@Caleb L As a moderator, if you have input capability to the change (upgrade) process, I would appreciate any help we can all get to make the FamilySearch Community Groups far better than they are. This is too good of a potential resource to waste due to ineffective or incomplete capabilities.
I certainly agree that the previous platform was flawed, and not particularly easy to use or navigate. But there was one feature in the notification settings that was entirely eliminated when they went to this new platform/format a year or so ago - and it was a major help. With the current platform we are only notified of new posts when they pertain to some discussion we've already had some involvement with. But when people post a brand new question or comment, it will go entirely unseen (and unresponded to as a result) unless someone takes the time to read through everything on the Group pages to see if there's an unrelated new post by someone. That takes considerable time if a person is subscribed to multiple Community Groups, and therefore people will avoid spending the time to see if something new has been posted. I've seen some very legitimate questions posted in various Community Groups I've visited, only to go unanswered for weeks or even months - simply because nobody saw them. What a waste to users, and a demotivator to the person posting the unanswered question.
Whoever is considering yet another new platform needs to consider restoring that option to be notified of all new posts. We can easily just delete an email that isn't about something we want to pursue or help with. But at least we'll know when each new post shows up, and new posts will have a much higher chance of being responded to by someone in that respective group.
Anything you can do to induce them to restore that feature as part of a new platform for the Community Groups in addition to the existing notification options will be greatly appreciated!
I agree with you. Groups has incredible potential. The news of a new groups platform is news to me. Where did you here that?
Currently we are focused on fixing the feedback loop and suggest an idea. We are working to make sure we have a way for product managers to take full advantage of the community and really leverage the feedback to improve the products.
Within the month the next project to tackle is groups. In my personal opinion, the vanilla forums groups are likely the feature within the platform that could use the most help. Some things we can fix with them, other things are a black box to us and we cannot. You are 100% correct, the notifications are critical to having a successful group.
We will be doing an assessment and making priorities on what needs to be done with groups. I will take this feedback and add it to the list.
Because of the source of my information, which I would normally trust significantly, I'd prefer not to share that specifically. If it was unfortunately not correct, I'm very disappointed. I will only share that it came from a FamilySearch tech support person.
But I'm very disappointed to hear that perhaps there is NOT a fix coming anytime soon to the notifications feature. I see that as a major flaw in Community Groups. If people create posts, particularly with significant questions they need answered, and the only people that see those posts are those that regularly sign in and carefully scan the Groups for new posts, then a significant portion of potential responses is cut out of the process.
In the previous platform, I personally chose to receive immediate email updates when any new posts were added to "My Groups." That allowed all new posts (not just responses to which I'd already been a part of a discussion) to immediately show up in my email feed. I could quickly scan the content, and if it wasn't of interest or wasn't a question I could answer, I merely deleted the email - perhaps a minute of my time. Not everyone would choose that feature, which is fine, so it becomes a great resource for those choosing to be more active in Groups, without being a burden to those that are more casual users, or are only interested in seeing responses to their own posts without bothering with other's questions, concerns, great ideas, etc.
I (and others with whom I've spoken, including a Group moderator) often don't have time to just sign in to each of "My Groups," then look around to see if any new posts have been added since the last time I signed in. That takes considerably more time to repeat that process for each of "My Groups" compared to only having to quickly check an email to see if it's relevant to me, and either sign in and respond, or delete the email - a huge time saver. The notification is there, I don't have to go searching for new material, I look at it, and either respond or delete. Simple, quick.
And because of that factor, I've found myself going to the Groups far less often than I was under the old clunky platform, and I'm participating far less than I used to. I just don't have time to go looking to see if new information has been posted among all the other data coming into the Groups.
@Chris Bieneman Schmink No worries, I was just curious because I hadn't heard anything. Like I mentioned, we are going to be doing a full assessment of groups and user needs around them soon. I agree that it is a real significant problem that needs to be addressed in some way or another. Users need their questions to be answered in a timely fashion and group members can't spend all day every day scowering all the groups they are a part of and clicking into every post. I have made a note of it in our system.
I'm going to split this conversation and move your comments about groups into the suggest an idea category.