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Missing Classmate Invite

Forums: Suggestions and Feedback
Created on: 09/27/10 01:35 PM Views: 2328 Replies: 21
Monday, September 27, 2010 at 1:35 PM

If a classmate sends an invitation to a "Missing Classmate", is it logged anywhere in the system. Is there a way for the admins or at least the root admin to know of this event and be able to track it and possibly follow up on it?

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 1:40 PM - Response #1

Nope. If someone sends an invite and uses an e-mail address that might not be in the system yet, it is a privacy issue because maybe the missing classmate doesn't want to be found.

Therefore, admins don't know who has been invited or which e-mail addresses were sent invitations unless it was the admin who sent the invite.

You could remove the "Send Invite" module from the right-side modules and instead put a notice on your home page that if they know the e-mail address of a classmate who hasn't joined, use the CONTACT US to send the e-mail to you. Then you could add the e-mail address to the classmate's DETAILS page and you could also plug it in to the send invite. That way, the classmate would start getting e-mails from the website.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 1:56 PM - Response #2

I wish you would reconsider this, as I do not agree. I am an admin on another site which is part of the NING.COM shell. It does capture the name and email of the invitee, who invited them, and the date of the invitation. Only admins can view this data.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:26 PM - Response #3

Well, look at it like this Charlie, I probably agree with you 90% of the time on your various posts here. In baseball that's a mighty fine batting average. So you're making the system better and that's very much appreciated believe me, keep 'em comin'.

Here I don't agree however, and if Ning is doing that then I also don't agree with them. Somebody comes by your site and knows the private email address for somebody else, and they elect to send off an invitation. They didn't agree to give that private email address to somebody external though, namely the Site Administrator. What are Admins going to do with that information? The only thing they could possibly use it for is if they too are going to start sending emails to that private address. And how many things are they going to send? The recipient of these potential emails didn't opt for this at all. If they want to join the site, most likely they'll do it after getting the invitation they already received. I realize you personally are not likely to abuse this, but if we were to do it in the global system it does create an abusable situation. And sooner or later -- probably sooner -- I believe that would wind up generating complaints from people wondering how their private email address was obtained.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:37 PM - Response #4

There is that but now look at it from another side. The email that is sent to the reclusive classmate comes from my site. It has no mention of who initiated it. So if that person gets irritated and "complains", I am the one who is gonna get the brunt of it. AND I will have no data to support or defend myself with.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:56 PM - Response #5

This is true. But we have to look at reality vs. this actually happening. Reality is that in nearly a million Classmates I've never heard of a single instance where somebody external repeatedly used the auto invite feature to send a Classmate numerous invitations. While it's certainly possible it happened and we were never aware of it, I find it highly unlikely somebody would keep doing this. If it did happen though there are two methods of recourse:

1) You can simply remove the module from your web site by deactivating it. That alone would stop the problem.
2) The recipient could ban the email address in his or her own email program to block any more of these

Even if we collected the info and displayed it to Admins, if somebody gets irritated and complains you still won't know who's initiating these. Unless we also add a field for the initiator's email address, which may or may not yield accurate info, and would further complicates the ability for one Classmate to quickly invite another.

Anyway good debate here. In light of the fact this has been working extremely well, has never been abused (to our knowledge), has never generated a single complaint, plus our desire to keep private information private, I think no changes should be made here. Like I said though, keep 'em coming, all ideas should be considered.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:58 PM - Response #6

You can send an invite without being logged in to the system. Just click on Classmate Profiles, and any classmate who hasn't joined yet. It also has SEND INVITE on that page.

Thus, it is not possible to remove that module from the website.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 3:06 PM - Response #7

Kyle beat to that one. I think that only members should be able to invite others to be members. Name a club that lets non members recommend members to them. Therefore must be logged in and by default we know who did the invite and theoritically, have valid data. And that data should be captured.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 3:43 PM - Response #8

1) The Classmate has the option of restricting their own Profile. So while it can't be stopped entirely by the Admin, the Classmate can certainly stop it, although they'd need to join the site to do so.

2) You already have the ability to allow only members to invite new members. Just check that module to only display to logged-in Classmates.

3) Are you really sure you'd want to do that? When nobody has ever had a problem here? Why not do it if you're actually having a problem? What about the mom who finds the site and wants to send an auto invite to her Classmate son? Or the school principal who's not a member but knows where a Classmate is? Or a friend of the Classmate who knows their email address? And many more. Do you really want to stop these people from helping you find your Missing Classmates? If you really want to you already can. While somebody could still send a Classmate a private invite, not showing the automated invite box will lessen the chances of the invite occurring.

