Request for internal mail system April 12, 2002 5:19 PM   Subscribe

I wish there was a web form that would allow a member to send an email to another member that is not showing their address. Require the sender to be logged in, and maybe even hold it until the sender responds to a confirmation email sent to their own registered address. The sender need never know the recipient's address (and vice versa). It would facilitate communication in general, and may even keep some matters off MetaTalk.
posted by NortonDC to Feature Requests at 5:19 PM (20 comments total)

As an FYI, I raised this issue a while ago (See here).
posted by Shadowkeeper at 5:24 PM on April 12, 2002


The problem with such a system would be that it would start being used as a chat system. Making in jokes, flaming, etc via private messages utilizing the site's resources.
posted by riffola at 5:34 PM on April 12, 2002


If email confirmation from the sender was required, I think the latency would keep it from being a viable medium for abuse, requiring at least twice the time and attention from the sender as from the receiver.

And I hear there's a more powerful server coming.
posted by NortonDC at 5:52 PM on April 12, 2002


what's the problem with emailing each other using our own email addresses?
posted by rebeccablood at 6:06 PM on April 12, 2002


rcb, it's for the people w/o emails listed.

I would do this, except that it seems ripe for abuse. An internal messaging system would be kind of cool, but I'd hate to have people potentially harrasing each other, having to program "blocked" lists, implementing new features, etc.

I should be clearer on the user page/customize page, so that everyone knows only other members can see their emails now (so that users are more likely to list their emails), and I think still that some folks might prefer to remain totally anonymous and should have that right.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:31 PM on April 12, 2002


Many are reluctant to provide one for the public as doing so leaves one vulnerable to many unpleasantries that this proposal would shield against.
posted by NortonDC at 6:33 PM on April 12, 2002


It appears the MeFi user pages have finally fallen off of Google, by the way (I just got an email from a non-MeFite a few days ago using that page's address, so I was wondering if it was ever going to happen). Someone else may want to double check to be sure, though.

God only knows if they've been sucked up by the Wayback Machine.
posted by aaron at 10:08 PM on April 12, 2002


Maybe Matt changed the robots.txt file. Along with non-members not being able to access email addresses this is probably a good idea. Well, that is if he changed it. I'm not savvy enough to check.
posted by skallas at 10:45 PM on April 12, 2002


Yes, Matt did exclude user profiles in the robots.txt
posted by riffola at 11:10 PM on April 12, 2002


It appears the MeFi user pages have finally fallen off of Google...

Nope, not yet.
posted by digital_insomnia at 12:07 AM on April 13, 2002


i'm using a very simple private messaging thing on my site, because by default i don't display anyone's email addresses at all.

it seems the abuse generally happens in the comments on posts, and private messaging is most often used for patting each other on the back for posting good links. i've yet to see it need any moderation at all, even though the discussions on SE can get a fair bit nastier than anything that goes on on metafilter.

granted my site probably doesn't have a similarly sized userbase though.
posted by titboy at 4:23 AM on April 13, 2002


More thoughts-

Abuse could also be tempered by a (truthful) explicit warning that all communication through this medium would be open to Matt.

There were two recent times I wished for this ability: to ask Postroad about his disengagement from another site, and just yesterday to compliment Thomas J. Wise for writing with such a clear personal voice that I knew who it was before the attribution was even on my screen.
posted by NortonDC at 9:02 AM on April 13, 2002


It appears the MeFi user pages have finally fallen off of Google, by the way. Someone else may want to double check to be sure, though.

They still come up in results, although Google doesn't provide any text from the page. I now get "www.metafilter.com/user.mefi/11722 | Similar pages" rather than all my information including location and email address. Good -- I'll feel better about checking that "show address" box again.
posted by Dean King at 10:54 AM on April 13, 2002


My user page still comes up in Google, and in a bunch of domain names I don't understand, some of which are:

stopthemadness.metafilter.com/user.mefi/10629

liveforever.metafilter.com/user.mefi/10629

i.am.a.notalentassclown.org/user.mefi/10629

www.kokogiak.has.questions.for.metafilter.com/user.mefi/10629

ww.metafilter.com/user.mefi/10629

mypants.metafilter.com/user.mefi/10629

thereisnospoon.metafilter.com/user.mefi/10629


There are about a dozen others. Anybody know what that's all about?
posted by diddlegnome at 2:11 PM on April 13, 2002


Somebody linked to your page using those URLs, and google found it. All *.metafilter.com domains end up at the same site, as does notalentassclown.org, for now, so somtimes people inject a little bit'o'fun or commentary into their links. I think thereisnospoon is special somehow.

The real question is why all those people are linking to your user page.
posted by rodii at 3:21 PM on April 13, 2002


Oh, duh. Reveal brainos. Someone liked to metafilter.com at those URLs, and then the google spider found your user page from there.
posted by rodii at 3:22 PM on April 13, 2002


Thanks, rodii.

The real question is why all those people are linking to your user page.

Yeah. I mean, I'm pretty darn special, but still.

I'm wondering if this is connected: I have gotten a couple of suspicious e-mails in the past couple of days from people I don't know. I don't know what they were about, since one (from robert somebody, with subject line "Darling" [!]) had no body text and was only a couple of attachments, and the other one (from a Dominic at the domain millenniumflyer, I think) just said something about a game I should play. It also came with attachments, which I don't open unless I'm expecting them or they're from someone I know. It's bothersome.
posted by diddlegnome at 3:48 PM on April 13, 2002


yes, thereisnospoon is special, somehow.
posted by yonderboy at 6:29 PM on April 13, 2002


Is it still possible to go to a search thingy like google and type in something like "link:yourURL" and it will show a list of all the places on the web which the search engine found where someone else linked to you? I recall doing that once a long time ago and it worked, but am too lazy to go right now and check to see if it still works.

Besides I don't want to know how few people link to my website. It's too depressing. *smirk*
posted by ZachsMind at 1:34 AM on April 14, 2002


Yes, Zach, it still works, at least at google and altavista, it does. It's not accurate, although it is extremely depressing. First I typed in my weblog url and both engines returned the answer "We found 0 results" and I swear as god is my witness that other sites are, in fact, linked to my weblog (apparently there really is no accounting for taste). Then, just to make sure that the "link:your url" really worked, I typed in Zeldman.com and got a list of over 12,000 sites.
posted by iconomy at 10:05 AM on April 14, 2002


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