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Notifications: incomplete!

Dec 06, 2016 at 08:09 AM

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In most cases I am answering questions, not asking. And in this case if somebody will answer the same question (including the discussion author) I will not get any notifications. Also if somebody comment not my answer I will also have no notifications.

It makes notifications useless to me!

Sample:

answer.png (134.5 kB)
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In general, what I need if I answered or commented some question:

Notifications on:

1. If anybody answered or commented this question or commented any answer under original question.

2. If anybody edited anything in the question or answers.

3. If anybody deleted some answer.

I need notification on any changes of content under and including original question.

I also need notification if some answer is accepted as correct answer.

I do not need notifications on likes and up/down votes.

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4 Answers

Jelena Perfiljeva
Dec 06, 2016 at 08:35 PM
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Except for I don't need a notification when someone accepts an answer - I agree. Up/down vote notifications are not needed at all. Likes are more important for the blogs (e.g. if someone I follow liked a blog then maybe I should read it).

For the questions we need to know all the replies that happened after ours. This whole separation of comments/answers is not working out IMHO.

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I mentioned "accept" just to ensure that the topic author had tested and agreed with the proposed solution.

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P.S. In some rare cases I propose the solution that I am not 100% sure :)

"Accept" in this case add some experience for me...

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I understand completely where you are coming from, it's just my activity stream is terribly polluted as it is. :) (Just today I found that I'm also notified when someone starts following a tag. Why would anyone care about this?)

Based on my experience with SDN/SCN, in most cases OP either replies with "thanks" or some comment or never closes the question. It was actually rather rare to see the discussion closed without any comment. About the same percentage of questions ended up with "it worked, thanks" but no closure. Go figure. I guess we'll need to see how things go on New SCN. So far not a lot of people seem to follow up on the questions at all.

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I am not using followed activity stream at all for the evident reasons. I am talking about notifications. Hopefully sometimes I will start receiving notifications by e-mail and I want to receive useful info.

"It was actually rather rare to see the discussion closed without any comment." - about 10% (my experience)

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Notifications are part of the Activity Stream now, I was referring to it in general:

image.jpg (9.8 kB)
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It's just the naming :)

I want to say that I am not using:

https://activities.sap.com/#/activities

"Activities" tab...

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Jelena I am pushing for a Notification when an "Accept_answer" occurs. It would not pollute your Activities further.

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Kuldip Jhala Jan 06, 2017 at 03:33 PM
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Yes, even I am missing the old follow post. I was following some SAP MM Masters in old system and their posts/answers would automatically come in my email inbox. Now, I have to search once a week or fortnight manually by following their posts or answers.

Just what Sajid Sir has mentioned above.

Kuldip

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Sajid Amir
Dec 23, 2016 at 03:39 PM
-1

1. If anybody answered or commented this question or commented any answer under original question.

Currently users are notified about new "comments" on questions, blogs, answers, or comments they posted already. However, they are not notified on further new "answers" on a question they answered already. This notification goes to the OP of the question (which makes more sense as they are the ones who need the solutions)

2. If anybody edited anything in the question or answers.

All updates are in the Activity Stream currently. If we move update_blog, update_discussion, update_comment, update_question, update_answer, these may inundate the Notifications as well. I believe such updates should be followed via the Activity Stream currently.

3. If anybody deleted some answer.

We currently do not have the functionality to show this activity yet. There is work being done so that delete activities can be handled better.

I need notification on any changes of content under and including original question.

Addressed above as update activities

I also need notification if some answer is accepted as correct answer.

I agree with this suggestion and will take it to IT for consideration

I do not need notifications on likes and up/down votes.

Thanks for your opinion on this. To many users who are only starting to participate in the community, showing positive engagement such as likes and up votes on their content as Notifications can be very helpful in them understanding which of their contributions are being valued. Such positive reinforcement is absent in the community now. For example, users can see up votes and likes on other user's content in their Activity Stream, but cannot see such positive feedback on their own content unless they are exclusively "following" their own post. Given beside some moderators, users have not expressed concerns about getting too many Notifications. So in light of this information, I encourage you to re-consider this decision. Please let me know what you think.

Best Regards and Happy Holidays

Sajid Amir

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"This notification goes to the OP of the question (which makes more sense as they are the ones who need the solutions)" - incorrect idea!

In most cases (80%-90%) I have to ask for additional information about the question subject! And for sure I am waiting for reaction from OP. It can be 1-7 times I am requesting extra info. And in >50% of cases the OP will provide additional information as an answer or as a comment not under my comment resulting in zero notification for me. I have to constantly check the list of questions etc... Unacceptable!

Editing is the same story, users sometimes provide requested info just editing the original question text or his own answer...

