Author Topic: Notifications - Can this be fixed?  (Read 2954 times)

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Offline Thom

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2014, 01:39:08 PM »
Thanks Desiree, glad it was useful.
You'll become a better person if you surround yourself with the quality of people that model the virtues you seek for yourself. But first take a deep look inside yourself and fix the only sure thing you have control over - you.

Offline Desiree Fleck

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2014, 09:39:24 AM »
I really appreciate this thread. I haven't taken the time to try to figure this out, but after reading your back and forth discussion has simplified the process. I hope to see more activity on here very soon! :) Thanks ya'll - I'm off to modify my profile settings.

Thankful and tranquil,
Dez

Offline Thom

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 04:15:34 PM »
Thanks Pearl, feedback is always welcome. Whatever comes from the brainstorming would be great to share here too!

The changes required to provide the global notifications are more involved than I thought, and after discussing it with those who use SMF a bunch seem to think it might become a problem unless additional code was put in place to disallow message content as opposed to digests only. It has the potential of creating a significant load on the email server, depending of course on the number of users that elected to be notified by email for any forum activity, and how much activity on the forum there is.

So my suggestion is to go to the boards you see activity in and click on the link to be notified. There are 37 boards but many have little or no content, so just go the ones you're interested in following. Also, make sure you check the box in your profile to automatically be notified whenever someone replies or posts in a topic you posted in (Turn notification on when you post or reply to a topic, which is the middle checkbox option under Profile | Modify Profile | Notifications).

I'm sure you know how to navigate to them Pearl, but for those that don't here's how:
1) click Profile in the middle of the main horizontal menu at the top of the forum
2) on the left under Modify Profile click Notifications
3) select the options you want using the checkboxes and drop down lists
4) click the save settings button

To be notified by email when new topics are added to a board (and also when posts to topics under a board are posted in?):
1) click on the forum board of interest, such as biochar to open that board
2) at the top of the board, above the list of topics on the right hand side click the Notify button

That's it!
« Last Edit: November 17, 2014, 01:37:40 PM by Thom »
You'll become a better person if you surround yourself with the quality of people that model the virtues you seek for yourself. But first take a deep look inside yourself and fix the only sure thing you have control over - you.

Offline Pearl Schneider

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 08:26:48 AM »
Thanks Thom!  I am feeling more comfortable using the forum all the time. To get started on this forum just seemed to have a lot of obstacles in the way. I am just brainstorming about how it might be easier for people to get into it and to start using it.  -P

Offline Thom

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2014, 11:07:08 PM »
There are several issues at play here.

First, regarding email options for global forum activity, I researched that topic on the SMF support forum and as yet have received no replies. I don't believe such an option exists.

We are a VERY small group so global notification as you describe is doable and would not be much of a load on the server to perform at all. But for forums with 1000s of users and 100s of topics it could quickly add up to be a substantial burden to send emails for every changed topic for many users. Instead, the SMF design provides an option to automatically subscribe users to the topics they post on. It's a compromise.

Although not as convenient, all it takes to check on activity for our O.N.E. forum is to login and look at the very bottom of the main page where the last 5 posts are listed, and all you need to do is click a link to go to that post directly to read it. It takes me less than 10 seconds to do that: 1 click on a saved favorite URL, another click to login (with my user/password saved by the browser), and a quick mouse scroll (or hit "end" on keyboard) to get to the bottom of the page showing "Recent Posts" list, which tells me what's going on very quickly.

I also looked for a "mod" to add global notification functionality and didn't find that either. However, I did find something that I may be able to adapt to provide this capability. The mod to unsubscribe all is trivial and it looks like I could reverse it to subscribe all instead, but I will need to look into the code to confirm. If it's doable you would have two new options in your profile somewhere, probably on the same page where the other notification options are, one to subscribe all the other to unsubscribe all.

Second, regarding your request for a digest AND to include the post content. I'm pretty sure those are mutually exclusive options. The point of the digest is to summarize activity whereas providing the post content is the opposite, giving the details. I may be wrong about that but I think that's the case.

Anyway, glad to see you trying to use the forum more and starting to get used to it. I'll keep you apprised of my findings.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2014, 11:09:14 PM by Thom »
You'll become a better person if you surround yourself with the quality of people that model the virtues you seek for yourself. But first take a deep look inside yourself and fix the only sure thing you have control over - you.

Offline Pearl Schneider

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2014, 04:34:11 PM »
I thought I posted this reply earlier, but apparently not:

I received the digest this morning, and it did not contain a list of everything, just yesterdays. I had requested the text of the post - still have - and I did not receive that.

However, the basic issue of having to go through each and every forum and click notify if you want to be kept up to date with what is happening seems a little extreme. My only beef at the moment, thank you.

Peace and positivity, Pearl

Offline Thom

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Re: Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2014, 12:13:53 PM »
Thanks for this feedback Pearl, I'll check into it later today when I have more time and post my findings here. I could be wrong but I believe there are options in the profile to set notifications as you want to.

Did you try the help link and do a search on the SMF website to find a solution? Just a suggestion, had you not thought of that.
You'll become a better person if you surround yourself with the quality of people that model the virtues you seek for yourself. But first take a deep look inside yourself and fix the only sure thing you have control over - you.

Offline Pearl Schneider

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Notifications - Can this be fixed?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2014, 10:44:22 AM »
First, I found the little button on the bottom right-hand side of the forum page that you can click to indicate that all messages are read, making the little "NEW" button disappear. Making that little button disappear makes approaching the forums a little less daunting.

Second, Patrick mentioned in the last meeting that he was having trouble figuring out how to get notifications. I was to. I have never had a forum experience in which a daily digest didn't keep you up to date with everything. What I have discovered is that you have to tell each and every board that you want to be notified of any new messages. This is a little crazy. I wish there was a global notification button which you could disable if you no longer wanted to be part of a certain topic.

Any way, I went through the whole forum and indicated I wanted to be notified of any new messages in all the boards after I had indicated that I had read all the messages that had ever been sent. This morning I did get a digest and it gave me a long list with the following heading:

"Below is a summary of all activity in your subscribed boards and topics at Ozarks Neighborly Exchange today. "

The operative word is today. This was followed by a list of all the topics listed under all the boards and that list was followed by a list of how many replies there had been in each topic. I doubted that activity had sky-rocketed overnight, so I went to the forum to check it out. And it hadn't. This was a list of all topics ever started and the replies were all replies that had ever been made. It didn't just give me the activity from today, which as you can see above is what it said it was going to do. I dread to think what would have happened if I said I wanted the text of all the topics and replies. The digest would be pages long!

This is a crucial issue. If we can't just get summary daily digests of activity on the forum, we are less likely to join in conversations, especially since the forum has so little usage at the moment. People don't check it every day because usually there is nothing new to see. If I got an email that told me there was activity yesterday or today on a topic I initiated, or someone else initiated that I was interested in, I would be sure to go to the site and check it out. If I get a list of all activity from the beginning of time, I am not interested and will discontinue getting notifications. Simple as that.

Peace and postings, Pearl