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How to solve Notifications here and now

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Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

How can we let people subscribe to activities in order to get email notifications whever there are updates?

Project:New_contributors/Roadmap#Notifications has some ideas about how this can be handled in the future, and Echo (Notifications) & Flow cover this use case in their roadmap. However, what can we do here and now? A simple Google form to collect email addresses in a spreadsheet? A simple web interface to collect those email addresses in a CRM?

The use case is simple:

Penny is interested in helping out in QA activities. She subscribes to receive notifications. She gets a notification whenever there is a new activity scheduled.

The Wikimedia community has tried to solve this problem o top of MediaWiki in several ways, all inefficient: relying on registered users signing up in pages, relying on people watching pages regularly or having email notifications enabled and paying attention to those notifications in the middle of the many other MediaWiki notifications they receive, missing those not willing to signup publicly, risking typos in wiki syntax, vandalism...

In the meantime, the WWW solved this problem around 1996 if not earlier: go to a web page, add your email address and be done with it. Or something along these lines.

This post was posted by Qgil-WMF, but signed as Qgil.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

(After Ryan Kaldari's feedback)

Well, creating mailing lists would be a possibility.

This is unidirectional communication and we might have many topics to cover. Creating various mailing lists for this might be an overkill but it is indeed a possibility with a precedent (the -announce lists).

This post was posted by Qgil-WMF, but signed as Qgil.

Amire80 (talkcontribs)

We did something along these lines, too: Wikitech-ambassadors.

It just needs to be used correctly.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

Actually my reason to CC you was your involvement in Extension:TranslationNotifications. How is that going and how crazy would it be to take the notification part and repurpose it?

This post was posted by Qgil-WMF, but signed as Qgil.

Amire80 (talkcontribs)

How is it going? - I fixed a few bugs there recently and may fix more in the future.

It's a mix of Special:EmailUser and the Global Delivery Bot, but with its own code and heavily internationalized. It's not exceptionally clever - it just sticks some strings together and emails them or adds them to talk pages. We also thought about adding Echo support to it recently.

The main thing with it is that it needs careful design and definition for other tasks.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)

ooook, this information is interesting.

We might indeed start with a qa-announce@ mailing list, then.

This post was posted by Qgil-WMF, but signed as Qgil.

Yaron Koren (talkcontribs)

Depending on how the pages are structured, the Semantic Watchlist extension could potentially be used for this.

Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)
Qgil-WMF (talkcontribs)
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