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Attn: Ms. Channell-Allen

Original post made by Rae, Mohr Park, on Dec 10, 2008

Ms. Channell-Allen,

It looks like you are implementing a "registered user only" requirement for posting on the PW blogs (see post: "Topic postings restricted by editor?"). On Dec. 4th I added the following questions to a post originated by you ("Anonymity allows open and diverse dialogue"), but have realized my postings probably got lost in all the mail you undoubtedly receive, so I am opening a new topic for your attention.

Would you mind giving us information on the timeline for implementation? Will registering restrict the use of an online name to the registered user with that name? Is a registered user restricted to one online name? Did you realize that the section for address information in the registration process references the Palo Alto Weekly? Finally, once registered, how would you unregister?

Thank you for your attenton.

Comments (8)

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Posted by Just curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 13, 2008 at 3:07 pm

I'm wondering whether you received a private reply from the President of the paper, Ms. Channell-Allen? It seems there are three or four posts in the Town Square Forum asking her for information or comment, and none of them has been answered here, even though she had asked the readers for input. A bit disappointing...

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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 13, 2008 at 7:30 pm

Just Curious,
Not a word . . .

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Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Dec 14, 2008 at 7:07 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Rae, I apologize for the delay in my response.
Yes, there are a few upgrades being implemented on our Town Square site, and some come as a response to suggestions of users. However, the forum is not becoming a “registered user only” site and comments from anonymous posters will still be allowed. I refer back to the post “Anonymity allows open and diverse dialogue,” where I wrote that while there are drawbacks to anonymity, there are enough advantages that it is a positive attribute.
One of the drawbacks is the issue of “identity theft,” for lack of a better term. A few of our regular posters have been the targets of people using their online name. So our site developers have made it possible for registered users to lock in their public online name. If someone else tries to use that online name, and it doesn’t say “so and so is a member (registered user) of Pleasanton Weekly,” the poster is an imposter, for lack of a better term.
Registered users can track topics and have an email sent to them when a comment is made. A new benefit of being a registered user is that now, when a new topic is started, the poster will have the option of restricting comments to registered users only.
We have also added “Report Objectionable Content” link at the bottom of every comment to make alerting us easier and there is now a “share” icon so users can share via social networking sites. There is also a search capability for Town Square forums next to the search box at the top of the page.
A few additions are not as obvious but equally important. For example, in the terms of use we have added the following:
** You agree not to post comments under multiple names. Postings within a single topic from the same IP address made under different names will be deleted.
** You agree not to make posts that are primarily intended to promote, or create links to another Website.
** You acknowledge that although we do not have any obligation to review, monitor or screen the content that is posted on, and that we do not own such content, we are the sole judge of whether the content you post meets these Terms of Use, and that we may edit, remove or lock content you post on at our sole discretion for any reason, even if not specifically addressed in this Terms of Use.
As for unsubscribing, I will have to get that information to you. I know you can edit your user information and unsubscribe from e-bulletins and our electronic digest Express, but I will ask how to remove the user name completely. Please check back here later this week.
Finally, thank you for pointing out the Palo Alto reference in the address portion of our registration form. And, more importantly, thank you for bringing your questions to the forum. Again, I apologize for the delay in my response.

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 14, 2008 at 7:23 pm

These are good steps forward. Most other social media sites already have these features.

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Posted by Just curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 14, 2008 at 7:45 pm

Thank you for your attention to the posts requesting information, Ms. Channell-Allen. Readers of the Pleasanton Weekly and those participating in the Town Square Forum both deserve and appreciate some information and transparency regarding administration and restrictions. Could you also address at this time the question a couple of weeks about the one topic which was locked except to registered users? Was this action initiated because someone asked about a statement in the article which seemed highly improbable?

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Posted by Rae
a resident of Mohr Park
on Dec 15, 2008 at 8:37 am

Ms. Channell-Allen,
Thank you for the information, and the steps you and the rest of the Weekly team are taking to put some parameters around Forum user input!

I look forward to your response to Just Curious above, as well as any future information on this subject.

Thanks again!

Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 15, 2008 at 9:01 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Also, your developers might consider allowing users to specify the expiration date of the PHPSESSID cookie (a la a checkbox which says keep me logged in on this computer, etc.). It can get annoying having to log in after each session.

Like this comment
Posted by Just curious
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 6, 2009 at 10:54 am

Still waiting for a response and any information on the question above...

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