moderated Re: New notifications proposal #misc



I'd like to maintain a clear semantic and operational distinction between messages, which post to the group's archive and are sent to members in accordance to the Email Delivery and Advanced Preferences panes of their Subscription settings, and notices which do not appear in the group's archive and are sent to members based on events and other factors (including, for moderators, the Notifications pane of their Subscription).

By those definitions the existing Calendar notifications (#cal-invite, #cal-reminder, and #cal-notice) are actually messages.

  • Calendar invites. They have the hashtag #cal-invite, and the emails are sent to the group. People can mute those, and now they can also turn them into a notification. The invites still get sent to the group and still appear in the archives and people can still reply to them.

So when you say "turn them into a notification" here you mean something different - you mean make them available through the notification viewing system (web/app). Presumably they would also receive them by email unless they muted the associated hashtag.

I think this hybrid situation for calendar events (being both messages and now possibly notifications) is probably appropriate. They may be the unique example of a notification that ought to be sent to the entire membership.

  • As I add additional group notifications (like some database/file/photo changes that people have been asking for),


  • that means more notifications will appear in the group archives.

Or maybe not - we can argue about whether Notify Members on Upload File and those new ones ought to be treated as hybrids like the calendar events. Maybe it is time to make them notifications available to members only as an email (unless muted) or in the web/app notification viewer. Or maybe that choice is given to the group admins by allowing a new No Archive hashtag option.

Users have been able to mute hashtags since the beginning, which means no email. Now, also make it so that users can check a box to turn a hashtag into a web/app notification.

I'm not at all sold on this.

I think it may be annoying/confusing to have the notification controls lost amid the sea of message hashtags. I'd rather have the list of them in one place, one easily read list, with the checkboxes to Show in Notification and Mute in Email as columns to that list (ok, maybe also Duration for Mute). I specifically would not want to have to find and click on a button for each one among the difficult to scan hashtag tiles and go to a confirmation page just to change it, as one currently does for changing the Mute status of a hashtag. Yuck.

So, if the Hashtags page had a separate tab on it for the notification-control hashtags, and the items on that tab were presented as a list rather than an array of tiles, I'd be much happier with this.

(Someone is bound to think of it, so I'll just say it: perhaps tiles or list should be a viewing option on both tabs of this page.)

It would also be fair to say that I don't like the idea of notification controls as hashtags at all, and I'd rather see the list of them as a new tab in the Subscription page - since they are individual and not group settings. Though I do see that attraction to try and leverage the power of all those hashtag settings for notifications.

This has an advantage that people could now get notifications on any group hashtag as well.

Oh. Now I really don't like this. Unless maybe there's still the separate tab for event-driven hashtags/notifications versus ordinary message hashtags. Or a list filter at least. And the ability to view the hastags in a compact list rather than tiles.

  • I haven't thought about whether we'd need some sort of aggregation option.

I think "yes". Perhaps a control much like Email Delivery for messages, but specifically pertaining to notifications. It could go in a panel at the top of the Notifications tab of the Hashtags (or Subscription) page.

There may also be a need, at a finer level, to consolidate notifications if a person is making multiple sequential actions of the same type (like file or photo uploads).

  • I haven't thought about how to decide what appears in the new Notifications feed.

I'm confused. Isn't this whole discussion about how a user chooses what to be notified about? Or do you mean something else by "feed"?

(I may have started rambling, it is getting much too late.)

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