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[Feature Request] Visual alert for new messages in Message Center


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Hi Geocachers,

 

Given that the only way to contact another geocacher is through the Message Center and not everyone has the email notifications active, I would like to see the Message Center icon at the top of the screen to be displayed in a different way if there are unread messages.

For example, the icon cold have a full white background, or it could blink, or it could have a little badge telling the number of unread messages.

 

Every time I send a new message to another cacher,  I feel they would probably not be aware of it.

 

 

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, RedCacher87 said:

Given that the only way to contact another geocacher is through the Message Center and not everyone has the email notifications active, I would like to see the Message Center icon at the top of the screen to be displayed in a different way if there are unread messages.

For example, the icon cold have a full white background, or it could blink, or it could have a little badge telling the number of unread messages.

 

It already does, the envelope gets a yellow dot on one corner when there's an unread message. Maybe that could be made a bit more obvious though.

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6 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

It already does, the envelope gets a yellow dot on one corner when there's an unread message. Maybe that could be made a bit more obvious though.

And for a very long time the yellow dot was permanent. 

 

1 hour ago, RedCacher87 said:

Given that the only way to contact another geocacher is through the Message Center

I'm sure this is the most common way, but certainly not the only way!

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46 minutes ago, Max and 99 said:
2 hours ago, RedCacher87 said:

Given that the only way to contact another geocacher is through the Message Center

I'm sure this is the most common way, but certainly not the only way!

I have no idea whether it is the most common way among geocachers as a whole. But it is such a horrible system that I try to ignore it as much as possible.

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7 hours ago, RedCacher87 said:

Given that the only way to contact another geocacher is through the Message Center and not everyone has the email notifications active, I would like to see the Message Center icon at the top of the screen to be displayed in a different way if there are unread messages.

For example, the icon cold have a full white background, or it could blink, or it could have a little badge telling the number of unread messages.

 

I believe you're mistaken.  Most we know use email.  I respond to the mc when I get notifications through email too.   :)

That yellow-orange-colored orb at the bell I feel is fine.  It's very noticeable.   If only it'd disappear after I respond.

I might have responded hours earlier, yet that orb stays for some time...

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1 hour ago, IceColdUK said:

This is the case if you only use the App.

 

In Groundspeak's app:

  1. View cache page.
  2. Scroll to bottom.
  3. Select "Open in browser"
  4. Select link following "A cache by"
  5. Select "Send e-mail"
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13 minutes ago, niraD said:

 

In Groundspeak's app:

  1. View cache page.
  2. Scroll to bottom.
  3. Select "Open in browser"
  4. Select link following "A cache by"
  5. Select "Send e-mail"


Of course, but why would an App user consider that option (or even realise that is an option) when there are ‘Message’ buttons on the App’s cache pages and user profiles?

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@RedCacher87, please clarify whether you are asking for a feature change on the Geocaching.com website, or on one of the official SmartPhone apps.  If your request relates to a smartphone app, please specify whether you are using the Apple or Android version.

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13 minutes ago, Keystone said:

@RedCacher87, please clarify whether you are asking for a feature change on the Geocaching.com website, or on one of the official SmartPhone apps.  If your request relates to a smartphone app, please specify whether you are using the Apple or Android version.

 

Hi @Keystone, I'm talking about the Geocaching.com website, so that's why I posted on this specific forum.

 

 

On 8/7/2020 at 10:36 PM, barefootjeff said:

 

It already does, the envelope gets a yellow dot on one corner when there's an unread message. Maybe that could be made a bit more obvious though.

 

Hi @barefootjeff, some weeks ago, I received a message on Geocaching.com website's Message Center and the envelope icon didn't get the yellow dot you mentioned, so that's why I decided to post this feature request.

 

Cheers!

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27 minutes ago, IceColdUK said:

Of course, but why would an App user consider that option (or even realise that is an option) when there are ‘Message’ buttons on the App’s cache pages and user profiles?

Maybe the user is aware of the MC's flaws and understands that email is a better way to contact someone. I certainly wouldn't initiate a conversation with another geocacher using the MC, and I have been known to use Groundspeak's app.

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38 minutes ago, RedCacher87 said:

 

Hi @barefootjeff, some weeks ago, I received a message on Geocaching.com website's Message Center and the envelope icon didn't get the yellow dot you mentioned, so that's why I decided to post this feature request.

 

Last Sunday I received a message and got the yellow dot on the website, so I don't know why it doesn't work for you.

