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Extend Follow System: Let Users Be Engaged With Content Creators

Divvens

Well-known member
#1
Note: With 2.0 in development, I think this suggestion would help. Even if not in 2.0, for consideration in future updates. Stating this clearly that I'm not suggesting it for XF 1.x branch.
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The follow system is not very useful currently, yes we have a news feed but the news feed cannot be filtered and in a time where users are more used to alerts and subscriptions of sorts, it is not very intuitive to use. I personally have never used the news feed myself in over 5 years of using XenForo. But the follow system is a great system that can be built up on, to keep users engaged with content they like from content creators they like.

I'm sure every community has those few gem members who contribute with great content, whose content people like to read and engage with. And while "watch" options for forums/galleries/categories helps, it gives users notification of content they may not be interested in - and in the process brings down the value of the whole "watch" system currently in place. Don't get me wrong, watching a forum/gallery/category is great if a user wants to keep up with activity within a particular section, but what if a user wants to stay up to date with content of a particular user?

Extending Follow Options
While a user follows another user, I suggest some options to be made available, example;

Follow user X and

  • Receive an alert when X adds new threads
  • Receive an alert when X adds new resources
  • Receive an alert when X adds new media
  • Receive an alert when X adds new posts
  • Receive an alert when X adds new status update
This can be extended by add-on authors to include their content too, such as showcase entries or other add-on related content.

By extending the follow options, it adds a lot of value to the whole follow/follower system and gives users the option to be engaged with content creators they like. The "Users you follow" page can then contain all these options with a list of all user one follows, where they can manage all their followed users individual alert settings.

Preference can be given to alerts that someone you follow generates, i.e if you watch a forum and a member you follow creates a thread in it, instead of 'new thread in watched forum' it'd just be 'X created a new thread in Y forum' - XF already handles alert priorities in certain cases, so this should be do-able.

I know there is an existing suggestion for alerts for new status updates by followed users, but that was limited to just status update while this suggestion concentrates on all content, including resources & media.
 

Alfa1

Well-known member
#3
I think this suggestion would be really useful. It is basically a 'Watch Member' function.
Our users are already used to this functionality on all social media. My members have been requesting this function for many years.