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Holiday Letters

Forums: General Discussion
Created on: 12/20/13 05:33 PM Views: 1287 Replies: 29
Friday, December 20, 2013 at 5:33 PM

A classmate suggested, since many people send out Christmas Letters, that they post them on their profile. How could we go about doing this and have the letters appear large and readable?

Friday, December 20, 2013 at 6:14 PM - Response #1

The easiest way to make them more readable is the bold them. Put < b > without spaces in front and the end the text with < / b > See if that works for you. I used the SHARE A MESSAGE in my profile to test.

There's also a way to change the default font which I've done for the rest of the profile text. I upped it to 14 since 12 is too hard to read.

The font size could be a user settable option vs having to zoom a browser or overrides. Idea This all depends on a users monitor/view screen, but mine is a typical HD screen where the fonts are too tiny for casual reading. For things like this forum, it's fine.

Btw, this message ability is one of the nice parts about the new format. Let's just hope that the other suggestions take hold and I'll embrace it totally.Arrow

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 12:27 AM - Response #2

Thanks, Jack. Exactly what I would have suggested. Smile

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 9:48 AM - Response #3

By using the "SHARE A MESSAGE with Classmates," on your own profile page, is the message emailed to all classmates?

Edited 12/21/13 5:05 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 4:16 PM - Response #4

When I saw that in my profile, my first impression was that it was probably accurate but misleading. I may be wrong, but I think it's simply an invitation to post a comment in a profile (your own or someone else's). And in fact those comments are (or at least were) indeed viewable by all classmates.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 5:10 PM - Response #5

Thanks, John . . . so, if a person shares a message on their profile page, are others notified? I really doubt that people visit profiles checking to see if anyone has posted a messages.

I'm a bit unclear on the use of the callout and this space for "SHARE A MESSAGE with classmates."

To see what happens, I just shared a message on my profile page with a YouTube video. I noticed there's no place to edit the message. That would be a good option to add . . . like these forums have . . . [Edit post]

Edited 12/21/13 5:25 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 5:47 PM - Response #6

Rhonda, I vaguely remember going down this path back when I took over our site. I expected a comment posted in a profile to be treated as a profile update, but it wasn't shown in the home page's Recent Profile Updates box.

Found the post where I asked:

Looks like the profile owner gets a Notify (if they've selected that Notify option) and anyone subscribed to that profile gets a Notify, but it does not show up on the home page's Recent Profile Updates.

Of course, a lot has changed since then, and especially lately with the new Profile format.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 6:23 PM - Response #7

I finally realized what was ticking in the back of my little head when I saw the new SHARE MESSAGE option. I had the same questions mentioned here.

So what we need - to actually enable "social interaction" that CC is striving for - is to have a special page that classmates can visit that informs EVERYONE of these sort of Shared Messages. Not an email notice, just a special page that directs one to a profile or potentially allows further comments.

This new page would be a fine place to make a more FB type environment vs scattering it all over the place in various profiles.

Isn't that what we intended - share the messages with everyone, not just a few that may have subscribed?

Edited 12/21/13 6:23 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 7:46 PM - Response #8

How about this option . . . on the Notify Me page, add the underlined words:
Profile Subscriptions
Place a checkmark next to each Member you wish to keep track of. When the Members you have selected update their profiles or Share a Message with classmates you will be notified via email. It's a great way to keep track of your friends!

Seems the message that is shared would be just as important as a profile update (which is usually of little importance other than photos being added).

I added a SHARE A MESSAGE to classmates (Merry Christmas! and a video) which seems to be a rather useless post . . . no one (not even me) is notified of the comment.

Edited 12/21/13 7:54 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:04 PM - Response #9

Jack - I'm thinking a special page you've suggested might be too similar to our CC Message Forums, and I've been unsuccessful in getting our classmates involved in the forums . . .

If I were to receive an email that states "Joe Blow has shared a message with classmates!" and a link to his profile page in that email, I'd certainly click on it to see what he said. If his comment was "I've just had my house destroyed by a tornado and . . ." there would likely be a lot of classmate interaction with that post. (The tornado came to mind since I live only 30 miles from the town of Washington, IL that was destroyed a month ago.)

