btw, wasn't that required when I signed up, pre app days).

 

I will try not to sound like a cranky condescending old grouch, but, Oh forget it! It's OK if the lackeys and newbies want there shiny new toy, just don't force it on the people who like the old toy!!

 

Give is a OPT OUT button!! please!

Edited by Biker64

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I just want to go on record as a supporter of the new Message Centre who is looking forward to promised updates and follow up on suggestions (quit rolling your eyes you guys!)

 

First priority: send the whole message in the notification email. This immediately solves the concerns of users who require the message management structure of proper email software. (And while you're at it, switch back to plain text messaging :D )

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First priority: send the whole message in the notification email. This immediately solves the concerns of users who require the message management structure of proper email software. (And while you're at it, switch back to plain text messaging :D )

This, plus proper handling of replies to the email notifications, would be perfectly sufficient for my needs, and I suspect most others who are otherwise negative toward the MC.

 

Yes, including the plain text criterion.

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Second, the length is restricted to 1000 chars implying that one will have to look at more than one message.

 

They will likely be concatenated in the MC so there is really only one message to look at.

 

They are not concatenated right now and how should the system know whether it's about different things or the same?

 

Third, I'm owning a virtual - people log after receiving my ok and not before and also not at the same time anyway.

 

Not sure it's legit to do that. I email then log for virtuals. I don't wait for an ok.

 

It might be questionable whether I would be allowed to delete a log if someone logged a log before I replied. That has never happened however. People wait because they are not sure that the answers are correct - the cache is not simple and more like an Earthcache with multiple stages but not dealing with geology.

 

Some preferred to work again on the cache when I told them they got some answers wrong out of their own ambition.

 

All this is certainly legitimate.

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