Forum email notification issues.

Forums Off Topic Forum email notification issues.

This topic contains 13 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Mark Schnepper 3 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #2028

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    I apologize for the excessive emails related to forums. We had two plugins installed to generate an email to subscribers, so notifications were doubled. Additionally, the notifications aren’t behaving as expected. I think anyone that has an account, active or expired is getting all notices (with perhaps the exception of members or forums subscribers that joined after the forums were set up).

    I am working with a few people and experimenting with a test account to resolve this issue. I apologize for any inconveniences.

  • #2029

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    FYI-Here are the goals:

    1. Only people who have subscribed or have a higher level of involvement, due to their web team role will be getting notifications.

    2. The notifications will be clear as far as the topic, sub-forum and content, so you do not have to go login to a forum to see what was posted, when you get a notification (for the forum that you actually are subscribed to).

    3. Once the above issues are resolved, we intend to install a plugin that would allow you to post replies to a topic via email. We will research it further, but we are not aware of any plugins that allow starting a thread from email.

    Again, I apologize for any unwanted emails and I take responsibility for the inconvenience.

    Mark

  • #2030

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    TESTING!!!!!! Peter Von T……please don’t kick me!

  • #2031

    Jeff Wala
    Participant

    Regarding 2 and 3, my ideal interaction with a discussion forum is to have as much as possible conducted in the forum, with a minimal email that simply alerts me there is new activity to go check out. I don’t want the entire post content emailed, and i don’t want to be notified of successive posts once i’ve been told there is new content to go check out. I want my mailbox to be as clear and free as possible to deal with priority matters, and to go to forum discussions as time permits. So i think the alert message should simply say MHTG/X forum/Y thread title/Z name of posting member, then have a link to the thread, perhaps with an excerpt of the first sentence or two.

    If #2 is meant to address Harry’s concern about logging in in the email i saw, i think Harry was expressing concern that the site was making him log in when he clicked on the link in the email, then redirecting him to an arbitrary page so he had to then navigate back to the forums. One issue there is about having WordPress return you to where you were trying to go when it asked for the log in. This would be good, however, that is not necessary just to make the links work from the email. When i click on the email links it takes me directly to the post that the alert is for. I do not need to log in, as either WordPress or Firefox remember my log-in status and it is done seamlessly. Perhaps this is browser/OS specific? A further problem with this process is that it takes me to an isolated copy of the new post. That makes no sense as i am there to read the thread, why make me click again to see the whole thing, unless WordPress lacks the ability to position the screen on the specific post as most forum software does for you.

  • #2033

    Harry Harris
    Keymaster

    Even though I did not subscribe to OFF-TOPIC forum I still get email notifications when posts are made to it. Not sure what is going on. However it seems to me that we need to meet as a web committee to discuss all of this and make recommendations at a business meeting. We have to many members that are not going to like whatever we do except go back to the old system with a mail list server account. There are so many problems right now with the forums I do not know if we will ever get it right. Forums are not meant to replace a list server but people try because they see some benefits in using a forum instead. While we can go back to an ‘excerpt’ in the notification email someone already has really complained about not being able to see the whole content. I changed it to see what the reaction would be. Again we should meet as a committee and put together the pro’s and con’s of using the forum and the same for a list server. Once we have this together we can present at a business meeting and get the reactions there. I am not sure why Mark has not put together a web committee meeting yet but it is really needed now.

    • #2043

      Jeff Wala
      Participant

      I have not received any alerts on this thread since Harry’s post. Perhaps changing plugins ended previous subscriptions, i will see if this post resubscribes me. Is a post supposed to automatically subscribe you to that particular thread (normal for forums i frequent), or would you need to check the box below for follow-ups?

      As far as the content of the follow-up alerts, yes we will not come up with one standard that will please every single member. Therefore i would default to setting things up from a system engineer perspective to make everything as simple and efficient to start with and let it develop as it will from there. To me, that would be to have discussions in the forums and emails as concise alerts to direct interested parties to partake if and when they care to. I only said to include an excerpt in the email because it seemed that was the more concise alternative that could be easily configured, i personally don’t care if it is there at all.

      This matters more to me than most because i use a service with a limited mailbox. While Google was reporting everyone’s pron traffic to the FBI and Yahoo was screwing up listservs all over, these guys were giving steady reliable service- they just don’t encourage people to waste resources. Even so, adding content to email isn’t going to tip the scales as long as bbPress doesn’t encourage quoting and images won’t be included- it is just that it is poor system structure. When i joined the club, there was a Drupal implementation that seemed very similar to how we are talking about setting bbPress up, with forums that were effectively archives to email lists. I recall finding the whole setup very frustrating and entirely ignoring the forum part after the first few tries. To have a healthy forum, everyone interested should be checking at the site periodically to look for new conversations, not waiting for conversations to be pushed to them. Pushed content is better for more generally relevant stuff which is why maintaining just a member email list is a good idea.

