[Comments Threads] email subscriptions are useless

The current system of emailing to say "someone just made a comment" and nothing else does not scale at all. Currently, this is what I do when someone posts in the Hunger Games Competition thread:

  • Click the link to go to the thread
  • Click "newest" to see if the new post wasn't a reply
  • If I don't see the new post, click the "Discussions" link at the top to get to the discussions main page
  • Look at the "recent posts" box on the right to see if the post is recent enough to be linked there
  • If not, give up because I am not sifting through 300 posts most of which I've already read just to look for it

Note that this means that even if someone directly asks me a question I may never see it. In fact, I'm more likely to miss posts directed at me than posts that aren't because of the "Newest" feature not allowing me to see newest replies as well as newest posts.

I see two immediately obvious (and not mutually exclusive) fixes:

  • Include the actual text of the comment in the notification email
  • Include a link to the comment in the notification email

Note by Chad Miller
6 years, 11 months ago

No vote yet
6 votes

  Easy Math Editor

This discussion board is a place to discuss our Daily Challenges and the math and science related to those challenges. Explanations are more than just a solution — they should explain the steps and thinking strategies that you used to obtain the solution. Comments should further the discussion of math and science.

When posting on Brilliant:

  • Use the emojis to react to an explanation, whether you're congratulating a job well done , or just really confused .
  • Ask specific questions about the challenge or the steps in somebody's explanation. Well-posed questions can add a lot to the discussion, but posting "I don't understand!" doesn't help anyone.
  • Try to contribute something new to the discussion, whether it is an extension, generalization or other idea related to the challenge.
  • Stay on topic — we're all here to learn more about math and science, not to hear about your favorite get-rich-quick scheme or current world events.

MarkdownAppears as
*italics* or _italics_ italics
**bold** or __bold__ bold

- bulleted
- list

  • bulleted
  • list

1. numbered
2. list

  1. numbered
  2. list
Note: you must add a full line of space before and after lists for them to show up correctly
paragraph 1

paragraph 2

paragraph 1

paragraph 2

[example link](https://brilliant.org)example link
> This is a quote
This is a quote
    # I indented these lines
    # 4 spaces, and now they show
    # up as a code block.

    print "hello world"
# I indented these lines
# 4 spaces, and now they show
# up as a code block.

print "hello world"
MathAppears as
Remember to wrap math in \( ... \) or \[ ... \] to ensure proper formatting.
2 \times 3 2×3 2 \times 3
2^{34} 234 2^{34}
a_{i-1} ai1 a_{i-1}
\frac{2}{3} 23 \frac{2}{3}
\sqrt{2} 2 \sqrt{2}
\sum_{i=1}^3 i=13 \sum_{i=1}^3
\sin \theta sinθ \sin \theta
\boxed{123} 123 \boxed{123}


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Yes, the lack of a direct link from the email, is more than a bit woeful. Especially, when things get upward and beyond 20 comments. Redoing the subscription system is high priority on our agenda, because as you point out it doesn't scale well.

Peter Taylor Staff - 6 years, 11 months ago

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We are working on extensive fixes to our email notification and subscription system. The Hunger Games Competition thread in particular is absolutely not usable right now. We will be including the text of the comment and a direct link to the comment in future notification emails. We expect to implement these changes some time in the next few weeks. Thanks for the feedback!

Suyeon Khim Staff - 6 years, 11 months ago

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Haha, this is so true. Whenever someone commented on a post with already lots of comments, I click the link in the mail, then just go the general Discussions page because there it's easier to find.

Tim Vermeulen - 6 years, 11 months ago

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