Keeping track of conversations

Jun152012

We’ve been thinking a lot about the best way to keep tabs on the EveryBlock conversations that interest you. Currently, there are a few ways to track a post:

  1. Subscribe and get new comments emailed to you.
  2. Subscribe and read the latest comments on your Subscriptions page.
  3. Subscribe to its RSS feed.
  4. Scan your daily digest email for new comments.
  5. Periodically load your homepage to see if new comments have pushed it to the top.

We know that folks use all five of these techniques. But we also know that what’s a handy feature for some people can engender a negative experience for others. For instance, if you’re not interested in a message, it can be annoying to see it constantly appear in your feed. So we started thinking of ways to make the site work well, no matter how you like to read your news.

Recently we experimented with one idea: turning off the pop-to-top feature for messages over 72 hours old. We thought this would make the homepage and emails fresher, and it did. Regrettably, we underestimated how many of you rely on your homepage for tracking comments. And we did a poor job of coming up with an alternative solution. So, as we go back to the drawing board to find a better answer, we’ve reverted the change: new comments will always pop a message to the top of your timeline.

We want to hear from you about this. How do you like to keep track of messages that interest you? Do you use the subscription feature? If not, why not? Please add your comments below.

We’re committed to making EveryBlock work well for readers of every kind. Thanks for sticking with us as we figure it out.

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