Improving the Membership List

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Peter Walker
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Improving the Membership List

Post by Peter Walker »

During the migration process of your YahooGroup into your new forum, we concentrated heavily on being able to fully restore your message archives while the membership list was seen as just a transfer from the current YahooGroup. In the end, the current Members list is mainly made up of those that had actually posted. As many members had used more than one email address, over the years, this meant that the messages were then assigned to the email addresses used to post them. Since then, I have been trying to merge the messages into one account for each member.

As this turned out to be a massive task, we are now looking into improving the migration task for the members list and rebuilding the members list again. In order to make this possible, I have been working on an excel table of the members found on the current YahooGroup cross-referenced with the email addresses used when the messages were posted. The most difficult aspect is simply working out all the email addresses each member used.

After working on the table for some time, I have now sent it to your original moderator Soroush to complete the associations, as he knows you all much better than I do. It is now his job to look at each email address that we were unable to associate automatically, and associate it with a current member account. If this is not possible, because the member unsubscribed before the YahooGroup went offline, then a new account will be created for the respective archived posts.

Once that list has been completed, he will send me back the list and we will then rebuild the members list so that everyone can then properly join in on the forum.

Please bare with us while this important work is being completed. Feel free to continue to use the forum and post new messages while we work in the background to properly restore your members list.

There is one more improvement worth mentioning. When we originally restored the messages, links in the messages were not clickable due to a minor oversight. That has now been rectified and you should now be able to click on any links found in the respective posts.
 


Roger Barr
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Re: Improving the Membership List

Post by Roger Barr »

Personally I dont find having the poster's email address so important. Anyone using the information has to confirm it elsewhere. Does Sourush need help?
Roger


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Peter Walker
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Re: Improving the Membership List

Post by Peter Walker »

Roger, let me briefly explain the problem. Each member on the forum should only have only one account that gives that member access to all the messages they have written in the past. That is working for members that always used the same email address. There are however about 700 members who posted with more than one email address, some as many as 5 different ones and it is those that are causing the problems as we have to determine which of those email addresses are still active and then merge the messages from those up to 5 different accounts into one with the current email address. We determine which accounts are still active by cross-referencing the email addresses used to post (Mbox files from Yahoo) with the current addresses registered on the YahooGroup. That leaves as with a list of over 1000 email addresses from posts that could not be automatically cross-referenced to current email addresses.

Basically, we need to determine all the email addresses members have used in the past and associate them with their current email address. The aim of this task is to be able to have just one user account for each member and combine all the messages they have posted under their various email addresses into one account with the latest email address. The problem is basically to go through the list of email addresses we have found in the emails, that do not relate to a current email address and then assign the current address in the alias field in an excel table. If the user unsubscribed in the past and therefore no longer has a current email address, then write Unsubscribed in the Alias field.
If unknown, but does not relate to any current address, Write Unknown and we will add that address to the forum.

I have put together an Excel file that cross-references the current YG members with the addresses gained from the imported messages.

For example, if you have the member John Smith and he used 5 different email address like this over the years (fictitious):
  1. John Smith <johnsmith@warmmail.com> (used when he registered in 2002) - made 50 posts
  2. JSmith <john.smith@msm.com> (he changed to this say in 2005) - made 82 posts
  3. Health Nut <healthnut@zahoo.com> (he wanted a more anonymous email in 2008) - made 48 posts
  4. J.S. <johns@hooglemail.com> He added an additional email account for use from his smartphone in 2010 - made 42 posts
  5. JS HP <js@johnspractice.com> He finally used an email address from his practice and this is the current email - made 147 posts.
This fictitious example is unfortunately typical of the problem we are facing. The first two addresses are relatively easy to recognize as belonging to the same member. #3 to #5 are more difficult and often require looking at the posts for a similar signature or writing style, something to determine it is from the same person. After cross-referencing the email addresses from the posts with the current members. I am left with this:
  • I am able to merge the posts from "JSmith" and "John Smith" into one account with the username "John Smith" and 132 posts (50+82), but neither email address is found on the current members list.
  • "Health Nut" is an orphaned account as I cannot see who it belongs to and the email address is not current.
  • "J.S." is a candidate to be merged with "JS HP" although both accounts are current on the members list.
What we need to sort this out is the following information: This would allow us to merge all the accounts into one with username: "John Smith" - email address: js@johnspractice.com with all 369 posts linked up. This allows John to be able to access and even edit all his posts on the forum.

What I have asked Soroush to do is to look at the MBox-Members Tab and fill in the empty spaces in the “Alias email (USE THIS)” column with the respective current email address. I have started the process for some members beginning with A and B as an example. The lines in bold means this is a current email address from the YahooGroup.

If in doubt, he can search the messages on the forum to check there if he can identify the author from their posts.

Code: Select all

minutus.forums.group/search.php?keywords=
Under “Search for author:” enter the username given in the Username field of MBox-Members and then search. You can then see all their posts.

I started to do this, but as I do not know your members anywhere near as well as Soroush would do, it makes more sense for him to do this task.
Once the Alias fields have been completed, I can then work on updating the member list and merging the related accounts into one.

I am not sure if you can help Soroush with this task, but there are other jobs you and others could easily help with. That is to look through the long list of topics in the YahooGroups archive and move them to appropriate categories. That would make it much easier to find topics of interest. If you or others are interested in doing that, I can easily set you up. For example, each volunteer could concentrate on one category like topics related to vaccinations and move all the respective posts into the vaccinations category. Moving the topics is easy, it is just a matter of going through the topics, marking them and clicking on move (once you have the correct rights).
 
 
 


Roger Barr
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Re: Improving the Membership List

Post by Roger Barr »

Yes, I would be willing to do the Topics work.
Roger


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