Edited 09/27/10 4:00 PM
Monday, September 27, 2010 at 4:08 PM - Response #9

1. I am not sure this applies - as we are talking about a process that involves an email being sent to a non member to ask them to become a member. As they are not members, they can not set their profile to block something.
2. If that option is there, where is it?
3. That is where the conversation went....I just wanna know that my web site sent an email inviting someone to join.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 4:50 PM - Response #10

1) I edited my response to add that but you may have read before I saved edit.

2) In your home page edit area you can set any right module to only display to logged-in members.

3) Do you want the log still if there is no email address included? We could do that, my one concern is doing so would only lead to endless requests to obtain the private email addresses.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 5:15 PM - Response #11

ok - reread you edited version
1. I agree with you now
2. I dont think that has nothing to do with the way the entire list of the class is diplayed for some one to pick their name and join OR send the click person and email and invitation. That is the widget that shows a list of folks logged in. Am I wrong?
3. This is how I would approach it this way:

If the initiator IS a member and LOGGED on: I would want to know
a. The name and email of the initiator
b. The name clicked on
c. The email entered to send to
d. A code should be recorded to denote that the initiator information is system generated based on the log on information,

If the initiator is NOT logged on, we dont know if member or not. To resolve this, we should stay within a lot of other established protocols and ask for the initiators Name and EMail. When completed:
a. Record the name and email as entered on screen
b. The name clicked on
c. The email entered to send to
d. A code should be recorded to denote that the initiator information was manually entered.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:05 PM - Response #12

2) No you are not wrong, you are right. If we create a Preferences page option to disable the Auto Invite from the Profile page of non members, will you choose to disable it?

3) While I'd have no issue with most of this, we can't give out private email addresses for stated privacy reasons above. This renders the log of no practical value, just curiosity value. We've created plenty of curiosity-only features before, so that's certainly not reason for not creating such a log. I guess my question for you is without an email address do you still want the log at all?

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:18 PM - Response #13

2) i agree with you on the merit of allowing non members to invite, but would be real curious as to how often that happens. But no I will not choose to disable it
3) My goal is to convince you that we need to capture everything that comes out of the site. My experience in 10 years of Gopher Hunting has been that none of my 450+ class mates are in hiding from the class. I see nothing wrong with capturing the data. Especially since I am they are using my service. Maybe put a disclaimer on it that we are capturing the transaction. I can not believe that someone would think that it was NOT being captured for the benefit and protection of the website.

But I guess we are going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Is there a poll or something that you could get feed back from other admins.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:40 PM - Response #14

Charlie, what about the classmate that does not care to join the site, for whatever reason?
We had a dozen or so classmates show up for our 40 year reunion in May who choose NOT to register.
I respect their feelings in not wanting to join up, and I will not 'brow beat' them into submission/joining.
Sure, I wish we had 100% participation of our living classmates, but I realize that is not practical.
I send no more than TWO invites - after that, the burden is on THEIR shoulders.

Monday, September 27, 2010 at 6:47 PM - Response #15

I know that I will never get full participation. I also know that some people change their email address more of than their und....socks. I also would probably agree that 2 invites is plenty. But dont you think that you as the owner of the website should KNOW what is being sent out under your name. We are paying for the use of this site and there ia a tool that we can use (within limits) to meet our objectives.

BTW - I believe that 10-20% of people that have email - NEVER check it. Another large group checks it MAYBE once a month. Your class as well mas my class are getting very close to the big R. Keeping in touch - I think will become even more difficult when that happens. This system is designed around email. If it is not kept current, the whole thing will flop.

Just my thoughts.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:41 PM - Response #16

Regarding the link for sending an invite to a missing classmate: How do I add a "CONTACT US" link to that space? I don't want to remove the send an invite function, I just want to add an another method of gathering information - your best suggestion?


Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 11:17 AM - Response #17

A Contact Us link is present on your site navigation at all times. If you're looking at the Profile for a non member I'd try to keep the content on that page itself focused on trying to invite the Missing member.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 11:42 AM - Response #18

We're going to have to agree to disagree. You "paying for the service" means that you get the features listed on the Features page. When sometime is in trial mode they should expect to get all of the Features they see in trial mode when they make the decision to pay for the site and should expect those features to continue to work as they did in the trial. Although we're constantly growing the system we don't technically owe anybody anything other than what is listed on our Features page.

Rarely but sometimes issues like this come up and when they do, in the end I have to make a decision. We've always made decisions here with an eye toward privacy. I'm not seeing any good reason to change that here.

When somebody sends an auto invite, the person is going to get the invite most of the time. If they want to join the site presumably they will. If we give Admins that email address the only thing they can possibly do with it is send yet additional invites of some kind.

