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Allowing users to hide their online status

jauburn

Well-known member
#1
What are your thoughts on this subject? Somehow I find it creepy when a bunch of users choose to hide their online status. Do I need to rearrange my thinking on this? Certainly, too, having half of your users with hidden online status will make your board look a lot less active. That's bad, too, from another angle.
 

Amaury

Well-known member
#2
If people want their privacy, let them have it. Staff can still see them.

I very rarely use it. I only use it when I'm really busy with something, such as homework, which is no longer the case since getting my GED, or I have an intense argument with an online friend and would rather not be bothered.

I used to really "get after" people and make a deal about it on another forum I frequent as a joke, but that's really died down and I rarely do it now.
 

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#5
The reason why I made it so people can't hide is everyone was hiding. And I do mean, everyone.

So the end result was that people thought no one was online and so they'd be quick to just bail out. And new members would join thinking no one was home too. Activity started to go down, quickly.

Originally, I thought to hide the "who is online" since it was basically empty anyways (except for staff who could see everyone). But when I did that, things did not improve and people complained.

The moment I forced everyone into view, that changed and things got better.
 

jauburn

Well-known member
#6
The reason why I made it so people can't hide is everyone was hiding. And I do mean, everyone.

So the end result was that people thought no one was online and so they'd be quick to just bail out. And new members would join thinking no one was home too. Activity started to go down, quickly.
This is what I suspected. In my case, I was finding that 50% of users were choosing to hide their status.
 

OSS 117

Well-known member
#8
If a forum doesn't allow me to show up as hidden, I simply abandon it. While an administrator may find it creepy one wishes to hide, I find it equally disturbing an administrator is fixated on seeing me online. Forums which I stay hidden on are meant so because I like to read old material or do a few searches. I don't wish to be bothered by PMs if someone sees me online and wishes to send me a PM. One could argue I'm under no obligation to respond to a PM right away, but humans simply don't understand the concept of others not having time. It would offend the average person if I held back from replying to them for up to 10 days if the matter wasn't remotely urgent. I can't do that if I'm made public, but I certainly can if hidden. It's also why I choose email over other mediums of communication.
 

Adam Howard

Well-known member
#9
If a forum doesn't allow me to show up as hidden, I simply abandon it. While an administrator may find it creepy one wishes to hide, I find it equally disturbing an administrator is fixated on seeing me online. Forums which I stay hidden on are meant so because I like to read old material or do a few searches. I don't wish to be bothered by PMs if someone sees me online and wishes to send me a PM. One could argue I'm under no obligation to respond to a PM right away, but humans simply don't understand the concept of others not having time. It would offend the average person if I held back from replying to them for up to 10 days if the matter wasn't remotely urgent. I can't do that if I'm made public, but I certainly can if hidden. It's also why I choose email over other mediums of communication.
To which I'd reply, oh well.
Next..... lol

Some sites just work better one way or the other. :p
 

Jason

Well-known member
#10
I've always found the "Who's online?" section on most forums odd, given this is largely an asynchronous form of communication. Can't recall the last time I've actually checked to see if someone is online.