Notification about accept is not critical and notifications about up/downvote, like is absolutely not needed (too many notifications for users answering a lot!)

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Vadim,

As I mentioned in my other comment, I will raise this issue with IT about adding other "publish_answer" as notifications for users who have commented, or answered on a question already. Currently only the OP of the question is notified. And once you elaborated on the issue, I agree that this can be a problem.

I will also raise the issue about updates as you mention here. Thanks for raising these valuable concerns.

Best Regards,

Sajid Amir

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Hello Vadim,

I was able to discuss this option more thoroughly with IT. I am afraid we will not be considering this Notification as users who would not want to be notified about all other responses will then end up with a lot of unwanted notifications. Besides, all dialogue for clarification on an answer should occur via comments on the answers. And we already have Notification for that. We believe that it will be in the best interest for most of our users that we do not introduce such a new Notification. You yourself mention how one "accept" activity per question can be too many notifications for active users. Therefore by that logic, notifications for all further replies on a question for a user who has answered will be in MUCH greater numbers with the possibility to take up most of the Notifications.

Please note, we will consider other options to allow our users keep track of specific pieces of content (blogs/questions) more intricately - such as notifying them for updates and answers and such. I will share updates with the community accordingly.

Thanks,

Sajid Amir

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I am absolutely frustrated with the described approach!

Looks like the Community development team live in the parallel reality...

"Besides, all dialogue for clarification on an answer should occur via comments on the answers. And we already have Notification for that" - IT'S NOT WORKING IN 80% OF CASES! Users asking question reply as answer, not as comment! And I have to manually check all questions I have provided answer/comment to see if new info was provided - absolutely idiotic job.

Looks like SAP don't want to support members providing answers - OK, I will think about my future participation in this Community.

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Hello Vadim,

I am sorry that you are experiencing frustration with this process. We are trying our best to accommodate requests from a majority of our users keeping our resource constraints in mind. I understand that users may not be using the comments as intended by the system. But seeking a solution for that through the Activity Stream is only putting a band aid on it and not really solving the real problem that users are not aware of the difference between comments and Answers. There is work being done on distinguishing these two on a UI level so users are less likely to mix those two up when responding to a question. Once that is complete, and with more user awareness of our new platform I believe this issue with subside.

Also, I hope you understand why we cannot consider this as a Notification and will continue enriching our beloved Community with your knowledge and contributions.

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"There is work being done on distinguishing these two on a UI level so users are less likely to mix those two up when responding to a question." If you really think that it's possible to train users then I have no comments.

The majority of users just want to receive correct answer for the question and do not want to understand the difference between:

comment on the question
answer
comment on the answer
comment on the comment

All the mentioned variants are some artificial classification of simple and easy REPLY! During 3 months of new community I see no trend to use proper classification.

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Sajid, we are missing the communication stream that we had in Jive. This communication stream listed all content where we had participated until we clicked "do not track" if some content became annoying.

Right now I see all users in my activities who follow this blog: https://blogs.sap.com/2016/12/06/navigating-blogger-levels-new-sap-community/

I am not interested who is following this blog but I have no option to say "nay"

On the other hand this comment answer concept is too complicated for quite a lot users, I add a comment as moderator, hidden for the public, the user answers to his own question instead to comment on my comment. This confuses all users who do not see my comment and I do not see this reply at all if I do not follow this question or its tags. The same is valid if I answer questions that have tags which I do not follow. If the user does not directly add a comment on my reply then I will never see this question again. I see further replies only by chance, when somebody has upvoted my answer and I am curious and check the question again.

And if I would click follow to any question where I participate then I would really punish all users who are following me with. Right now followers do not see where I add a private comment as moderator, but if I would follow all those questions then this would a) be a kind of advertising of questions that rather deserve a deletion and b) it would at least double the activities that are currently shown from me.

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Hello Jurgen, Thanks for your thoughts. I understand that some of the functionalities provided by the Communication stream is much missed.

I can let you know that the ability to "mute" or "hide" or "unfollow" certain activities from the Activity Stream is on the roadmap. I am currently working with IT to refine this feature and will present the mockups when they are available. This would allow our users to "mute" certain activities they are not interested in any longer from their Activity Stream. All previously "muted" activities will be stored somewhere as well for users to go back and re-assess if they would like to. As for the comment vs. answers debate, I believe that is out of the scope of the Activity Stream development efforts. But I believe there is work being done to further distinguish comments and answers on a UI level so users are not as prone to mixing those up.

We are also looking into a feature which would allow users to keep track of intricate changes such as updates/further answers for particular posts of user's choice (not the currently available follow feature). But this idea is still in a preliminary phase and needs more refining.

