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How much do we care about joining a Space without joining Querki?
querki
jducoeur wrote in querki_project
Prioritization question, looking for opinions from the prospective users.

I'm currently writing the invitation system, whereby people join Querki. (It's going slowly -- one of those "easy to describe, PITA to get right" features.) As previously mentioned, the usual approach is going to be that you get invited to a Space; to accept, you create a Querki login account, and are basically a user from then on, except that you can't initially create your own Spaces.

In *principle*, I like the idea of alternatively being able to just join a Space without actually joining Querki. That's how things worked for the Wedding Space, and it's modeled on things like eVite, where login is optional -- you *can* simply click on an invitation to reply to it, without needing a login. That has its own hassle (you can only get *back* to your invitations via the email you received -- this turned into a significant problem with the Wedding Space), but it does make for a low barrier to entry.

The question is how much we care. I'm considering the Wedding Space to be a prototype, and I'm deprecating the mechanisms I used for those invitations -- they had problems, and I think we'd be better off with a rewritten model that is more robust. So re-adding this functionality would be a considerable amount of extra work -- it's a fairly messy workflow in many ways -- and I'm not sure when to do it. My inclination is to not hold up Alpha for it, but I don't know whether it should be "soon after Alpha" or "in a while". I've convinced myself that it's minor, but I'm not sure that I'm correct.

Note that the question depends largely on how you think of your Space and your community. If the Space is long-lived, and folks will tend to be involved for a significant period, then it is *much* easier for folks if they are proper users. OTOH, if the Space is a one-off, intended for a short period of time, and the invitees will tend to only look at it a few times, then the quick and dirty login-via-email is potentially easier. (I had *thought* the Wedding Space fell into the latter category, but in practice it has had more life than I originally expected -- hence the hassles.) The issue is nuanced by the use case.

So: opinions solicited. The question is, can accepting the invitation to a Space *require* creating a Querki login, or do we need a button for "Just join the Space without a Querki login"? More precisely, how crucial do you think the latter is, on the scale from "Enh -- I don't think it's relevant" to "I don't think I could use Querki without it".

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Just to the right of "Enh -- I don't think it's relevant". I hedge because there are still Technophobes in the world, and if you are inviting them to your wedding (as I had to) making them create an account with a new service is--huff! huff!--such an imposition!

Having something that would allow them to join a one-off without creating a separate account would be value added. But not so much value that I would prioritize it at this stage.

That's around where I've found myself thinking -- helpful, but a bit of an edge case. (And probably one I wouldn't have even considered if RSVPs weren't my very first use case.)

Thanks!

Our technophobes all responded to the invite (which had RSVP buttons on the page) with either e-mail or (in one case) a card (sent in the mail) declining the invitation.

Can the invitation embed a key linked to the email address of the person it's sent to, so that when they click they get a Querki account created for them, subscribed to that Space?

Then you send them a password-update link if they try to do anything other than [very limited actions].

Also must consider the case of using Querki for less formal social occasions. Weddings are rare, parties are often.

Can the invitation embed a key linked to the email address of the person it's sent to, so that when they click they get a Querki account created for them, subscribed to that Space?

Can, yes -- it's not all *that* different from what would happen if they pushed the "Just join this Space" button. (The link already includes the email address in question, signed and validated.)

But it makes me a hair queasy to go very far with this logic: I don't like the increasingly common practice of signing people up for services without their explicit permission, and I'm trying to be cautious about this rather slippery slope. So I suspect that I'd only be comfortable doing that if it was explicitly requested by the inviter (probably as a property of the Space), and only with a qualitatively different "account" -- probably *not* a real User account in this case.

Also must consider the case of using Querki for less formal social occasions. Weddings are rare, parties are often.

Certainly true. But "social occasion management" is only one of several dozen use case categories identified so far, and not really one of the priority ones. It's already a pretty saturated market -- I'm not going to spend a ton of effort on something that Facebook does at least vaguely adequately. And I suspect that few people are going to go to the effort of leveraging Querki's strengths for it, especially for the more-casual occasions. (I've used Querki *heavily* for the wedding, to do a lot of things that would be challenging-to-impossible with other solutions, but the effort is non-trivial.)

That said, it's true that, the less formal the occasion, the higher the priority of this sort of quick-accept. But it still feels like an edge case -- worth doing, but a ways down the list.

(Mind, I rarely say "no" to something like this. But I have to weigh it against, eg, History Management, or complex Search forms, or better UI, which seem likely to be more valuable...)

I feel like some Space creators might well want it, because it lowers the initial barrier to participation? If someone's trying to create a monetized Space and attract users to it, making people jump through hoops before doing things tends to lower your signup rate.

But at least right now, I'm not one of them; my reaction is "don't really care".

(I do feel like when you're presenting the option, that it ought to be clear to the user that if they do not create a login, that they will need to save that email, or at least the URL from that email.)

But at least right now, I'm not one of them; my reaction is "don't really care".

Good to know -- I'm still hoping that you'll be a significant early user. I was initially very concerned about this until I thought about your described use case more, and concluded that it would be a poor fit for you.

(I do feel like when you're presenting the option, that it ought to be clear to the user that if they do not create a login, that they will need to save that email, or at least the URL from that email.)

Yep: already mentioned in the story...

Oh, and yes:

I feel like some Space creators might well want it, because it lowers the initial barrier to participation? If someone's trying to create a monetized Space and attract users to it, making people jump through hoops before doing things tends to lower your signup rate.

This is one of the use cases I'm thinking about for this, yes: if I'm running a storefront or some such via Querki, I don't want customers to need a Querki account.

But we're a fair ways from having a solid monetization story of this sort. I suspect that we won't be ready to do that properly until sometime in 2015 at the earliest. Indeed, the *real* use case for this may be Crowdsourcing -- but that has a host of technical challenges, so I don't want to encourage folks to go too far down that road quite yet.

(And mind, this is only relevant for *members* of a Space, who have elevated permissions. You can declare a Space to be publicly readable without any of this...)

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