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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 70 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Proposed major change to the Forge  (Read 16731 times)

Posts: 756

« Reply #30 on: July 31, 2006, 03:09:01 PM »

1. "Send email" as a button. I was under the impression that such a thing existed, but maybe that was with the previous software. You didn't have know the person's email and you didn't find out what it was; as I recall, the Forge sent your message to them with your email included, so they could reply.

The old software did have this function, though it does seem to be gone now.

2. Regarding the U-boat thing, if people do it by email, at least they're doing it individually and the effect is literally not part of the Forge itself. It's a very serious turf thing - by getting a rough PM here, when you're a newcomer, you're still on the other guy's turf. If he emails you, he has to come to your turf. I think that will psychologically cancel most of the U-boating, although again, it's not the phenomenon that bugs me the most, it's the fact that it's associated with "the Forge" as a feature of the site.

You're probably right here. I certainly feel freer to send a PM then I do to email people.

--Timothy Walters Kleinert
Lance D. Allen

Posts: 1962

« Reply #31 on: July 31, 2006, 08:47:54 PM »

If by "the old software" we're meaning phpbb2, it does have it. Unfortunately, anyone hovering over the send-email button can look at the bottom bar of IE and see the "mailto:address@email.com" command.

When sent, it appears to send it from the sender's email address, to the recipient's, without any sort of reference to the sending website. If the command in the bottom bar of IE could be obscured, this method would work out.. though, again, it's the old software.

(If you're interested in seeing the specific results of this, feel free to send me test e-mails via my boards at http://wolvesdenproductions.com/phpBB2/memberlist.php Send to WDP_Admin, as my main "posting name" doesn't have an e-mail address listed.

~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
Eternally Incipient Publisher of Mage Blade, ReCoil and Rats in the Walls

Posts: 1359

Conventions Forum Moderator, First Thoughts Pest

« Reply #32 on: August 01, 2006, 05:35:46 AM »

As the only other Mod for the top tier forums, I find the PM function pretty useful. It gives me a reliable hub from which I can contact and be contacted by anyone at the forums. I am not always in front of my email machine so email does not necessarily serve the same purpose. Having coordinated a number of Forgie things, I've found that PMs are a safe, easy and quick way to organize/coordinate. Berry useful, Batman.

The only drawback is my current total of 483 messages. The PM interface is clunky and sorting through all those PMs is a pain in the ass, so I let them grow in the dark with the frogs.


Clyde L. Rhoer

Posts: 391

« Reply #33 on: August 01, 2006, 05:40:12 AM »

So the benefits of the Personal Message system are:
  • Communication with users without making email addresses apparent.
  • The ability to deal with other users in a group.

The Downsides are:
  • People hiding their ugliness by preying on the weak via the PM system. (This is an off-handed compliment to the moderation on the site by the way.)
  • Spam

So I personally like be able to get private communication without exposing my email address. I presently get no spam, and would like to keep it that way. Robots make that impossible by exposing an email address on a webpage. I also understand wanting to make it a more welcoming place for new folks.

The idea of having a feature to press a button to email someone may reset the balance of Sharks versus Fish. If such an option is made it should be opt in. I have no specific examples of what could go wrong with such a system, but it makes me wonder about what unintended security consequences it might have. I think that if such a thing were made it should have a timer between uses by IP address to avoid a favorite tactic of maladjusted internet youngsters in the early to mid 90's called the email bomb. Also I would be concerned that without a timer and requiring a user to be logged in, such a button could be used as a primitive way to DDOS (a.k.a Denial of Service) The Forge, and someone's mail server at the same time.

Also if the idea is to re-balance the power level a bit between the Sharks and Fishes perhaps the button could actually send a request for an email dialogue that exposes the person pressing the buttons email address. For example, I Clyde want to shark newbie John. I click John's name for his profile, press the dialogue button, and the server sends a request to John, saying user Clyde whose email address is: somefictionaladdress@someplace.org wants to have an email dialogue with you. Send him an email at his address if you would like to do so, otherwise feel free to delete this message and go on with your business. This means I have to expose myself and John has basically done me a favor by sending an email which should reduce sharking in most humans. I also feel more comfortable getting to choose which one of my addresses I want to expose to someone on the site. Especially since the address has most likely been verified by the Forge already in the creation of the users account.

