Should our content be public or private?

Hi folks,

At the moment (August 2022) all content here is public. We chose to set the site up that way because we thought that transparency was important, but we are wondering if that might have a few unintended impacts:

  1. No one needs to register, except to get updates
  2. Because it’s public, people might be reluctant to share real problems.

So, we’re wondering about making some of the categories private, while keeping the rest public.

The following categories would be public:

… and the following would be private

Other bits of information also become private:

  • the users list becomes members-only. We’ll do this immediately anyway, because of data protection. Logged-in members can see this list here.

We’d like to introduce these changes towards the end of August.

What do you think?

If the sign up process doesn’t require any specific vetting, then probably public access could be a good choice.

I get the case for some channel to be more on the private side, i.e. technical, about-you. But for that to be an incentive you would need to curate who can access, and that in turn means work to maintain the community.

Hi Gaetano! Welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

You’re right that approving membership would add work. Also we don’t want to be the ones who choose who gets access (who are we to judge that?). So, I guess we’ll keep the membership without approval.

If we don’t limit membership, then we need to make sure the forum is still a safe space. The forum has a lot of functionality to do that. We give users tools to flag users or posts, report content, and giving moderation rights to some trusted members. We’ll keep an eye on how well this works as we get more people in the forum.

Open membership seems like an argument for all information to be public. With easy registration it basically is public… But maybe we should set #events to be private, and #about-you to be public? That way we have good advertising through the public material, but the more valuable information are for members, which encourages registration?

I will also think about other things to encourage people to register. We can do that by promoting the benefits, like visibility, and site functions like email summaries and contacting each other - see screenshot. I’ll add some information about why registering is a good idea to the welcome message.

Use messages to compose mails directly to other members