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Old September 2nd, 2005, 07:06 AM
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Default Topic Subscriptions

Whenever you create a topic, you're automatically subscribed to it. That's good. When you reply to someone else's topic, you're not.

That makes no sense. If I reply, 99 out of 100, I will want to be subscribed to the thread I just replied to to see what the discussion is. Can this be changed?

Oh, note: if you type your reply and click the "subscribe to this topic" link before you actually submit (I thought, "Oh, let me do this before I forget yet again."), your reply is wiped clean when the page reloads. It shouldn't do that. I have to remember, submit first, subscribe second.

Thanks! :D



Greg Serrano
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Old September 7th, 2005, 08:53 AM
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You may want to do this 99 out of 100 times, but not everyone else does.

If you use the normal reply to topic feature (rather than the quick reply), there is a checkbox to allow you to subscribe to the topic.

The quick reply is a stripped down version that lacks all of the features of the normal reply page so that is, well, quick.

Bruce Luckcuck
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Old September 7th, 2005, 09:00 AM
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I didn't put that correctly because it sounded like something I wanted vs. logic. Logically speaking, when someone replies to a topic, that person will want to continue to read what's going on with the subject. To think the opposite and set that as the default is a bit counter-intuitive.

Replying is not a drive-by shooting where you don't want to see what happens afterwards! :D


Greg Serrano
Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division
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Old September 7th, 2005, 09:36 AM
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You may think that intuitively people want to subscribe to topics they reply to, but our experience shows us that very few people want to make use of subscriptions. Currently, only 2.5% of the forum members have any subscriptions. Many people (myself included) don't want their inbox cluttered with forum posts and replies.

Making the "subscribe to topic" default to checked for replies would clearly not be what the overwhelming majority of members would want.

Bruce Luckcuck
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Wiley Publishing, Inc.
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Old September 7th, 2005, 11:18 AM
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Greg:
A couple of thoughts here.
First, I'm going to add this to my list of future "possible enhancements." Maybe it can be added as a user option in the profile page "automatically subscribe to topics to reply to?" yes/no. I don't know if it will ever be feasible, but I think it's at least worth considering down the road.
Second, we're not in any active process of redesigning or rebuilding features for the site right now though. The next time we are, this will be on the list that I push for consideration.
Third, in the glass 1/2 full/empty dept: Bruce, you see 2.5% of forum members who have subscriptions. I see about 3-4% of members who have made more than 1 post. I wonder if there is any correlation between those 2 small subsets - the people who use it most and the people who subscribe?

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Old September 7th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Thanks, Jim. I like the idea of the "default" setting but as set in your own profile instead of a global default. It lets people set it according to their preferences.

I can see Admin types like Bruce and you getting inundated with e-mail from P2P if set ON; but most of us are not Admins. Users like me get a trickle unless we reply to an unusually high number of posts in a day. That's why to me having it set ON made sense. There have been many times when I realized (after days of silence) that I yet again forgot to subscribe to that thread. I just assumed if I answered it, it automatically meant I was interested. Why would I reply and not want to hear more?

I'll just have to get used to manually doing it despite it being counter-intuitive to me.


Greg Serrano
Michigan Dept. of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division
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