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BBWolf+3Pigs

New Message Center...

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I don't live in a cave, but I often have little reason to log onto the web site. That is now changed. Most, but not all, of the messages I have received are for logging requirements in regards to my earthcaches. As it stands now, I receive an email notifying me that I have a message, but cannot review the content or respond to it directly. It adds one more step to the process. And it makes it more difficult for me to determine which logger has sent the answers, and who had not. Until this is changed, the message center is simply an annoyance.

 

It is not something I would use to contact a friend, since we already exchange texts, phone calls, or email. So it simply adds one more needless layer. I wish I could opt out.

Edited by geodarts

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I don't live in a cave, but I often have little reason to log onto the web site. That is now changed. Most, but not all, of the messages I have received are for logging requirements in regards to my earthcaches. As it stands now, I receive an email notifying me that I have a message, but cannot review the content or respond to it directly. It adds one more step to the process. And it makes it more difficult for me to determine which logger has sent the answers, and who had not. Until this is changed, the message center is simply an annoyance.

What if the MC were streamlined? Have a form on the Earthcache page when logging a Find. Display that data in the log, viewable by the Cache Owner. While PM still exists, the log can arrive in email as always, including the content of the MC post. It looks no different than an ordinary log, but would seamlessly connect to MC. I'm guessing the MC text portion of the Earthcache log could also be in a Pocket Query, but haven't thought that through. The MC should be part of the site, not just a microscopic yellow icon. No “email” needed, and you visit the site to do things. If the problem is the difficulty in using the site as a whole (“Old broswers” or whatever), or especially the need to not even visit the site, that's a worthy discussion, but not really limited to an MC discussion.

 

It is not something I would use to contact a friend, since we already exchange texts, phone calls, or email. So it simply adds one more needless layer. I wish I could opt out.

You can "opt out" by posting your email address, add instructions to your Profile, then wait. Assuming both yours and his email is set up correctly, the cacher eventually would use your email. Or he may contact GS to get a log reinstated if he can't contact you via email and you've "opted out" of MC.

 

But you might use MC when PM fails. Especially when your email or the recipient's becomes messed up (whitelists, blacklists, much more). So you can't avoid needless layers regardless, in this case trying to deduce where the communication breakdown happened, and trying to get it working again. In its final version, MC would just work, no user settings required. For Earthcaches (MC being promoted as ideal for EC), someone can sign up today to test the Intro App and find an EC. And MC is in many cases the only way you could communicate with someone who just now loaded the App. When I bring up that point, my reply keeps getting cut up by the petulant so they can change the text and argue with their creative edit, unchallenged by forum Moderators. Awesome.

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You can "opt out" by posting your email address, add instructions to your Profile, then wait. Assuming both yours and his email is set up correctly, the cacher eventually would use your email. Or he may contact GS to get a log reinstated if he can't contact you via email and you've "opted out" of MC.

 

Not really. As long as the message center link is part of my profile, I suspect it will be used. It used to be a simple process. The earthcache page requested (as it still does) for people to email me through my profile with the logging answers. I got an email. I looked at the answers. In most cases, I could respond directly - some people choose to keep their email reply address hidden, but unless there was any need to contact them further, I assumed they did not want a confirmation or thanks.

 

Now I get half of my responses through the message center. I cannot see the message through my email. It requires me to go back into the Groundspeak site rather than respond directly. Instead of a relatively seamless process, it has become more cumbersome and definitely more annoying.

 

The only other time that someone has used the message center was to contact me for help setting up an iphone to transfer files directly to the gpsr. That again required me to go back to the Groundspeak site to see the message and respond to it.

 

The only reason I can see for a message center is to make it easier to get messages and reply to them. So far, the system employed does the exact opposite of that.

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But you might use MC when PM fails. Especially when your email or the recipient's becomes messed up (whitelists, blacklists, much more). So you can't avoid needless layers regardless, in this case trying to deduce where the communication breakdown happened, and trying to get it working again. In its final version, MC would just work, no user settings required. For Earthcaches (MC being promoted as ideal for EC), someone can sign up today to test the Intro App and find an EC. And MC is in many cases the only way you could communicate with someone who just now loaded the App. When I bring up that point, my reply keeps getting cut up by the petulant so they can change the text and argue with their creative edit, unchallenged by forum Moderators. Awesome.

 

I keep seeing this argument about "when PM fails". I will just say that one of our EC's is 7.5 years old and the others are 4 yrs old and in that time we've never experienced a failure of the e-mail system. I am not saying it couldn't happen, just that in my own particular history, that is not a valid argument for the desirability/superiority of the MC.

