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Kunena 5.1.18 Released (30 Jun 2020)

The Kunena team has announce the arrival of Kunena 5.1.18 [K 5.1.18] which is now available for download as a native Joomla extension for J! 3.9.x. This version addresses most of the issues that were discovered in K 5.1 and issues discovered during the development stages of K 5.1.

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Question How to help people realise that there are important messages posted on my forum?

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6 years 9 months ago #1 by lewism
Is there any way or addon available which would allow us to make one of the forums/categories an announcement one?

Users would subscribe to any category which they would like to be notified any time someone posted in it.

The problem right now is that people don't understand they need to check the forums for new posts so aren't checking as they should.

Thanks.

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6 years 9 months ago #2 by sozzled
This is a tough question to answer.

We have had a lot of discussion about trying to "force" people to subscribe to a category (or all categories) on people's forums and this is where we have discussed the issue: "Automatically" subscribe all members to be notified of any new messages .

Just as we have, here, on this website a category that we would also like everyone to subscribe to ( Official Announcements and News about Kunena ) we ask that people subscribe to this category so that they will not miss out on important news about Kunena. But, as the saying goes, "you can lead a horse to water ...".

I do not know if there is an extension that works with Kunena that will allow you to "automatically" subscribe your users to a category or a group of categories. We do not use one here on this website. What we do here is to encourage people to read the category descriptions and to follow the advice given in those descriptions. Sometimes this works and sometimes people ignore the advice we give. That is what is called freedom to choose.

It's possible to force subscriptions on your users; it's also possible to educate your users to use your forum effectively. There are benefits and pitfalls to both approaches.

For our part here, at www.kunena.org , we try to educate people as best we can to use the forum as effectively as they can. I don't know if that helps you, but that's all I can tell you at the moment.

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6 years 9 months ago #3 by lewism
It is helpful, in that I've read plenty of threads along these lines and know that people will not always do as you suggest.

However, we are ripping our hair out trying to figure out how to engage users in the forums.
They don't understand that they need to check them regularly to see new postings so they end up missing important information. They end up being lemming like, waiting for the next official meetings to be posted then come to those meetings unaware of what's been going on.

We need a way to engage users and since there is no way of tagging users so they would know they are being mentioned, I cannot find any way of getting them to take part as they need to.

Facebook is kicking our behinds left and right on this because they have tagging so people know immediately when they are mentioned and it kicks up a discussion instantly.

Since I can't have that, I'm looking for the next best thing... some way of notifying users that something new has been posted in one of the forums.

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6 years 9 months ago - 6 years 9 months ago #4 by sozzled
I don't know if there's any single right way to tackle this issue. The matter ultimately comes down to people's individual choices: your choices, my choices, everyone else's choices.

I dislike intensely Facebook. In fact, I would almost go so far as to say I loathe its attempts to continually invade my privacy. But, I know, that's just me and perhaps it's because I am getting older now I don't have the same ability to juggle and filter the hundreds of emails I would receive if I was notified about each activity I participate in around the internet each day.

But, even though it's only my personal opening that we should be entitled to exercise our individual preferences in how we choose to operate, may I ask you a question, please? How "engaged" do you feel that you are within this community here at www.kunena.org ? :)
Last edit: 6 years 9 months ago by sozzled.

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6 years 9 months ago #5 by lewism
I cannot stand FB for MANY reasons, all related to the place being nothing more than a glorified marketing machine however, there is no way of fighting it. People are used to it now, they love getting the non stop notices, it engages them, it sucks them into the site, constantly, day in and out.

FB has figured out how to engage the user, they don't have to make choices, they feel engaged, perhaps even important, to be notified constantly about anything new related to something they posted on or someone mentioning them. It's no wonder people are so addicted to their phones and FB.

If web sites are going to survive, we need such means of engaging users too. I simply cannot find a way of engaging users, even though they are absolutely interested in the contend, they cannot stand trying new sites, let along sites which don't give them similar tools.

I too am older now, having spend the last 20+ years working on everything internet related. I loved times when innovation was exploding all over the net, I loved how many projects were in the works and I loved that everyone had equal opportunity to build a site, promote it and make it alive.

These days, I'm seeing so much consolidation, and so many people wanting to be lemmings, using only a couple handful of services. It's difficult to capture peoples attention with new sites, it's VERY difficult these days because these massive blockbuster sites have all the best tools which engage users like nothing I've ever seen.

As much as I can't stand FB and others, I admit they worked hard at figuring out those tools and getting it right. Boy have they got it right.

As for being engaged in this forum? I'm not sure of the question but I know I can post something, I know I'll get a notice if there's a reply. I check it, I search it, I'm actively using it but am not really engaged in it.

In one case, we have a group which we are trying to ween off of Meetup because Meetup is simply not working for us. Everyone loves the group, they want to take part but they can't stand having to use/learn a new site. If they were being mentioned or tagged, they would be more engaged and they would stop complaining that it's not FB or Google groups and all the others.

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6 years 9 months ago #6 by sozzled

lewism wrote: As for being engaged in this forum? I'm actively using it but am not really engaged in it.

This was essentially the point that I was trying to make in the topic "Automatically" subscribe all members to be notified of any new messages . My purpose in asking this question of you was to allow you time to pause and momentarily put yourself in other people's shoes.

Yes, it's possible to subscribe users to categories (or to individual topics, if you prefer) but I know of no "automated" means to accomplish this with a third party-written plugin or module for Kunena.

Kunena category subscriptions are stored in the table _kunena_user_categories. In effect, what you would need to do is to create records in this table, one for each of your user accounts, with the subscribed value = 1 for the nominated category-id. I hope this helps.

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6 years 9 months ago #7 by lewism
>My purpose in asking this question of you was to allow you time to pause and
>momentarily put yourself in other people's shoes.

Ah, well, I've been using forums for a very long time so it's all pretty simple really.
I can't put myself in others shoes because it's not a subscription problem, it's a different problem.

Like I said, people don't even realize they need to check the forums, unless they have subscribed to a forum. Lot's of people love forums and lots more get confused by them.

If there was a means of letting them know a new topic was posted, they might know to come check more often.

>In effect, what you would need to do is to create records in this table, one for each of
>your user accounts, with the subscribed value = 1 for the nominated category-id.
>I hope this helps.[/quote]

Yes, it's helpful but unfortunately, doesn't fix the bigger problem :).
I appreciate the input however, at least this is something which could be useful.

Thanks.

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6 years 9 months ago #8 by sozzled

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