Over the past decade, there has been a trend away from email notifications in general. (And if you have a teenager in your life, you know that they do not use email at all.) That does not mean that people don't want email notifications, but they do want them to be smarter and less frequent. We have a few ideas for improving things in that area, and our first salvo in that regard is a new approach to email notifications.
Our goal is to make it easier for Crowdstackers to stay in the loop on what is happening in your community, while also making the "follow" process cleaner and simpler.
Thus, in our next major update, we'll be adding support for a digest-oriented email notification system. With this new option, all members will, by default, be subscribed to a weekly digest that summarizes new and trending activity across your entire Crowdstack community. There is also a daily edition that your members can choose, alternatively.
This "What's News" digest will also include upcoming events and posts from specific people that you are following. You will still be able to follow specific posts and members in this new system. And you will also be able to be notified about ALL new posts (across all content types), if you like. The only real loss of functionality - which may be a big one, depending on your perspective- is the ability to follow content by type (and subcategory).
In this new model, members will not be able to follow content by type at all. For instance, you will not be able to subscribe to get notified only about new forum topics, or topics within a specific forum. The module-specific notification model requires a lot of work for members to maintain and can be confusing to understand.
In our opinion, most community members don't really think about subscribing based on content type-- they just want to know what is new (or new for them) = so supporting a complex module-specific notification system is powerful but also way too complex for the average person.
The new system is simple, clear, and very easy to manage.
Importantly, if you love the current system that revolves around following specific content types, you can keep using it. However, the new consolidated email digest option will not be available for your members. Existing Crowdstack sites will have to opt into the new model if they want to use it and, importantly, cannot go back to the old model once they have opted in to the new one.
Thus, if you love the current model, keep using it. If you'd prefer a simpler approach that is less confusing and less noisy for your members, then consider the new "digest" model. We recommend communicating the change to your members before you make the switch though, since all of their old per-module notifications settings will be gone and they will simply be subscribed to the weekly digest instead.
Sites created after the release of the new digest system will only be able to use the new model. In other words, the new notification model is the future, but existing sites can keep using the old model as long as they want.
We'll have more details on this on our blog once we get closer to release, likely in the next few weeks.