 

Furthermore, I really question the advisability of EC's being available through the intro app.

 

YMMV

Mrs. Car54

 

(No matter how carefully you review a post, you're often able to spot a misspelling the instant after you hit "post".)

Edited by Car54

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For Earthcaches (MC being promoted as ideal for EC), someone can sign up today to test the Intro App and find an EC.

 

The MC can only be promoted as ideal for ECs by people who do not know much about ECs and do not own ECs which require longer replies.

 

The MC might be ideal for certain types of smartphone users (not for all), but it's certainly anything else than ideal for ECs.

 

ECs live from those who own and maintain them and not from those who log them. A clever system for ECs would in any case allow to group messages by caches and

not by senders, and of course it would allow more than 1000 characters per message and allow quoting.

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Has anyone disabled their earth cache due to the Mc contact issue? If finders using that system to try to send answers is such a problem, disable your earth cache until the beta test is over and the system is fully and properly functional.

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Has anyone disabled their earth cache due to the Mc contact issue? If finders using that system to try to send answers is such a problem, disable your earth cache until the beta test is over and the system is fully and properly functional.

 

I have thought about it - actually I have thought about other actions but I don't want to be rash.

 

Today, I received a message unrelated to earthcaching, read its contents, responded right away, and got a thank you message back within a few minutes. Email works great.

 

I vowed to go to the message center to deal with the various ec logs. Maybe today. But maybe not.

Edited by geodarts

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Has anyone disabled their earth cache due to the Mc contact issue? If finders using that system to try to send answers is such a problem, disable your earth cache until the beta test is over and the system is fully and properly functional.

Not yet. However, I have changed all my caches, not just EC's, and my profile to include a "Please do not contact us via the message centre" request.

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Not yet. However, I have changed all my caches, not just EC's, and my profile to include a "Please do not contact us via the message centre" request.

Unfortunately, most people will see an envelope with "Message this owner" just to the right of it and assume that's going to send e-mail, not go to "the message centre", especially since after they click on that link, the page it takes them to doesn't say "Message Centre" anywhere.

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Not yet. However, I have changed all my caches, not just EC's, and my profile to include a "Please do not contact us via the message centre" request.

Unfortunately, most people will see an envelope with "Message this owner" just to the right of it and assume that's going to send e-mail, not go to "the message centre", especially since after they click on that link, the page it takes them to doesn't say "Message Centre" anywhere.

The message on my caches says "Please do not contact us via the "Message Centre: Message This Owner" link above" and gives instructions on how to use the E-Mail link. Whether or not it works,I cannot yet say. I can but try.

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The message on my caches says "Please do not contact us via the "Message Centre: Message This Owner" link above" and gives instructions on how to use the E-Mail link.

Seems to me it would be even more user friendly to just include an email link right there, instead of saying go someplace else and use that email link. :rolleyes:

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The message on my caches says "Please do not contact us via the "Message Centre: Message This Owner" link above" and gives instructions on how to use the E-Mail link.

Seems to me it would be even more user friendly to just include an email link right there, instead of saying go someplace else and use that email link. :rolleyes:

 

That's a good idea, and I'll probably do that for all of my caches if Groundspeak doesn't fix the problem soon. But it would be better if Groundspeak would fix it, by letting cache owners choose whether or not to have "Message this owner" links on all of our cache and trackable pages. If Groundspeak wants people to be able to contact cache owners directly from a cache page instead of going to our profile pages, then they should let us choose whether we want the "Message this owner" link or an "Email this owner" link instead.

 

And of course if email notifications of MC messages included the message content, as has been suggested many times, then this wouldn't be such an issue; we could treat incoming MC messages just like incoming emails.

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That's a good idea, and I'll probably do that for all of my caches if Groundspeak doesn't fix the problem soon.

Don't hold your breath. I've decided GS is trying to get into the social media game. That's the only thing that explains pushing messages over e-mail so hard in so many ways. Making it hard to get to e-mail is part of the plan, not a problem to be fixed.

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The message on my caches says "Please do not contact us via the "Message Centre: Message This Owner" link above" and gives instructions on how to use the E-Mail link.

Seems to me it would be even more user friendly to just include an email link right there, instead of saying go someplace else and use that email link. :rolleyes:

I could have put a normal mail-to: link but that would have forced people to include their email address in the message. I don't know how to include a link to the GC.com e-mail system, so I just pointed it out to them.

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The message on my caches says "Please do not contact us via the "Message Centre: Message This Owner" link above" and gives instructions on how to use the E-Mail link.

