|OS||Neutral (web based)|
Will not work with IE8 or older
The basic idea behind the Tell Us system can be summarised as:
- Users can log in and submit messages via the Tell Us page.
- Submitted messages go into queues.
- Members of staff who can manage queues are notified via email about new messages in their queues.
- Staff members can log into newsagent, see the messages in the queues they can manage, and contact the authors of those messages if needed.
- Individual messages can be moved into different queues, rejected, deleted, or they can be used as the basis of full Newsagent articles.
- The text of a message can be used as the basis of an article, but the text submitted by the user does not need to be used 'as is': the staff member creating the article from the message may edit the text in any way they feel is necessary.
Accessing the queues
Some members of staff have access to one or more Tell Us message queues. Staff members with queue access will get a new icon in the toolbar at the top right of the Newsagent page:
- - if you see this icon, you have access to manage one or more queues.
- - if there are new messages in any of the queues you manage, you will see this icon.
Clicking on the icon will take you to the Tell Us Messages page where you can see the queues you have access to manage, the messages in those queues, and options to process them.
Tell Us Messages
The Tell Us Messages page is split into two major sections: a list of queues, and a list of messages in the selected queue. If you have used webmail systems like GMail, the layout will be fairly familiar to you:
The list of queues you have access to manage is shown at the top left. As you move your mouse over the queue names, the background will change colour to indicate that you can select the queue. You can switch between queues by clicking on the queue name, and the currently visible queue is highlighted in red. If a queue contains one or more unread messages its name will be shown in bold, and the number of unread messages in the queue will appear in parenthesis after the name (for example, in the diagram above, General is the currently visible queue, and it contains 5 unread messages, the Random queue contains no unread messages, while Testing contains one unread message).
The list of messages in the current queue takes up most of the rest of the body of the page. Individual message rows consist of a type icon, a select box, and a message summary with some author information.
The message type icon gives an indication of the type of the message, hovering your mouse over the type icon will give you a text version of the message type:
It should be noted that the message type is purely an author-selected indicator, and it should only be considered a convenience for usability: it does not confer any properties or restrictions on a given message, and it should not be relied upon to be accurate as users may leave it on the default.
Each message row shows a 'Message summary': the first sentence or two out of the message, along with information about the user who wrote the message and when. If you click on a message summary, a popup window will open containing the text of the message, and some options to manipulate it (see the Message View section below for more information). Clicking on the author email address in the message summary will open your email client and allow you to contact the message author for additional information or clarification. The author information shows when the message was added, and the information is displayed in a more readable but imprecise fashion; if you want to know the exact date and time the message was created, hover your mouse over the date string to open a tooltip containing the full information.
Between the type icon and the message summary, each message has a select box. If this box is ticked, the message is considered to be selected. You may select multiple messages by clicking the select box for each message. When one or more messages are selected the 'Message tools' buttons will appear above the message list.
The message tools buttons appear when one or more messages are selected. They allow you to perform various operations on the selected messages:
- - this option only appears when you are able to move the selected messages to another queue. If you do not have permission to move messages, the option will not appear. When this option is visible, clicking on it will open a list of queues you have permission to move the selected messages to. When messages are moved from one queue to another, they are marked as 'unread' in the destination queue. Whenever you move a message into a new queue, the staff members with manage access to that queue will be notified via email.
- - clicking this will mark all the selected messages as read.
- - this option allows you to reject the selected messages. When you click this a popup window will open into which you may enter a message explaining why the selected messages were rejected. The text you enter will be sent to the authors of the selected messages; if you want to reject the selected messages without notifying the authors you can leave the rejection message box empty. Note that, if a rejection explanation message is provided, the same explanation message is sent to the authors of all the selected messages, you can not provide individual rejection explanation messages via this option (if you need to provide different rejection explanation messages for each message, you should open the Message View and use the "Reject message" button in that popup.)
- - clicking this will delete the selected messages. Note that you are not asked to confirm this, but it's actually safe to do it: messages are never really deleted, they are marked as deleted and hidden, so in emergencies they can be restored. When messages are deleted, no notification messages are sent.
Quick Select Tool
Just above the message list, to the left of the message tools buttons, you will find the 'Quick Select tool'. Clicking on this will open a popup menu, and selecting an option from the menu allows you to quickly select certain sorts of messages: 'All' selects all messages shown on the current page, 'None' deselects all messages, 'Unread' selects messages that haven't been read yet, and so on. Note that selecting an option in the quick select tool will discard any current selection you may have, and the selection only applies to messages on the current page, even if there are multiple pages of messages for the queue.
When you click on a message summary, the message view popup will open containing the text of the message you clicked on. The popup will look something like the following:
A number of options are provided below the message text:
- Create article: clicking this will take you to the compose page, with the article text pre-filled with the text of the message. Note again that you do not need to use the text submitted to the Tell Us system 'as-is'; you are free to edit it as much or as little as you feel necessary.
- Email author: clicking this will open your email client with the email address of the message author in the To:, so that you can contact the author for more information.
- Reject: this opens a new popup that lets you mark the message as rejected, and optionally enter a rejection explanation to send back to the author. If you do not enter anything in the rejection explanation text box, the author is not notified that their message has been rejected.
- Delete: marks the message as deleted and removes it from the queue.
- Close: closes the popup without taking any further action.
If you want to make a Newsagent article out of a Tell Us message, you need to click the "Create article" button in the message view popup. When you do this, you'll be taken to the full compose page, and the Full Text box will contain the text of the message ready for you to edit it into a form suitable for publication.
When you opt to create an article from a Tell Us message, the message is not deleted or hidden after you create the article. Instead the system will change the background colour of the message to light green to indicate that it has been published. You may delete the message if you want, or keep it for reference - the original message does not need to be retained after publication. Rejecting published messages is possible, but doing so would be rather nonsensical, so you probably don't want to do that.