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Email notifications of message board replies

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


DTBK Report 25 Sep 2011 03:55

I don't receive any email when someone replies to a conversation thread I'm watching.

I do though receive email notifications if someone messages me directly.

How do I got email announcements for message board replies working?



Gai Report 25 Sep 2011 06:03


You don't get email notifications when another member replies to a thread and that has been an on going issue since before I joined GR.



InspectorGreenPen Report 25 Sep 2011 06:50

Have you set the thread up using the Watched thread option? Click on 'My Watched threads' on the left to see those you have selected for watching.

I did test this out when it was first introduced and you don't actually get an email from GR each and every time there is a reply on the thread but there was at least one each day there had been a further posting.

If you think there is a problem, i.e. you have watched threads set up with replies but no GR messages coming through report details of the thread to the support team who will investigate.


DTBK Report 25 Sep 2011 11:14

@Gai - Interesting that it's been an issue for so long. The headers for the discussion boards clearly state we should be receiving notifications.

@InspectorGreenPenn - yes I've got them specified/selected as "Watched"... I'll email support@ and see what they say.



chrissiex Report 25 Sep 2011 16:24

a while back there was a huge problem with watched threads ... the system suddenly started sending out a stream of messages about a single post to a thread ... some people got hundreds of emails about one post in a watched thread ( I was one of them ! )

I believe at that time the function was turned off until whatever bug had happened could be fixed ... has it been turned back on now ?

here is a thread about that problem


DTBK Report 25 Sep 2011 21:28

@chrissiex: Ah - that'll be what it is then!



SylviaInCanada Report 26 Sep 2011 04:02


When you realise how the system works, it works well.

The onus is on YOU to check threads

Just go to the box on the left of your screen headed TOOLS

click on the heading My Threads

That lists ALL threads that you have started or on which you have posted.

That is how GR works, and has always worked

.................... and I for one prefer it, because I don't get a lot of unnecessary emails re threads that I no longer wish to follow although I once psoted a comment! :-D



DTBK Report 26 Sep 2011 11:40


Click on "My Watched Threads" and then read the description at the top.

It clearly states, "Tick the 'watch' column to receive an email letting you know that there are replies on your watched threads."

If it's always worked contrary to this statement then the statement is false, misleading and needs to be removed by GR immediately.

I'm a heavy user of many online forums and an online discussion forum which places the onus on the user to check individual threads for replies is frankly, lame.

Personally I'd much rather receive an email notification and have the option to say "I don't want to be notified anymore" (once the time comes) than not have any notifications whatsoever.

I'm surprised that it's actually not working on this forum. If there was ever a forum where a user, particularly an OP, would want to know of a reply to their post, it's one such as this where a reply could very well be highly emotive in content.



chrissiex Report 26 Sep 2011 13:17

David ... two kinds of users :-)

for someone like Sylvia who posts in dozens of threads a week, email notifications would be unmanageable ... so it would certainly need an 'off' switch

for a one-time or very occasional user they would be excellent ... including from the point of view of 'helper' members who are constantly frustrated by people's failure to return to their threads and respond to replies !

my feeling about systems has always been ... if you design something so that an idiot can use it, idiots will use it ... so it still won't work ...

the 'watch' function to allow email notifications for those who want them ... especially casual users like yourself who are only interested in replies to their own posts ... is a truly very good idea and it is really unfortunate that it was allowed to malfunction and then never fixed

unfortunately for the rest of us the people who need to use it, so they do get the email notifications that they seem to expect, mostly won't read that instruction any more than they read any of the others :-)

let us know what support say, I too would really like to see this function restored if it means even a few more people might heed the replies to their posts

hmm ... maybe when somebody starts a thread it could be automatically 'watched' ?


KathleenBell Report 26 Sep 2011 16:15

I understand how you feel as if the function is there then it should work. If it doesn't you should contact

For myself - I agree with Sylvia. I add to too many threads to want to have emails coming in all the time telling me someone has posted on the thread. I'd rather check back myself which I usually do on a daily basis. In the 8 years I have been on the site I have 599 pages in "my threads" so I really couldn't cope with the amount of emails I would get.

Kath. x


SylviaInCanada Report 26 Sep 2011 18:12


The My Watched Threads has been there for some time, but the email notification was an added new feature during the latest changes on GR, just a few months ago

and as chrissie says, it malfunctioned almost from the start.

