Lack of failsafe on registration process

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Lack of failsafe on registration process

Postby Neutrality » Sat Jan 21, 2006 1:11 pm

Forwarding a complaint I've heard elsewhere, from a few different people you've probably never heard of, and the way things are going, probably never will.

Somebody will go through the registration procedure, and then not get the confirmation e-mail. He'll go back to the board, and discover that there is no way in which he can get the system to send a replacement for the first confirmation message, which obviously either wasn't sent or (as can easily happen to e-mail) got lost en transit.

He goes to look for a contact address in order to get in touch with the admins, and ask them what to do. He doesn't find one.

"OK", he thinks, "I'll just set up another login, and hope that this time, the confirmation e-mail won't drop into a black hole". The system refuses to let him do so, citing the existence of another membership established for that e-mail address. A membership which that same system will not let our would-be applicant log into until the now lost confirmation letter shows up which, weeks later, the frustrated applicant notices still hasn't arrived.

Applicant concludes "I guess new subscribers aren't welcome on ePlaya" and walks off, an understandable conclusion given how thoroughly his attempt to participate has been thwarted, and how little provision has been made for the possibility that something might go wrong. An understandable conclusion, but is it a correct one? Is it the policy of the staff on ePlaya to try to discourage new memberships, and if so, wouldn't it be better to simply post a notice to that effect on the main page for the boards, instead of leaving out a stumbling block for unsuspecting applicants? I'm not saying that you don't have the right to limit the number of people having access to the boards, if that's what you want to do, just that there are ways of doing so less likely to leave somebody else pounding his head into a wall.

Just wondering what I should tell somebody who asks me about this, because so far my usual response of "um, um, well, um, yeah, ok, well, um, like, you know I'm not really in the loop on that and ... my, hasn't this been a warm winter" hasn't been perceived to be completely helpful by some of the frustrated applicants. Go figure. Image
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Postby sputnik » Sat Jan 21, 2006 2:15 pm

The first user listed in the Memberlist link above is ADMIN. Seems pretty clear.
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Postby Neutrality » Sat Jan 21, 2006 3:33 pm

sputnik wrote:The first user listed in the Memberlist link above is ADMIN. Seems pretty clear.


Nice flip response, Sputnik, but let's take a good, careful look at the profile for admin. There's not a lot there. There's no contact address listed, and notice what happens if you try to use the mail link when you're not logged in. You're asked to log in.

That's exactly the problem. Somebody in the situation described can't log in, because the system won't let him. This means that he doesn't have access to the private messaging system, he can't post a request for help on the boards, about all that he can do is accidentally run into somebody with an active ePlaya account somewhere outside of ePlaya and share his tale of woe with the user, on the off chance that said user will pass it along. Which I'm now doing.

Whether or not I'll be allowed to get anywhere as I try to do so, or if I'll get shut down by a regular's hyperaggressive effort to BS the issue into oblivion, remains to be seen. Not that I necessarily have anybody specific in mind as I write this. Ahem.
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Postby DVD Burner » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:15 pm

Try sending a PM to Emily sparkle

privmsg.php?mode=post&u=13

She should be able to help you.
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Postby spectabillis » Sat Jan 21, 2006 5:17 pm

Neutrality wrote:There's not a lot there. There's no contact address listed, and notice what happens if you try to use the mail link when you're not logged in. You're asked to log in.


Hunh, I didnt know that and thanks for mentioning it. I would have thought there was some sort of account people could email to work through problems like this. Some sort of link or "If you encounter problems please contact (?)" would probably work for that, yes?

And the main admin for this sort of thing is Emily Sparkle. It may take a day or two to followup but she usually gets to it. I will ask her if there already exists an email address for something like that.

Whether or not I'll be allowed to get anywhere as I try to do so, or if I'll get shut down by a regular's hyperaggressive effort to BS the issue into oblivion, remains to be seen. Not that I necessarily have anybody specific in mind as I write this. Ahem.


Sorry, I am trying to keep things clear from ePlaya Feedback that sort of stuff but you can see it does not seem to work too well. It makes it more difficult to address peoples valid concerns, sometimes impossible. I am working on that.
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Postby emily sparkle » Thu Jan 26, 2006 7:39 am

Hi all,

Sorry, my wireless has been down for a couple of days, so I'm just catching up on this. At the bottom of every page on the eplaya there's a line that says:

Need help? Email us: eplaya at burningman


This used to be a mailto: link and was a little more obvious and user friendly before.

I can activate the profile you created that is having trouble with email. I know some systems like AOL and MSN often filter our confirmation messages into the spam or bulk folders, so that's a common issue.

Please send me by PM or email (eplaya@burning man.com -- remove the space for spam sake!) with the username you are having trouble with.

The most unfortunate thing is when people register and then forget the username they used. I currently have no ability to look users up by their email address, only their usernames. It's a mod that needs to be installed, but with the few technical resources we have, it has always fallen to the bottom of the list.

Thanks for your patience.
:) emily sparkle
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Postby HughMungus » Thu Jan 26, 2006 10:58 am

"Need help? Email us: eplaya at burningman"

I got a response within a day.


Neutrality wrote:
sputnik wrote:The first user listed in the Memberlist link above is ADMIN. Seems pretty clear.


Nice flip response, Sputnik, but let's take a good, careful look at the profile for admin. There's not a lot there. There's no contact address listed, and notice what happens if you try to use the mail link when you're not logged in. You're asked to log in.

That's exactly the problem. Somebody in the situation described can't log in, because the system won't let him. This means that he doesn't have access to the private messaging system, he can't post a request for help on the boards, about all that he can do is accidentally run into somebody with an active ePlaya account somewhere outside of ePlaya and share his tale of woe with the user, on the off chance that said user will pass it along. Which I'm now doing.

Whether or not I'll be allowed to get anywhere as I try to do so, or if I'll get shut down by a regular's hyperaggressive effort to BS the issue into oblivion, remains to be seen. Not that I necessarily have anybody specific in mind as I write this. Ahem.
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Postby emily sparkle » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:44 am

glad you had a good experience Hugh. i do try to get back to everyone who emails eplaya@ as soon as i can.
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Postby gyre » Tue Mar 21, 2006 11:36 am

I tried at different times for years to get on eplaya.
There is an assumption that everyone knows how these things work.
I didn't have email then so maybe that was the problem.
I gave up. Probably others have.
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