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On 8/7/2020 at 8:07 PM, RedCacher87 said:

Given that the only way to contact another geocacher is through the Message Center and not everyone has the email notifications active,

 

 

It's not the only way :ph34r:

Go to a user's profile and click "send email" will do just fine. I ignore the me$$$y center (have an add-on that hides the envelope) so the only time I see the envelope + yellow dot is when I happen to be away from home and look at a cache webpage on my tablet.

Because of this thread I went to look and I now see I have messages there dating back to February and April, oh well, seems they didn't read the big red letters on my profile.

 

As you post this as a feature request I'd rather see email as the default and more easier way to contact other users (but that won't happen).

 

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6 hours ago, ecanderson said:

@on4bam

Not everyone has a public email account enabled at gc.com, either.  For some, the message center IS the only contact method if you're trying to contact them.

 

Mine isn't public either but when clicking on "send email"  I will get it in my mailbox. Since everyone uses an email address to register @GC I don't see the problem. I just don't want my private communications on GC's servers.

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1 hour ago, on4bam said:

Mine isn't public either but when clicking on "send email"  I will get it in my mailbox. Since everyone uses an email address to register @GC I don't see the problem. I just don't want my private communications on GC's servers.

 

My understanding is that a validated email address isn't needed for those registering through the app using their phone account or perhaps even a social media account (I haven't kept up with whether that's possible these days or not). I haven't seen it lately but I do recall on occasion seeing members who couldn't be emailed because they hadn't registered an email address and for those, Message Centre is the only way of contacting them.

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3 minutes ago, barefootjeff said:

 

My understanding is that a validated email address isn't needed for those registering through the app using their phone account or perhaps even a social media account (I haven't kept up with whether that's possible these days or not). I haven't seen it lately but I do recall on occasion seeing members who couldn't be emailed because they hadn't registered an email address and for those, Message Centre is the only way of contacting them.

Possible. I'm not familiar with "the app". I've never been contacted by newbies or app only users as far as I know. In any case, if they don't get an answer they should check my profile and read the big red text or contact someone else :ph34r:

 

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57 minutes ago, on4bam said:

Possible. I'm not familiar with "the app". I've never been contacted by newbies or app only users as far as I know. In any case, if they don't get an answer they should check my profile and read the big red text or contact someone else :ph34r:

 

 

Going to the geocaching.com home page when not logged in and clicking on Sign Up, there's this:

 

Signup.png.b525b091608c8a8288bbc7f49339ecec.png

 

So it looks like having an email account is pretty optional for new members these days, even those that do visit the website.

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I suspected that logging in with one of those accounts will automatically link that account's email. I'd never sign up with an other site's credentials anyway, I use a unique email/password combination for each and every website and shop anyway.

 

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7 hours ago, on4bam said:

Mine isn't public either but when clicking on "send email"  I will get it in my mailbox. Since everyone uses an email address to register @GC I don't see the problem. I just don't want my private communications on GC's servers.

Guess I shouldn't have used the word 'public'.  There are some users who have no email address configured for the contact on the profile page.  Perhaps they're using the app, perhaps not.  I don't know how it happens that email from the profile page is made impossible by the user, but that situation definitely exists.

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Well, lets say this, anyone can contact me. I don't do MC so if they expect an answer they better make sure the provide a way to do so.

I've not ran into a situation where I have to contact someone that could not be contacted by "send email".

 

As a GClh add-on user I have a template that automatically fills in the cachename and my signature when I want to send an email from a cachepage which is another reason to use that method and not MC.

 

 

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I do something similar, with similar (often ignored) warnings on my profile page about whether I'll see a MC message in any reasonable amount of time.

It would be nice if gc.com required a validated email address for the profile page -- not necessarily one you could see, but at least one that would work.

By "validated", I would suggest regular validation.  If messages to that address are showing as 'bounced' in the server logs for a couple of cycles, then I'd lock down the account until a valid email address is supplied.  When serious issues come up, even the reviewers need a solid method for contact for the CO.

 

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1 minute ago, ecanderson said:

When serious issues come up, even the reviewers need a solid method for contact for the CO.

 

Good you brought up the reviewers. Aren't those the ones that don't do MC too? :ph34r:

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Many, if not most, reviewers prefer to use email rather than the message center.  We need an easily searchable history of our correspondence.  I may not remember the geocacher's username that I corresponded with about permit requirements in the Capital City Parks, but in my email I can search for "Capital City Parks" to find the information I need later.  I can also forward that email to Geocaching HQ or a fellow Reviewer if needed.

