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New Alert Emails for responses to Discussions #3284
Back To Discussion List Written: 2010.06.01 by: Glenn Woodsworth

Robin wrote,

When you post a discussion, the system will send you an email to alert you every time someone posts a comment to your discussion. I implemented this feature because I was always missing out on comments people were making.

This is fine for those who want it, but I don't. How about a way of opting out of this under "Change User Preferences" ( )??


#1436 - 2010.06.03 Glenn Woodsworth - Still need opt out, esp. with bug
Notifications are great for those who want them. Facebook has them in spades - I turned them all off, because they were too much of a nuisance. So, the more notifications there are, the more essential it is to have an "opt out" option in the user settings.

By the way, when I click on the link in the email for New Alert, I'm not automatically logged in. I can see the discussion but I can't comment. I have to either log in and go back to the discussion (tedious, esp. seeing as I don't memorize passwords) or I have to close the browser window and go back to the discussion, also tedious. I fail to see the benefit here.

If you want to make the site more user-friendly, the alerts are a fine idea. It makes it even more user-friendly if I can turn the bloody alerts off!

#1433 - 2010.06.03 Dean Richards - Great for trip reports, photo essays, and old discussions
Digests seem like a good idea, if that's easier to set up than simply opting out. I'm sure we all follow up on discussions we're part of, but if someone comment on an old article, it would go unnoticed much more often, once we've stopped checking. Notifications for photos, trips, etc seem like a great idea, since most of us probably don't scan those very often.

#1429 - 2010.06.02 Scott Webster - Most online discussion forums have this feature
Most online discussion forums that I've seen have a feature to alert you by email when someone posts on your thread. However they are all set to "off" by default. Some of them only send you one email when your thread is updated, and then they don't notify you again until after you have gone to the site to read the new message(s). This way you only get one email regardless of how many people post a response before you go back to check. This could be one solution if it is deemed mandatory to have notifications. Another way would be to send out a "digest" email once every "time period" (could be a day, week etc.) that contains a list of all the messages posted since the last "digest" email.

#1427 - 2010.06.01 Glenn Woodsworth - Some people monitor the site often
I think most people who go to the trouble of initiating a discussion will monitor the site frequently, if only to see what reaction their discussion provokes. (Even people who only post trolls do that.) I'm not saying get rid of the email process, just make it possible for people to opt out.

#1425 - 2010.06.01 Robin Tivy - Discussion model: He who initiates discussion should monitor replies
I may eventually have to implement the preference you mean, but it will be a bunch of work (=bugs), and also, I'm not sure if it supports the right paradigm or model. Right now, I think the "discussion model" is that when you open a discussion, you have to make a committment to read the replies. People want some assurance that the initiator/ moderator is actually paying attention to what people think or reply. That is what I was doing wrong in some of the discussions I was initiating: I would post a discussion, but then not check often enough to see that someone had made a worthwhile comment to which I should respond.

So I think the model is: if you initiate the discussion, and someone goes to the time to write a reply, you have to accept the alert email. When you post a discussion, you are in effect, picking up a bullhorn, and making a speech, and then declaring that the "lines of communication" are open on that subject. People need to be assured that people initiating discussion are aware of replies.

I don't think we want a discussion mechanism where people can open up discussions, but then exempt themselves from getting the alerts that people are replying. (Unlike my member of parliament, who sends out mass emails, but if you answer, it goes into the scrap heap.