I have often found myself in a situation where I want to contact someone on SCN through a personal message. It happens especially when I have to contact a space moderator for some query. The query is not always generalized so that I can post it in the questions section and let it be public for everyone to read/respond. In case of writing to a moderator, I am already aware of the right person to approach, so again why should I keep it public and make my query be open to everyone to respond. Also sometimes for example, if I need some career guidance from an experienced person on SCN why not to send a direct message to the intended person instead of posting a question on the community?
Sending “Direct messages” helps us serve this purpose. However this feature has a major constraint
–> You can send a direct message to Mr.X only when he is following you. Independent of you following Mr.X, he has to follow you so that you are able to send him a direct message. I honestly do not understand the reason behind this constraint because; can I ask/force anyone to follow me so that I would be able to send them a personal message? They might not be interested in tracking my activities OR they might not even know me OR they might not find a need to be connected to me. Right ? Then how do I contact them via SCN?
Another aspect of this functionality is, a moderator can send me a direct message and he doesn’t need to follow me to perform this activity. It’s a great feature however, how does it make sense to have a one way communication? After receiving a notification from the moderators, what if I have a query further to be asked on the same discussion?
There is an alternate to solve this problem, I can get their mail ID’s from the “Bio” tab of their profile and send them a message. But how many of us keep our email ID’s publicly visible on SCN? OR how many of us would like to do that? Not everybody, right?
With this discussion in place, does it concludes, that I should start following almost all the profiles on SCN, so that they are able to send me a direct message if need be? But seriously, I don’t wish to keep a track on everyone here. So what else can be done? Should SCN by default keep the field of “Email ID” as visible to “Everyone”? But then this might sometimes be against the privacy principle of the SCN user.
And looks like my question is still not answered, how do I contact someone on SCN via a direct message?
The aim of writing this blog is-
– Firstly, I am sure, SCN would have a very valid reason, for setting up such constraint on sending direct messages. I am just curious to know what those reasons could be.
– Secondly, I would like to propose an enhancement- it will be nice to have this constraint discarded so that we are allowed to send a direct message. There are people who might be open to guiding newbies however they might not be following them coz they might not know them. This creates an obstruction in the communication for the person who wishes to initiate a conversation. The site can give the privilege to the user of deciding on who can send him a direct message. The possible options can be:-
a. No one can send you a direct message.
b. Everyone can send you a direct message
c. Only the people you are following can send you a direct message
d. Only the people following you can send you a direct message
This will improve the usability of the site and provide an ease of communication.
– And lastly, I would like to suggest that it will be nice to have this constraint discarded so that we are allowed to send a direct message to at least the moderators if not to everyone.
I would be pleased to know your view regarding this subject.