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Forums Letters to the COW Team friends – now what?

  • friends – now what?

  • Ariane Fisher

    March 29, 2011 at 2:54 am

    When you become friends with someone on Cow, is there some way to send them a message? What additional functionality does “friending” someone on the Cow offer?

  • Mike Cohen

    March 29, 2011 at 3:15 am

    Becoming friends with someone on the COW is like Facebook, but with the following advantages:

    Your News Feed is actually interesting to read

    Your Dad is not on here

    No embarrassing childhood photos

    No chance of getting friended by your Prom date from 1983

    You can be exposed to subjects you might not otherwise learn about. I love my cousins, but seriously, I don’t give a hoot about their school team

    Nobody is going to poke you

    No Farmville

    You have someone to come to your defense if Bob Zelin writes you a polite message


    So Ariane? Want to be my friend? I am pretty sure I did not go to the prom with you 🙂

    Mike Cohen

  • Ariane Fisher

    March 29, 2011 at 3:23 am

    I’m incredibly glad we didn’t go to prom together. I’d have to slap you. 🙂

    So can I send a private message to a Cow friend? There are threads in which I have contributed that I would like to follow up privately. This is generally because my follow up questions would be hijacking the thread into a completely different direction. Thanks.

  • Abraham Chaffin

    March 29, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Hello Ariane,

    We don’t support private messaging at this time. If you have a question that is off topic from a thread you can post a new thread by using the adding a new post like you did here in this forum. You can message a friend directly from their profile page but it is not private since it will show on their profile page.


  • Tim Wilson

    March 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    The primary idea behind COW “friends” is that you can note the people you find especially helpful, and track every post they make. I’m not entirely happy with how it’s implemented yet, so if you have any suggestions, please make them here.

    When you say “hijacked,” though, it reminds me of the 1950 film “Hi-jacked,” starring Jim Davis, who went on to portray Jock Ewing on Dallas.

    Even more interesting to me is director Sam Newfield, the prototypical “B” director. He passed on at the relatively young age of 64, yet directed 297 features! Indeed, in the decade preceding “Hi-jacked,” he directed over 100 of these.

    Another from 1950 was “Wild Weed,” revolving around the havoc and death in the wake of one chorus girl’s use of said wild weed. The poster screamed, “She Should Have Said NO!”

    The point I’m playfully making is that hijacking threads is okay. If your subject is so different that you fear you’re veering off course, start a new thread!

    We have over 1.7 million visitors a month, with over 250,000 active posting accounts. You think you get a lot of email? Can you even imagine what would happen if even one percent of 250,000 people thought you were helpful enough to ask you directly for assistance on a post you made? 250 emails in a day! If 2 percent had a follow-up question, 500 emails in a day.

    And with more than 15 million unique individuals over the course of a year, new accounts being added every day, you could be looking at literally thousands of direct emails in response to one post. It’s simply not possible.

    Our community depends on people asking questions. Without that, we would die. It also depends on answers being provided in public, so that the site is actually helpful. So please, out of consideration to people who answer questions out of the goodness of their hearts, and out of consideration for the people behind the COW who support everything you see here, please, please: POST!

    And looky there, starting with one sentence on one topic to a long post on a related topic. Works out pretty well, I think.


    Creative COW

  • Ariane Fisher

    March 29, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks for your help. Sending a public message works just fine. Didn’t notice that before. It works better than smoke signals, which was going to be my next attempt.

    The help I have received on these forums has been fantastic. I appreciate the ability to have a “wall” feed of my favorite experts. Now I just have to get on the ball and return the favor by answering questions occasionally. 🙂

  • Rafael Amador

    March 30, 2011 at 9:34 am

    [Abraham Chaffin] “We don’t support private messaging at this time. “
    So what is for the “Post a message” window that we get in the profile pages (Activity, news)?

  • Abraham Chaffin

    March 31, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Hello Rafael,

    The Post a message is the closest thing we have at this time to a private message. The message is visible to the public however which is why I wouldn’t label it as private, though in other senses of the word I guess it is.


  • Tim Wilson

    March 31, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    And don’t forget, private messages are exactly the OPPOSITE of what we’re trying to do at the COW. Please avoid them unless you are on fire, and the other person is the only one with water.

    Please please PLEASE ask your questions in the forums. Please.

  • Rafael Amador

    April 4, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    [Tim Wilson] “And don’t forget, private messages are exactly the OPPOSITE of what we’re trying to do at the COW. Please avoid them unless you are on fire, and the other person is the only one with water.

    Please please PLEASE ask your questions in the forums. Please.”
    Dear Tim,
    I fully agree with you that any forum related question must be public, however having a way to connect with friends for non-forum related questions would be good for the Community.
    I’m not toking of using The COW for personal messaging.
    A couple of years ago a top-daily-poster of one of the forums I visit suddenly stopped posting.
    After few weeks I inquired in the Forum about him but no news (some one told me that I shouldn’t do that in the forum; that if that guy wasn’t posting, was his own business).
    Later on I found his e-mail address and I asked him what was going on. As I suspected he was sick and having a hard time.
    He was very happy that somebody in the forum noticed his absence and took interest on him.
    So, I think that a little window to send a note to anybody would be very positive and won’t overload The COW.

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