When somebody chooses to use the auto invite feature they see the feature clearly states that an auto invite will be sent to that person's email address. It doesn't say "by the way the email address will also be sent to Charlie so he can send additional invites if the first one is ignored." There's nothing on that feature that states that we're giving out somebody's private email address to another party.

I've been doing this for a long time, and as much as I'd love to see everyone want to join their class site, there's plenty of cases where people simply don't want to join and I can absolutely assure you that somebody sending multiple invites is in fact going to bother them.

While I realize you personally are not likely to abuse this, let's say that just 5% of admins abuse it in some fashion. I.E. they send maybe 3 or more emails to the person, which I know enters the realm of bothering people who simply don't want to join. Do you have any idea how many people that would amount to for us? It's a ton.

I see no reason to create a setup that will in at least some cases bother and annoy people, and in my opinion cross the lines of privacy. The invite was already sent once. More often than not the invite was probably opened and read. The Classmate has already had a chance to join.

I don't think a poll isn't necessary because we can't consider the results even if they side with you, which is entirely possible. We have to make privacy decisions factoring in the entire system. I don't think the ability for the Admin to send out additional invites above and beyond the one that was already sent warrants giving out private email addresses that were never intended to be given out.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 11:51 AM - Response #19

A Contact Us link is present on your site navigation at all times. If you're looking at the Profile for a non member I'd try to keep the content on that page itself focused on trying to invite the Missing member.

Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 12:25 PM - Response #20


I am sorry if I offended, that comment you quoted was in direct response to the question to me by Steve. The whole statement to make my point was: "But dont you think that you as the owner of the website should KNOW what is being sent out under your name. We are paying for the use of this site and there ia a tool that we can use (within limits) to meet our objectives." The point I was trying to make was in the first sentence. Not in anyway was I saying that CC was not performing as promised in the trial. You and your staff have been most responsive and I believe oriented toward having a SUPERIOR product at all times.

I do have to ask. Theoretically speaking, who decided that cell phones and email were private? The phone company prints my name address and phone number in a book every year. If I DO NOT want it published (as I recall) I have pay extra.

For the record, I have modified my MISSING CLASSMATES and included a request that the sender of an invitaion also sends a note to CONTACT US (if they do not feel that it would violate confidentiality).

One additional comment. I do not know if the person got the email that was sent. As you know (I know this because you told me so) Bellsouth does not like your NOREPLY@CC emails. Further, the types of message that CC sends out are very likely to get trapped into a spam filter.

However, I am going to let this dog lie. I aint gonna worry about it any more.

Edited 09/30/10 12:56 PM
Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 4:09 PM - Response #21

Heh. Charlie I'm tough to offend, trust me. So I'm not offended at all. You're keeping it real and so am I. I like that about you, we welcome your feedback, heck we've implemented a lot of it, and I might as well throw in here you're doing all of this for free, expecting nothing other than an improved system. So the last thing I am is offended. Rather, the word is appreciative. While that doesn't mean we'll always agree, I can certainly understand where you're coming from, as I'm sure you can with me too. "So it goes."

Right as you may be about phone numbers showing up in the phone book, I don't think it's an apples to apples comparison. You have the ability from the start to NOT have it added, and you also have the ability to add yourself to the Do Not Call list. An apples to apples comparison here is one of your friends gives another friend your phone number, but didn't realize by doing so the number was also given to a third party who then elects to give you a call a few times. That's what we're talking about here -- it really comes down to intent. I don't think when people use the auto invite feature they're intending to give out a private email address they know to the Administrator of the web site. Again, I understand most Admins wouldn't abuse this, but it does create an abusable situation.

Bell South: It's not the noreply address they don't like. That has never to my knowledge caused a problem. What they don't like is the rapid fire delivery of email. If our system just opens the flood gates on them and pours in a ton of emails, they just start kicking it all back. That's why for Bell South and 3 other email providers we put in an email staggering system to ensure rapid fire delivery of email to them does not ever happen. With the queue in place all emails from noreply are going through to Bell South just fine.

Spam Trapping: Certainly can't argue with ya on that one. Here though it's probably the very short message paired with the fact that it's coming form the noreply address. A short message from a regular POP3 email box is likely to have no problems. One thing we'll soon be offering is a Platinum Member package where Admins can host email right here on the system under their own domain name. If for no other reason they'll be able to use that as the sending address and dump the address entirely. I realize many Premium users may not upgrade to this, but at least those who want will have the option. It's one more thing that will lessen the chances of these and many other emails being flagged as spam.

Edited 09/30/10 4:14 PM
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