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Please remove the "FirstName LastName" default name from forum signup

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21 comments

  • Official comment
    Jack W
    Admin

    John Friend I completely agree and I like your suggestions. Honestly this kind of feedback is really helpful and exactly why this topic was created.

    I'll speak with the team to see how we can mitigate "FirstName LastName" - it's frustrating for us, too. 

    For now I will look into making some short content on how to change your username, profile picture, set a bio and so on. In my opinion, it's highly important that we're able to mention each other and have a greater sense of personability.

    For what it's worth, you can change your name and alias by...

    - Click the downfacing arrow next to your profile name in the top-right of the page
    - Select "Profile"
    - Select "Edit profile"

    Where you'll see this window:

     

    That will solve the FirstName LastName issues for those experiencing it right now.

    I can't directly change a lot of the functionality in here, but I'll do better in trying to explain how it works and how to get the best experience possible. I hear you regarding the painpoints with @'ing people and the number of duplicate usernames.

    Maybe this is something we can also remind people of when we see them using the placeholder name? 

    Thanks again for the feedback and we're certainly taking it on board. :) 

  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    John,

    I don't disagree with you but have concluded that if one forces names one just gets a whole set of still unusable names when the spam bots are active and there would be nothing at all to stop them using Firstname Lastname.

    Most serious users will take the time - just a few seconds - to edit their new account when necessary. 

    People who do not bother probably don't visit often, don't care even though they do visit regularly, care but don't know what to do to change their user name or are spam creators. Mostly the latter I suspect.

    Making them unique would be interesting but since one has control over one's chosen name for use in the forum, doing so might be pointless and probably unrealistic.

    If one cannot target responses accurately to individuals then so be it. Users have the option to uniquely identifiable and the right to remain curiously doubly anonymous if they so choose, with the potential to be misidentified by using a commonly created shared name.

     

    Annoying, certainly, but one of the few situations where the hackneyed phrase "It is what it is." probably applies for once.

     

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    I don't remember having seen a spam bot using any other display name than Firstname Lastname. If enforcing any other name it might result in spam posts being less easy to identify. That's the flip side.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    @SFA

    Let me rephrase just a bit.  First off, there's no built-in feature in this forum for replying directly to a given user in a discussion and/or quote their reply.  For the 30 years I've been in internet forums, I think this is the first forum I've encountered that has no such reply button built-in as a feature.  

    So, then if you are determined to use the forum properly so that you can still reply directly to a specific person and they will presumably be able to know you've targeted them for a reply, then you can manuallyl construct such a reply.

    But, if their username is not unique, I've found no such way to even manually construct such a reply.

    So, the #1 issue is that there's no simple way to directly reply to a given post/user.

    The #2 issue is that even if you get savvy enough to figure out how to manually construct such a reply, that process is busted if their username is not unique 

    This is a feature request to improve the forum functionality.

    ---------

    FYI, there are two SFA users in this forum too, so I can't even know which one to pick when I type @SFA to directly target you.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    I'm not aware of another SFA with an identical preferred name string. I may have missed it.

    I don't think there has ever been any intent to make this a full-function forum complete with, for example, private messaging, etc. Quite the opposite really.

    I agree that being able to reply to s specific post can be useful, but then what is here seems to work reasonably well, for the level of involvement and the number of regularly active users. 

    I don't know what the Zen software can provide. I recall taking a look a couple of times, out of professional interest, but I never found anything on line at the time.

    I have, in the past, been part of user group discussion platforms for other companies that adopted Zen software and they too seemed to be limited (from a forum user perspective) in what they offered when compared to a full forum application. It may be that the Zen application is deliberately kept simple in that area or it may be that business adopting the Zen system prefer to keep things simple - possible because of costs?

    As I said early, I think the majority of truly involved have unique preferred names (also control of those names) and newcomers, who may fall foul of offering no name during the account creation process, will usually correct that omission within a day or two.

    Those who chose not to probably don't stick around or have other purposes for registering. BeO made an observation in that regard.

    Certainly it can be frustrating at times, but I have yet to see any internet active system that I thought to be a clear "best practise" approach to the issue of unique naming even when it succeeded in creating unique names.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    SFA, do you work for Capture One?  Because the way you're trying to justify a severely handicapped forum system makes it sound like you're defending why it has such crippled features.  I made a simple feature request to improve replying to a specific user.  Why are you arguing against improving the forum software?

    To see the two SFA users, just type "@SFA" into a post, then pause and you will see a popup with two different choices where you could pick which SFA user you want to direct your reply to.  I see two choices there.  I presume that means there are two users with that same name.  It means that I don't know how to direct a reply directly to you.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    BeO there have certainly been spam posts - whether or not generated by a bot I am unable to say - that use an actual name, not just Firstname Lastname. I try to get them removed whenever I spot them.

    Ian

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    John,

    No, I do not work for C1.

    My point was that many commercial organisations are not in the business of trying to run full "bulletin board" level forum software with all the functionality that such system can offer. In most cases it seems to be an overhead, both cost and personpower, that they do not wish to dive into and probably do not need to.

