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Notify Me

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 10/01/13 01:28 PM Views: 954 Replies: 16
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 1:28 PM

After reading several of the Q&As on this subject, I reached the conclusion there's no way for an administrator to change every classmate's preference for Notify Me when a new message is posted on/in the Message Forum? Is that correct?

We want to start using the Message Forum to alert members via email of a new message being posted. We have some members who are not active on the site and will never know if a message has been posted unless they get notification through email. Expecting a non-active user to go in and change their preference(s) is not a viable idea - many probably no longer knows even how to get into the site, period.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 3:57 PM - Response #1

It's a catch-22. Members who aren't getting any notification that there's a reason to check the site have to go to the site and change their Notify Me options.

As an older site where most of the classmembers still have the bulk of the Notify Me options set to "Unmarked", I've tried announcements, Email the Class requests, and a highlighted request on the home page. I've even created a Web Site Instructions page which included the description of what Notify Me is, and a link to their Notify Me page. All that got 10 of 84 joined members to actually comply and set their options (we did have 13 who'd figured it out on their own).

For older classes like ours, can someone at ClassCreator set several Notify options on - like Announcements, In Memory, or Message Forum for all joined classmates with Not Marked still set?

Edited 10/01/13 4:10 PM
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 5:51 PM - Response #2

Our site has had the same problem after the Notify Me options had to be reset. I've sent numerous emails urging people to update/change their settings so that they're notified of Announcements, etc. A few did, but MANY (around half of our classmates) still show "NO ANSWER" on the statistic page. It's unfortunate this many are not being notified of Page Updates, Announcements, New Classmates, In Memory Comments, etc., but I finally just gave up!

I like, like, like Very Happy your idea, John! If CC set all of the Notify options to "Once Daily," then everyone would be responsible for logging in and changing their settings if they don't want notified.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 6:15 PM - Response #3

I think I saw a response to a question not long ago where someone said that CC couldn't do it since it would be a privacy violation and it has to be up to the classmates to set their options if they want to get emails.
I do understand why they set all the new options to "No Answer" when they implemented Notify Me - to keep from crossing people's 'spam threshold'.

I ran it by someone who should know the legal responsibilities (it's nice to have an attorney in the family). She says legally, all members already agreed to accept email from the site when they joined, and we've gone above and beyond the law's requirements since theyy've been given the option to either limit the email received by type or to unsubscribe at any time. So legally, it shouldn't be a problem.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 6:28 PM - Response #4

Hi John,
I agree with you. It shouldn't be a legal problem. I also agree with you that older alumni have a tendency to be apathetic with the website. Our of 32 joiners only 13 have committed to the 'notify me' questions.
I think that the fact that they joined the site gives them the automatic benefit of the "Notify Me' feature. In fact, if it were worded in that manner, I don't think any classmate would mind.
How about it Kyle or Brad?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 7:26 PM - Response #5


I have notice a similar situation on our site.

Some classmatges apparently have many, if not all the 'Notify Me' options marked as 'Never.'

In looking at the 'Statistics' page, 'List users and last log in date,' I find that those three folks have not been to the site in over a year.

I have emailed them from my personal email account, and get no reply [email addresses are still valid, i.e., no 'undeliverable' replies.
Between the three of them, they have five phone numbers, and I have left messages on each, to which they will not call back.

MY presumption, they want nothing to do with the site anymore.

Their loss, not mine, nor the sites'.

Moral of the story - 'You Can Lead A Horse To Water, But You Can't Make Them Drink.'

Crying or Very sad

Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 10:41 PM - Response #6

I agree with what you're saying, Steve, but, we administrators go to quite a bit of trouble and work to make the site exciting enough to attract members to return, and non-members to join. I think a little nudge with the 'notify me' aspect wouldn't hurt. I, too, go to see how many members return daily, weekly, etc.. I, also, watch to see if the positioning of announcements makes a difference. Now with this new 'class connection' thing on FB, I sent an e-mail to everyone and put a survey on the site about it. Within 24 hours I've had 9 out of 31 answer the survey. So, go figure!? I just am seeing that many of us experience the same apathy from classmates. Is that normal or can we do something about it?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 1:53 PM - Response #7

I tried to look for Brad's recent explanation but couldn't locate it. However, it boils down to this. Email privacy and preference settings have become serious business in the world of email deliverability. There are spam filters out there that will "penalize" a sender for not having a double opt in policy. Sending Preferences (Notify Me), are built into the system for numerous reasons. If a member is cooperative enough to take the time to set their preferences of how they wish to be contacted via email, we certainly have an obligation to abide by their wishes. This actually helps email deliverabilty in that we would avoid being reported as spam. Each time someone receives an email that they did not want to receive, there is a chance that they will mark the message as spam. This builds on the email reputation of the sender address, If that address gets flagged by spam filters or email service providers as being a possible spammer, everyone in the system suffers. Imagine if AOL, or, or decided that they could no longer accept emails from our email system. This would effect every single class in the system. By providing these Email Preferences to the person who has opted into our email, we can at least have proof in a dispute with a email provider that the person complaining of spam had intended to receive these messages. Therefore we absolutely could not allow for these preferences to be changed by anyone other than the profile owner. Incidentally, we will also be making some additional changes that will limit the number of times an email address can be sent to for email addresses that have not been opted in, ie - a member who has not yet joined. This is to further prevent endless email from being sent to those email address who have not completed the opt in process for emails from our system.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 4:04 PM - Response #8

While I completely understand the logic and reasons behind that position, CC has already made exceptions. For example, carrying over the original 'receive emails from other classmembers', and notifies if someone enters a comment on your profile - both of which an admin can change, and both of which were set "ON" when Notify Me was implemented. And then, there's the ability for an admin to reverse a classmember's choice to unsubscribe - whether deliberate or accidental. You could make an equally compelling argument that members have been given the option to limit or opt out of any (or all) email they get. And admins already have the ability to change some of the choices with a profile update, so where do you draw that line?

