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about setting a 'return date' in place of being unavailable

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WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
about setting a 'return date' in place of being unavailable

Apart from not understanding completely the purpose of this feature, I'm a bit shocked by the email spamming I've gotten for this in the last week.
In the less then a week I have received 3 mails solely about this, which I personally find abusive.
They also provide no explanations about why and how this will help the website in general.

WS Üyesi wsadmin kullanıcısının resmi
New "Return Date" feature

Well it's a bug that you've gotten 3 emails. But had you simply updated your account as it requested, you would have gotten only one (until the specified return date).

As the message says, please log in and edit your account and set a return date on your profile:

Hi Jean-François Beaulieu,

Your warmshowers.org account, westjef, is marked as unavailable to host. Could you please log in and set the date that you expect to return? If you don't know when or if you'll be able to host, just put in a date like 2025-01-01. You can change it at any time. You can log in with your username and password at www.warmshowers.org or click this link to log in automatically

Many people requested this feature, as they'd go on a trip and then forget to set their account as "available" again when they got home. So our three developer volunteers worked hard to implement it last fall. Obviously there's a bug there because you were only supposed to be notified once.

As the message says, those who don't expect to be able to host any time soon can simply set the date in the far future.

-Randy
Warmshowers.org Webmaster

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Yes, I saw the message. As

Yes, I saw the message. As I'm traveling and mostly checking my mails everyday, I got all the mails pretty much at the same time. Thought I'd do a bug report.

If this feature was requested then, it's great. Although I don't see why it could not cohabite with the old unavailable tag. Just have it has a 'set automatic return date' when changing your status for example. It feels a bit broken and halfbaked to have to set a far away date instead of just 'unknown'. (I understand this is developed by volunteers with limited time and thanks them for there work)

Also, I just found it strange to receive this message, like a critic that I've done something wrong with my account. If it would have been presented has a new feature that will improve Warmshowers and that I could now use it or something, it would have sounded better.

WS Üyesi wsadmin kullanıcısının resmi
Certainly could be improved

Well we'll have to get you to come aboard and volunteer as an email writer.

Emails like this are hard on Warmshowers because they have to be translated into 11 languages by 11 translators.

This particular email is intended to be received just once to introduce the new feature. It would have been great if it introduced the new feature. But the sad fact is that almost nobody reads emails, and they certainly don't read about new features. So if we had added more text, we would have lost more people. That said, it would have been nice if the tone helped people as you suggested, at least mentioning that it was a new feature.

This started sending out these emails in November to unavailable users, but it only sends a few a day. Apparently it's only to user id 17113 out of 62000 :-) I may still try to improve it, at least for the English version.

BTW: This is completely connected to the unavailable tag, as you've seen now. It just adds a date for return.

WS Üyesi WS Üyesi kullanıcısının resmi
Yeah, exactly, it's mostly in

Yeah, exactly, it's mostly in the communication. I'm a terrible writer myself, and I do understand the difficulty of localisation. But I'd love to help and will definitely offer help when I get home. I don't have a laptop when I'm touring so it's a bit hard to do so now.

I guess I was a bit suprised as I didn't know about the feature. Maybe I missed the announcement (or maybe their wasn't, and that's not a critic), so that didn't help. I understand it's just a reminder.

As you said, most people don't read emails, but it would be great a newsletter of some sort, like every month or two if there is content, to hear about the new features. Also a great way to help find volunteers and show what their doing. Something I would be willing to help set up. I often see new stuff on the website and I wasn't aware of their existence. (What's up with the 'scheduled' tab on my profile leading to what I guess are my forums post? or maybe started threads? That's old?)

Interesting, why do you only send a few a days? Server load? Guess it's a better way to distribute it then everyone once every few months.

Yeah, I saw how the unavailable tag is still there. I still think the return date should have a check box and be optional ;) , but it's fine. Also their is a bug in the date boxes, I'll try to do a bug report when I have time.

Has for the triple email bug, thinking about it, I might have exchanged WS messages with other members between each of them. Made me think that if their is a check comparing 'last reminder to user' to 'user last login' it might have reset in between. Still I think it should just check the 'time since last reminder' so it's not spamming.

WS Üyesi wsadmin kullanıcısının resmi
We typically don't announce

We typically don't announce new features. We didn't even sent out an email about the redesign a year and a half ago. We don't want to bother people, and have always tried to keep the number of emails from the site to an absolute minimum, not because of server load (we use a delivery service these days anyway).

We send stuff like this a little at a time because if we sent out thousands at a time, we could have a mistake or something that then couldn't be corrected, and because Mark and I, who handle all the correspondence, would be overwhelmed if everybody answered at once. When we send out the annual email we do it over several days for that reason.

Your point that we could do a bit more with emails is well taken. However, just the pain of getting the translations prepared is more than I'm willing to take on :-)

Enjoy your trip!
-Randy

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return date emails

I am horrified at your complaint. Warmshowers is a run by volunteers for the benefit of the cycle touring community. Warmshowers is not sending you spam trying to try to make profits. If you get 3 emails so what!!

Please re-think your actions. I recommend that make an apologogy to Randy.

WS Üyesi wsadmin kullanıcısının resmi
The word spam can be used

The word spam can be used various ways. The most common usage is unwanted commercial emails, but some people just use it to mean any email they didn't want to get. He was really using it the latter way.

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I agree that I was probably in a bad mood the day I submitted this post, it sounds harder then it needs.
Although, on any website, bugs need to be reported so they can be fixed. I do understand it might not get resolved very fast, or at all, given it is run by volunteer, but that's another matter.