I know this has been pointed out elsewhere, but maybe it's simpler to have everything here. It's also more an issue than a bug, I think...
Anyway, I am only able to send "mail" messages to people listed as my friends. I think this almost defies the purpose of being able to send private messages. Especially since I have so few friends here (cries)! If this is a desired feature, maybe there could be an option of blocking messages from non-friends? But as it is, it's not very handy communication to first have to ask someone to be your friend before being able to send them a message.
I dislike the "friending" feature -- no disrespect intended to those whose "friend" invitations I have already accepted! -- for a variety of reasons. Perhaps someone can explain the advantages it's supposed to confer?
At best, though, it introduces a roadblock to communication. At worst, it's a path to cliques and favoritism within what ought to be a community in which everyone is equal by virtue of participation in it. (Why introduce the additional anxiety of "am I good enough for that person to agree to my friending invitation?" to our social interactions?)
And if the "solution" is that everyone should friend everyone else... then, again, it doesn't make sense for us to have that extra step at all; and it will only become more unwieldy as the user-base grows.
I agree with Tehaar.
Having to accept anyone as friend to be able to communicate without "shouting" in public is irritating.
It is absurd to accept a friendship offer
-to be able to ask afterwards in privacy whether we know each other already under another user.
- to learn more about a stranger you just "made friends" with.
And it's inpolite just to deny the offer.
Call me old fashioned - but it would makes the term "friend" meaningless.
Or - is there a possibility I just don't know because of being a total rookie in this social network issues?
Actually, Embala, the problem of using the term "friends" in this context being something that makes the term meaningless is a problem that has been discussed on other social networking sites before this.
You're not alone in that feeling. A lot of people object to the idea of misusing the word "friends". On the one hand, it implies greater intimacy than actually exists. On the other, in a case like this, it creates artificial classes within a community.
Put it this way -- I feel basically friendly towards pretty much everyone else who is sharing this community. But feeling friendly towards someone doesn't mean I *am friends* with them. Right now, I have six "friends" in this system, because I accepted those invitations -- but I don't feel like I am "better friends" with those people than with anyone else in this community, at the moment. Let's face it -- most of you, I don't know very well. Maybe through posting here, I'll get to know you better, and you me. Maybe we'll *really* become friends; I have done so with some of you. But it won't be because this system defines you as my "friend", if you see what I mean.
When I say I'm friends with someone, even online, I mean something by it. And the way this system uses the term, it weakens its meaning. But the system also really doesn't give me any choice.
I'll also say this -- in a very big system, that has millions of users, giving people the ability to tag other specific users as being within their circle makes sense. (I think Facebook calls it "friends", as does LiveJournal. Dreamwidth, a recent LJ clone, instead has users "subscribe" to or become "readers" of others' journals, instead of using "friends", because of a discussion very like this one.)
But here, there doesn't seem to be much of a reason to do that. If you are also a member of EQ.com, then I pretty much want to read what you have to say, and the only way I want to filter the content of what I read is by choosing threads (or blogs, I suppose) by subject matter, not by user. This community is already kind of pre-selected for all of us, isn't it? I still can't see any advantage to my defining a subset of users within this community to whom I am connected "more closely".
(Maybe, in rare, extreme cases, it might be nice to be able to privately set something to "ignore" a user. Some forums allow that, and would then just make all posts/comments by that user invisible to you, so that you didn't have to see them. But I don't think this style of forum would make that possible, and again, this hasn't tended to be the type of community where that's all that necessary.)
Are you sure it's not because you are an admin? Because when I click "send message" it does allow me to type out a message, but when I actually try to send it, there's a text to tell me I can only message my friends.
Well ... I actually managed to send a message to Elfquest Admin right now. Try with you next, Tehaar.
Please excuse the rookie ... tries to learn by try and error ...
Ha, Elfquest Admin will have plenty of messages... I managed to send one too! Great minds and so on, Embala. Heh. I tried to send one message earlier today and wasn't able to do it, but maybe it's a glitch then and not a feature?
It's great to know that that was a setting that could be turned off!
Is there any place that would describe what the "benefits" are of the friending system, though? I mean... what is it FOR? If I friend someone, or accept their friending invitation... what does that get the two of us that we don't have if we don't do it?
Oh yeah, I didn't think so, EQAdmin. I would never think you're just trying to mess with us, thanks for trying to help solve all the problems. Now I was actually able to send a couple of messages to non-friends. So I have no idea of why I couldn't send a message earlier today. Could it depend on the user and their settings?
I'm going to look through my settings a bit to see if there's something to explain that.
Edit: Oh wait, you already fixed it, didn't you? I'm just a tad slow, heh.
Thanks for pointing out the benefits, I had forgotten about those things. In general I'm not a big fan of the friends system, but I don't mind it either. Especially now that the messaging thing is fixed! Many thanks, EQAdmin.
Where do you find "Friend" requests that come in? How do you respond to them?
Thanks to you and Embala for your help. I have replied to my "Friends" notifications successfully.