Seems to me it would be even more user friendly to just include an email link right there, instead of saying go someplace else and use that email link. :rolleyes:

I could have put a normal mail-to: link but that would have forced people to include their email address in the message. I don't know how to include a link to the GC.com e-mail system, so I just pointed it out to them.

The link that you need looks something like this:

 

<a href="http://www.geocaching.com/email/?guid=3773dc9c-79ad-4338-8089-c91500001d6c">Send Email</a>

The "3773...1d6c" is a UUID (universally unique identifier) that's different for every cacher. (The one shown above is mine, with a few digits changed to avoid accidents.) There are several ways to find your own UUID (or someone else's), depending on what browser you're using. In mine, I can right-click on the "Send Email" link on someone's profile page and choose "Copy Link". If that doesn't work for you, you can view the HTML source of the profile page (however that's done in your browser) and scan for "Click to E-Mail User".

 

Once you find your own UUID, you can put the link on any of your web pages, whether they're at gc.com or not.

Edited by Nylimb

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Release Notes for today: "In response to community requests, we updated Message Center beta email notifications to include message content."

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Release Notes for today: "In response to community requests, we updated Message Center beta email notifications to include message content."
Although images are not included in the email notifications.

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It still requires a response through the message center. That still makes communication more difficult. That still leaves me to wonder how this Is an improvement.

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That still leaves me to wonder how this Is an improvement.

 

It's not.

I still fail to see why MC is supposed to be "better" than e-mail.

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That still leaves me to wonder how this Is an improvement.

 

It's not.

I still fail to see why MC is supposed to be "better" than e-mail.

It gives us another avenue to contact unverified newbies.

 

I do believe that is the only advantage to it.

 

Once it gets the ability to receive all content in the email notifications, and once it becomes possible to reply by email, then... it will have achieved the same level of usefulness as email (with that one additional advantage.)

 

Until then... yes, it's a slight improvement on what we had yesterday, but it's still very much inadequate when compared with email.

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It gives us another avenue to contact unverified newbies.

 

I do believe that is the only advantage to it.

 

Right. But instead of designing a totally new way to contact other people fixing the "unverified" problem would have been the way to go. Register > get mail with activation link > click that link > get access to gc... until then get an error page "You have not yet activated your account"

 

Once it gets the ability to receive all content in the email notifications, and once it becomes possible to reply by email

 

We already have that :lol:

 

it will have achieved the same level of usefulness as email (with that one additional advantage.)

Until then... yes, it's a slight improvement on what we had yesterday, but it's still very much inadequate when compared with email.

 

Just too bad that by design (link placements) you can easily get tricked in going to MC instead of "send email".

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Right. But instead of designing a totally new way to contact other people fixing the "unverified" problem would have been the way to go. Register > get mail with activation link > click that link > get access to gc... until then get an error page "You have not yet activated your account"

Totally agree with you there. Validation was broken, so instead of fixing it, they've invented a "solution" that better aligns with their commercial aims.

 

The real problem seems (to me, anyway) to be that the website is losing eyeballs, as other design decisions seem to be making it less and less usable (with the effect that people are using anything other than the website in order to play), so they need to do something to drive eyeballs back to the website.

 

What better way than to force encourage all of our player-to-player interactions to be by the website?

 

Once it gets the ability to receive all content in the email notifications, and once it becomes possible to reply by email

 

We already have that :lol:

We do? Really? :unsure:

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so they need to do something to drive eyeballs back to the website.

 

Website = ads = revenue. I've written that in a post somewhere the first days MC was active.

 

We do? Really? :unsure:

 

Well almost. e-mail contact. You can't send attachments first time but you can after you get a reply (including e-mailaddress).

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We do? Really? :unsure:

 

Well almost. e-mail contact. You can't send attachments first time but you can after you get a reply (including e-mailaddress).

 

Only if the user has set their email address to public instead of private. You can't reply to anyone's email contact and reply to them directly.

So almost almost :P

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Only if the user has set their email address to public instead of private. You can't reply to anyone's email contact and reply to them directly.

So almost almost :P

 

Yup.. Fortunately, I've always had contacts that did include their e-mail address. I use a unique address just for GC which makes things easier too.

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It still requires a response through the message center.

The notification email contains a link to the sender's profile, so we can reply by clicking on the "Send Email" link there. Of course, if the sender is Unverified that won't work.

 

So for people like me whose browsers are too old to access the MC, things are essentially back to the way they were before the MC was created. Definitely an improvement over what we've had for the last month or so.

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It still requires a response through the message center.

The notification email contains a link to the sender's profile, so we can reply by clicking on the "Send Email" link there. Of course, if the sender is Unverified that won't work.

