[Site Update] Subscriptions, Bookmarks, & Pingbacks

by Ruby1 min read29th Oct 201923 comments

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We've just launched several new features that we've been working on for the past few weeks.

Subscriptions Overhaul

The subscriptions system has been completely rebuilt to 1) support notifications on a much broader range of events, 2) make it possible to receive all notifications by email and/or on-site notifications, 3) allow for batching of notifications.

How to Subscribe

The triple-dot, drop-down menu on posts and comments now have multiple subscription options. You can now subscribe to all posts from a given user, all comments on a given post, all replies to a particular comment, and local groups, with some more options for subscriptions coming soon.

On desktop, hovering over posts in post lists causes the triple-dot menu to appear.

What the triple-dot menu looks like

Viewing subscription options in the triple-dot drop-down menu

Subscription Settings

Subscription settings can managed in the Notifications Panel of your User Settings

Managing Subscriptions

You can manage individual subscriptions by accessing your subscriptions page from your user page or via www.lesswrong.com/manageSubscriptions

Bookmarks

For your convenience we have added bookmark functionality to help keep track of those wonderful posts you might not have time for when you first encounter them. Using the triple dot menu, you can now find a bookmark option.

Viewing your bookmarks

By default, your bookmarks are displayed at the top of the home page in the Recommendations section. This can be configured via the gear icon

Clicking on "Bookmarks" will take you to your bookmarks page which lives at www.lesswrong.com/bookmarks. You can also reach your bookmarks page via the drop-down menu when you hover over your username in the top right.

Pingbacks [Experimental Opt-In Only]

When a post has been linked to by another post on LessWrong, the pingback feature will list any referencing posts at the bottom of the post page. "Pingback" is equivalent to "cited by".

This feature is currently only available to those with experimental features switched on since we are still actively iterating on it (see your account settings to opt-in to experimental features). Note that not all historically used LessWrong URL schemas currently work– this will be fixed before the general release of Pingbacks.


We hope you find these features useful!


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23 comments, sorted by Highlighting new comments since Today at 10:48 AM
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I really appreciate the pingback feature, but it looks like on LW it's limited to the top 5 (by karma) pingbacks, while greaterwrong.com shows all of them. (I tested on these posts.) Is this intentional? If so, I don't think it makes sense to artificially restricted the "cited by" list this way, especially without any indication that this is happening?

Also, I'd like to make a feature suggestion, namely an option in the settings to receive notifications when one of my posts or comments is linked somewhere on LW or EA Forum.

Seems no one replied to this. The top 5 is a limitation we are well aware of and is on the list to fix for Pingbacks is moved out of beta-status. I think it was there just because it takes extra UI work to have an expanding list. I agree the lack of indication that it's happening is pretty back.

I also really like the notification idea, I do hope we make that happen.

Do on site notifications and email notifications come at the same cadence? For example, if I ask for daily notifications by email and on site, will I see them in both places only daily or will I still see them on site immediately?

I'd like to get daily emails and have immediate on site notifications, but I'm not sure if that's currently possible.

Same cadence, but separating them does make sense and I might add that option in the future.

Looks like a major step forward as it'll make it so much easier to receive only the information you want.

Three cheers for pingbacks! Hip, hip

A great future feature would be the ability to subscribe to a sequence. For instance, I'd love the ability to get an email for all of the LW Team Updates & Announcements, but I don't want to have to subscribe to all of the members of the LW 2.0 team. I'll get to all of them eventually thanks to the RSS feed, but it'd be nice to see the site updates immediately.

Yeah, subscribing to a sequence seems pretty reasonable. Will add it to the to-do list. 

This is pretty cool, I look forward to trying them. I'm quite interested to see how the pingbacks will work over time. It could be a good thing for us to later have forecasts on, as I'd imagine it takes longer than karma.

When I go to manage my subscriptions, it claims that I no longer have any--what happened to all of my old subscriptions?

Just finished porting over the old subscriptions! Should be fixed now!

(We forgot to run one of the migration scripts)

Something shows up now, but they all just say "HopefullyAnonymous" instead of the actual users I subscribed to.

checking if this is still the case?

Looks like it's fixed now; thanks!

Bug report:

When this rolled out I was not subscribed to my own comments and posts. I assume that the intention was that the default was to auto-subscribe to them because (1) that would mimic the old behavior and (2) that is suggested by the screenshots in this post. But I'm also surprised that I'm the first person to report this. (Maybe Pattern, who did not describe it as a bug.) Is it consistent across people?

Interesting. Can you say more about what exactly happened? I've inspected a large number of users, all of which seem to have the "auto-subscribe to my comments" and "auto-subscribe to my posts" set, and also tried registering some new users, which also have that flag set. Did you experience them being set previously, and being unset after this update? 

What do you mean did I "experience them being set previously"? Do you mean that they were previously optional? I didn't know that and, clearly, was not paying attention.

Not only did I used to receive notifications for replies to my comments and then it stopped, but I still have a record of it. My bell shows the notification from you and then a notification from a month ago, missing a couple replies to recent comments.


Interesting, I will look more into this. Just to be clear, what exactly did you do to start receiving notifications for your comments? 

I went to settings and turned on "auto-subscribe to replies to my comments" (and posts), the checkboxes shown in the image in this post. Since I knew that I wasn't receiving notifications and had just figured out from this post that these setting existed, I wasn't surprised to find them off.

Incidentally, the link to "User Settings" at the top of this post links to lessestwrong. You should probably be using relative links or something.

Would be nice to also be able to bookmark sequences (as well as subscribing to it, which was already mentioned)