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Opinions please: abolish Topic Notification emails?

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[violet]
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Opinions please: abolish Topic Notification emails?

Postby [violet] » Fri Feb 26, 2016 5:48 pm

Hi all,

I'd like to gather opinions on the Topic Notification emails you can receive from this forum when you click "Subscribe" at the bottom of a topic.

For whatever reason, a few people seem to do this by accident and then get unhappy about receiving the emails. Last week one person (with over 10,000 posts) lodged 1,106 spam complaints against us, which resulted in our becoming blacklisted from some services, impairing our ability to deliver important emails like password resets and WA invitations.

Email delivery has been an enormous pain in my butt for a long time, and at this point I'm jacked enough with the whole thing to want to just turn off all topic notification emails. But I wanted to get thoughts on how important they are to people, as well as hear if there's some way to accidentally subscribe to them, or receive too many, about which I'm not aware. Thanks.

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Phydios
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Postby Phydios » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:04 pm

I use them when I post in F7, but I could live without them. There's really no way to get unwanted emails. Subscription to a topic requires you to click a small text link at the very bottom of the page. You then will be notified of the next post to that topic, but no others. Not until you visit the topic (or perhaps it's specifically the unread posts). Furthermore, there's a prominent unsubscribe link in the emails. It's right below the link to the new post, as opposed to a tiny link at the bottom like so many other lists. My point: Barring a broken email system, there's no way to get unwanted emails unless you just refuse to read them while still keeping up with new posts on the topic.
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Flanderlion
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Postby Flanderlion » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:05 pm

[violet] wrote:Hi all,

I'd like to gather opinions on the Topic Notification emails you can receive from this forum when you click "Subscribe" at the bottom of a topic.

For whatever reason, a few people seem to do this by accident and then get unhappy about receiving the emails. Last week one person (with over 10,000 posts) lodged 1,106 spam complaints against us, which resulted in our becoming blacklisted from some services, impairing our ability to deliver important emails like password resets and WA invitations.

Email delivery has been an enormous pain in my butt for a long time, and at this point I'm jacked enough with the whole thing to want to just turn off all topic notification emails. But I wanted to get thoughts on how important they are to people, as well as hear if there's some way to accidentally subscribe to them, or receive too many, about which I'm not aware. Thanks.

I find them a little irritating, I subscribed (or autosubscribed, not sure) to a few topics a while ago, and didn't realise in doing that it sent you emails, expected an in game notification for some reason. I think I've cleared out the majority from most of my inboxes, but I don't mind if you remove them, never been anything but annoying.

Edit: Emails are split in Gmail into different things, e.g. Primary, Forums, Social, Updates etc. Most people keep up with their primary, and updates, but ignore the social/forum tabs until they get to unmanageable numbers. I'm fairly sure one of my emails is in the 1k range of unchecked just from social networks.

You can submit multiple spam complaints, I thought you sent one and it stopped and blocked them? And what is happening to the person? Warning?
Last edited by Flanderlion on Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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[violet]
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Founded: Antiquity

Postby [violet] » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:06 pm

Actually I've had to suspend Topic Notification emails immediately, at least for a while, because our ability to send any email at all is now very limited, and other emails are more important.

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Almonaster Nuevo
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Postby Almonaster Nuevo » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:08 pm

I never use them, so I would be happy to see the option disappear, especially if it's causing problems.
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The Republic of Lanos
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Republic of Lanos » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:20 pm

I never used it and never saw a need for it. I wouldn't miss it if it was gone forever.

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[violet]
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Founded: Antiquity

Postby [violet] » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:22 pm

Flanderlion wrote:You can submit multiple spam complaints, I thought you sent one and it stopped and blocked them?

I guess it depends on your email service. It may be that this person built up a thousand topic notification emails over time, then went through and marked them all as spam.

Flanderlion wrote:And what is happening to the person? Warning?

No, we really shouldn't be sending them so many emails, no matter what. And they're not the first person to do something like this.

I've tried to contact them to ask what happened. There may be something like a phone that was reloading forum pages in the background every time they unlocked it, even though they weren't manually checking the forum topic.
Last edited by [violet] on Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Aksun
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Ex-Nation

Postby Aksun » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:28 pm

[violet] wrote:Hi all,

I'd like to gather opinions on the Topic Notification emails you can receive from this forum when you click "Subscribe" at the bottom of a topic.

For whatever reason, a few people seem to do this by accident and then get unhappy about receiving the emails. Last week one person (with over 10,000 posts) lodged 1,106 spam complaints against us, which resulted in our becoming blacklisted from some services, impairing our ability to deliver important emails like password resets and WA invitations.