 

True, but it still means having to go back to the web site and requires extra steps for a process that is advertised as a means to make communication easier.

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I need to know how to turn off the Message Center on my account, so that cachers will send the messages via e-mail, and not be able to send messages via the Message Center. I do not and will not use it. I have used the e-mail system for almost eleven years, and it works well. The Message Center does not work well.

So, I wish to have that eliminated from my account so cachers will continue to contact me via the e-mail service.

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I need to know how to turn off the Message Center on my account, so that cachers will send the messages via e-mail, and not be able to send messages via the Message Center. I do not and will not use it. I have used the e-mail system for almost eleven years, and it works well. The Message Center does not work well.

So, I wish to have that eliminated from my account so cachers will continue to contact me via the e-mail service.

Sorry, can't be done. Despite countless similar requests, TPTB have not given us any way to disable the Message Center. Even requests to slow down on pushing the use of an unfinished beta system so heavily have gone unheeded. Unfortunately, it seems to have been long-since decided that the Message Center is to be used by everyone, whether it fits their needs or not (or even whether they can functionally use it or not!).

 

"You're going to use the Message Center, and you're going to like it" <_<

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I need to know how to turn off the Message Center on my account, so that cachers will send the messages via e-mail, and not be able to send messages via the Message Center. I do not and will not use it. I have used the e-mail system for almost eleven years, and it works well. The Message Center does not work well.

So, I wish to have that eliminated from my account so cachers will continue to contact me via the e-mail service.

Sorry, can't be done. Despite countless similar requests, TPTB have not given us any way to disable the Message Center. Even requests to slow down on pushing the use of an unfinished beta system so heavily have gone unheeded. Unfortunately, it seems to have been long-since decided that the Message Center is to be used by everyone, whether it fits their needs or not (or even whether they can functionally use it or not!).

 

"You're going to use the Message Center, and you're going to like it" <_<

 

Nope. Sorry. I'm not a slap-face social networker. I will not use it. Any messages that go there might as well go into the trash folder.

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1) It would really be GREAT if you could increase the size of the message entry window to more than 2 lines of text.

2) It would also be an improvement if you could increase the character limit from 1000 to 5000 (like the e-mail system). I find that I have to use the old e-mail system to send the qualifying information for earth caches.

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1) It would really be GREAT if you could increase the size of the message entry window to more than 2 lines of text.

2) It would also be an improvement if you could increase the character limit from 1000 to 5000 (like the e-mail system). I find that I have to use the old e-mail system to send the qualifying information for earth caches.

 

Fat +1

 

Hans

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Would be great having an option to disable the message center, so others can't send me messages with it. I prefer the old message system for some reasons...

Edited by capsai

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If the new beta Message Center is so great, why do Reviewers request to be contacted only by email?

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If the new beta Message Center is so great, why do Reviewers request to be contacted only by email?

There some questions that should not be asked.

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If the new beta Message Center is so great, why do Reviewers request to be contacted only by email?

 

For all the reasons others have given here to preferring e-mail over the MC maybe :ph34r:

 

Just a guess :lol:

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Ten criticisms for the user interface of the Message Center beta. Others have probably made the same comments. Perhaps I'm reiterating here.

 

1. More than 75% of the page shown in the image below is wasted real estate. This is a poor user interface.

2. The squiggly line messaging graphic offers no significant advantage to its existence. Remove it and the space in which it resides.

3. The "Add Conversations" column isn't in use. Remove it. If it's for use for people with more permissions than most, show it only to those with the correct permissions. Not to the rest of us. If it's an upcoming feature, don't show a confusing, unused feature in the beta until the feature tested and out of alpha.

4. The first time I saw this, I had no idea where to type the message. It was below the fold. Seriously. Why on earth do you have the "Type a message" all the way at the bottom of the page, entirely divorced from the "To" field?

5. Add a "Subject" field. That's pretty standard in a messaging center.

6. Bring the "message content" field just below the "Subject" field. Make the content field resizeable, like post content fields.

7. Make the interface mobile friendly. It isn't now.

8. Messaging is currently divorced from post content. That's counterproductive. There should be a button left of "Reply" and "Multiquote" that says "Message <name>" and another "Email <name>" that includes post reference link and a copy of the specific content in the message.

9. PHPBB provides full messaging, extended to something around 40K characters per message, with images and bolding, etc., in the content, just like public posts. You can also save your messages in folders. This beta tries to approximate something between text messaging at 140 characters and a real messaging center operations like PHPBB. At 1000 characters, it's enough to suggest you might have something to say, but too much for quick comment. Make a choice. Is it like SMS or twitter, or is it a real message center? Please, please, please... Make it a real message center.