    The Zendesk web site has some sections on the proposed benefits of running a forum as part of a Helpdesk set up and some technical posts about how to personalise such a system. I have not worked out whether they actually provide the software or simply make it possible for developers to plug-in third party tools. I have not yet found an explicit enough (for my liking) statement about that.

    I'm not arguing about improving forum software. It's more a case of whether we want C1 to spend money on the forum or developing the application we like to use. Plus I expect the teams are busy with all of the social media apps that seem to be as active as the officially supported Community forum.

    Don't be confused about 2 SFA s. You will find the same for other names. 

    For those of us who have been around for a while, and at least one forum product change, there are old, legacy posts around that seem to identify separately but with the same name. It is possible that a change of email address could have resulted in SFA appearing twice. Current registration will work with the current forum. The Older posts may have the old email address embedded. I'm not sure. Maybe we could ask Ian Wilson as he also appears twice? 

    I seem to recall at some time there was another user named s-f-a or similar but the @ search does not show anything now. Presumably a name change has been applied. Or my memory is incorrect.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    I wasn't aware that I appeared twice!

    Ian

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Nor was I aware that I appeared twice. 

    In fact I had no idea that one could search with @.

    I'm not sure how useful it is but I'll see if it proves to be useful.

     

    A thank you to John, for the enlightenment.

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Looking at the info in the name link above suggests that an email change on my membership account prompted the apparent duplication.

    If I ever find a post more than 2 years old I will try to remember to see if it offers a link to user activity and try to assess whether the assumption above is correct.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    SFA

    The idea is that you type "@somepartofausername" and then pick the desired one from the list and then you've indicated exactly who you are reply to.  Done properly, that becomes a link in the post that indicates who exactly who you are replying to.

    This appears to be the "poor man's substitute" for targeting a reply at a specific user in the conversation thread.  You can then click on the link and see other posts by that user.  See how Ian targeted Beo in a previous post in this thread using this technique.

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    Ian Wilson

    Try typing "@Firstname" into a post and you'll see ten copies of that username.  It's impossible to know which one to pick to target someone using that name.

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  • Ian Wilson
    Moderator
    Top Commenter

    John Friend - yes, I do get that!

    Ian

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  • John Friend
    Top Commenter

    SFA

    As there seems to be no good, active forum community on the internet with good forum software that is really focused on Capture One and this appears to be the ONLY channel to offer product feedback, I'm just trying to figure out how to use this forum software in a way that doesn't suck and is semi-productive (not a big waste of time).  I don't consider it a bad thing to point out small things that could improve the usability of the forum software. 

    As an example, the cookie change that doesn't require you to relogin to the forum software every time you visit was a HUGE improvement to usability and that came about through feedback here and someone on the Capture One side listening and seeing if that was a reasonable thing to fix and they did. 

    Simply removing the default value "FirstName LastName" as the user name would likely reduce duplicates immediately and would probably be a couple minute change from someone who knows how to configure it.  Small effort for a little benefit.  I thought it was a simple request.  I'm not asking some C1 developer to come over to the forum software and spend a week writing code.  Changing a default value in the account creation HTML template is likely not a big project.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    Hi SFA, SFA, Ian Wilson

    I think that the @ sign followed by your username creates an email to you containing "you have been mentioned in a post" or similar, even if you "unfollow" a forum thread. An email change should not result in users appearing more than once; if this is the reason I would consider this a bug rather than a feature.

     

    BeO there have certainly been spam posts - whether or not generated by a bot I am unable to say - that use an actual name, not just Firstname Lastname. I try to get them removed whenever I spot them.

    Ian

    Then, for me, there is no reason to allow Firstname Lastname.

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  • BeO
    Top Commenter

    But I agree with SFA, if there is no quick fix provived by Zendesk, C1 should not invest much effort in this and rather improve C1.

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  • Ian Wilson

    I wasn't aware that I appeared twice!

    Ian

    You don't - it's just that there are two of us who happen to share the same name!

    The other Ian...  :-)

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  • SFA
    Top Commenter

    Logical, I suppose, given that FirstName LastName can appear multiple times.

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  • JoJu

    John Friend after upvoting your posts as I see them as an improvement, again I got curious. There are more weird things going on. Two "John" - last name a double tap on the space key? Why does a "John Johnson" pop up first, then a couple of single first names and your's, alphabetically appearing ahead of Mr. Johnson only appears after typing in some more characters? Even a "John W" has higher priority than all "John F...". That's not one, but a flock of bugs. I know some forums telling a new user "this name is already taken, please take another". I don't want to try now for not creating a bigger mess than already existing. 

    A direct reply button to a certain user would be very helpful, I only can agree.

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  • JoJu

    I just like to add some observation. In this thread there was a user name to which I replied with an @... (can't remember the name and of course didn't make a screenshot). Now I got a notification of an answer and the username was changed to "FirstNameLastName". This forum software appears to have some serious issues and bugs. And I think I will stop answering to aliases like FirstNameLastName.

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