Making sections private

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Making sections private

Postby Angus Tyner » 2012 Jul 12, 18:37

As far as I can tell all parts of this forum can be viewed by everyone. i just tried it while logged out.

I think it would be prudent to make some sections for members view only. (ie. they need to be logged in to view)

Such as this section and COL
Ashford Co. Wicklow
Met Eireann Climatological station number 975
COL station number EI018
My Weather Station
Angus Tyner
 
Posts: 35
Joined: 2012 Jan 27, 15:26
Location: Ashford Co. Wicklow eastern Ireland 12m asl

Re: Making sections private

Postby Martin Rowley » 2012 Jul 12, 19:19

Angus Tyner wrote:As far as I can tell all parts of this forum can be viewed by everyone. i just tried it while logged out.

I think it would be prudent to make some sections for members view only. (ie. they need to be logged in to view)

Such as this section and COL


... Can you outline reasons why? I am instinctively opposed to 'closed' groups unless sensitive matters such as personal information is exchanged - and in my view such shouldn't be discussed in a group context anyway, closed or open.

Martin.
Martin Rowley
West Moors, East Dorset [ altitude: 17 m/56' ]
NGR SU 082 023: postcode BH22 0GB
50deg49min15secN, 01deg53min03secW
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Re: Making sections private

Postby Stephen Burt » 2012 Jul 12, 19:37

Peter Wright, our Forum administrator, is away on holiday at present, and he is probably the only person who can advise as to whether this is technically possible.

But in the meantime, other views welcome, please - let us have YOUR opinion - for or against, and why. And what would such a 'private' section be for? I'll admit to being stuck for a good reason to restrict a weather-related discussion, but I'm happy to listen to reasoned arguments on either side.

SB
-----
Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire - central southern England
51.4°N, 1.0°W, 60 m AMSL, station grade A - AAAA47R
Records commenced here 1987 - local records available back to 1862
The Weather Observer's Handbook: www.measuringtheweather.com
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Posts: 247
Joined: 2011 Dec 02, 19:36
Location: Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire; a well-exposed rural site, 10 km SW of Reading

Re: Making sections private

Postby Angus Tyner » 2012 Jul 12, 20:26

Firstly, its not restricting the discussion, its restricting the viewing.
COL and this section are not weather discussions.

What brought it to my mind was that the links to the survey are open to view by all and sundry. They don't need to be seen by those outside of COL

The surveys can be completed by all and sundry and while its likely that the final analysis will not be distorted from those outside of COL completing it, the potential is there.

Finally I'd be quite surprised if it was not technically possible to make some sections members only (better term than private) I've experienced it as part of nearly every forum I'm a member of.
Ashford Co. Wicklow
Met Eireann Climatological station number 975
COL station number EI018
My Weather Station
Angus Tyner
 
Posts: 35
Joined: 2012 Jan 27, 15:26
Location: Ashford Co. Wicklow eastern Ireland 12m asl

Re: Making sections private

Postby Martin Rowley » 2012 Jul 13, 08:16

Angus Tyner wrote:Firstly, its not restricting the discussion, its restricting the viewing.
COL and this section are not weather discussions.

What brought it to my mind was that the links to the survey are open to view by all and sundry. They don't need to be seen by those outside of COL

The surveys can be completed by all and sundry and while its likely that the final analysis will not be distorted from those outside of COL completing it, the potential is there.


... Angus makes a valid point regarding the *survey*, but that's not specifically a problem with viewing these pages. If I'd been setting up the survey, I'd have a random number printed in the COL bulletin (which only members see), which would have to be entered before completing the survey. As we do now with viewing the Bulletin, if the password for the year doesn't match up, you don't get to see the issue; no valid survey number - you can't proceed with the survey.

I would argue in completely the opposite direction about the sections proposed to be restricted. The survey asked us whether we should try and broaden our appeal etc. I answered 'yes' and specifically we should be encouraging youngsters to join. It would be better for prospective members to see that we *do* poll our existing members from time-to-time on all sorts of subjects, and also get a 'feel' for the organisation, so that they can decide if it's for them: making these sections restricted will block that information.

Martin.
Martin Rowley
West Moors, East Dorset [ altitude: 17 m/56' ]
NGR SU 082 023: postcode BH22 0GB
50deg49min15secN, 01deg53min03secW
Martin Rowley
 
Posts: 154
Joined: 2011 Nov 25, 12:54

Re: Making sections private

Postby Graham Easterling » 2012 Jul 14, 11:20

Firstly, its not restricting the discussion, its restricting the viewing.
COL and this section are not weather discussions.

What brought it to my mind was that the links to the survey are open to view by all and sundry. They don't need to be seen by those outside of COL


Why does it matter?

