Messaging system

Description of your request or bug report:

A system that allows you messaging through Natively between users.
Make this option so the user can opt-in / opt-out?

This quote is a good summary of the possible options:

Trello link: (leave in blank)

@Megumin could you possibly add more description to this so that we can tell if this is something we want to vote for or if it’s something that we could just add to?

I’m assuming that this is about being notified when someone follows you on-site. If this is what I think it is, I would like to add that it would be nice to have messaging on-site alongside notifications–not everyone wants to use the forums, but it would be nice to be able to message “friends” (those who we follow back) on the site. It’s going to eventually become aggravating to have to make a forum account to message somebody about a book. And, of course, while this isn’t goodreads, I believe that that is an aspect of goodreads that makes it likeable and user-friendly. There are people I message on there to ask about their review/description of a book or where we might talk about our feelings on a book without us having to go to the forums.

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Lol yeah, I had also briefly mentioned it in the product thread we were all talking in, but it seems like it would fit with this one. I haven’t even attempted to message anybody on the forums because idk how often people check the forums and I’d rather message people on-site. I’m :pinching_hand: this close to making my email public on my profile so ppl can email me about books lol

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These are all from a backlog list, so a description is not available for a lot of them.
If you have ideas that match with the topic, feel free to list them, and can be checked/approved by Brandon, and then updated both here and in the trello board for when it’s implemented.

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Well I don’t think adding a messaging feature within Natively makes sense since people can just use the forums. But notifications for follows and requested books getting added (at least) would be useful.


Maybe it should be possible to do some discourse API integration to relegate the messaging system to the forums.

I have no idea how to integrate with it, but at least using the private messages is part of the API, indeed:

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lol you ignored exactly what I said–not everyone wants to/will use the forums.

Some people only want to use the site. If you want to have a private conversation with somebody about the book, why would you have to sign up for the forums to be able to DM them? Especially since DMing isnt a privilege that you automatically get upon joining the forums. Why force somebody to sign up/use a section that they don’t have to unless they want vast community engagement? because I sincerely doubt that someone is going to open a thread and say "don’t respond, this is private for me and ___ to talk about __ in it. Or what if one user uses the forums and the other doesn’t? A lot of the people that I’ve recommended the site to have no interest in the forums and instead ask me to add their feedback to the list that I’m making from my followers.

I know that I personally had no interest in the forums until I saw that we could add suggestions instead of emailing Brandon with them. But other than that, not everyone is going to be attracted to using a forum.

It should be possible to create and read private messages within the learnnatively website with the discourse as a backend. So you can avoid accessing the forums as long as everyone has a profile created internally, which I guess it can be batch-made.


I think you would just use a private message instead of posting, though :sweat_smile:

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lol i think you might be confused about what we’re talking about–private messaging on-site–not within the forums. Not everyone wants to use the forums, so not everyone is going to sign up for the forums. And, like I said before, the ability to private message is not something that’s automatically granted upon joining the forums, so it’s not really worthwhile for somebody to join the forums just to gain the ability to private message somebody unless they want to engage with the community on it.

Some people want to be able to message on Natively without leaving it and having to access the forums. Especially because there’s no guarantee that every person is going to use the forums. If I use the forums, but user B doesn’t, I can’t message them :tipping_hand_woman:

Those permissions can be tweaked, and maybe with the API you can create a bypass.

But all of this will have to be evaluated by Brandon.

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I’m not quite sure what you mean by that. That’s the same account as your Natively account, it’s just that it’s not populated in the forum database until you come the first time.

… It is, though? I used pm from day 1.

I don’t get this point.

That’s true! But as @Megumin said, profiles might be possible to create automatically.
But anyway, using the api to have your pm visible from the Natively page works for you, regardless that it’s still Discourse as the backend, right?


Then they clearly don’t need a messaging system that badly. :joy: After all, it’s free to join the forums and can be solely used for private messaging if that’s all they want. Why should Brandon spend time on something he already has out of the box when he could build features that don’t exist at all?


The first few accounts (I think 50?) created in Discourse are boot started to a certain trust level. Depending on the time you joined, you probably joined with more rights than someone that came after. Still, this behaviour can be changed, so it’s not a big deal.

Yes, the API has all the elements needed for creating and reading of PMs externally. Whether that’s faster than creating a new solution from start or not, is something Brandon has to decide.