However this second option may be much harder to code, if the other method were chosen I would either opt out or create a void email address. I doubt my level of paranoia would be shared by other folks.


Theory from the Closet , A Netcast/Podcast about RPG theory and design.
clyde.ws, Clyde's personal blog.
David "Czar Fnord" Artman

Posts: 246

« Reply #34 on: August 01, 2006, 05:58:22 AM »

A quick point for folks worried about exposed e-mails: Yahoo, Hotmail, and Google (to name the Big Boys) will give you a free e-mail account if you fill out a form. I believe they all hold 1GB of mail--with your typical plain text, short e-mail, that's many millions of messages, sortable, folderable, flaggable, etc....

My personal solution to net presence versus spam is to pay $4 a month for my own hosting service and set up aliases (forwards, really) for every site at which I have a significant presence. If I start to get more spam then I'd expect, I check the header to see the To address, which in turn tells me the culprit site. Filters and/or killing the forward (i.e. redirecting it to a spam collection Yahoo account) solve the rest.

Yes, I get about 300+ spam a day into my "dump" account... but even then, most of it goes to a Bulk folder thanks to Yahoo spam filters. Every few weeks, I check the dump to empty trash and keep it alive: one must log into these free accounts on the regular, or they deactivate.

In summary, in these days of the Internet, I think one really must have a Public ID to use online and Private ID to use with friends and family (just make sure they know not to send you shit from Hallmark and Blue Mountain using it! Silly auntie...). I just happen to have something like 35 Public IDs at the moment, vis a vis e-mail addresses.


If you liked this post, you'll love... GLASS: Generic Live Action Simulation System - System Test Document v1.1(beta)
Steven Stewart

Posts: 82

Ebisu Gamers

« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2006, 06:25:01 PM »

First to identify myself - a new comer to Forge, only been a week. Since some of the original comments were related to how a newcomer feels with the PM, I thought I would reply. If that is incorrect or inappropraite, I apologize in advance.

I personally like the PM system, it keeps game stuff in game stuff for me. When I want to engage in game stuff, I can log in and check it. If I don't want to, then I can ignore it for a few days for when I do feel like it. I am more likely to use PM to discuss with someone something than email, probably because of my own personal perception of email. I feel like this is a place for a focused discussion on a particular topic. Email is for correspondence, in the classic sense of the word. And so I hide my email address, I don't want people to email me at my private email address. Its like getting a bunch of junk mail at my personal mailbox. If I choose to engage someone at a more personal, rather than topical level, then I get involved in email.

I too am one of the people that keep 3 email addresses, I don't want to have four.

My final topic on PM and being a newcomer. And this is not meant as a criticism on a personal level, but as feedback as one of the masses and new people since it was a topic raised as to why they are considering removing the PM function. It isn't the PM's that I get that scare the hell out of me as a newcomer, in fact I feel much more comfortable with PM than actual posting. Its some of the stickies in the forum scare the hell out of me, such as the one in Actual Play. PM's I can shrug off with flame-proof armor, but moderator stickies to me have the "site stamp of appoval" on them. And I have gotten the impression, right or wrong that in the main forums for Forge, "Forge isn't for wussies, it is for the sersious and the hardcore" where as I haven't gotten that in the subforums on some of the infdividual games (which is why I came here in the first place for those). I haven't gotten any u-boat PM at all. Again apologies if the last paragraph is offtopic and please understand that it is not meant as an attack but an observeration on "first impressions" to the site, but I thought it would relevant to the first portion of the original post.


