The 3 P's on our New Website: Private, Pending & Published

A leader's guide to understanding the different privacy settings on the new website.
Tess Wendel Tess Wendel
July 01, 2014

Our website was designed both as a tool for the public to find information about The Mountaineers and as a place for our volunteer leaders and administrators to store and share information specific to courses, activities, and committees.

Updated July 2022

To serve both of these needs the website has different privacy level settings. It's designed to manage new content by allowing our leaders to create content (blogs, events, activities, courses, documents) in a private (editing) state, then submit the new content for publication, or directly publish the content to make it public.

Learn about these settings as they relate to:

Definitions

Published: The content is public. Anyone who visits mountaineers.org and clicks through can see the content.

Pending: The content has been submitted for review and editing before it becomes published. Admins see this as "Submit for publication" in the Admin Panel.

Private: Anything that is left as private has varying levels of "viewability" based on permissions. This could mean you simply need to be logged in to see the content, you must be an admin on a committee, or you must be enrolled in the course to see the course materials. Admins will see this as "Retract" or "Send Back" in the Admin Panel. They both change the items state to Private.

Shared with committee: This state only exists within the branch and committee areas of our website. It was designed so that because committee administrators have "private" documents that only they may access but also have a second level of privacy level that are shared with everyone on the committee or all committees based on each committee's settings.

Closed: A special state for activities only. One an activity is completed or is canceled, a trip result i s set and then the activity is closed.

Canceled: A special state for events and lodge stays that are canceled.

Retired: A state that allows us to hide content but preserve historical data. It's used for Routes & Places, Activity Templates, and Course Templates.

My Profile

When The Mountaineers launched the new website, all of our member information was kept "private" in accordance with online security protocols.

We encourage our members and guest members to make their profiles public to other members who are also signed into their online accounts (this includes badges, bios and emails ONLY, not other contact information like phone numbers and addresses). Sharing this information makes it easy to carpool with others by facilitating easy communication about trip planning, and also allows  members to get to know each other better.

To share your information with other members who are logged in, visit your My Profile page (by clicking on your name in the upper right hand corner) and select "Edit Profile." If your account is set to private it will be noted like this:

Once you click on edit profile, select the "Preferences" tab and uncheck the box where it says "Make my profile private".

Unchecking the box will make your profile, badges, bio and email only, viewable to all other signed in members (see image below).

To make it even more apparent that you'd like to carpool, feel free to edit your Bio information to say where you live, and if you like to carpool with others for activities.

Please note that leaders and administrators will be able to see more contact information than an average member like phone numbers and addresses for emergency purposes.

Learn more on our Privacy Policy, Board Policies, and Our Privacy Policy Explained pages.

Committee Documents

Folders and documents added by a committee leader or committee administrator are "Private" by default. Private means only the leader who uploaded it and the committee admins can see the document. 

If you DO want everyone to be able to view the document, including individuals not logged in to our website, publish the folder or file.

For committees, the general rule is committee admins can use private and pending to share  and edit documents before they are ready to share with the rest of the committee or be published. 

Note: a folder may remain in the Private state while documents in it are Published. To publish a folder or document, choose "Publish" from the "State" menu in the Admin Panel. This feature can be utilized if you wanted to have an application for a course listed online as a public document but you didn't want people accessing the folder where it lives because other documents were also contained in that folder.

In short, if the content you have created is not showing up where you want, you probably want to change the viewing permissions.

  • Private: Only your committee admins may view and download.
  • Pending: Only committee admins may view and download. This state is designed to note that the content should be reviewed by someone else. Many times this is unnecessary and Private things can directly be shared with committee or published. 
  •  Shared with committee: Any member of any committee can view and download.
  • Published: ANYONE, logged in or not, may view and download from the committee page(s).

Lear more about our website permissions that are automatically assigned to those on branch and committee rosters.

Courses and Course Materials

Courses have to be published to be found in searches where participants will find them and sign up. Once a course has been scheduled and published, it will be in the Find Courses, Clinics & Seminars search. Course related activities like field trips will automatically be published (viewable by the general public), but won't show up anywhere until the course is also published. Field trips and seminars are only listed on the course page and do not show up in general search.

You must be listed on the course roster to see documents that have been uploaded to the Course Materials section for a course. If your course has an application, this is where you would put it. Course materials should be stored with the course template so the materials will "stay with" the course when it is rescheduled year after year. 

Course Materials should remain private not published to inherit the correct web permissions. If published they will not show up properly because they receive conflicting messages from the folder which says "Show only to course participants" vs. the published state which wants it to show to the entire world. If you want to share something with everyone, upload it to a committee page and make it public.

Learn more about scheduling and managing courses with lectures and field trips.

ACTIVITIES

All activities are automatically published.

Activities are the only form of content that also has a Closed state. To reopen an activity to make notes or change a status please contact your committee chair or someone else on your committee that has admin rights. 

Confidential notes associated with participants on activities are only accessible to committee admins and the leader for that specific activity for which they were written.

Activities may only be in the Published or Closed states. Though other states are possible because they are a native part of our website, states other than Published and Closed cause several issues for our volunteers and members. Activities are published automatically when added. Please be sure to leave all activities published until they are complete and it's time to close them. This includes activities that need to be canceled—set their trip result to "Canceled" and then close them.

Learn more about scheduling and managing activities that are trips, seminars and clinics, or lectures and field trips.

ROUTES & PLACES and Blog Posts

To ensure that we have high quality content for our members, leaders, and the public, our "Routes & Places" and "Blogs" have a publication process. Content is created in Private state and then leaders change its state to Pending by submitting it for publication so that the content may be reviewed and published by staff.

Only leaders can submit new Routes & Places. Any leader on a committee can suggest a new route/place or updates to an existing route/place. We also have a Retired state for Routes & Places so that we can prevent ones from being used that are no longer viable or are duplicates but need to be kept for historical reasons. Learn more about suggesting a new route/place or updates to an existing route/place.

Blog posts use the same publication process. You must be a committee administrator or leader to create a blog. Learn more about writing a blog post.

Events & Lodge Stays

When an event or lodge stay is added, its state is set to Private.

For events that are room reservation requests at one of our programs centers, volunteers submit the event for publication to set it to the Pending state so that our facility manager may review and approve the request.

For events that are not at one of our program centers and all lodge stays, volunteers may set the state directly to Published. Or they may set it to Pending by submitting for publication so that another volunteer may review and publish it.

Learn more about scheduling and managing events or scheduling and managing lodge stays.

Conclusion

The website was designed for you to easily share and store information, and you as a leader have control over your own documentation. The more we use it, the richer an experience everyone will have as a Mountaineer.


Learn More

Interested in learning more about our technology and infrastructure?  You can read all of our related blogs on our Technology Blog. We especially encourage you to read How We Prioritize Technology Feedback and Projects, and then check out our feedback website to see what else we're working on.


Add a comment

Log in to add comments.
Joel Heidal
Joel Heidal says:
Feb 21, 2015 09:30 AM

OK, I published when I didn't intend too. Do I now retract or send back when I change the state?

Joel Heidal
Joel Heidal says:
Feb 21, 2015 09:32 AM

That was intended to be a to not a too in my comment. But Retract is the correct answer.

Jeff Bowman
Jeff Bowman says:
Feb 27, 2017 05:56 PM

Either of those will change the state back to Private, so it does not matter which you choose.