10. Y-Slow gives most pages on geocaching.com and forums.Groundspeak.com a grade of D, where A is great and F is not so great. Profile pages generally get a grade of E. Changes to the "model" and "view" parts of interface could enhance performance, even on stretched servers. Many pages take a long time to load, even though I've got a pretty snappy high-speed connection. It may mean Groundspeak servers are reaching or at capacity. Perhaps it's time to rethink more than just the message center beta.

 

It may seem like harsh criticism, but I hope you'll find it to be well-reasoned and honest feedback.

 

18471819461_01294bb3be_b.jpg

Edited by LaughterOnWater

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1. More than 75% of the page shown in the image below is wasted real estate. This is a poor user interface.
FWIW, the "wasted space" in the left column (under the Add Conversation button) holds a list of existing conversations once you start using the Message Center.

 

And the "wasted space" in the right column (where the "Send a new message" icon is now) holds the current conversation once you start/select a conversation.

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1. More than 75% of the page shown in the image below is wasted real estate. This is a poor user interface.
FWIW, the "wasted space" in the left column (under the Add Conversation button) holds a list of existing conversations once you start using the Message Center.

 

And the "wasted space" in the right column (where the "Send a new message" icon is now) holds the current conversation once you start/select a conversation.

niraD,

Thanks for your reply.

Hmmm... I've already got a conversation in the message center. I don't see it in this interface. Is it only for those I've initiated and not for those others have initiated? I see this below. It looks nothing like the front page of the message center. Doesn't it make more sense for this page (below) to be the main interface?

 

C

 

18476720161_0e2fddf2bd_b.jpg

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I have no idea why your message center looks the way it does. But here's what my message center looks like:

6c94e0e1-2bd4-4899-be19-803042b07067.png

 

On the left are all the individual conversations. On the right is the currently selected conversation.

 

I'm still not a fan, but the idea that it's all wasted space is incorrect. There may be better ways to use it, but they are using it.

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... Non't bother, I don't read MC :lol:

I know. I read that in your profile, but just needed an example. :ph34r::D Edited by LaughterOnWater

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I have no idea why your message center looks the way it does. But here's what my message center looks like:

6c94e0e1-2bd4-4899-be19-803042b07067.png

 

On the left are all the individual conversations. On the right is the currently selected conversation.

 

I'm still not a fan, but the idea that it's all wasted space is incorrect. There may be better ways to use it, but they are using it.

Very curious indeed! I suspect you have more privileged forum permissions than I. I prefer the more itegrated version of the interface from my second example image.

 

C

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One is the forum messaging tab (post 190), the other is the geocaching.com message center (#191). Two completely different systems (and vastly different experience!)

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I'm still not a fan, but the idea that it's all wasted space is incorrect. There may be better ways to use it, but they are using it.

The original complaint was, of course, looking at an unused message center where nothing is in all those places yet. You are correct to point out that things go in those places once you use it.

 

But based on my previous conversations using e-mail and other messaging systems, while, with use, those blank spaces would be filled, they'd be filled with old conversations that were no longer of any interest, so the space would still be wasted even though there's information there.

 

Not that I care whether it wastes space since I never look at it.

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The original complaint was, of course, looking at an unused message center where nothing is in all those places yet. You are correct to point out that things go in those places once you use it.

 

But based on my previous conversations using e-mail and other messaging systems, while, with use, those blank spaces would be filled, they'd be filled with old conversations that were no longer of any interest, so the space would still be wasted even though there's information there.

 

Not that I care whether it wastes space since I never look at it.

Well that explains it. Thanks. Why create a another messaging system when there's already one in existence for this venue?

facepalm...

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Why create a another messaging system when there's already one in existence for this venue?
Good question. You aren't the first to ask it.

 

Although the Messenger system for the forums (for private messages) isn't really for the geocaching.com site. It's strictly for the forums, and would require much more integration to really serve as a messaging system for the geocaching.com site.

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I started using the message center and then noticed there was no way to delete old ones. I really don't want to save every message I ever sent, so I've stopped using it. Let me know when you can delete old messages and I'll consider using it again

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I started using the message center and then noticed there was no way to delete old ones. I really don't want to save every message I ever sent, so I've stopped using it. Let me know when you can delete old messages and I'll consider using it again

 

Hover over the person's name on the left side and you will see a small red/orange 'x'. Click it and it "hides" the conversation.

 

I've also noticed that new messages actually DO show the text of the message in the email notification. I believe someone previously said it did not, so maybe they changed it...?

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