New Watched Thread Notifications for OPs, more content in the new app & @tagging too! Watch

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    Good morning everyone,

    We have a couple of key updates coming to TSR later this week I’d like to tell you about. The first one affects all of our platforms and the other is just for our app.

    1) Watched thread notifications for the thread starter / Opening Poster

    One thing we have noticed in recent years is that thousands of threads started by people can receive multiple (often amazing) replies but the opening poster not realise because they haven’t been quoted and so don’t receive a notification to alert them. The Watched Thread emails work for some people, but quite often people don’t check those emails. Also, our notifications menu is so heavily used in comparison to the widgets. So, what we’re planning to do is introduce a new Watched Thread notification as a test to see how people feel about it.

    Some of you may recall that I sought your advice on this suggestion a while ago (see this thread), which resulted in a number of rules based on advice of users to make sure this remains useful and does not overwhelm us all with millions of notifications.

    The rules of the notification are as follows:
    • To start with, only the Opening Poster of the thread will receive the notification.
    • The notification they will receive will say “New replies to ‘XXX thread title’”
    • They will only receive one notification even if there are multiple replies, this is to make sure they don’t get swamped with notifications. If they go back into the thread, it will be reset at that point.
    • Even if the thread keeps receiving lots of replies, they only have the first notification with its original date, so it will drop down the notification list and not sit at the top of the pile, blocking other notifications.
    • If they are quoted, the Watched thread notification won’t fire, so they won’t double up.
    • On the app you will also receive a push notification as with others, although you can turn the ‘push notification’ off.
    • To turn of notifications for a watched thread, you just unwatch it.

    We have also built the ability to turn this on for all watched threads – as is the case for most other forums these days and things like Facebook groups - but we thought we’d give it a trial period of the next fortnight first just for Watched Threads started by yourself to see how it feels. So, please see how it works and tell us what you think

    2) More space in the new TSR App

    One of the big pieces of feedback about our new app is that you all want to see more content on screen (more thread titles and more content within a thread) so we’ve chopped out bits of space from most pages in the app in an attempt to get more content on screen for you.

    [edit: the @tagging in opening posts is actually not quite ready, I was jumping the gun on that!]

    Thanks!

    Jack
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    We have also built the ability to turn this on for all watched threads – as is the case for most other forums these days and things like Facebook groups - but we thought we’d give it a trial period of the next fortnight first just for Watched Threads started by yourself to see how it feels.
    If you do this PLEASE make it possible to turn off notifications without unwatching the thread - I use my watched threads list for monitoring busy threads that I will read through if I have the time - I don't want notifications for them but I don't want to unwatch the thread either.

    (and ideally isn't there any way to turn off notifications if you're the OP without unwatching the thread? If you're the OP of a busy thread you might be happy to keep an eye on it in your watched threads list without getting notifications that don't go away).
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    That has options to turn on/off notifications without unwatching the threads...is that not functional?
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    (Original post by PQ)
    If you do this PLEASE make it possible to turn off notifications without unwatching the thread - I use my watched threads list for monitoring busy threads that I will read through if I have the time - I don't want notifications for them but I don't want to unwatch the thread either.

    (and ideally isn't there any way to turn off notifications if you're the OP without unwatching the thread? If you're the OP of a busy thread you might be happy to keep an eye on it in your watched threads list without getting notifications that don't go away).
    (Original post by PQ)
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    That has options to turn on/off notifications without unwatching the threads...is that not functional?
    Hi PQ

    We did think about that and thought because it is only notifications for threads created by the OP, it severely limits how many are sent anyway. In addition, the fact only one notification is fired until the user goes back into the thread, if they just don't go into the thread there will be no more notifications anyway. We're also in half a mind about splitting Watched Thread functionality into Stop Watching and Stop Getting Notifications as it may get confusing for people.

    However, all of that said, I and others share exactly the same concern you have. Which is why it's led to a very restricted notification in the first place. Alongside that, we don't actually know how it will feel properly until it goes live, so investing time into a notification switch off needs more consideration - especially as we may find it doesn't work at all and we need to just not have this new notification at all. This is just a test to see what people think of it, if the reaction is negative we can switch off and keep working on it.

    When / if we do switch on notifications for all Watched Threads someone has, then I agree, we'd definitely need something like what you are suggesting.

    The notification element you mention probably isn't usable because it will be related to vBulletin emails which we've been gradually wiping out, so it would need bespoke development work.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Hi PQ

    We did think about that and thought because it is only notifications for threads created by the OP, it severely limits how many are sent anyway. In addition, the fact only one notification is fired until the user goes back into the thread, if they just don't go into the thread there will be no more notifications anyway. We're also in half a mind about splitting Watched Thread functionality into Stop Watching and Stop Getting Notifications as it may get confusing for people.

    However, all of that said, I and others share exactly the same concern you have. Which is why it's led to a very restricted notification in the first place. Alongside that, we don't actually know how it will feel properly until it goes live, so investing time into a notification switch off needs more consideration - especially as we may find it doesn't work at all and we need to just not have this new notification at all. This is just a test to see what people think of it, if the reaction is negative we can switch off and keep working on it.

