“I’m sorry for adding you to my MSN without prior notice…”

I had someone add me to their MSN Messenger list the other night and then they said something to the tune of “I’m sorry for adding you to my MSN without prior notice. My nickname on SiteName.com is XXX.” Sorry for adding me? Who the heck am I? The Pope? Firstly, I said hello to the guy and assured him that he had nothing to be sorry about. He seems like a pretty nice guy.

But, such is the environment that some people (even staff members), within a specific community that I know of, encourage. They put things like “Contacting me privately will get you a warning” in their signatures. To me, this is offensive – and shocking. None of my staff members will ever be allowed to have such a thing in their signatures. If you don’t want people to contact you privately, don’t make private information public. Putting such rude, even scary, messages is uncalled for, in my opinion.

Patrick O'Keefe

Managing online communities since 2000, I publish a collective of websites known as the iFroggy Network. I wrote the book Managing Online Forums and, as a public speaker, have presented for organizations like CNN, institutions like Australian National University and conferences like SXSW. More about me.

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