100% of those whom I was able to badger into setting their Notify Me choices, chose to receive notification of In Memory moves. That one at least, really should have been an exception to the "Not Answered" setting when Notify Me was implemented.

Notify Me was (and is) an awesome feature. But you're tying our hands here when we're doing everything we can to increase particpation. If I ran a survey (and could get people to log in and take it) I'd bet that every one of my classmates would request a notify for In Memory. And while I believe that's a universal 'want', it's especially true at our age.

Perhaps a compromise to change "Not Answered" to "Daily" for several universally popular choices - expecially for older sites where classmembers weren't given the choice at join time which those who join now have?

As far as limiting emails to those with admin entered email addresses, once again you're tying our hands as we try to reach those who may not have heard about our site. And while we do already have the option to send them a "Missing Classmate" email asking them to come join us, an occasional message about new things, web site changes, or an Everyone email about something of universal interest is probably more effective.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM - Response #9

Actually, I agree with both of you, each in his own capacity for explanation. That is to say, Scott's concern about being tagged a spammer could devastate the entire CC website to the point of having to start all over from scratch. And John's fustration at classmate apathy equally,could have devastating effects on individual websites feature.
However, if you, Scott, took a shot in the dark and went to your legal dept. for 'wording', and figured a way to calmly introduce the action and you, John, began explaining to eary on users of this app.,who like it, just don't know how to control the 'notify me', or rather how to separate those "I don't want to use it" from those "I don't care to learn how to use it".
It really is a two-edged-sword. After hearing both of you, and know my own frustration, I think erring on the side of caution is the only method that will work. So Scott, if, and I say 'if', I had my way I would just ask that you try to find a way without jeopardizing the entire company or each's website.
It 's no fun being the "diplomat"! Where's Brad!? (laugh). Seriously, I don't feel adequate to make a choice for myself.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:03 PM - Response #10

Wow. y'all have lots to say on this.

As an admin, I chose to turn OFF the auto Notify Me. I edit the sites more than anyone wants to know - - and that includes TAP! If there is something I want members to look at, I take the additional time to send them an email. I do not wish to overload members' Inboxes to the point they turn off Notify Me or block all email. Guess I look at it as providing a 'personal touch'. Therefore, I have not thought of wanting access to change someone's info. Personally, I would not want someone in my profile changing mine.

This shared, I will not say I will never use the Notify Me because I have once or twice and will again. With more to do here now, I might be turning it back on. Oh my. Wink

Edited 10/02/13 7:06 PM
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 7:22 PM - Response #11

Wow,Gwen. So simple!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 8:22 PM - Response #12


Are you talking about the admin email notify options, or the Notify Me options for classmembers?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 11:50 PM - Response #13

I am sorry, John. Notify Me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 12:17 PM - Response #14

Ok, Thanks. I understand.

I'm in my site a lot too lately, and I leave my Notifies on, mostly as a belt & suspenders choice to make sure I don't miss something while I'm focused on whatever I'm buried in at the moment. I do have one member who set almost all of her choices to "Never" (or left them at "No Answer" since the result is the same). She doesn like email, but visits the site frequently to see what's changed and check her messages. That's her choice, and I wouldn't think of changing it.

But if you go back to my first post (#1), all I asked for was turning on one or two choices - for members who were not initially given a choice, and who, for reasons of apathy, failure to understand the 'new' feature, fear of what "Notify Me" might do if they click on it, or just plain lazyness, have not responded to multiple requests. If I could sit down one-on-one with each of them, there's no doubt in my mind that every one of them would want In Memory turned on.

Turning on one or two rarely used notifies for 50 members of one site is not going to take us anywhere near the edge of the deep hole Scott described - especially since it's a universally desired option. Since there's no legal barrier or potential danger in granting my request, it still stands. And if others with older sites want the same very limited action as well, I see no reason their requests shouldn't be granted.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 4:51 PM - Response #15

This is one of these odd issues where I can certainly see it both ways. One thing I want to point out though, and I think it's relevant to this conversation: For the older users who didn't have Notify Me choices like we do today, we put up a message that appeared on every page of the web site that asked these individuals to go in and set their Notify Me settings. The only way to get the message to go away was to click the link to access the Notify Me settings. Thus every single one of the older users was exposed to this and at some point clicked the link to get that box to go away. In a sense it was kind of an "annoyance box" but we did that on purpose to ensure every single user of the system would realize they had Notify Me choices now and would be exposed to them. Thus every single classmate here did have a chance to see those settings and make their desired selections. Just wanted to make it clear that nobody should have been left int he dark about the choices they had available to them.

Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 8:07 PM - Response #16

Yup, that was an annoying screenSad

I'd worry about spam rejection too. Nothing more infuriating than getting blacklisted. Even on my teeny tiny scale it too a lot of work to clear.

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