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Author Topic: 10/22/2018: Ways to make sure you're notified when new posts are made  (Read 5360 times)

Offline Cameron

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Greetings, all. I hope this post finds you well.

I have recently added a new method to get notifications when new posts are made on the boards, and I figured this would be a good time to go over them for those of you who may not be aware. I understand that checking the boards every day may be a hassle. People have lives and may be too busy to keep checking constantly, especially if there's been any kind of delay. I know that I personally do not always look at the boards unless I'm working on a post or I've been notified that someone's posted. So I have done my best to give everyone ways to try and stay informed without ever having to open up the website. I will rank these below in order of how quickly they are updated after a post is made.

-THE RSS FEED
Location: http://administorum.com/index.php?type=rss;action=.xml
Average update time: Instantly
Push notifications? No

The RSS feed is built into the forum and shows a list of the last 5 posts made on the Administorum as well as a brief preview of each one. Since this is part of the forum, it updates the moment a post goes live and also automatically changes or removes anything that's changed or deleted. Any RSS reader (Firefox (EDIT: A recent update to Firefox has removed this feature.) and Chrome both have these built in) can be set to read this for you and this makes it very easy to see if anything new has been added. The main thing that the RSS feed lacks is any kind of mobile notification, though you can fix that yourself if you're good with RSS readers.

THE TWITTER FEED
Location: https://twitter.com/board_battles
Average update time: Up to 15 minutes
Push notifications? Yes

This Twitter feed uses a web app known as IFTTT to automatically send a tweet anytime the RRS feed updates. It checks the RRS feed for new content once every 15 minutes and posts a tweet when it detects a new post. The tweet includes the title of the post and a link that takes you directly to it. This is ideal for mobile notifications, since you can set Twitter to send you a mobile notification any time this account tweets. That way, you can simply check your phone and be taken directly to the new post. This is also the second place I post updates to if the site is down for any reason. May be less useful if you don't have a Twitter account.

THE FACEBOOK PAGE
Location: https://www.facebook.com/theadministorum/
Average update time: Up to 15 minutes
Push notifications: Sort of?

For those who prefer Facebook to Twitter, our official Administorum Facebook page uses the same IFTTT system that the Twitter account does to automatically update every time a new post goes live. You can like the page and see these links show up as stories in your News Feed. This also supposedly has push notifications but mine have never worked correctly, so I can't judge how well they may work for you. This is the third place I post updates if the site is down for any reason. Probably less useful if you do not have a Facebook account.

THE DISCORD SERVER
Location: https://discord.gg/dGHUJSN
Average update time: Up to 30 minutes
Push notifications: Yes, with the Discord app

Aside from being the only place online where you can chat in real time with myself and a large number of the other members of this forum (and even see when I'm online and what I may happen to be doing that's not writing a post!) This is, as of last week, another place where posts will automatically be announced. There was no way to tie the Discord bot to the RSS feed directly like with Twitter and Facebook, so instead I tied the Discord bot directly to the Twitter feed. That is unfortunately why it takes longer for this to update, since the Twitter feed checks the RSS feed once every 15 minutes, and the Discord bot checks the Twitter feed once every 15 minutes, leading to a maximum possible delay of 30 minutes. But this allows you to get these notifications without needing a Twitter or Facebook account, and also even discuss the updates with your fellow Board Battlers. It's something that I feel has been woefully underutilized and I am trying to fix that as best as I can.

Unfortunately, none of these three methods alert you to when you receive PMs. I have reconfigured *Hanako to always post an OOC post whenever she sends out Idle notices, so you should see the update for the OOC post and then get the PM notification after clicking on the link to go to the forum. That's the best I can do with that, since Gmail refuses to not mark our emails as spam. (UPDATE: As of 12/23/2018, *Hanako has been retired and the Idle System has been indefinitely suspended, so this no longer applies.)

So there you have it. Three ways to see if there's a new post or not without ever having to open this website. Hopefully this makes checking the boards more convenient for you. And please, join the Discord server if you haven't yet. We'd love to talk to you.

Yours in service,
Cameron Alieron
Administrator of the Administorum
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 11:08:10 PM by Cameron »

Offline Cameron

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Re: 10/22/2018: Ways to make sure you're notified when new posts are made
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2018, 11:09:55 PM »
I have made two corrections in this post based on recent updates.