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:17 PM - Response #10

Rhonda, is there a reason you don't have your "Profile Updates" right side module activated? I temporarily activated it to see if your change would show up there, but it didn't.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM - Response #11

Kyle - I deactivated it awhile back . . . my thinking was those who wanted to know when someone's profile was updated would have the Notify Me option set to be notified by email. Therefore, I didn't think it was necessary to have that box showing on the homepage. Is my thinking off base? It sure wouldn't be a surprise if it was! Very Happy

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 9:04 PM - Response #12

That logic would be fine if EVERYONE has updated their Notify Me options, but on my website, when I view the Notify Me Statistics, I find that not many have updated their Profile Subscriptions feature of the Notify Me page, so in my opinion, the "Profile Updates" module is still useful. Also, if it were working right, your Share a Message should have caused a Profile Updated flag to be set so that anyone visiting would know and could visit your profile and see the message.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 9:05 PM - Response #13

Rhonda, do you have a test user subscribed to all members? I do, and it's handy to catch things I might not otherwise catch when I do something (and test Once Daily notifies since I'm set for Immediate for everyone). Anyone who subscribed to your profile should have received either an immediate or once daily notify email - assuming it's still working as it used to. But you probably didn't get notified since you'd (obviously) already seen it.
One other thing. We have Profile Updates enabled on the Home Page for 'Everyone' because we have members who regularly swing by the site but don't bother to log in if nothing appears to have changed. That was the reason for my original post back in August since added profile comments don't generate an entry there.

Jack, as I was reading your thought about a 'special page', it also struck me that we have the Message Forum where we can effective post a message to everyone - or at least to everyone who's set their appropriate notify option. Unfortunately, it's not a popular option on our site either. Some sites use it regularly as a community bulletin board. Some don't.

Sooo... we re-title the "Share a Message With Classmates" to "Post a Public Comment On Your Profile" - or something similar, right?
And on anyone else's profile, at the bottom where we can enter a comment, wasn't there a warning that "it would be seen by anyone who viewed the profile" in the old version? Or is that just assumed now in the 'Social' version?

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 9:40 PM - Response #14

Posting a message to Classmates doesn't currently trigger a Profile Update notice, but it should. That's on the list.

The "special page" Jack is talking about is our What's New page and it's already on the app. It's an aggregation of all things going on around the entire site in chronological order. It's a great page and will be a huge draw when we add it to Class Creator. It will also be a Preferences option, where you can direct users to either your What's New page, or your Home page, after they log in. Many admins who religiously update their home page will want to keep directing people there. Admins who rarely update their home page may choose to route logging in Members to the What's New page, where there will always be current, engaging comments listed. The new Profile format and the What's New page were made to go together. I.E. all of the interactions being logged in the new Profile format aggregate on the What's New page. For anyone who's a beta tester on the app, just go there and click the What's New tab to check it out.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 9:55 PM - Response #15

It's assumed that anything on your profile is visible to those you've granted permission to view your profile. Just FYI on the app there's a new permission "Allow anyone from my highschool to view my Profile." So there you can set it for just members from your own class, anyone from your specific high school, or all of Class Connection. On Class Creator it will simply remain viewable only to members from your class, or viewable to the public.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:11 PM - Response #16

Another GREAT. Forums have been next to useless for us too. I think it's because it's sort of like getting up to a podium to speak (aka "forum") vs hiding in the back. Having the page "feed" from the whole site says it perfectly.

A less formal atmosphere could result in a bit more interaction. Maybe not, but it does make complete sense to have a "What's New" section driven by Profile messages. Anyway, I like it. If nothing else makes it easier to bring attention in a less obtrusive way (if that makes sense). There are always a lot more lurkers than participants.Cool

Probably no FB for us though.

P.S. Need a new name for that page though. "What's New" is sort of tame. Any ideas?

Brad Switzer wrote:

The "special page" Jack is talking about is our What's New page and it's already on the app. It's an aggregation of all things going on around the entire site in chronological order. It's a great page and will be a huge draw when we add it to Class Creator.

