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Private Messaging on RS Forum

I think the private messaging feature on the RS forum could be an under-used feature. It took me a while to learn about it and figure it out.

I enjoy getting private messages from forum posters. PM could be used to communicate things not directly related to the OP's original question and could prevent topics from digressing into "open" anger and attacks.

It can also be used to address (share info. with) another poster who is not the OP.

Posted by
1638 posts

Very true Sun-Baked.

It's nice to have a little side conversation. 😷

Posted by
4644 posts

I don't use the PM feature much but I like it. Have had some nice "conversations" with regular posters that spin off from posted topics.

Posted by
2129 posts

I use PM to distribute specific information about rental agents, etc. These may be confused with commercial messaging at times.

Posted by
4342 posts

I've received quite a few pm's to elaborate on posts I've made which are always welcome and I've also received some insulting pm's which were also quite welcome as nothing is more amusingly futile as insulting someone online.

Posted by
21155 posts

About the only time I use the PM function is when someone has posted a serious error and I don't want to publicly embarrass them with a correction. For the most part what I would say in a PM I would say publicly.

Posted by
2478 posts

I really like the PM function.

  • A couple of people have contacted me because we were going to be at the same place at the same time, and we arranged meet-ups -- one happened in Berlin a couple of years ago, one was supposed to happen tonight in Warsaw (but, of course, was a victim of COVID-19!).
  • I've fielded a good number of follow up questions on trip reports and other things I have posted here.
  • I've thanked people for good advice on the Forum.
  • I've had some interesting side conversations.
Posted by
1921 posts

I like the PM option. I've gotten some nice comments on some of my travel blogging. And I use it to contact members for potential meet-ups - like Dave (above) mentioned. (Sorry we are not having dinner tonight, Dave:( )

I've arranged about 6 meet ups over the years, all via PM. Istanbul, Tel Aviv, Barcelona, Paris and more. Tonight was to be Warsaw.

It's a great way to reach out to a forum member and test the waters a bit before revealing private email addresses.

One caveat though: even though I have "notify me when I receive a PM" set to ON on my RS account, I never receive a notification - I used to, but they stopped a few years ago. So, I try to remember to check my unread messages from time to time.

Posted by
1924 posts

I do enjoy taking "side conversations" offline to a pm to get more detail or perhaps take a tangent discussion without "hijacking" the original intent of the post. I enjoy the opportunity of hearing more from someone via pm than I might otherwise, on a topic of particular interest.

And to plan activities such as our should-have-been dinner in Warsaw tonight!

Posted by
6366 posts

I like it too, although I don’t use it terribly often.

One thing I don’t like is a couple of times people have sent me a PM asking for more specific information related to something I have said in a thread (an idea for where to go, or a hotel suggestion or something general).

In that case I really prefer the person would ask within the thread — the further information would presumably be useful to anyone else interested in the same thing and reading the thread in the future.

Posted by
2478 posts

Valerie, CWSocial... I was thinking today that we should have met up in a park in one of your hometowns tonight for a socially-distanced picnic!

Posted by
5172 posts

Probably some frequent posters are discouraged from using PM since it does not add to their "Post Number" and is not visible to other frequent posters they want to be visible to. Basically, better to sidetrack a post than take something offline where only a few people see your brilliance, humor, and place on the board.

Posted by
1924 posts

And Paul, along the same lines as your point, some newer posters may feel awkward adding their question to the public post, out of shyness or fear or just feeling too new to "put their hand up in class." And so a PM is a way to ask the question without drawing attention. (I speak from my own earlier experience on this particular point; obviously I got over that ;-)

Dave, what a great idea! A Zoom picnic, perhaps with pierogi and vodka.

Posted by
21155 posts

Kim
...don’t like is a couple of times people have sent me a PM asking for more specific information... I agree but when that happens I still put up a public response to their question and use the PM to direct their attention to the posting. The idea is to provide information useful to all.

Posted by
5629 posts

Good thought, Frank -- expanded information is always useful.

Posted by
6366 posts

Yes, that is a good idea, Frank.

Of course then others would pillory me for only trying to “up my numbers.” Oh well.

It’s too bad that the Forum doesn’t have a mute or block function like Twitter — then those who despise my posts so much could be freed forever of having to encounter them !!

