Hi, Forerunner here. I have been looking around for user opinions regarding the disabling of the "message wall" feature for some time, but have found very few. Below I have listed a number of prominent opposition arguments I have managed to find around blogs; I will respond to each.
- R: I get alerted when someone comments on my (example) Elder Scrolls Wiki message wall/talk page
- Re: It's the same basic system as the current - if someone talks to you on your message wall or talk page on another wiki, you will always be alerted to it. It doesn't matter what feature your wiki users, you'll either be alerted by a red dot in the top-right corner or a big yellow box at the top of the page.
- R: I keep getting alerted when somebody edits another person's thread.
- Re: It's simple, really. You subscribed to the thread at some point; either by pressing "follow" or commenting on it. You can easily un-subscribe by clicking on the "Following" icon at the top-right corner of that initial thread (it turns into "Unfollow" when your cursor passes over it). Disabling that will prevent you from receiving posts from that thread. Other users have opted to using Special:Preferences and disabling the system, altogether - however, that stops them from receiving potentially-important posts afterwards. As such, you should have simply clicked on "unfollow".
- R: Users keep asking me why he was blocked from the Chat.
- Re: The user probably remembered you from Chat and wanted to ask you why he was blocked. This happens on user talk pages, too, remember. When it comes to message walls, simply remove the thread and hope that he doesn't recreate it. If he gets abusive, the admins can block him and disable his ability to use the feature completely. An early problem with the Message Wall was that the blocks could only prevent them from editing their user talk page; this has since been corrected. Now, when a user is blocked completely, they will no longer take advantage of earlier thread-subscriptions to annoy people. Something like that has happened with userpages before; you could take advantage of being able to edit it by posting reasons why you hate the admin(s) that blocked you.
- R: It looks too much like a social-networking site.
- Re: I don't think this isn't a particularly-valid reason, as similar objections have been made to numerous other features Wikia has added. To name a few: the friend/foe feature of '08; the points system; the awards system (both of which reward(ed) people for talking to other users) and blogs. Hell, we used to have old-style comment-boxes before they were retired and replaced with Chat.
- R: It makes more sense to use the two-way user talk page method.
- Re: Not exactly. In that system, many people reply to a comment by using their own talk page, rather than sending a comment back. This means that not all parties are guaranteed to receive the message, and will have to check every now and then.
- R: It shows people's real names.
- Re: It shows people's real names when the users agreed to use their real names - that can be changed in Special:Preferences.
Hopefully you guys will provide me with decent reasons, this time. It was a pain sifting through the regular "I am opposed to this feature because I don't know how to use it" stuff.