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Hi Sajid - consider a use case, like this discussion thread. I am personally very interested in the ongoing discussion here because I would like to see where it goes, or possibly offer additional 'answers' or 'comments' to the topic (like I am doing right now in a comment directly below one of your recent posts).

I am now following the OP (Vadim), the Primary Tag (Using SAP.com), and I am now also following this question. What actually led me to the thread in the first place was that I am following Jelena, and she recently liked 4 comments found somewhere here on this page (see attached snapshot from my Activity Feed below). I assume that if I was able to scroll back 1000 pages of "More" in my activities feed, I would eventually stumble upon the original post from December 6th, which I don't remember seeing when it was originally authored. When I tried to Up Vote the original post the system informed me I already voted, so obviously I've been here before, but that was a month ago, and like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social media feeds, that is sooooo long 'ago' that until something provokes it to the top of the feed it is more or less archived.

Bottom line is that I want to watch this thread and stay informed, and in essence by engaging in the discussion or manually pressing 'Follow' in the header, how can a person reasonably get notified that additional activity happened (up or down votes or likes are less valuable than answer replies or comments --> even though it was the 'like' that brought me here).

What does IT propose here? How are you personally being informed or kept in the loop on this thread, and all of the other threads you've engaged in? When/how will you even see this comment? What triggered you to come back to this thread? Since we have lost the @name notify from Jive, we really can't tag people for more engaging discussions (consider the moderator Jam group discussion we had this morning with @Denis and @Moshe --> no possible way that can happen here in SCN), but this comment will not appear in my people profile since it is not an 'Answer'. All of these challenges or concerns are eloquently summarized by @Jurgen's comment above ^^: "we are missing the communication stream that we had in Jive." I have seen (and greatly appreciate) many SAP community team members promising to check with IT and get back to the person, like you've done here. I have to wonder, how do you manage all of the fragmented discussions, comments, answers, etc.? Surely we can't spend every working hour with the Activity stream open in a browser - and even if we wanted too, it times out after X minutes and then you are forced to refresh the page and it goes back to 1 second ago in the list...

Sorry for the rant, but quite often I have to wonder what situational use cases are being used to validate the design...

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Hello Jeremy,

I share your frustrations at keeping up with all my answers and comments myself. However, users currently receive a Notification when they receive responses to their content via comments. Regardless of the user is following the question, tag, or person, and regardless of where they are receiving comments on, be it their blog, question, answer, or any other comment (like the one I am responding to), the user will receive a Notification. So this way at least users can keep track of all of their comments that are generating feedback and responses. I agree that it would be nice for the user to be able to see all their previous comments, in addition to the no. of user authored blogs, questions, and answers shown on user profiles currently. I am afraid not aware of the latest updates on that work topic.

And for this use case, I believe the best way for users to keep track of comments would be to comment on the thread itself (There is a functionality gap here as we do not have bookmark). I agree that simply following it may not be enough (even though as you mention it is the follow that brought you here!). However, as I mention in my earlier comment, there are preliminary talks around implementing such a feature that would allow users to keep track of such activities that you mention (up or down votes or likes are less valuable than answer replies or comments). IT indicated that notifying users for all other answers in addition to comments would inundate the user's Notifications. For instance, notifying Jelena for every comment here on my answer would be unnecessary. Therefore instead of such a blanket business rule, we are exploring some alternatives which would allow the users to pick which which questions to follow in their Notificaitons. I will update the community when we have further refined this idea.

And please do not feel bad for sharing such extensive feedback Jeremy! Your thoughts are always appreciated.

Best,

Sajid

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Following the moderators on New SCN sucks big time. I get pages of "X updated the question" in my activity stream on some days. Never was a problem before and I'm still following the same people.

I bet not a single person wants to (or even should) see what the moderators are doing in their official capacity.

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Agreed - the duties of a moderator releasing a blog or comment from the queue is quite irrelevant to me, unless the blog or q&a is bound to a watched tag. If I am following the moderator as a person, I am more inclined to be curious about their other activities than duties like editorial comments, updates to a blog, etc.

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Why not let user decide what notifications he/she receives and which not ?
Personalization !!
Simplification !!

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with a reset to standard button for the unexperienced folks ;-)

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yes, basic UI/Customization functionality any modern app should have

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Before emails are enabled, we need to solve these concerns of information overload and limited control over what goes where (activity vs. notification). Agree with you Denis about the personalization and simple capacity here.

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Kuldip Jhala Jan 19, 2017 at 07:39 AM
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I could find that I receive actions of the people I follow in my activities folder.

for example, I follow Jurgen Sir... I could see his comments/replies in the activities folder from recent. however, I feel the old inbox method was better.

Sorry if comment was inappropriate.

Kuldip

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