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Snooth User: gr

(Configurable) email notification of replies in Talk would be nice.

Posted by gr, Feb 29, 2008.

One of the things I did like about phpBB is that it notified you when someone else responded to a topic on which you'd commented (modulo configuring it to do so or not on a per-user basis).

I think that Talk should do this. But please note that I think that Talk should include the content, rather than send bacn (which is what phpBB does, if memory serves).

I've quick-responded to a couple of things this evening because I was clicking around and saw responses, but if I weren't doing that, I would have had to actively inspect threads (or posting history, after a switch to recency-based display rather than first-posted date, which I'd've suggested if you weren't already doing it).

The point here is that I think that Talk should actively encourage conversation without an extra effort on the user's part. Yes, there is a "check email" step to see email like this, but that's something everyone involved does anyway (and they should be able to turn off the notification if they don't want it) with greater frequency than they're likely to go trawling through history on threads on which they've commented here.

Replies

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Reply by Philip James, Feb 29, 2008.

Yes. On the short term list RSS/email subscriptions and at least a "New" flag so you can visually identify threads with new content. On the maybe list would be integration into the grapevine or watch threads linked directly from your profile page, but thats just a maybe, and at the moment we cant integrate anything outside of the beta sandbox.

Thanks for bringing it up though.

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Reply by gr, Feb 29, 2008.

"Watch"ing things so that they show up on my home page, for a VERY general definition of "thing" is a double-plus-good feature. I want to watch wineries, I want to watch vintages, I want to watch regions (Chianti) of a certain vintage (2004), but only for new additions to Snooth (not for reviews, I know I want to at least try things in that category). I mean this (especially the parentheticals) is intended as an example, but if you're going to implement this sort of thing in support of the forum feature, which you're implementing in-house, do it for everything pretty please.

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Reply by gr, Feb 29, 2008.

PS, I want an RSS feed for the things that I'm watching.

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Mar 1, 2008.

True "New" tagging is difficult to scale -- suddenly you find yourself storing information about what every reader has seen or has not seen. This is a classic SMOP. (http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/S/S...)

However, this can be hacked (http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/H/h...) by marking everything newer than X time units old as "New" and storing a cookie id-ing the items the user views. The only way to lose that information is to clear your cookies, but otherwise it behaves the same exact way as true "New" tagging. Another downside is you're sending that information back and forth from the server to the client, but hopefully that's never more than a few bytes.

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Reply by gr, Mar 1, 2008.

I think the true hack here is "is it newer than the last time the user actively logged into the site", but then you're in the department of forcing logins periodically like LinkedIn does.

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Reply by gr, Mar 1, 2008.

Oh, but wait, I don't want a flashy "new" icon, that's so 1995. When I say that I want to "watch" something from my (site-specific) home page, I just mean that I'm going to give you some criteria and I want to see the last N (3? Or so? More if I click something?) items that match that criteria. I don't think it matters whether I've seen them or not, they should just be the three newest-to-the-DB things that match that criteria.

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Reply by gr, Mar 1, 2008.

And yes, dammit, I do see how this is still a scaling issue, even if it does get farmed out to a reporting rather than front-side compute and DB server pair, and I won't kick and scream if you don't think it's a big enough win to be worth the pain, but my point is that I don't think this needs to be an instantly updated thing. I don't think it even needs to resemble real-time for forum traffic, so long as you cough out an email on responses (if I've asked for it, that doesn't look too much like spam) in real time (you already do this for private messages, remember).

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Mar 1, 2008.

You're reasking for flexible RSS feeds and email notifications, neither of which are visually helpful once you're on the forum page. Both of them will be built, it's simply a matter of time.

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Reply by gr, Mar 5, 2008.

email notifications look great!

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Reply by Philip James, Mar 5, 2008.

BACN for the win(e) sir!

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Reply by gr, Mar 6, 2008.

Speaking of w(h)ining...

I notice the emails say, "somebody just replied to the topic you're watching:" ... but I don't see "Watch" (for topics in which I haven't posted, but am interested) or "Stop watching" knobs or dials yet. I assume the language means it's on the way?

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Reply by Mark Angelillo, Mar 6, 2008.

Yep, on the way.


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