To encourage readers to send feedback to authors, storiesonline provides an easy to use form at the end of every story and an email contact link in every author’s page as well as a feedback link at the end of every blog entry.
In order to encourage those who are reluctant to disclose their email address to still send feedback, the mailing system provided allows for anonymous messages.
The system works very well and storiesonline, according to many authors, is the source of the most feedback received; which is very good for authors.
However, like every system, it is possible to abuse it. Hiding behind the afforded anonymity, some cowardly people abuse authors by sending them abusive messages through the anonymous system.
To deal with the problem, the mail system has been updated to allow authors to refuse all mail, or to refuse just anonymous email.
When an author chooses to refuse all email, the site won’t show any mail forms or links.
When an author choose to refuse anonymous email only, then the forms on the site will have the reader’s email inserted by default.
Since this is a risk of privacy for the reader, every reader is given the option of having a specialized contact email address in their account for such cases.
The main email address or the contact email address can be used in contact forms, however, either one have to be confirmed within 30 days when used.
Email address confirmation is done through a confirmation message sent to your email address, and requires you to follow the instructions in it to have your email confirmed.
Messages sent to authors who refuse anonymous feedback from readers who’s email addresses have not been confirmed are put on hold until the email address confirmation is received.
Of course, authors who refuse anonymous feedback are assured to receive less feedback.
If you are a reader that would like to send feedback to authors, but you don’t want to use the email address that you used to subscribe to the site, then get another email address and add it to your account using the ‘Email form settings‘ page. The page is always accessible through the ‘My Account’ page on the site.
The system needs to make sure that addresses used are still active after their first usage. So if you want to send messages to authors refusing anonymous feedback, your email address used must be confirmed at least within 30 days.
Some readers may find this practice highly annoying, but you have the option of ignoring the author. If you see your email address in the form, and you don’t like that, the mail form preference allows you to hide all email forms that don’t accept anonymous feedback.
Additional features of the mail feedback system is that you can have your email address automatically inserted into all mail forms to save you the effort of typing your own address into the forms that accept anonymous feedback, and also you can have the system send you a copy of the message that you send to authors.
Hopefully, the recent changes can address both authors’ and readers’ concerns.
If you have any comments or concerns about the new system, other than ‘this is a bunch of crap and I should be allowed to do whatever I want’, please use the comments section to voice them.