Home > Website Development > The “Membership Options” screen

The “Membership Options” screen

the Membership options page

The “Membership Options” page for a game

I wanted to highlight the “Membership Options” page (see screenshot). Because I want some input on the options it presents to the member of a game.

In Ongoing Worlds, when you join an existing game, you can see all of the game posts, and will by default you will receive email notification every time there is a new post. For many users this will no doubt be annoying, especially if the game is really active and has many posts per day – meaning that your inbox will soon be overcrowded with emails from your game.

But on the other hand it could be extremely useful to know when someone has posted in your game, as you might not be checking back to the site very often to notice it. This means someone might post, and nobody will notice until they come back to the site.

I wanted to create some options which will hopefully please everybody. So on the “Membership Options” page, I have created the following options:

  • Email me when there is a new post
  • Email me when there is a post using my character
  • Email me *Action* posts only

I’ll explain these in detail:

Email me when there is a new post

If this is selected then the member will receive all posts that are submitted to that game. That might be good or bad. Traditional PBEM games use solely email, so this might be standard practice to a lot of people, but for others who are more used to checking a forum this might just be annoying and seem as email spam.
Default is on. I’ve done this because a new member to a game might forget they have joined, so by receiving emails from the start is a reminder that they need to participate.

Email me when there is a post using my character

You’ll soon be able to tag a character in a post, which will show a small image of all characters involved in the post. If another member tags one of your characters, you will receive an email letting you know that they have included your character, and that it might require you to write a follow-up post.

Email me *Action* posts only

*Action* posts are usually what the GM posts to push the story along. They are important as they normally involve a change in the story which effects all characters. Members need to be aware of these posts more than any other. Selecting this option means you’ll only receive email notification of these posts, and not every other.

I have some questions about this last option however. If you’re involved in a PBEM or play-by-post game then I’d like you to help me out. I’ve played in a few games, and the name for the *Action* post has been the same. But I know there are many thousands of Play-by-post games out there which probably do something different. I want to know if the concept of an *Action* post is the same, and if it’s called the same thing? If not, I’ll rename my option above to something more meaningful. Maybe “Special” post or “Important” post or something?

Also I have been wondering who should be allowed to label a post as an *Action* post? Should it be Moderators only? Or all members? In games I’ve played, it has usually been the Moderators who write the *Action* post, but occasionally we’ll let some other member write one if they have a good idea and want to run it as a story.

Thanks in advance for feedback.

  1. March 15, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    I’m coming from a background where there were no real *action* posts as you describe them. In every game I’ve played there has been so much communication outside of the game that anyone could be asked to bring the story forward, or do something special.

    So from my perspective, I would prefer that anyone is able to mark a post as important (the exact wording does not really matter, but I think doing something similar to how you can mark an email as important would be a good idea – people would recognize it). Each game can then make up their own rules.

    Regarding the emails: Sending a daily email with all posts for that day would give everyone a heads up that something has been posted, but it doesn’t clutter the mailbox as much. On the other hand, all email clients can filter incoming messages to folders, so if you want the emails you really do not have to actually see them in the inbox folder.

    • March 16, 2010 at 10:38 am

      Hi Janus, thats intresting to get another perspective on the *Action* post thing, I’ve realised that not everyone will use the exact same terms, so I’ll just mark the post “important”. And maybe further down the line allow people to change the name of this status – so they can call it an *Action* post if they’d like, or whatever term they’d want. Maybe even allow other different statusses (no idea what at the moment, but I’ll ask users to see if it’s going to be useful).

      I hadn’t actually thought of a daily archive. This is what Yahoo Groups does, sends out an emai lat the end of the day with the days posts included. I agree its better than cluttering up your inbox… but…. I have a problem with doing that right now. The hosting I’ve bought is a little bit cheap and doesnt let me setup a cron job – which is a repeat action performed at a certain time. So for now I might have to just spam people!

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