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Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

February 11, 2013

 Although this has been the subject from time to time, it should be noted again that many proprietary web sites permit forum participants to send "private messages" to each other and avoid having to make a post to the forum.  Grand Circle, as far as we recall regarding this topic, has said they were "working on it."  Given a series of posts on another thread, perhaps now is the time for Grand Circle to expedite creating this function.  Maybe Michelle, or another moderator could update us with what progress has been made in this area, and when we can expect this function to be implimented.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

February 11, 2013

I've sent and received private messages with others using the Travel Companions feature. It's not an ideal way to do it but is workable.  

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 493
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

February 11, 2013

I agree in principal with svncontinents request, as I have made contact, either by posting a temporary Email adreess for the other party to contact me, or, in one case asking Michelle to forward an Email for me, but I would prefer a more direct and formalized method of communication. I would slo like to see a mechanism to facilitate contact between travelers before departure. 

There are privacy issues that have to be addressed however. There have been discussions regarding spoofed Emails. Some people are more sensitive to privacy issues than others, and if functioanlity is too easy to use, it may open the doors to spammers and frauds. At the very least, the travellers would have to be able to opt-out, or better have to opt-in to being contacted, probably with deferent opt-ins for fellow travelers and forum contacts. 

For contacting fellow travelrs, once you have the names from the final document package, you can, via the internet get contact information on may of them, but many people would feel that this is an invasion of their privacy. There is a forum for contacting fellow travelers, but those using the forum are aaa very small minority of the travelers.

A related enhancement would be to optionally show trips taken in addtion to countries visited

Before implemeting any such changes the design should be passed by a focus group and initial relase should be trhough a larger Beta test group, as any breach of privacy would leave a bad taste.

 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

February 11, 2013

 Janice-although the suggestion you make is available, it still requires some kind of a public posting to initiate.  Despite the fact that a public posting there is lsomewhat less public, it still can be viewed by others to whom it was unintended.  Grand Circle has said in the past that it is "working on" establishing some kind of system to permit forum participants to send private messages to each other without having to go through the forum with public postings.   Already the capability is present to permit Grand Circle to send messages to us.  It seems that with a bit of 'tweaking' the function could be made available to individual forum participants.   Jack has posted additional reasons which argue toward a rapid implimentation of this feature.    Perhaps now is the time for a 'progress report,' with an anticipated implimentation date.  

Author: pauline

Joined: 3/9/2010
Posts: 970
Trips Taken: 11
Countries Visited:

England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Malta, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, China, Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Russia, Ukraine

Traveler Since: 1999

February 11, 2013

I have been reached, as well.  The sequence went something like this:  First, an e-mail from GCT stating that someone (poster nickname given) wanted to send me a message and asking if I was willing to accept it.  Upon my reply that I was willing, the message would come from the person.  It was usually a question about luggage or a specific question about a trip I had taken or, once, about traveling together.  And it worked the same as Instant Messaging.  However, once it was one of those "Nigerian bank" scams.  Since that time, I have removed any identifying information from my profile on the Travel Companions sectiion.  And I haven't received any more personal messages. 

So the system does have its drawbacks.  A fool-proof method of sending and receiving private messages would be very helpful to those who want one.  Another thing that would be helpful would be a method of commenting on a review of a trip, a method other than clicking on "not helpful."  Especially, when the review included erroneous information.

Author: nanaandpapa

Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 493
Trips Taken: 15
Countries Visited:

Aruba, Austria, Australia, Bermuda, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Rep., Egypt, England, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Namibia, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Russia, South Africa, Spain, St. Marten (fr), St. Martin (nd), Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, USA, Vatican, Zimbabwe