Tokyo Steve

"Reach out your hand if your cup be empty, if your cup is full may it be again"

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Posts: 16490

« Reply #36 on: August 06, 2006, 10:08:23 AM »


Steve, I appreciate the feedback and I hope this will make sense ... your feedback lets me know that the stickies are doing their job. That atmosphere of focus (a better word than "serious") is exactly what this site is about. There are plenty of places on the internet to hobnob about being a gamer and about this-or-that upcoming title, or whatever. This isn't one of them; we have stuff to do and want a place for like-minded people to learn from one another.

You were very careful about your first posts and took the time to choose your words carefully and to be as clear as possible. That's a virtue. It's also led to a number of people being interested in your posts and being willing to provide feedback. If the stickies contributed to all of these things, which apparently they did, then my only response is, "Excellent!"

I feel no need to make people feel good when they arrive at the Forge. It's far more important to impress on them that they are, in fact, 100% welcome, as long they are prepared to think, to learn the rules (as opposed to "being on the internet"), and to be polite. I'm confident that enough people are out there who respond positively to such standards, even if it's a little scary, for the site to work, and so far, five years in and with a great new trend in new posters becoming very active, it's worked beyond my and Clinton's wildest speculations.

Best, Ron
Callan S.

Posts: 3588

« Reply #37 on: August 10, 2006, 01:22:34 AM »

It'd be cool if, much in the same way peoples e-mail addreses were automatically not show unless the user opts to, their ability to recieve PM's was by default, off. That means new people would have to know it was off, then turn it on before they can be u-boated.

That takes the edge off at first, anyway. I don't know when users become caloused and embittered enough that Ron and Clinton think their u-boat proof. :) Couple of months? No option to have PM for first month or two?

Prob with both of those that I recognise already - probably require special coding knowledge. Easy if you have it, pipe dream otherwise.

BTW, to all the old hands who are saying they haven't had a bad experience, isn't Ron focusing on the new bloods experience here, not you guys?

Philosopher Gamer

Posts: 47

« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2006, 07:03:05 AM »

The biggest advantage that the PM system has over email is that you can see that you have received one whilst you are still on the site, which can be useful at times (particularly if it is in response to a post in the "Connections" forum).

Posts: 17

« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2006, 07:28:13 AM »

To be honest I don't really use PM's on *any* forums that much.  For some reason it just dosn't show up on my radar, and I have been known to go months with out noticing a PM.

So I wouldn't miss PM :) 

I would miss the forge though, even though I don't post much, I really get alot out of this place.  So my thanks to Ron and Clinton (and everyone else for making it what it is.)

Dan Sellars.
baron samedi

Posts: 137

« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2006, 05:00:08 PM »

If I'm not too late to comment on Ron's reply...

This professional attitude he supports is exactly what keeps me coming back to The Forge. Almost all forums fall into disgressions, flame wars, etc. but here I feel there is actually something very useful for innovative game design and (for me at least) understanding more how American players think and their subculture.

I definitely hope the Forge will continue with its "agressive moderation", which took me a while to get to adapt to, but allows for the high quality of the thought exchanges here.

Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 309

« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2006, 07:56:49 PM »

Best PM experience: people whose games I like saying "hey, you wanna illustrate something I'm doing?" or the like.  Dropping somebody a quick note about something I liked, or wondered, about what they said in a thread, which wouldn't have been topical in a thread.

Worst PM experience:  Nothing bad of significance.

And Then I Ramble: The effect of PMs seems to me to be the creation of a Forge "identity."  I talk to Forge people in email and occasionally even IM or phone, now, but at first everything was in PMs, and it felt like there was a "Forge me" which existed within the confines of indie-rpgs.com, which was its own little sub-self.  Getting rid of PMs in favor of email would dilute that.  Does that matter?  Probably not.

And Ramble A Little More: With PMs, switching from PMs to email or IMs seems like increasing one's level of intimacy, like the switch from formal to informal "you" in French or German.  Going from PM to email takes things past the Forge sub-self into the email sub-self.  Without PMs there would be no middle ground between public discussion on the forge and private discussion which does not involve the Forge in any direct way.  Does that matter?  Probably not.

Like many others I like the idea of having a "send this dude some email, but we're not giving you his email address without his permission" kinda thing.

That's it for me.

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