Email delivery has been an enormous pain in my butt for a long time, and at this point I'm jacked enough with the whole thing to want to just turn off all topic notification emails. But I wanted to get thoughts on how important they are to people, as well as hear if there's some way to accidentally subscribe to them, or receive too many, about which I'm not aware. Thanks.


I have used them before and frankly I find them to be more annoying than useful. Just my opinion.

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Hjallaland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Hjallaland » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:51 pm

I use them quiet alot as i check my email more often than nationstates so its nice to know when new posts have been made on certain topics i follow.
It might also be a good idea to make two seperate buttons, one that subscribes only and one that would send you an email when new posts have been made. I suppose this could avoid some of the trouble at least.

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The Order of the Eclipse
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Ex-Nation

Postby The Order of the Eclipse » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:57 pm

I quite like them, myself. There's not too many threads that I follow, but, for those that I do, knowing when there's been some Activity is always quite helpful. I'm not sure how one could do it by accident, as, I'm fairly certain, anyway, there's a confirmation screen.

Granted, I can see where you're coming from here. It may just be more practical for the Notifications to show up on the "Notices" section, here on NS, where you normally just get told about Telegrams and Issues.
Last edited by The Order of the Eclipse on Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Fri Feb 26, 2016 6:59 pm

Are there any settings in Forum Admin that would either allow the renaming of the link (i.e. "Email Updates" or something versus "Subscribe") or else some sort of clarification page that will confirm that players want to receive emails. Alternatively, is there a "daily digest" sort of email that could be sent instead of individual emails with each post? I have no clue what sort of options (if any) are available, but I figured it might be worth asking.

Also, is there an "unsubscribe" link in the emails themselves? I've never signed up for these, so I'm not sure. :unsure:
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Hjallaland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Hjallaland » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:07 pm

Mousebumples wrote:Are there any settings in Forum Admin that would either allow the renaming of the link (i.e. "Email Updates" or something versus "Subscribe") or else some sort of clarification page that will confirm that players want to receive emails. Alternatively, is there a "daily digest" sort of email that could be sent instead of individual emails with each post? I have no clue what sort of options (if any) are available, but I figured it might be worth asking.

Also, is there an "unsubscribe" link in the emails themselves? I've never signed up for these, so I'm not sure. :unsure:


There is, see here for a screenshot from such email.
Now that you brought it up, i honestly don't understand the complaints anymore considering you can make a quick end to the emails by simply clicking the link...
Last edited by Hjallaland on Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mousebumples
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Postby Mousebumples » Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:40 pm

Hjallaland wrote:
Mousebumples wrote:Are there any settings in Forum Admin that would either allow the renaming of the link (i.e. "Email Updates" or something versus "Subscribe") or else some sort of clarification page that will confirm that players want to receive emails. Alternatively, is there a "daily digest" sort of email that could be sent instead of individual emails with each post? I have no clue what sort of options (if any) are available, but I figured it might be worth asking.

Also, is there an "unsubscribe" link in the emails themselves? I've never signed up for these, so I'm not sure. :unsure:


There is, see here for a screenshot from such email.
Now that you brought it up, i honestly don't understand the complaints anymore considering you can make a quick end to the emails by simply clicking the link...

So I guess I have a follow-up question: would it potentially be possible to add another link that would remove the player/email in question from all subscription emails?
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Enfaru
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Ex-Nation

Postby Enfaru » Fri Feb 26, 2016 8:04 pm

The person that sent those 1,100ish spam reports? Why are they still welcome on this site? There's only one way to protect silly people from themselves and it involves a straight jacket, needles and somewhere very remote from society.

Maybe a double opt-in, but I *like* my Topic Notification emails, though perhaps a daily/weekly digest would be tolerable.

@Violet, they could have checked: notify by default on reply under edit posting defaults. (This is still available by the way).

Maybe restrict it to supporters only? As in, effectively make it a paid for service. There *are* alternative methods for those that want them.

Beyond that, Nationstates appears to have hit the stage where they need to get some kind of validation to escape these blocks if such a method exists.

Another solution would be for the user to check the read receipt (and for the forums to actually ask for one). If they don't file a read receipt back, they stop getting emails automatically. Though I think this would require some tinkering back end.
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Hjallaland
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Ex-Nation

Postby Hjallaland » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:14 am

Mousebumples wrote:
Hjallaland wrote:
There is, see here for a screenshot from such email.
Now that you brought it up, i honestly don't understand the complaints anymore considering you can make a quick end to the emails by simply clicking the link...