Traveler Since: 2002

February 11, 2013

 Maybe the first issue that has to be addressed is whether a formalized enhancement request procass should exist and how that would work. What one person considers a desired enhancements may not be desired by all. GCtTOAT has used focus groups in the past, which we, and many other frequent posters have participated in. Unfortunatley these focus group have generally just been those that live in the Boston area and can get in to the office to meet with the developers.  It should be opened to a larger group with a wider geographic representation. A system to propose and give feedback on enhancements should. Such a system should be to suggest and request enhancements not to demand them. Above all these websites and the forum are a tool for marketing of a for profit company. The forum and the travelers reviews are relatively new and valuable additions to the site. Both of these enhancements and the new look of the sites came about through focus groups

Yes, there is a discussion on Website and Forum Feedback, but that has been used for various purpases.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

February 11, 2013

Svncontinents, I don't understand your concern with using private messaging in Travel Companions. To use it, I just have to write in a post "Send a message to me at testing which is my nickname." I haven't given any private information by doing this. If I get a message from someone with whom I do not want to communicate, I simply ignore it. My nickname really is testing because I was just experimenting when I created it and it can not be changed.

I've offered this as a solution because I don't expect to see any changes here in the near future.

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

February 11, 2013

Nanaandpapa makes a good point about using a focus group, which includes participants from a wide geographic area, to recommend and prioritize enhancements. There are other needed enhancements which I would consider more useful than a private messaging feature in the forum.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 271
Trips Taken: 0

February 11, 2013

Hello Everybody -

Thank you for taking the time to comment about messaging fellow Forum posters privately.

This thread has been forwarded to our Development Team & we will be looking into enhancing this feature this year.

As always, thank you for your feedback.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCCL/GCT Forum Moderator

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

February 11, 2013

Michelle- we seem to recall that you replied much the same thing when we posted this suggestion some months ago.  Can you give us some idea as to when we can expect implimentation?  It would be helpful to know that your Development Group is 'on the case' and that we may expect that enhancement to begin at some more specific time than the general response we now have and have received previously. 

Janice-the travel companisons requires filing a profile, as the instructions indicate.  if one has not filed a profile, it appears that this feature cannot be used.  it would be far simplier to permit individuals to send private messages to each other outside the forum.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 271
Trips Taken: 0

February 11, 2013

Hello Svncontinents -

At the moment, I cannot offer a specific date for when this functionality will be available.  However, I will update this thread when I have more news.

Kind Regards,

Michelle

GCCL/GCT Forum Moderator

 

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

February 13, 2013

 Michelle-thank you for your reply.  We appreciate your response, but it was a bit too open-ended, and we had hoped for something a bit more specific.  With that in mind, would it be possible for you to come back, say, in six months and give us a progress report on this issue?  That would be most helpful, and your promise to do so would be most appreciated.

Author: grandcircle

Joined: 3/5/2010
Posts: 271
Trips Taken: 0

February 14, 2013

Hello Svncontinents -

Yes, I can commit to an update in 6 months. On August 14, 2013, I will post an update in the Forum on private messaging.  If I have news prior to this date, I will advise our Community.

It is on my calendar!

Happy Valentine's Day,

Michelle

GCCL/GCT Forum Moderator

Author: janice!

Joined: 3/18/2010
Posts: 277
Trips Taken: 7
Countries Visited:

many

Traveler Since: 1999

February 18, 2013

Yes, you do need to create a Travel Companions profile in order to use the private messaging facility, That can be done very easily and quickly, It is not necessary to enter any personal data; you just have to be sure tp check the box indicating you want to participate in Travel Companions. It must be a very important issue when a person shouts it out and makes repeated requests. Obviously, it would be easier if the facility was part of the Travel Forum but it is not. Rather than shoot holes in the suggested alternative, it would be better to show some appreciation for it and be willing to give it a try.

Author: svncontinents

Joined: 11/25/2011
Posts: 230
Trips Taken: 13
Traveler Since: 2007

February 19, 2013

 Janice-thank you for your suggestions.  However, now that Michelle has agreed to follow-up with the Development Unit, we're confident that we'll soon see a feature to permit direct contact in a more direct rather than round-about way.  So we'll be patient and wait.  After all, we've done so long without it, a few more months won't hurt.

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