    When / if we do switch on notifications for all Watched Threads someone has, then I agree, we'd definitely need something like what you are suggesting.

    The notification element you mention probably isn't usable because it will be related to vBulletin emails which we've been gradually wiping out, so it would need bespoke development work.
    I understand what you're saying - I'm just thinking for busy threads that I still want to watch I'm going to end up either having to ignore x number of notifications (depending how many threads I'm tracking without regularly reading) or be frequently hiding all notifications (because in a busy thread if I hide a notification presumably it'll pop back up again once someone else posts)....either way there's a good chance I'll miss a notification that I do want to see because I'm having to ignore/delete notifications that I can't turn off without unwatching the thread.
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    (Original post by PQ)
    I understand what you're saying - I'm just thinking for busy threads that I still want to watch I'm going to end up either having to ignore x number of notifications (depending how many threads I'm tracking without regularly reading) or be frequently hiding all notifications (because in a busy thread if I hide a notification presumably it'll pop back up again once someone else posts)....either way there's a good chance I'll miss a notification that I do want to see because I'm having to ignore/delete notifications that I can't turn off without unwatching the thread.
    Yes, that makes sense, if you happen to be thread starter of a mega thread it would essentially never go away. You've raised one scenario 'mark as unread in notifications but not go into the thread' - I can't remember what we've set the rule for that to be, i.e. does it operate as if you had gone into the thread.

    I'll raise this discussion with the project team. It's too late for us to add the functionality in for this test but we can certainly add it in quite quickly. For now I would still like to go ahead with the test for a couple of weeks just to make sure the notification is useful for people but if it becomes a permanent thing, we'll make sure it has a way around this particular problem (we can always turn the notifications off completely for everyone after the test until we have that work done, for instance).
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Yes, that makes sense, if you happen to be thread starter of a mega thread it would essentially never go away. You've raised one scenario 'mark as unread in notifications but not go into the thread' - I can't remember what we've set the rule for that to be, i.e. does it operate as if you had gone into the thread.

    I'll raise this discussion with the project team. It's too late for us to add the functionality in for this test but we can certainly add it in quite quickly. For now I would still like to go ahead with the test for a couple of weeks just to make sure the notification is useful for people but if it becomes a permanent thing, we'll make sure it has a way around this particular problem (we can always turn the notifications off completely for everyone after the test until we have that work done, for instance).
    Brilliant. I know it’s a minority problem but it’s the sort of niggly annoyance that hopefully won’t be too difficult to address
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    honestly this is quite an annoying addition, if i want to know if someone has replied to my thread i just watch it. Most of the time the replier quotes the original post anyway. If it is to help new users then it is up to them to check their thread which isn't hard as again the replier will often quote and the watched thread settings are set to watch as default anyway when you first sign up.
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Good morning everyone,

    We have a couple of key updates coming to TSR later this week I’d like to tell you about. The first one affects all of our platforms and the other is just for our app.

    1) Watched thread notifications for the thread starter / Opening Poster

    One thing we have noticed in recent years is that thousands of threads started by people can receive multiple (often amazing) replies but the opening poster not realise because they haven’t been quoted and so don’t receive a notification to alert them. The Watched Thread emails work for some people, but quite often people don’t check those emails. Also, our notifications menu is so heavily used in comparison to the widgets. So, what we’re planning to do is introduce a new Watched Thread notification as a test to see how people feel about it.

    Some of you may recall that I sought your advice on this suggestion a while ago (see this thread), which resulted in a number of rules based on advice of users to make sure this remains useful and does not overwhelm us all with millions of notifications.

    The rules of the notification are as follows:
    • To start with, only the Opening Poster of the thread will receive the notification.
    • The notification they will receive will say “New replies to ‘XXX thread title’”
    • They will only receive one notification even if there are multiple replies, this is to make sure they don’t get swamped with notifications. If they go back into the thread, it will be reset at that point.
    • Even if the thread keeps receiving lots of replies, they only have the first notification with its original date, so it will drop down the notification list and not sit at the top of the pile, blocking other notifications.
    • If they are quoted, the Watched thread notification won’t fire, so they won’t double up.
    • On the app you will also receive a push notification as with others, although you can turn the ‘push notification’ off.
    • To turn of notifications for a watched thread, you just unwatch it.

    We have also built the ability to turn this on for all watched threads – as is the case for most other forums these days and things like Facebook groups - but we thought we’d give it a trial period of the next fortnight first just for Watched Threads started by yourself to see how it feels. So, please see how it works and tell us what you think

    2) More space in the new TSR App

    One of the big pieces of feedback about our new app is that you all want to see more content on screen (more thread titles and more content within a thread) so we’ve chopped out bits of space from most pages in the app in an attempt to get more content on screen for you.

    [edit: the @tagging in opening posts is actually not quite ready, I was jumping the gun on that!]

    Thanks!

    Jack
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    Soooo.... thought so far?

    We are still going to do the work to remove the double notification, it's just taking a bit of time
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    (Original post by Captain Jack)
    Soooo.... thought so far?

    We are still going to do the work to remove the double notification, it's just taking a bit of time
    Really like the app but I wish I could post images onto a thread from the app.
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