I am totally opposed to restricting viewing, not only do I think it's wrong from a COL viewpoint, after all we are supposed to be attracting new members, more importantly I'm opposed to any uneccessary restrictions as a matter of principle.
Graham

Penzance Weather Station
Grid Ref:
SW464231 - Post Code: TR18 4TP
19m AMSL - Aspect SSE
In a SE - NW orientated valley

23 Years of Penzance Weather Records : http://penzanceweather.atspace.com/weather.html
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Location: Penzance, Cornwall

Re: Making sections private

Postby Admin » 2012 Jul 19, 13:45

Hi folks, I'm now back from Croatia. (Weather report elsewhere.)

I have a bit more time at present, so I will look into whether we can have a restricted section. I'm pretty certain we can, and it may be very simple to do, but with the system of menus within menus, permissions that override other permissions, it can be excruciatingly difficult to get things right.

Whether there should be one? I don't see any harm in having one, it should be easy to set up such that only members of the forum (who are all by definition members of COL) can see and contribute to the relevant sections, whereas non-members of COL (and members when they are not logged in) simply don't see the sections.

I personally think that the present section "COL" should be given this treatment. But that's about it. Another possible need is if we ever want to make serious criticisms of, for example, the Met Office or the BBC, or ethical comments on a particular manufacturer or forecast company, we might prefer these comments to be restricted to members.

Anyway, I'll do some tests and report back.
Admin
Site Admin
 
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Re: Making sections private

Postby Graham Easterling » 2012 Jul 19, 16:30

I personally think that the present section "COL" should be given this treatment. But that's about it. Another possible need is if we ever want to make serious criticisms of, for example, the Met Office or the BBC, or ethical comments on a particular manufacturer or forecast company, we might prefer these comments to be restricted to members.


So we try and attract members to COL by restricting what our target audience can see? Surely it's totally against what the website was set up for? If not I've misunderstood. I must remember to hide my cottage website http://www.turnstone-cottage.co.uk/ from all apart from my past visitors, can't have any old tourist seeing it, they might want to stay. Or maybe let them see everything apart from the prices?

If you want to criticise the MetO then why limit access to the criticism to just COL members? Apart from the fact that several COL members work for the MetO, surely you'd want the MetO to see it? (It's obviously best to try & be constructive).

Sorry, I just don't get this desire for privacy on a forum, after all if you want to limit who sees a comment to certain people, just email.
Graham

Penzance Weather Station
Grid Ref:
SW464231 - Post Code: TR18 4TP
19m AMSL - Aspect SSE
In a SE - NW orientated valley

23 Years of Penzance Weather Records : http://penzanceweather.atspace.com/weather.html
Graham Easterling
 
Posts: 316
Joined: 2011 Nov 30, 20:29
Location: Penzance, Cornwall

Re: Making sections private

Postby Stephen Burt » 2012 Jul 19, 20:11

Graham and all, thanks for your comments on this topic. This is a useful discussion to have, and all the points made so far are valuable inputs.

Personally I agree with 99% of Graham's post, but Angus made a good point early in the chain, with regard to the current COL surveys - namely, if the address for the survey was openly advertised, then in theory anyone could see it and complete it, even if they were not COL members. Now in this case, and I'm sure Angus would agree with me here, I don't quite see why anyone would bother to waste their time on a survey for members of an organisation they are not members of, but I do take the point that there may be similar topics in future that we do want to keep to 'members only'. I'm not sure I'd class criticism of the Met Office in that category, but let's say we had a limited-period discount offer on equipment or some other valuable benefit that was valid for COL members only - would we want that to be made freely available to anyone to see?

Otherwise, and this is the 99% part, I agree that there is no point whatsoever in restricting access to the forum for non-members. It was set up specifically to broaden our media reach, and to restrict it for other than very specific reasons such as those suggested by Angus makes no sense at all.

I'll ask Peter to report back on what can and cannot be done in this regard and then we'll have a discussion on the forum before any changes are made to the present arrangements. It may be worthwhile to set up another simple anonymous online survey to seek members' views on this, avoiding the need for people who may not feel comfortable in doing so having to post to voice their opinions. Then we'll see what the majority view is and take it from there.

SB
COL Chairman
-----
Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire - central southern England
51.4°N, 1.0°W, 60 m AMSL, station grade A - AAAA47R
Records commenced here 1987 - local records available back to 1862
The Weather Observer's Handbook: www.measuringtheweather.com
Stephen Burt
 
Posts: 247
Joined: 2011 Dec 02, 19:36
Location: Stratfield Mortimer, Berkshire; a well-exposed rural site, 10 km SW of Reading

Re: Making sections private

Postby Angus Tyner » 2012 Jul 20, 21:34

Sorry, I hadn't got notification of replies here.

It was the survey link that prompted my thoughts. The potential issues with this have been noted.
So there are other workarounds that can be done to deal with this issue.

If other matters arise for COL viewing only such limited-period discount offer as mentioned by Stephen then we can revisit this matter.
Ashford Co. Wicklow
Met Eireann Climatological station number 975
COL station number EI018
My Weather Station
Angus Tyner
 
Posts: 35
Joined: 2012 Jan 27, 15:26
Location: Ashford Co. Wicklow eastern Ireland 12m asl


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