      What would be a more definite pain would be if each and every response generated an email, so that an active thread would clutter up your inbox with alerts if you were gone for part of the day. I know there are ‘digest’ options, but if there is anything important or really interesting you usually don’t want to wait until midnight to find out about it, and trying to manage this for individual forums and threads would be nightmarish. Good forum software sends out alert emails for a new response to the topic, then says ‘there may be other responses’ and won’t send you more stuff until after the next time you visit, at which point you catch up on the whole conversation. And that is the main benefit to forums, the whole conversation is there to easily review any time, so anybody who cares to add to it isn’t as likely to do so in ignorance of what was said two posts ago.

      • #2048

        Mark Schnepper
        Keymaster

        I haven’t received anything either?

        I removed the bbpress notify no spam plugin and installed bbpress notify, no nothing?

        We were getting double posts when we had both? I am not sure which setting isn’t firing the notification?

      • #2049

        Mark Schnepper
        Keymaster

        I haven’t received anything either?

        I removed the bbpress notify no spam plugin and installed bbpress notify, no nothing?

        We were getting double posts when we had both? I am not sure which setting isn’t firing the notification?

  • #2038

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    Okay, here is the deal (I believe). We had two notify plugins (apps for websites for people that are not familiar with WordPress). One of the was bbPress notify no spam, the other was bbPress notify. I mistakenly thought the add on was a spam filter for our notify plugin. So that explains the dual emails that were similar, but slightly different. When this error was caught, one of the notify plugins was turned off (bbPress notify). bbPress notify (no spam) continued running. After looking at this a little closer, bbPress notify no spam does not have any user based options out of the box. To configure this so not everyone gets notifications on everything, you have to purchase an upgrade. I’m not sure how much this costs? Probably not horrible, however, I think the original plugin was working before I added what I believed to be a spam filter (I figured what the heck? Event though we haven’t had trouble as far as spam postings). I have disabled the plugin that needs a paid add on to give users control of what they receive. I have turned the original plugin back on that didn’t seem to be having problems (however, I was getting everything as an “admin” on the site, so perhaps I was blissfully ignorant, not realizing everybody was getting everything). I have a secondary email address registered to a test account that does not have admin rights. I will keep a closer eye on that email address (I don’t really use it anymore), to see how the notifications are behaving. My apologies for any inconveniences and/or irritation that this may have caused you.

  • #2039

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    Perhaps I am in the minority here (and I would be happy to cede to the majority if that is the case), but I’d disagree with the statement about listservs vs. forums. I’d argue the complete opposite, we have been using a listserv like a forum for discussion and that is cumbersome to the average user as far as too many incoming emails. On a topic that people may have varying interest in. I think the forums (WHEN they are configured to the point they are behaving like we expect), is a less intrusive way to discuss homebrewing, whiskey, beer, cheese,etc. The user can define if they get notified when a new topic is posted (by subscribing to the topic). If you want to be casually aware….I would suggest NOT subscribing to a forum, but asking for a daily digest or even a weekly digest if you don’t want to look at it daily (you can do this in your profile).

    The bonus is that the forums are searchable (sure if you don’t delete anything from your mailbox, it does have a search function, however, new subscribers can find old content in a forum, which saves repetitive questions, if people search the forum (down the road when more activity has transpired).

    I am a little confused by the comment about the excerpt vs. the whole email? If you just want the first sentence or two, don’t read the entire email (unless the complaint is I’m managing a very small mailbox and I’m fighting for space). I figured the entire email worked for everyone, you don’t want the entire content summary? Go to the forum after you read a line or two and decided that you are interested in the topic. OR You don’t want to go to the forum? Go ahead and read the entire thread in your email browser.

    If people have strong opinions as far as excerpt vs. content in its entirety, please post your opinion.

  • #2040

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    Testing…….disregard any unwanted emails that you may have received. 😉

  • #2041

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    testing

  • #2042

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    retest

  • #2057

    Mark Schnepper
    Keymaster

    Update-bbpress notify was the plugin that was still running after last night (I deactivated bbpress notify no spam, because it was not respecting subscriptions. I don’t know if the transition wasn’t working or if I lost some stuff in my spam folder, but I didn’t see any notifications in my test account (alternate email address) when I posted last night. However throughout the course of this morning I was getting notifications in my test account for forums I did not subscribe to in my test account.

    I have disabled both notify plugins. I will research this further before I implement a different solution. (I do have one other plugin I want to try, but I’ll give you all a break for a while). I realize a lot of people are frustrated and/or irritated with all the unwanted email notifications.

    I apologize for any inconvenience.

    Mark

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