Can Wikitree email headers be improved?

+15 votes
When dealing with multiple communications with both members and non-members, it is difficult to keep track of a thread in an email program (I am on Mac Mail).  Part of this is due to the Wikitree email subject line not containing much information.  Thus one has to look into many old emails when trying to pick up a thread, rather than just looking at subject lines, which becomes unmanageable if in many conversations at once. The worst example is when one sends a message to another Wikitree member and all such emails that one receives have the subject line "Your page on Wikitree", regardless of which conversation the email pertains to.

I believe it would be quite helpful if any email to or from a Wikitree member had the following subject line:

"(Surname-NNN) Rest Of Usual Wikitree Text",

where the Wikitree ID is for the other person in the conversation (not oneself).

I also believe it would be quite helpful if any email subject line from a non Wikitree member began with the following:

"( Rest Of Usual Wikitree Text"

I believe that these are fairly simple changes, as such information is in the body of the emails already, and these changes would make it much easier to keep track of a dialog with someone via Wikitree, when one is in such dialogs with several people at a time.  Having this information FIRST makes it trivial to filter ones email messages into threads with specific individuals.

Kevin Huscroft

in WikiTree Tech by Kevin Huscroft G2G1 (1.5k points)
retagged by Michael Stills
Hi Kevin,

I've added this to the list of improvement suggestions.
Thanks Jamie,

Here is an amended request that could accomplish what I want, while separating my request from the debate about what the SUBJECT line should be.

All I really would like to see is an attempt to mimic normal email where the sender (or recipient, in the case of sent email) is visible and sortable in the list of emails in ones email program.  Now in the case of Wikitree, sent messages are copied to oneself, and thus both received and sent emails (to another Wikitree member) appear in ones inbox, along with received messages from non-Wikitree members.

Technically I believe that it is quite possible to set the FROM field in an email to be whatever the programmer wants.  Right now Wikitree already does this where some emails that say from Wikitree are from two different actual email addresses: &  Also, there are some messages from that are labelled as Wikitree and others as Wikitree G2G.

Thus an alternative to what I requested above would be to make the FROM field as follows:

from or to a Wikitree member:

    Surname-NNN via Wikitree

from a non-Wikitree member: via Wikitree

rather than just saying Wikitree.

In this manner it changes nothing about what the SUBJECT line can be, but provides the clarity about who the conversation is with.

Kevin Huscroft

P.S. note that for communications between Wikitree members, the Surname-NNN is for the other party.  Thus on a sent message, the copy sent to the inbox of the Sender would be labelled Recipient-NNN, while the copy sent to the inbox of the Recipient would be labelled Sender-NNN.

P.P.S. note that there are many messages that listed as just being from Wikitree that would be usefully tagged in this manner, i.e. any message sent to one member due to the actions of another.  Why not identify the other member right in the FROM field of the email, so that communications from a particular other member can readily be grouped for review.

1 Answer

+3 votes
I'd rather see the subject header be about the topic of the message not about the sender.  That would keep all messages grouped together in a thread.
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (781k points)
Me, too. But for senders of private messages who don't bother to add a custom subject line, a subject line that named the sender would be more informative than a mailbox full of messages slugged only with "Your page on WikiTree."
In my experience, most people don't put a custom subject line, and in any case it is outside the control of either party to control what the other party does.  Thus my mailbox has always been full of the "Your page on Wikitree" headers. I have had perhaps only a hundred or so conversations, but in every case they have just been two way, and it would be helpful to be able quickly group prior exchanges with the same person together.

Further, if this is to be something automated, the subject can be anything (and thus cannot be automated), whereas simply identifying the sender is trivial to implement as the information is already in the body of the email, and yet very useful to keep track of conversations with a single other person, which often take place over many weeks, where one needs to review what has already been said, before responding again.

And to be clear, I am referring to the private messages that one gets (or sends) which are typically from a member to a profile manager, or sometimes from a non-member to a profile manager.
Make the default subject line empty, but display an error and did not send if they do not complete the subject line.
Strongly agree with Louis!

While I agree with Kevin's ideas above, forcing a custom subject heading should be required, before allowing a Send button.

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