Yeah, surprise... somehow I managed to get another one of these done. Thought I forgot, huh? And here we are in the throes of a burgeoning spring, ongoing festivities, and strange holiday sightings...
PERSONALITY CAFE POLLS: Back in Business
I found a sucker... I mean, member... who was graciously willing to undertake this mission. Most of you know him, his name's Parrot.
Parrot has already released at least one poll and could release anywhere from 1-3 polls per week, although I asked him to pace himself since he's a guy who likes to do a lot of things. You can find the polls up in the Announcements area:
Please check them out and participate.
THE "HOSTS" with the "MOST"
We are assembling a group of recruits who will “officially” connect with new members to help them get acclimatized to Personality Cafe. They will be the "go to" folks and will monitor the Intro and Support areas for when new members join or need help.
While any forum member is free to do this as well, the group will be designated visibly as a "Host" so that new members can recognize them easily and know to reach out to them. If you are interested in performing this role, please check out the advertisement here:
I'm still in the process of getting the group set up (both the mechanics and the participants), so don't be concerned if it doesn't appear right away.
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT...
....the "No Multiple Accounts" policy?
Yeah, sorry, this is a less fun topic than last month's topic, but I need to mention it once and then be done with it.
Personality Cafe does not permit multiple accounts (otherwise called "dupes") for a variety of reasons not limited to the following:
- Maintaining continuity of responsibility for one's posting activity
- Wanting a clear sense of forum activity and size
- Providing members with a stronger sense of community since people are invested in a single recognizable persona
- Derailing tricks (like creating multiple accounts to offer additional support to oneself in an argument)
- Reducing ability to troll/harass others
- Avoiding database/site clutter from a ton of abandoned accounts over time
In the past we have simply merged the accounts when discovered, and folks who persisted would eventually be contacted by staff. We also understand that some sites do allow multiple accounts, so new users might not be aware of this rule when they join us.
Due to some repeat offenders and the work that can accrue, however, I am just making the rule more explicit and also stating clearly that we reserve the right to step up to official warnings/infractions more quickly, depending on our assessment of why said accounts were created.
Anonymity Plugin: On a similar topic, I understand that occasionally a member might want to discuss something anonymously and this has also contributed to the creation of multiple accounts.
Based on past discussions with members, I broached the possibility with Vertical Scope about installing an Anonymity plugin that could be used for things like (1) getting type feedback and (2) asking for support/advice. Such plugins do exist for some versions of vBulletin and are worth investigating further. If we were able to install these, users would be anonymous to other users in the designated subforums, although obviously the staff will have the ability to monitor and identify members in case the privilege is abused in some way. (That is the stipulation from our end.)
Unfortunately, this functionality would not be installed until after the impending site platform upgrade, but I wanted members to know that we have been looking into the issue and seeing if it can be implemented in a way that makes sense.
The Welcome PM: The Welcome PM that is automatically sent to new members will be modified to accommodate issues I've mentioned above: (1) Announcing the existence of the Host staff, who will serve as resources to new members, and (2) explicitly stating the "No multiple account" policy on the site so that new members are aware of it.
ACTIVATION ISSUES, OH NOES!
Some new members are having trouble activating their new accounts, which is accomplished by clicking on a link sent in an e-mail to the new member when they create their account. Until the account is activated, the member will not be able to make posts on the site.
For whatever reason, I’ve noticed an increase of contacts from new members who never received the e-mail or at least were unable to locate it in their mailbox. We also have a small glitch in re-sending the activation codes, so I have been manually activating folks who contact me through the Contact Us page.
If a new member PMs you or you hear through some channel that someone can't make any posts, please direct them to PM me or use the Contact Us page to reach me, and we will resolve the issue for them. Thanks.
MR. CAFEBOT MISSING
Apparently Mr. Cafebot has disappeared on a whirlwind tour to destinations unknown. It’s possible he is searching the digital wild for his trusty canine Dog, who disappeared after a sordid weekend of eating trash and chasing cats back in 2011.
Mrs. Cafebot is worried sick, but Vertical Scope has an APB out on Mr. Cafebot and assures us that he will soon be returned unharmed and unrusted. Hopefully.
NAME THIS COLUMN -- WINNER
Thank you everyone who took some time to send me your ideas about what to call this communication. There were some pretty creative submissions.
In the end, I decided to go with Cafe Communique, which had great alliteration while still accurately nailing the purpose of the letter. This was submitted by @MsBossyPants, who can PM me if she wants to make modifications to her current user title. Thank you again to everyone who took some time to brainstorm a new name, I appreciate it.
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That's it for April. If you have ideas for what you'd like to see covered in future letters, free free to PM me.
Thanks for reading!