Private Discussions vs Public Discussions

Started by Randy Stebbing on Sunday, November 21, 2010
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11/21/2010 at 10:01 PM

Note: This post was made while looking at the profile of Rev. Thomas EIi Hooker, Jr...This post actually has nothing to do with Thomas Hooker but is on Private vs Public Discussions on geni.

I'm just seeing what happens when you click on the "Discussion" tab of a person's profile and "Start Discussion" on a person.

When you fill out the form to start a "profile" discussion there is the wording In very small type to the left, and above the form that reads:

"Anyone can view and participate in public discussions."

This text is small enough that many people wouldn't see it and would think they were perhaps starting a discussion that would only be seen when a person actually visits the profile and then clicks on the profile's "Discussion" tab.

I see a lot of posts where individuals are sharing memories about a public profile for a deceased close relative like a grandparent and I bet you the person (notwithstanding the wording in the UI) didn't know it was a very public post that was going to be broadcast to the world.


11/21/2010 at 10:06 PM

So one thing my experiment showed me is that the only reason that Thomas Hooker showed up in the "Profiles Mentioned" column on the left is that I tagged him with the @ symbol in the body of my original post. Even though I started the post while navigated to his profile there would be nothing to indicate who I had browsed to when doing the post if I hadn't manually tagged him. That is why we get so many posts from people and you have no idea who they are actually talking about.

Randy, I just proved you wrong on at least one point. :-)
If you start the discussion from the profile, it gets tagged regardless of being mentioned or not. See here:

While I agree that the Family vs. Public issue is unclear to many users, the "warning" text is not unobvious - the same size as the text around it. Geni IS working on making these issues clearer though. They want to make discussions a much more powerful tool.

Regarding sharing memories of a deceased close relative, that has a PUBLIC profile, this would be the exception! Close relatives have to be manually made public, by the manager (and can be changed back by family). So if made public, or public by default, don't see any real issue with making the discussions public.

11/22/2010 at 7:25 AM

Thanks for running your test2. I've been trying to look at why family discussions seem to get more publicly broadcast and thought I had come up with one of the reasons.

For those of you who read more than one language can you confirm that non-English speakers have about the same number of discussion forum posts that probably should have been family discussions but ended up being publicly broadcast as the English speaking posters seem to have?

Randy, judging by the number of comments people, the vast majority of users don't read/review "all" Public Discussions, only those someone refers them to. Strangely enough, it seems to be the non-English Discussions that are more lively.

Everybody knows ;-) that non-Anglos are more intelligent, and less likely to make this kind of mistake. This actually has a grain of truth, as using a site in, to them, a foreign language, is likely to require extra attention to detail. No idea really.

I know Bjorn has corrected people on this error, but then, they are probably less likely to care, because the majority can't read them anyway...

I'll go delete Test2.

The funnier ones, are discussions that really should be private messages, like this one: especially when the target is an unclaimed profile (hence no Send Message link).

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