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Getting a notification of new postings

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Joined: 17 Mar 2009
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Location: Liverpool, NY

PostPosted: Sun Jan 03, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject: Getting a notification of new postings Reply with quote

It could be time-consuming to find out when new information is posted on a message board if one had to scan through all of the postings on the board every time you visit it. However, most message boards have provisions to request e-mail notifications when a new message is added.

The first requirement is that the user must register on the board and provide his or her e-mail address. Obviously, that is the only way the board software knows where to send the notification. So that is one good reason for registering on the message board.

Because of the way this message board is structured, e-mail notifications are only sent when a reply is posted to a designated topic, not at the forum level. If you post a new topic or reply, you can specify whether or not you want an e-mail sent whenever there is a new reply to that topic. That is the primary intent, i.e. to be notified when someone responds to your posting. It is assumed that there will be a continuing discussion about a particular topic. To set up this notification, you simply check the ‘Notify me when a reply is posted’ box below the area where you enter the text of the message. (This may already be checked by default.)

You can also request a notification if there is a reply to any existing topic already posted on the board. To do this, you subscribe to a topic by clicking on the ‘Watch this topic for replies’ line at the lower left of the window of all of the messages relating to that topic. Note that the line then changes to ‘Stop watching this topic’ so that you can stop the e-mails at some later time.

Unfortunately, if there are a number of topics in which you are interested, even within the same forum, you must subscribe to each topic. That means that you may have to subscribe to a number of topics, but it does provide the capability to selectively turn off notification for individual topics. The other problem is that you are not notified if a new topic is posted. (I am guilty of starting a number of new topics rather than adding to an existing topic. The hope was to get a number of different discussions started.) To check for new topics, you would still have to check all of the topics posted in a given forum periodically. However, to simplify this when the list is long, note that there is a pull-down box at the bottom of the window in which all of the topics in a forum are listed. There you can limit the list to only those that were posted in a specified period. So, determine when you last checked the forum and choose the appropriate time interval.

I should also note a subtle feature of the message board that allows one to quickly determine if there are new postings. On the top page where all of the forums are listed, you will see a round icon to the left of each forum name. If the page in it is colored, a new topic has been posted in that forum since you last visited it. (Unfortunately, that doesn't apply to replies made to an existing topic.)
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