Edited 12/21/13 10:13 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 10:23 PM - Response #17

See Jing still:

In a sense, those who don't want to do the FB thing really won't need it anyway. You'll really have your own completely private, totally interactive site not connected with anything else. The new Profile format along with the new What's New page will create WAY more engaging class web sites. Hopefully those who chose to leave the new format will at some point decide to switch back. I'm afraid they're going to be missing out on a great new system that's lively and fun. Just sayin'.

Edited 12/21/13 10:23 PM
Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 11:12 PM - Response #18

Oh by the way you don't really need a What's New name consensus. We'll call it What's New when it launches, because that's the name it has on the app already. But on Class Creator you'll need to go into your Edit Site Pages, activate the What's New page if you want to use it, place it in your navigation where you want it, and rename it if you desire. As sites here are all independent you can call it whatever you want.

Saturday, December 21, 2013 at 11:34 PM - Response #19

Thanks, everyone! I'm now definitely looking forward to the What's New page! If it's "driven by Profile messages" as Jack stated, it sounds like a winner!! Very Happy

. . . and, Brad, thanks for clarifying - Posting a message to Classmates doesn't currently trigger a Profile Update notice, but it should. That's on the list.

Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 12:08 AM - Response #20

Our page will be What's Hot (so that's takenLaughing )

Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 8:16 AM - Response #21

SUGGESTION: Since the changes to Email to now require "Opt-In", the "What's New" page should also have the same box at the top saying :
"Stay connected: You have not set your Notify Me settings. Please set your Notify Me Settings now. "

I also suggest that when the changeover to make the "login landing page" configurable, maybe the "Notify Me" page should be visited if it has never been visited and force everyone to at least see that page at least one time before continuing.

Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 1:19 PM - Response #22

That makes too much sense. I wish we would have had a bit more notice to get "Opt-in" messages sent out. We email only a few times a year. An email like that would have been noticed.

Guiding people to visit a page explaining the changes makes perfect senseExclamationExclamation

Sunday, December 22, 2013 at 10:30 PM - Response #23

Excellent idea, Kyle! Sending members who have not completed their Notify Me would be great! Agree with Jack with the two !!

Monday, December 23, 2013 at 12:09 AM - Response #24

As many of us with older sites have continued to point out, it's been next to impossible to get people to set their Notify Me options. I'm told that there was originally a 'nag' screen or message telling them to go there, back when it was first implemented, but I never saw it.
Notify Me is a major key in keeping activity up. There's no incentive to go to your site if people don't know it's constantly changing. And any way we can remind (or force) people who have never set their options to go there would be appreciated. Bring back the 'nag' screen, or give us an option to force people who have never set their Notify Me options to do so...

Monday, December 23, 2013 at 12:22 AM - Response #25

Nagger wants a nag screen - I get itTwisted EvilTwisted Evil (joke in case somebody takes this wrong - I'm also a nagger)

Edited 12/23/13 12:23 AM
Monday, December 23, 2013 at 12:33 AM - Response #26

As we used to say back when I was working for a living, "If you don't tell us you have a problem, we can't fix it".... And yes, if the first time doesn't get what I need, it's very likely that I'll mention it again. And again. [smile]

Monday, December 23, 2013 at 12:33 AM - Response #27

The nag screen has been there and is still there for anybody who didn't set their Notify settings. If they clicked the nag link even once, then that message goes away. I can only assume classmates are either using the site with the nag screen still there, or they've already clicked the link and either set their settings, or chose to change nothing. This nag screen was put in globally across the system, thus every single member who has logged in has either seen it clicked to eliminate it, or is still seeing it.

Edited 12/23/13 12:35 AM
Monday, December 23, 2013 at 12:47 AM - Response #28

The 'nag screen' was a good first effort. But disabling it by clicking once on something they didn't understand defeats the purpose for many older folks who aren't computer litterate to begin with.
On our site, there's an announcement which takes them to the Notify Me screen, verbiage on the home page asking them to go there, and we've sent out three emails to the class which included a request to update their email preferences by going to Notify Me. And there's a full explaination of what Notify Me is in a Web Site Updates and Changes page. All that got us from 13 people four months ago to 33 now - out of 83.
Bring back the 'nag' screen, and make it permanent until they set their options!

Monday, December 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM - Response #29

I love the way you guys nag! Very HappyVery Happy

Anything that will FORCE people to set their Notify Me options for EVERY single option is desperately needed.

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