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Support #5991

change format of autogenerated blog emails

Added by Marilyn Weber about 5 years ago. Updated over 3 years ago.

Status:
Resolved
Priority name:
Normal
Assignee:
Category name:
Email Notifications
Target version:
Start date:
2016-09-08
Due date:
% Done:

0%

Estimated time:

Description

A student in the History program has a complaint which I'd like to fix. She writes:
"I’m writing to ask whether there is a way to change the formatting of the subject line of notification emails. I frequently receive emails with subject lines such as:

Huber D. Jaramillo Gil wrote a new blog post September 19 The Social Science Research Council, Call for Participants, Seminar on ‘Crises of Democracy’ in the group PhD Program in History: [CUNY Academic Commons]

These are super wordy and long, and I believe it puts people off from checking the content of the email. Is there any way to customize what appears in the subject line to make them shorter and more to the point?"

Matt told me to put this on the Redmine, and I'm also asking Sarah and Scott. Thanks!


Related issues

Related to CUNY Academic Commons - Feature #6677: Launching Discussion of Group Forum EmailsResolved2016-11-11

History

#1 Updated by Boone Gorges about 5 years ago

  • Category name set to Email Notifications
  • Status changed from New to Reporter Feedback
  • Target version set to Future release

Thanks for the ticket!

It's possible for us to change the subject line to something briefer. Do you have any ideas about what that format would be?

It's quite hard for us to allow users to customize the subject of the emails that they receive. It'd require a large development effort to build the necessary UI, and it seems like a feature that few would use. Better, I think, to have better subjects for everyone.

#2 Updated by Marilyn Weber about 5 years ago

My suggestion would be "(post title) was posted on the PhD Program in History Site"

Like so - "September 19 The Social Science Research Council, Call for Participants, Seminar on ‘Crises of Democracy’ was posted on the PhD Program in History Site"

#3 Updated by Boone Gorges about 5 years ago

I can imagine cases where it might be annoying to have the author's name missing from the subject line, but I agree that the shorter version will probably be better most of the time. Does anyone else have an opinion?

#4 Updated by Matt Gold about 5 years ago

  • Assignee set to Paige Dupont

I think this needs wider discussion. It's important to me, for instance, who posts.

Two thoughts:

1. Should we consider abbreviating the name and/or subject? (ie, first initial + last name? Subject abbreviated after x number of characters?

2. can we do some research on what other social networks/fora do?

Assigning to Paige for research

#5 Updated by Paige Dupont almost 5 years ago

Hey All,

After doing some research on the matter I've come to the conclusion, the shorter the better. The ideal length for the subject line would be from six to ten words (pulled from Mail Chimp).

I think the name is important to showcase as it adds personalization and context to the email and draws interest from the user. Since we want to keep things as brief and relevant as possible we could also try using the "teaser trailer" if we want to include post titles.

Our example from the user:

Huber D. Jaramillo Gil wrote a new blog post September 19 The Social Science Research Council, Call for Participants, Seminar on ‘Crises of Democracy’ in the group PhD Program in History: [CUNY Academic Commons]

I believe the important information here is who, and where this post is coming from. So we could consider changing the subject to display in the following ways:

  • Your group: "PhD Program in History" has a new post by: Huber D. Jaramillo Gil
  • Huber D. Jaramillo Gil from your group "PhD Program in History" shared the post "The Social Research Council..."

Using the word "your" will help in adding personalization to the user opening the email to help battle against the appearance of spam.

I personally don't think we should change the name of the person who has made the post because even in the instance above, would our system be able to know which part of this name to abbreviate?

Not including the name of the writer and the group (since we can't change that), we should strive to put only up to 10 words in our subject line. I don't feel that the date is too important since the user is receiving a notification the day the post is published and once a user opens the email they see the CUNY Academic Commons header (I'm assuming based on our groups posts and email notifications). So including those things in the subject title could be seen as redundant.

We want to be informative without being overwhelming and I think either way suggested above could be beneficial to our users.

Please let me know your thoughts and what else I can do to help on this ticket.

Best,
Paige

Matt Gold wrote:

I think this needs wider discussion. It's important to me, for instance, who posts.

Two thoughts:

1. Should we consider abbreviating the name and/or subject? (ie, first initial + last name? Subject abbreviated after x number of characters?

2. can we do some research on what other social networks/fora do?

Assigning to Paige for research

#6 Updated by Matt Gold almost 5 years ago

Thanks, Paige. This example:

Huber D. Jaramillo Gil from your group "PhD Program in History" shared the post "The Social Research Council..."

seems like a very good way forward to me, with the post title/forum subject line abbreviated.

#7 Updated by Marilyn Weber almost 5 years ago

I'm sorry to be the dissenting voice here. My student voiced the complaint because she is only subscribed to the History blog, where everything is posted by Huber and by me. So I'd advocate for something like:
"September 19 The Social Science Research Council, Call for Participants, Seminar on ‘Crises of Democracy’" was posted on the PhD Program in History Site by Huber D. Jaramillo Gil.

I know that's long, and I'd be happy to have a character limit on the subject, but in my case the interest from the user is the content of the post, not the origin or author. Also, the date in that post title is part of the title - in this case, it's when the CFP is due - not the posted date. The example you give: Huber D. Jaramillo Gil from your group "PhD Program in History" shared the post "The Social Research Council..." just doesn't answer this original complaint at all - it's still wordy and long with the important stuff at the end.

Is there any possible way this could be set blog by blog?

#8 Updated by Marilyn Weber almost 5 years ago

Paige - I realized belatedly that you couldn't have known what the user was emphasizing in the original complaint. I guess I knew since I also receive this email notifications so I immediately saw what she was saying. Yet even as the author of these posts, it never occurred to me how not-to-the -point they are.

I hope you didn't take any offense! My humble apologies if I seemed grumpy.

#9 Updated by Boone Gorges almost 5 years ago

Is there any possible way this could be set blog by blog?

It's possible, but we'd have to build an interface, along with a template language (think: the admin would have to enter things like '%%%POST_AUTHOR%%% wrote the post '%%%POST_TITLE%%%' on the site %%SITE_TITLE%%'). This is a non-trivial job, and introduces the potential for bugs and for user confusion, so I'd like to avoid it if it's not something that lots of users are clamoring for.

#10 Updated by Matt Gold over 3 years ago

Hi All,

Since we haven't heard any other other complaints about this, I think we should consider shortening the subject but not building something new. How about:

New blog post by [user name] "[blog post title]" posted in [group title] (CUNY Academic Commons)

#11 Updated by Raymond Hoh over 3 years ago

  • Related to Feature #6677: Launching Discussion of Group Forum Emails added

#12 Updated by Raymond Hoh over 3 years ago

Hi Matt,

Some changes were already made as part of #6677 - https://redmine.gc.cuny.edu/issues/6677#note-8.

The subject line should read "({GROUP TITLE}) Blog Post - {BLOG POST TITLE}". The "From" line in your email client is changed to "{AUTHOR NAME} (CUNY Academic Commons)".

I believe that should address the issue, but let me know if it doesn't.

#13 Updated by Matt Gold over 3 years ago

  • Status changed from Reporter Feedback to Resolved

perfect! Thank you, Ray, Marilyn, if you still have issues or hear complaints, please let us know.

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