Posted by
1449 posts

CWSocial and Gang,
If there's pierogi - add me to your list! There are other Polish foods I like. Unfortunately, I only know how to pronounce them, not spell them. (Stuffed cabbage, prune filled "doughnut," poppy seed roll, ham in all its forms, etc..)

Posted by
4282 posts

I get contacted routinely via PM about Vienna as well as a hotel I apparently mentioned in Bologna. I usually don’t answer as I find the PM messaging function on here cumbersome. There is also something weird to me about it - feels too personal and sometimes people act like they know me.

Posted by
883 posts

While I like the pm feature, I don’t like it when someone posts in a thread that they PMed the OP an answer. Why not share that answer with everyone when so often multiple people have the same question? And if for some reason you feel the answer shouldn’t be shared publicly, then just pm the OP without announcing to the rest of us that we don’t get to see your answer! This has happened a few times on a thread I was interested in, usually about recommendations on places to stay.

Posted by
3789 posts

It has benefits. I don't recall what the setting options are, but if it is something like 'once a week', then I think it is less useful. I figure keep it current or turn it off.
I agree that it feels exclusionary to state on a thread that a person has PMd a recommendation to another. I have been known to ask them to share it for all to see...including future readers.
Like Frank, if someone asks something specific to a thread, I reply in the thread.
One thing I haven't figured out is the etiquette of ending a conversation. Sometimes they seem to go on too long. A thumbs up emoji could do the trick. I'll have to figure out how to access that from the messaging page...

Posted by
25519 posts

I tend to agree with what Karen said about pms.

Unless something needs to be private - like arranging to meet for a cup of coffee somewhere - , or helping somebody who has made a factual error instead of correcting them publically, I don't like 'em.

regarding:

A thumbs up emoji could do the trick

only if all the readers speak emoji and understand the emoji alphabet. A lot of people don't understand it and don't understand the subtle subtexts.

I'd prefer that we stay with plain English even though I am deluged in emoji speak every day.

Posted by
25519 posts

The settings for emailing PMs and emailing when a thread is responded to are only on/off. They happen whenever that action happens, they aren't saved up. If you get 10 responses you will get 10 emails. If you get 10 PMs you will get 10 emails.

or none.

Posted by
2266 posts

Most of the PM's that I receive and/or send are commenting on a post, but more about the comment than the post. That usually morphs into a brief, pleasant exchange of messages about how right we are!

Once I did get a very rude message from an OP which I reported, and it was quickly deleted.

Posted by
1258 posts

MariaF
One thing I haven't figured out is the etiquette of ending a conversation. Sometimes they seem to go on too long. A thumbs up emoji could do the trick. I'll have to figure out how to access that from the messaging page...

If it is your original post you can ask the moderator to close it for further comments.

Posted by
1902 posts

Oh, Dave and CwSocial, I should have been on the Poland tour! I would have been in Warsaw and likely could have joined y’all on a picnic. I had blocked out the memory of the tour to protect myself from disappointment. But I think I will follow the proposed itinerary day by day, 9/08-9/17.
I apologize for this off-topic comment. Perhaps I should have sent a PM!

Posted by
1128 posts

PMs are very useful. Most often for giving more details than I think would be useful in a general forum.

And they can also be useful for correcting seriously incorrect Information without a public slap on the wrist.

Finally, I’ll use the them as one last Hail Mary if someone is planning on doing something really foolhardy such as violating hotel occupancy rules or renting a car when they’re out of the legal age range . Maybe they are European hotels where you can load up the room like a college road trip or car rental companies that care about what AARP says about drivers over 75, but I wouldn’t want to take the chances.

Posted by
4565 posts

There are other Polish foods I like. Unfortunately, I only know how to pronounce them, not spell them. (Stuffed cabbage, prune filled "doughnut," poppy seed roll, ham in all its forms, etc..)

Let's see: gołąki, pączki, makowiec, szynka... It's been decades since we've been there, but who could forget the wonderful food.

I guess I could have answered this in a PM, but that wouldn't have upped my count. :-)

Do people actually worry about that? I must say I was tickled when I first received a badge, but I certainly don't try

Posted by
21155 posts

You know, Jane, there is an edit button that you are allowed to use.

Posted by
31271 posts

I use the PM function on a regular basis, and find that it works well for comments and discussions that may not be of interest to others on the forum. As someone mentioned earlier in this thread, I've also received "private" questions and I always suggest that these should be posted on the forum in order to take advantage of a wider knowledge base.