Throughout the years (and it’s been many) we often heard the request for notifications. Users wanted to be notified when other users replied to their comments, they wanted to be able to follow forum threads and all the other follow/subscription tools that your everyday forum might have. Nothing revolutionary.
My hesitation a few years ago in developing this was that notifications were annoying. I didn’t like when my inbox was flooded by the likes of MySpace and random other message boards I belonged to. They were essentially emails begging for additional page-views. I didn’t want to do this to my users either.
Within the last 12-24 months, you’ve seen less annoying and less obtrusive email notifications. Facebook does it well (and look how well it’s thriving) as does Quora. Notifications should be informative but straight to the point. With Facebook, your notification is the email — you see the comment reply in your email, you see who liked your post and so on. Facebook doesn’t beg you to come back in their notifications. And this is what made us realize that we, too, can (finally) do notifications without, for lack of better wording, annoying the crap out of you.
So I’m proud to announce that within the next couple of weeks, notifications v1 will be a feature of SongMeanings. The first phase will focus around replies to your comments as well as notifying you when your comments are rated up. The next round of notifications will be larger and at the site-level, so think getting a notification when Weezer releases new lyrics.
You’ll have the power to control notifications. Don’t want email notifications? Fine by us, just switch the preference. Only want a notification when someone replies to your comment? Cool, just set the preference.
Our notifications are via email and while you’re browsing the site. When you’re logged in, you’ll see a notification icon next to your username in the top right. If the circle is orange, it means you have a new notification. Clicking on the icon brings you to our notification center. And email notifications are just that, an email from us; straight to the point and informative.
We’re aiming for the middle of August to release this feature out in the wild. We’re excited; it’s a feature that is much needed on SongMeanings.