I have been getting a lot of PM's again. Usually about stuff that I think should be asked in this forum.
So when I get a PM, it sends me an email. I read the email and then go to the forums to try and look up the user's email address. I then reply to the email and copy and paste the user's email address. It's a long process, but I far prefer email over PM.
Most of the PM's I get are about using these forums. If folks would just post those questions here, there is a good chance that they might get their answer long before I see the PM or email.
paul wheaton wrote: I see that I am getting a lot more PMs. And I'm not reading them.
Paul, go to your profile. Under PM options, or some such thing, place a * in the ignore list field.. Then any and all messages will simply be ignored; no email advisories regarding the messages. Uncheck all the check boxes as well ((might not be necessary with the * but I've never tested it.. Nothing at all. I was going to PM ya' on that, but had second thoughts.
I am drowning in an ocean of stuff to do. All sorts of people want to talk to me one-on-one and ... I cannot keep up.
So every day dozens of emails go unread.
And the PM stuff in the forums is far more time consuming than email. So I usually just end up thinking "I should get to that soon" and I rarely do.
I have figured out that if I completely ignore my email and the forums all day, and focus on new videos, podcasts or articles, I end up reaching about 12,000 new people. If I spend all day with email, I will have helped about 100 people.
If people ask their questions in the forum, chances are that somebody else will help them in a way that I like and they like and everybody likes. And then hundreds/thousands of people will also see it and lots more people get helped.
If people want to hear specifically from me on a permaculture topic, please post to the forums. It is possible that somebody will say "paul would say ____" and they are probably right. If there has been 48 hours of silence on the thread and you still want more info, email me and send me a link to the thread.
Sometimes in the river of email I get, such a request gets buried - like when I have been away from computers for a few days. But I really think this type of email is my highest priority. So if another 48 hours have passed and I still have not replied, please send me another email. You could also post to the thread to say "I've emailed paul to ask him to comment." I know that a lot of people want more videos and podcasts from me, so they might try to answer you so that I might focus more on other stuff (they are just really cool that way).
The moral of the story is this: never send me "private messages" (PMs) via the forum software. I want to make sure that everybody gets all of the information they are looking for, but keep in mind that I don't get paid for this and I am just one guy with thousands of people wanting to talk to me.
I remember when I sent you a PM as a new user, I really did not know that I was not suppose to.
At signup you could make a new page that explicitly state that users should not send you a PM and what they should do instead for free or paid help.
I am sure that some users will still ignore it. But it should help some
Another idea, when they send you a PM, they get a auto-reply that states that the PM is not deliverable.
Instead they should make a public post...etc or they should send you an actual email or just contact you for paid help.
That way if it is really serious they will email to get help and you will still be accessible but if it is not serious they will search the forums or make a public post.
An auto-reply is an excellent idea. Whatever can be done to remove tasks from Paul's to-do list should be done. PM's don't feel comfortable to me--I haven't gotten any and I haven't sent any.
(Going to look at that function. . . . )
The "Sent Box" page has a lot of space on it (for me, anyway, given that I've never sent any--but this is how a newcomer's page would look as well). How about this page has some fixed text warning against sending PM's to Paul, or to these 5 people, or whatever? This is also a great place for Erica's explanation of how to use this site.
I cannot forward them to adrien. Nor can I manage them triage-style like I can with the rest of my email.
The private message stuff on facebook is something i used to process about once a month. And then i was processing the pile and facebook says that i was doing too much of that and it was going to block me pr something. So the private messages on facebook aren't a good idea either.
I pretty much ignore the private messages on youtube also.
I have been getting stuff saying i have private messages waiting for me in all sorts of odd places. I just ignore them all. I even delete the notice to make room for people that have sent me a proper email.
I suppose some of this stuff is some huge and excellent opportunity to do what i do, but at some point something's gotta give.
If you have suggestions for this site, please post suggestions in this forum. Sending me a PM is usually ignored. And a lot of my email ends up never being read. But stuff in this forum is read by the staff who might be able to explain why things are the way they are, plus me.
There is just way too much going on for me to manage all of it personally.