So I guess I have a follow-up question: would it potentially be possible to add another link that would remove the player/email in question from all subscription emails?


At this point i don't think so, aside from blocking nationstates from your email ofcourse.

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Rivercastle
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Ex-Nation

Postby Rivercastle » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:33 am

Perhaps a separate page gameside that lists all these topic notifications(it'll be pretty spammy to put them together with the gameside notifications)? This page could then contain a counter next to the Forum button like what we have currently for the World Assembly and Region buttons.
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Enfaru
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Ex-Nation

Postby Enfaru » Sat Feb 27, 2016 5:48 am

Rivercastle wrote:This page could then contain a counter next to the Forum button like what we have currently for the World Assembly and Region buttons.


I like, perhaps like those notifications in red, but this time in green and slightly below the red one? With it's own alt description?
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The Blaatschapen
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Anarchy

Postby The Blaatschapen » Sat Feb 27, 2016 6:09 am

I use it only at one spot (the quotes thread where Reppy tends to post her irc mod things), so I can live without, if Reppy notifies me personally :P
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Enfaru
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Ex-Nation

Postby Enfaru » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:25 am

Wait wait, what about using an RSS plugin-addon in place of the subscription. That way everything is collected into one place. I'd certainly use it.
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Rivercastle
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Ex-Nation

Postby Rivercastle » Sat Feb 27, 2016 10:44 am

Enfaru wrote:Wait wait, what about using an RSS plugin-addon in place of the subscription. That way everything is collected into one place. I'd certainly use it.

I don't think everyone uses RSS, or knows how to use it :P
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[violet]
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Postby [violet] » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:20 pm

Mousebumples wrote:So I guess I have a follow-up question: would it potentially be possible to add another link that would remove the player/email in question from all subscription emails?

It's possible, but all the notifications in this case were from two (popular) threads. So it wasn't like they thought it was too much work to unsubscribe; two clicks would have done it.

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British Accia
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Ex-Nation

Postby British Accia » Sat Feb 27, 2016 1:52 pm

I use it sometimes, but it's no biggy if it's gone. Unless it's possible to change it so you only get a notification for the first post after you last visited. So say I was following this thread and Mouse replied, then Violet replied. I would only get one generic email saying 'There has been new replies to 'x' thread'. And no matter how many people replied after that, I would never get any more emails.
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Enfaru
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Ex-Nation

Postby Enfaru » Sat Feb 27, 2016 3:50 pm

Rivercastle wrote:
Enfaru wrote:Wait wait, what about using an RSS plugin-addon in place of the subscription. That way everything is collected into one place. I'd certainly use it.

I don't think everyone uses RSS, or knows how to use it :P


Certainly not everyone, some people live under rocks and in caves... >_>;; But seriously, RSS is granted not wide spread, however Nationstates already makes use of RSS for very similar purposes and most browsers have an embedded RSS feed reader/storer. I personally prefer to use Thunderbird (#3 if you must know). The decision by NS to use RSS has already been made, they wouldn't be using it if they thought people wouldn't use it.

I suspect that most people don't bother subscribing either and/or have no idea how.

...that said, I'm supporting Accia ;). Fewer emails would be better for everyone concerned.
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Drawkland
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Postby Drawkland » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:06 pm

I've used the Subscribe function before and it rather unimpressed me. I expected something gameside, or something accessible, not emails being sent. So I personally would lean on the side of axing them.

Mousebumples wrote:[...] renaming of the link (i.e. "Email Updates" or something versus "Subscribe") or else some sort of clarification page that will confirm that players want to receive emails. Alternatively, is there a "daily digest" sort of email that could be sent instead of individual emails with each post? I have no clue what sort of options (if any) are available, but I figured it might be worth asking.

I think this should be the short-term solution ...

The Order of the Eclipse wrote:[...]
Granted, I can see where you're coming from here. It may just be more practical for the Notifications to show up on the "Notices" section, here on NS, where you normally just get told about Telegrams and Issues.

... And this should be the long one. I feel this would be more along the lines of what players expect, and would also be more useful than email notifications, at least in my eyes.
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Wisconsin9
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Ex-Nation

Postby Wisconsin9 » Sat Feb 27, 2016 4:10 pm

I thought everybody just ignored the notification option and made tag posts disguised as something relevant. Probably be better to add something that lets threads we haven't posted in be placed in the list of threads we have posted in.
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