OngoingWorlds blog

News & articles about play-by-post games, for roleplayers & writers


Why I'm not going to implement “personal messages”

For this article, I recorded an additional audio clip:

On many forums and websites, you can send a personal messages to other members. This saves a message in the website’s database ready for the other user to see when they next login. The user might not login straight away, and so the personal message could sit there for weeks and weeks until the user logs in to see the message. That is why they are normally sent out an email straight away, alerting the user and letting them know that they have to login to the website to see their personal message.

Facebook does this, when a member receives a personal message, they are immediately emailed with the content of the message. So the user checks their email, and sees the content of the personal message within their email. Then they have to login to the website to reply to the message.

Email Icon

What's wrong with email?

This process seems all a bit too cumbersome for me, all it seems like is that websites are duplicating the functionality of email, but still using email to alert people to the email!

I therefore think that adding a way to send and receive personal messages through the OngoingWorlds site is necessary. What I’ll do instead is allow users to send an email from the site which will be sent directly to the user’s email address. The user sending the message will see a form within the website, the same as if they were sending a personal message – but it would submit the email directly to the respondent’s email address.

Please let me know what you think about not adding in functionality for “Personal Messages”. Is it a feature that you wouldn’t miss? Or do you think I’m wrong/stupid to leave it out? Please comment below!