In case you’re not aware, it’s official: JotCast now has private messaging! Please note, this is different from a direct reply -- another new improvement! -- which allows you to publish a response directly under a specific comment. Instead, the private messaging feature allows a moderator to send a message to a reader that pops up at the bottom of the intended reader’s screen. The reader can respond and continue the personal conversation, but only a moderator can start or end one.
Obviously, a group chat works best if there’s… well, a group. It’s fun to see the wide range of opinions and the interesting exchanges between everyone. Even so, there are times when the ability to privately communicate would be helpful. Occasionally, it might be a necessity. Consider private messages if any of these issues come up in a chat.
- A reader sends in a message with sensitive information.
There are readers that sometimes will pose moderators a hypothetical or a general question, and there are also readers who will ask a more personal query. If you get a message from a reader that inquires about a more personal matter, it doesn’t need to be publicly published to be answered. Instead, you can choose to respond to that reader by sending them a private message. This means that it’s easier to discuss more sensitive topics on JotCast.
- A reader is having technical issues while trying to participate in a chat.While technology usually tends to make life easier, it’s not without its
own frustrations. With the private messaging feature, if a reader’s
comment mentions experiencing any difficulties with joining a third
party presentation, or participating in the conversation, a moderator
can suggest possible troubleshooting measures for them without derailing
the focus of the chat.
- A moderator needs to discuss something with the other moderators that doesn’t pertain to readersWhile we’re all for transparency, there can still be times where
moderators want to keep the discussion just among themselves. Do their
readers really need to read messages about how these chat statistics are
looking in comparison to last week? More importantly, even if they
could, would they want to? A private message would mean that the
business end of a chat -- issues important to the hosting company --
could go on as needed during the chat, and readers will be none the
wiser. Instead, they’re focused on getting the details on the topic they
care about -- and that’s what we’re here for in the first place!
- A moderator needs to remind a reader about the rules or guidelines of a chat.
Sometimes, people become emboldened behind a screen, and suddenly feel comfortable expressing themselves in a way that they wouldn’t ever dream of doing face-to-face. While moderators can block users who make inappropriate comments repeatedly, it might not be necessary for a reader who typed something during an intense debate that crossed a line. A first-time offender, so to speak, can be let off with a warning. Better still, a moderator can give that warning without embarrassing the reader by calling them out in front of everyone.
- A moderator wants to interact more directly with a particular reader.It’s possible to… ahem… click with someone you meet online. If there’s a
reader in a chat that makes comments that are particularly clever or
insightful, why not send a private message so you can delve into the
topic or bounce an idea off them? Readers often enjoy feeling like
they’re getting to know the moderators they follow consistently. Since
moderators are the only ones who can initiate and / or end a private
conversation, there’s no need to worry about unwanted interruptions or
about starting a sidebar you regret.