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PM/Conversation, Thread/Discussion, Post/Message

#1
I recently changed the Conversations link in the drop-down menu from "Conversations" to "PM/Conversations" because our established users can't figure out how to "send a PM." They don't recognize that Conversations are the new & improved replacement for Private Messages.

There's a bit of controversy about that. It's been suggested that we use the new terminology & stop using the old terms because people who didn't grow up during the dialup modem + text-only BBS + newsgroup era have no idea what the older terms mean. SInce the youngsters now outnumber the old fogies, our MB can't grow or remain relevant unless we cater to the youngsters.

In a nutshell, the arguments are:

1) I shouldn't have changed the phrase "Conversations" to "PM/Conversations" - we need to use "pure" XF terms, because we're using XF instead of vB now.
2) Youngsters won't understand thread, post, & PM because they didn't grow up with them. We'll keep/drive them away unless we modernize.
3) Old fogies won't understand discussions, messages, and conversations. We'll drive them away if we modernize too much.

A) The old fogies should learn the new terms, but... can't teach an old dog new tricks.
B) The youngsters should learn the old terms, but... can't teach a new dog old tricks, either.
C) The terms can be used interchangably. Eventually, everyone will understand... or not.

Why did threads become discussions?
Why did posts become messages?
Why did PM's become conversations?

P.S. I've tried to phrase this message/post in a neutral way to avoid affecting the responses.
 
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#2
I recently changed the Conversations link in the drop-down menu from "Conversations" to "PM/Conversations" because our established users can't figure out how to "send a PM." They don't recognize that Conversations are the new & improved replacement for Private Messages.

There's a bit of controversy about that. It's been suggested that we use the new terminology & stop using the old terms because people who didn't grow up during the dialup modem + text-only BBS + newsgroup era have no idea what the older terms mean. SInce the youngsters now outnumber the old fogies, our MB can't grow or remain relevant unless we cater to the youngsters.

In a nutshell, the arguments are:

1) I shouldn't have changed the phrase "Conversations" to "PM/Conversations" - we need to use "pure" XF terms, because we're using XF instead of vB now.
2) Youngsters won't understand thread, post, & PM because they didn't grow up with them. We'll keep/drive them away unless we modernize.
3) Old fogies won't understand discussions, messages, and conversations. We'll drive them away if we modernize too much.

A) The old fogies should learn the new terms, but... can't teach an old dog new tricks.
B) The youngsters should learn the old terms, but... can't teach a new dog old tricks, either.
C) The terms can be used interchangably. Eventually, everyone will understand... or not.

Why did threads become discussions?
Why did posts become messages?
Why did PM's become conversations?

P.S. I've tried to phrase this message/post in a neutral way to avoid affecting the responses.
I feel there can and should be a compromise to most anything. You didn't rename the link, you just added the old term. What's wrong with that?

It still reads PM/Conversations, doesn't it? As for why? I believe it's because XF doesn't send just one message, it creates a threaded conversation.

And I feel XF didn't remove the terms threads and posts, I believe they simply interchange the terms with discussions and messages.

My software says discussions and messages on statistics, but the links still says threads and posts.
 
#3
You didn't rename the link, you just added the old term. What's wrong with that?
I was surprised that there was any objection. But there IS a minor side-effect. "PM/Conversations" makes the line too long - the conversation alert bubble no longer lines up with the text - it's below it. alertbubble.png Any way to fix that?
I LOVE XF's threaded conversations - it's a HUGE improvement over quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes to try to maintain continuity, especially with several conversations going on at once.
My software says discussions and messages on statistics, but the links still says threads and posts.
And I noticed that, too. To me, "messages" implies privacy, probably because I'm used to vB's PM's. In addition, "discussions" makes me think of public messages = posts, not threads.
 

jauburn

Well-known member
#4
I recently changed the Conversations link in the drop-down menu from "Conversations" to "PM/Conversations" because our established users can't figure out how to "send a PM."
I would advise against using the term "private message" (or PM) because users should not believe that their conversations in that system are truly private.
 
#6
I agree the name changes are a bit confusing. "Thread" and "post" is universally recognized in the online board space. Even here people say "PM me" or "talk privately" or "start a private conversation" not "start a conversation", because directly addressing someone in a discussion is already kind of a conversation.

The easiest solution would just be to have a naming option in the admin options. "What should a thread/discussion be called:" etc.
 
#7
I would advise against using the term "private message" (or PM) because users should not believe that their conversations in that system are truly private.
Maybe I'm nitpicking here, but... I've always assumed that site admins can see ANYTHING I enter on their sites. If they couldn't, what is the purpose of reporting an offensive PM? The offended party MUST be able to report harrassment, etc. to the "authorities" = US. And we need to be able to investigate any complaints in order to resolve any problems.