My Threads, and the need to watch out for replies yourself, is what has been in existence since at least April 2004 (which is when I joined).

and in all honesty, and in the larger scheme of things ........................... how difficult is it to look at My Threads and see which threads have been answered, rather than being spoon fed with emails?

IMHO, there are more serious faults to be corrected on here, and elsewhere, than worrying about not getting emails!

just look at my avatar!!



SylviaInCanada Report 26 Sep 2011 18:14

ooooooooooooh Kath

I only have 305 pages in My Threads!

I'm well behind you!!!



jax Report 26 Sep 2011 18:53

I would like there to be an option to choose whether you wish to recieve emails for pm's....maybe there is but have not found it yet :-)

I visit my email account perhaps once a week just to delete emails from GR which I do not need



chrissiex Report 26 Sep 2011 20:05

I actually do see DTBK's point ... I have posted at kind of random internet boards over 10 years of doing family history on line and frankly I do not remember all of them or even most of them ... they are not places where I spend time or that I look at daily or weekly or even yearly, I just put a post there once in the hope that someone would see it

for a post at this website, someday someone may come along and see a 'dormant' thread long after it was posted and reply to it rather than sending a private message ... if it is a member's only post here because they are only interested in that one question or name or family they will not continue returning to the site week after week and year after year ... and honestly it would not be surprising if they just forgot about it altogether

the email notification option is a very good idea I think and it would be best just to have a place in a thread where you could click that says

'click here to get email notification of posts in this thread'

why confuse casual users by making them first figure out what a 'watched thread' is and what watching a thread will do for them ? :-)


DTBK Report 27 Sep 2011 06:53

Ok... having slept... I need to put my opinion another way...

Of course, with ANY online discussion forum, the onus is on the user to check for replies to their post. However almost all online discussion forums assist in this process by offering the user the ability to receive an emailed notification when a reply (or further comment) is posted to a thread that they either started or contributed to.

During my time on these forums/boards I will start and contribute to numerous conversation threads... in some cases moreso than others, I will be very interested in tracking that conversation further and I would like to be able to specify that I WANT to receive emailed notifications of further replies after mine. At some point thereafter I am likely to WANT to specify that I no longer wish to receive those emailed notifications.

This basic functionality is what the header message I quoted, suggests that I'm able to do by way of specifying that I wish to "watch" any given conversation thread.

It doesn't work. I receive NO notifications whatsoever of my "Watched" threads and THAT is what is frustrating.

I have emailed support@ and I've received a reply claiming no knowledge of it not functioning, requesting that I send them links to some of my watched threads so they can check it out for me.

I'll post here how I get on.



chrissiex Report 27 Sep 2011 08:12

good lord ...

they are seriously claiming that they have no knowledge of it not functioning ... after -they- turned it off ...

one would say unbelievable, but if one has been around here long enough one knows that one must believe seventeen unbelievable things before breakfast just in order to open a page ..........

where is our site developer these days and is this not exactly the sort of question he should be looking at ?


KathleenBell Report 27 Sep 2011 16:36

Hi Sylvia,

You have more posts than me you must post more often on each thread you go onto, whereas I must post less - but on more threads!!

Either way, I really wouldn't want an email every time someone else posted on these threads, but if other people would like the facility then I don't mind at all as long as the facility can be switched off if we don't want it.

Kath. x


InspectorGreenPen Report 27 Sep 2011 18:26

The facility is per thread. Click the Thread from the Board, then at the top, click the purple button to watch it.

I have just done that for this thread so we can then see how it goes from here.


jax Report 27 Sep 2011 18:59

I think we all know how to watch a thread IGP....The problem is it does not work



SylviaInCanada Report 27 Sep 2011 21:09

................................ and when it did work, it worked only too well, but spasmodically

some members got multiple emails, many multiples!

At least one person got 10 emails, several days in succession, for the same new psoting on a thread.

some others did not receive any notifications.

GR staff themselves then turned off the notification by email facility until it was fixed ........ or so we were led to believe!

I have to agree that it is beyond belief what can happen on GR

It might well come down to the fact that the systems for Friends Reunited and GR (sister threads) were set up around 2002. Many changes to both sites have happened since then, but never to my knowledge has either site been shut down completely for a brand new re-design of the system.

Is it possible that making changes and adding things to an old system just makes matters worse?