General discussion


Is this goodbye?

By apotheon ·
TechRepublic appears to have changed the form of its email alerts for discussions to which I've subscribed. This has created a few problems for me, in large part because of the interaction of the facts that:

A) I use email alerts almost exclusively as my point of entry to TechRepublic.

B) The change was poorly handled, from where I'm sitting.

The problems with how it was implemented, as I see it, are the following:

1. I don't remember any announcement that the formats of the emails would be so significantly changed. I had no idea I was about to start getting such almost unrecognizably different email alerts.

2. Every single one of my subscriptions defaulted to (X)HTML emails in the new format, despite the fact that my email alerts had previously been delivered with plain text so that I could read them easily in my text-only email client setup (which, by the way, provides excellent protection against malicious code in emails). The only way to change the alerts to plain text was to mark them as plain text and submit the changes, one individual discussion subscription at a time. I'm subscribed to hundreds of discussions, and they don't seem to be in any kind of logical order that would help me pick out the most important discussions first (or even the most active).

3. The organization of the new format for email alerts is atrocious for purposes of parsing quickly and making decisions about what to read at the site. The full text of replies appearing in my inbox slows down my ability to deal with discussion activity to a point where it's effectively impossible, and assumes that I have a photographic memory for the context within which a given reply might appear.

I have never found the on-site tools for keeping up with discussions very useful for me. Now, the email alerts are suffering the same problem. I sent a message via the "Site Help & Feedback" page, to which I have not received a response. Of course, this may simply be a function of having encountered this problem with the beginning of the weekend, but I ultimately felt it was necessary -- because people have already indicated to me that they wonder why I haven't responded to discussions here at TR -- to say something publicly to explain my current, and possibly long-term, absence from TR discussions.

Jaqui, who many remember fondly here, was "forced out" by the fact that TR requires JavaScript on many pages of the site now, thus causing him to make a choice between continued participation in the TR community and using the software he prefers -- and now I'm facing a similar choice, except that in my case it's a choice between continued participating and having any time left in the day to do anything else, unless this problem is only temporary. The relative value of the two options that seem to be available to me should be fairly obvious.

Hopefully I'm not overlooking an obvious solution, and hopefully this isn't goodbye. If it is goodbye, however -- it has been a fun ride, while it lasted.

I'll try to remember to check this thread from time to time in the near future, the old-fashioned way, but don't bet money on it.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

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A flea and a fly in a flu, were imprisoned, so what could they do?

by deepsand In reply to "Not me"

Said the flea, "Let us fly."

Said the fly, "Let us flee."

So they flew through a flaw in the flu.

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If so, I would ask that they...

by Absolutely In reply to it is just their way

show their love to somebody else!

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Perhaps we're all they have! :^0

by deepsand In reply to If so, I would ask that t ...
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Well, then they ought to be more attentive!

by Absolutely In reply to Perhaps we're all they ha ...
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Well, perhaps they think that they're all we have!

by deepsand In reply to Perhaps we're all they ha ...
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You're not missing anything. I can access that page OK; BUT, ...

by deepsand In reply to grrrrr

1) It only lets me reset one Discussion/Question at a time.

2) After resetting one, and after a very long wait, the entire list in re-presented in a randomly varying order.

3) Changes, from "HTML" to "Text," that have been made, remain reset or revert to "HTML" with no apparent pattern.

4) Of those that appeared to remain reset to "Text," at least some still result in an "HTML" Alert e-mail.

5) The new "Text" e-mails merely present the same garbage as the "HTML" ones; i.e., they're of no real value either.

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I was hoping it was only a temporary thing

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to Is this goodbye?

I'm not one to ***** (well, not often anyway), but...
If I'm no longer going to receive detailed updates to discussions and questions that I subscribe to, then at least make the Updates window functionally valuable. That is, for starters, increase the default view list from 7 to at least 12 and add a tag of some kind to show those where someone responded directly to a post I made. It's too time consuming to sort through the list to see which ones have actually been 'updated' since I last checked.
I see little or no value to the current 'Alerts' newsletter as it is.

I did not have a problem with the individual email notices (sometimes many per day). But I suspect that complaints from other members along that line was what initiated the change. If that was the case, then the revamping was an error based on being reactive rather than researching.

I ditto the point concerning the hassle of resetting preferences from HTML.

I agree with what y'all have said and hope that it does turn out to be just a temporary deal. I'd hate to see it be the reason we loose some of the most active and valuable contributors.


I have since had the opportunity to investigate deeper by reading the many postings in similar discussions by Beth and Jay. (best example - I've decided that I can live with the current changes. Who knows... I may even end up liking 'em. But I have a new found appreciation for what they do so I'm giving slack accordingly. Besides... for all intent and purposes, I'm a relative newcomer and should probably keep my big mouth shut. ... for now.

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That would be GRRREAT!

by Absolutely In reply to I was hoping it was only ...

"...add a tag of some kind to show those where someone responded directly to a post I made."

Maybe easier to program would be one that indicates, for each message, to whom the message replies. We can all, presumably, remember our own alias! Anyway, grrreat idea!

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Max. depth limit renders that moot beyond a certain point.

by deepsand In reply to That would be GRRREAT!

Once a sub-thread has gone linear, there's no way to tie a Reply to the proper preceding Post.

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Not "moot", merely challenging, and only a skosh challenging at that.

by Absolutely In reply to Max. depth limit renders ...

Include one more item of meta-data: other aliases/messages addressed to same post. No problem!

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