The positive side of using Discourse as the back-end, means that if someone sends you a message over discourse, you get notified on the website and vice-versa. This would avoid having to check two different places for messaging.

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I joined definitely later than that, but also the default is that trust level 1 (basic) can send private messages (but cannot create group private messages to avoid spamming).

Edit: I just saw a trust level 0 mentioned in the screenshot @brandon posted, so either that trust level is deactivated or I’m wrong :sweat_smile: I do remember having a post limit in my first 24h… I can’t really check though.

Well, mostly I wanted to confirm if that was okay, as they seem to consider some people have an aversion against joining the forum. In that scenario, they would automatically join said forum, so it might not be okay? :person_shrugging:

Brandon is also looking for features to retain users and to bring users from other sites–just because you wouldn’t use the PM feature on-site doesn’t mean that others would. Other places do have this feature. If you don’t want to use it, should it be added, dont lol. And the idea that they clearly don’t need a messaging system that badly if they don’t want to use the forums is a bit… You often seem to have an “all-or-none” mentality with ideas you don’t necessarily agree with.

Why should you have to join another website (because this has a different link and set-up than the site itself) to message about books or anything else when the purpose of the website is to allow information about books and whatnot to be shared? Do you seriously believe that every single person who uses Natively is going to want to have to join something else to be able to message? It doesn’t matter if it’s free or not–it’s about whether or not it’s cumbersome and is actually going to make incoming users want to use the website.

With this same logic, we don’t actually need on-site notifications and we could just keep going to manually check it–but it’s annoying and cumbersome to check, yes? Especially when it’s something that can be modified because other sites have it and it’s something that benefits the users without having to make them take unnecessary steps. Do you walk upstairs into your house to check the mail even though you’re already standing next to the mailbox lmao? No, you open the mailbox because it makes no sense to add extra steps.

Yes, and not everyone is going to come to the forums for the “first time” because not everyone is interested in the forums. Your forums account isn’t technically created until you verify your email.

I believe that you may have been granted a higher membership status on the first day, but I’m not sure. Understanding Discourse Trust Levels Trust level 0 (basic) does not allowing PMing.

If someone is not interested in messaging with a multitude of people, but just wants to have a private conversation, why do they have to leave the website to do so?

I don’t really care some much about the backend so much as the option to not have to leave the site to be able to message somebody (or having to re-verify/activate an account with the forums just to message somebody a question/talk about something).

Additionally, even if the profile was created automatically on the forums, unless that person is going to visit the forums to check their PMs, then the PM ability is useless–especially if they don’t even know that the forums includes PMing features.

Think of it this way: your professor has office hours for you to come privately ask them something that you may not want to do in front of everybody else. But, because somebody doesn’t see why you should ask them within their office, they want you to go back to the classroom and ask in front of the entire class. For what?

As I mentioned earlier, all discourse behaviour can be tweaked. The code itself is open-source, so the possibilities are endless.

  • System not allowing to PM due to level → Change permissions or create a bypass
  • Accounts not created due to not visiting the forum → Accounts can be pre-seeded, and can be created during the sign up process.
  • Email verification required by Discourse → Email verification can be carried while on sign-up on Natively and disable discourse verification.

As I mentioned earlier, you can read PMs with the API. It should be possible to use the functionality without being aware that even a forum exists.

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Yes! I understood you perfectly when you said it–since that pretty much answers of my question of making PMs available on-site and not just the forums, since they’d be able to be accessed on-site. I was replying to the sentiment that if someone wants to message that they’ll just use the forum.

Just like any other website, there will be aspects of it that you aren’t interested in, have no intentions on using. There are a multitude of goodreads users who have never used the community tab (and have no intentions to) because they don’t want to engage like that. And, I have received “on-site messaging” as something that people are looking to be added to Natively because they have no intentions on joining (or I guess, in the future just using) the forum. So it’s not so much as me assuming that people are averse to joining/using the forum–it’s the fact that it’s already been stated to me on multiple occasions. And after being in multiple forums, I totally understand why some people would have no interest in them.

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That’s hard, considering that the latest threads are shown on the dashboard :joy:

I have solved the mystery of my pms. Indeed new users (first 24h?) can’t create them, but they can reply. I was not the one instigating the interaction, so I had no limitations.