 

There is no "Send Message" button on Community Volunteer Reviewers' profile pages.  This is by design.  It doesn't stop geocachers from contacting us that way, however, because they can type the Reviewer's name in the message center.  This method of contact is unreliable.  The last time I tried responding to a message (earlier this month), I got an error message saying that it wasn't delivered.

 

Having a valid email address is also critical to the cache ownership process - both in pre-publication correspondence with the Reviewer, and in monitoring the logs from fellow geocachers.

 

The message center is nice for informal communication, especially when using the official App in the field.  As a player, I use it myself for those purposes.  But for formal correspondence, email is the way to go.

 

The yellow dot on the website alerts me to unread messages, and popup alerts do the same for me on the smartphone.  Similarly, my email clients alert me to new emails on both my smartphone and my browser.

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I've had the same problem with not being able to search messages that Keystone uses to explain why reviewers don't use it. I've wanted to forward messages to other users, too. There's literally nothing about the problems reviewers have with messages that are unique to reviewers, but only reviewers are protected from getting messages.

 

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10 hours ago, dprovan said:

I've had the same problem with not being able to search messages that Keystone uses to explain why reviewers don't use it.

 

I have saved all MC messages to my e-mail folder. I have no problems to search them by any keyword. I prefer to use MC because messages sent by e-mail (from the website) seems to be almost unreadable. (All line breaks removed)

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9 hours ago, arisoft said:

I have saved all MC messages to my e-mail folder. I have no problems to search them by any keyword. I prefer to use MC because messages sent by e-mail (from the website) seems to be almost unreadable. (All line breaks removed)

But it only sends the first message in an exchange via email, and no responses, right?

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32 minutes ago, dprovan said:

But it only sends the first message in an exchange via email, and no responses, right?

There's a setting that is supposed to send every message in an exchange via email. And if your account is configured just right, then you can reply to the email and your reply will go to the other person via the MC.

 

Except when it doesn't work.

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I just figured that using the app apparently you are not even able to (easily) access a users profile in which some - including me - are asking for not using the message center :blink:. Not that this user segment would even feel the desire to do it :rolleyes:

 

But for my volume of communications the messages forwarding to email works OK for me and being even able to reply per email I found peace with the current system.

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22 hours ago, dprovan said:

So does that mean Keystone's point isn't legitimate? Are you doing something reviewers can't do?

 

Storing the correspondence is achievable. I think that Keystone's point isn't the whole story. For example, Message Center was very unreliable at the beginning.

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On 8/8/2020 at 12:05 AM, cerberus1 said:

That yellow-orange-colored orb at the bell I feel is fine.  It's very noticeable.   If only it'd disappear after I respond...

I might have responded hours earlier, yet that orb stays for some time.

 

Responded in email to another two days ago, and that yellow-orange orb is still there on my profile, but not here.  Weird...

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On 8/14/2020 at 10:48 AM, arisoft said:

Storing the correspondence is achievable. I think that Keystone's point isn't the whole story. For example, Message Center was very unreliable at the beginning.

I'm not sure what whole story you're looking for. Lots of people have had lots of problems with it, but only reviewers don't have to deal with it.

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54 minutes ago, dprovan said:

I'm not sure what whole story you're looking for. Lots of people have had lots of problems with it, but only reviewers don't have to deal with it.

It might be okay for "text message" type messages when you don't have someone's mobile number. But it lacks a lot of functionality if you're going to try to use it for "email" type messages. And I find that my communication with other geocachers is almost always "email" type messages, not "text message" type messages.

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8 hours ago, dprovan said:

I'm not sure what whole story you're looking for. Lots of people have had lots of problems with it, but only reviewers don't have to deal with it.

 

You are right that lots of people have problems with MC, but you must admit that about the same amount of peope have problems with email.

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3 minutes ago, arisoft said:

 

You are right that lots of people have problems with MC, but you must admit that about the same amount of peope have problems with email.

 

I like to have a choice with what not to have a problem :ph34r:. If it's good enough for reviewers, it's good enough for me.

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2 minutes ago, on4bam said:

 

I like to have a choice with what not to have a problem :ph34r:. If it's good enough for reviewers, it's good enough for me.

 

What is your problem? You can ignore MC after you set your email preferences correctly and use email only.

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10 hours ago, arisoft said:

What is your problem? You can ignore MC after you set your email preferences correctly and use email only.

You're kinda making my point for me. Keystone listed the problems. Why aren't those good enough for you? The reviewers can "ignore MC", too. Why is ignoring it good enough for on4bam, but not good enough for reviewers? That's all I'm asking.

 

And as an extra bonus, on4bam listed an additional problem that MC causes for the rest of us that doesn't really apply to reviewers.

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