Just bumping this thread to remind folks that members can now send private messages to each other without needing to follow or be followed by them. :)
Those irritated by grain of sand best avoid beach.
-Strumelia proverb c.1990
Greetings all FOTMD members!
For a long time now I've noticed that many members have a difficult time understanding and using the system that governs the sending of Private Messages to each other. It was hard to get people to 'follow' each other both ways in order to allow them to exchange private notes here on the site.
I've been thinking for a long time about how to make messaging easier while still allowing members to adjust things according to their individual preferences on privacy, while minimizing any disruption and avoiding new learning curves. Recently, the six wise site Moderators ...and myself, have discussed various options to facilitate communication, and we were all in agreement on changes which I've now implemented.
The NEW change is as follows:
All FOTMD members now have the ability to send a Private Message to any other member... WITHOUT needing to 'follow' that member first or be 'followed' back by them.
This is a big thing, but the Mods and I all agreed that our site is unusually friendly and supportive, has good moderation in place, and there shouldn't be many problems with this arrangement.
There are still options available to every member in order to customize their experience to their liking:
1) you can still set all your Notification settings as you like in your Account Settings, to receive emails letting you know you have a new PM or not, for example. I suggest everyone REVIEW their own Notifications TAB settings from their account settings. There are many choices there for getting various kinds of site notifications. You can personalize your site experience!
2) if there are certain members you wish to prevent from being able to send you Private Messages, you can block those particular users from doing so in your Private Message Settings. In the same location, you can also change your PM settings to not receive ANY PMs from anyone...some folks simply don't want to be contacted privately, at all. (site Admins will still be able to contact you) Note that these two Private Message Settings are found when you go into your PM section- hover over your NAME link at top right of any page here when you're logged in, and click to your Private Messages area. There, you'll see a button for "My Private Message Settings".. which is where you'll find the above two options.
The 'Following' function will remain in place unchanged. The only change is that 'following' will no longer be needed in order to send private messages. You will still be able to Follow your favorite Groups and Forum discussions, and you'll still be able to keep and add to your Followers and to follow other members.
I should point out here that one of the reasons to 'follow' another member is that when you are on your own Profile Page, if you click on the TAB called LatestActivity, you'll see the recent posts from all the members you are following. This is a handy way to keep up with what your favorite FOTMD friends are up to!
The next time you compose a new private message, when you start typing the name of the recipient, for example "Carol..." now you'll notice a whole bunch of Carols pop up for you to choose from... all members named Carol! Just keep typing another letter or two, and the field of choices will quickly narrow right down to your intended person.
We feel the great majority of members will LOVE the new easy way they can communicate and make friends on FOTMD. Post here with any questions you are unsure about.
Thanks... and ENJOY!