17 Replies Latest reply on Nov 24, 2015 9:50 AM by nick

    Email Digest vs Streams

    jamie.battin

      Hi All,

       

      We are on Jive 7.0.2 hosted and we are analyzing a move to cloud.  We have a few things to consider, one of the biggest obstacles for us
      is our "Daily Email Digest"

       

      We currently have approx 24,000 customers in our external community.  We have a diversified portfolio of products and as such we have approx
      70 spaces and 35 groups.  Our spaces are aligned by product and our groups are aligned by customer advisor and customer development partners etc.

       

      Our customers have become very comfortable with our custom once a day email that summarizes the content in a space.  Users can indicate the
      spaces they want in the digest and the system pushes an email once a day to them.  Our users have not fully embraced the idea of going to the spaces
      and have not fully embraced, streams vs. email.  It is a challenge for us to say the least.

       

      I am very interested to hear from other external community mgrs who successfully helped their community make a similar transition.

       

      Thanks in advance for your comments.

       

      Jamie

        • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
          Billy Volpone

          Great question Jamie. Initially, I think I would first approach this from a change management standpoint. The goal being that users, over time, can/should ideally get more comfortable with being in community more than email (at least for core engagement with content). That's how we aim to drive higher participation and creation ratios over pure "lurking". There are many ways we can strategize this of course and others may have great thoughts too for paths already taken.

           

          As for pure a pure consumption discussion, have you looked at the possibility of leveraging our new News feature? This would allow for a more curated approach, even broken down by groups of users, that is aiming at top and trending for specific aspects of the community instead of requiring users to follow and create their own streams. If offering up unique and silos News feeds though, you would need to create dynamic permission groups via the admin as to assign the correct user groups to the correct news feeds. Plenty to discuss here, but I'm seeing it used in practice more and more... even though mostly as a trending feed over pure "official" content. Example: News | The Macmillan Community

            • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
              gordon_sorensen

              Billy - I have spent the last hour trying to figure out where things went to build a new custom stream that I want to name Email Watches so I can instruct our members how they can have email notifications sent to their email inboxes for: comments/replies to content they create, or have notifications sent on specific content they follow or a space they follow. We have 35K+ electronic engineers who are our members, plus about another 25-30K+ just migrated over from integrated a legacy ideas site into our Jive community site.

               

              Don't take this the wrong way, and I really say this in the nicest way possible, but I think this perspective is delusional: "The goal being that users, over time, can/should ideally get more comfortable with being in community more than email (at least for core engagement with content)." This is NOT what our customers want. They will go to the community to submit a question or idea or to follow something, but they have NO INTEREST in being in the community more than email. They see that as a detriment.

               

              Jive has changed the ability to get notifications in your email so much I have no idea how to instruct users to do it anymore. I can't find even where to create a custom stream now. We are not interested in implementing the News stream  at this point. I am fortunate -- when we up versioned a year ago, the "receive Email Notifications" automatically created an Email Watches stream that shows whenever I want to follow something. But things have changed a lot just since then (we are a cloud customer). I need to understand how to instruct thousands of new members how to get notifications in their email inbox. I wish Jive would understand that not everyone wants to live in a Jive community.

               

              End of rant. Open for dissenting opinions, virtual rotten tomatoes or, for those that may be in agreement, boo-yahs.

                • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                  Kara Francis

                  I 100% agree with Gordon that Jive has an opportunity to improve the concept of notifying users of new or modified content.

                   

                  (In our community you have to go to news to create a new stream (link along the top - maybe it is different for you without news enabled))

                   

                  Our users live in their email box but also like that the content resides in the community. But they want to consume it in their email. Personally, I wish the daily digest could include a link to everything that is new or modified and organized by place for the content or places I am following.

                   

                  The daily digest only includes a few entries. Can that be changed?

                   

                  Also,  I think the idea of at least two default steams should exist.  Emails on and emails off. Saves users from having to create their own stream or know to edit the old "connections stream" to enable emails. In my first jive community we went from 4.5 to 6 on premise and the email watch stream was created to address the legacy functionality and merge with the new functionality. But that should have been a standard for everyone (new users created after our upgrade did not have the email watch stream)

                   

                  Although my two communities are much smaller (and both on the cloud), we hear the same thing from our users as what Gordon has described.

                  1 person found this helpful
                    • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                      gordon_sorensen

                      Thank you, Kara. I have hollered about this ever since we moved to the cloud about a year ago. And all I see is it gets harder to figure out how to a) follow a space or piece of content and b) have that notification on the Follow delivered to your email box. I literally do not know how to ensure to our new members that when they create a discussion and someone replies to it, that notification of that reply lands in their email box so they can respond from their email. I tried it with a test account to create a new idea, commented on that idea under a different account, and got no notification of that comment in the test account email box. And my Preferences on the test account are set to inbox notification On. And while on the topic, why does Jive still have THREE things in the Preferences all called the same thing (Inbox)?

                       

                      Gotta go…blood pressure is peaking…….

                        • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                          Kara Francis

                          yes, they really should rename those preferences - and most people don't really understand the difference as new users since they aren't familiar with those features yet

                           

                          I also think that a default setting must be "off" for actions notifications.  Our users tend to not be notified when they have been invited to join a group.

                           

                          Does Jive ever hold focus groups or user experience testing with its customers?  I used to work for an organization that had 60,000 users on a competitor's social collaboration platform.  At their annual awesome conference at Disney World they had user experience labs that I hung out in for two to three hours a day.  It was one of my favorite things to do at the conference (since it used to be more technical (and too technical for me as the business owner and end user advocate) since I could talk face to face to those on the product team and have them see how excited we were about some features or how non-intuitive other features were - and for some features we were able to provide feedback BEFORE the code was implemented for users.  I'd love to be in a Jive focus group or user experience test if Jive does those.  Posting ideas in the community or having these conversations are nice, but I'd still like other avenues to share real, candid feedback with the product managers and hear their responses and to get a true sneak peak of what they are working on and be able to provide feedback before the "preview" site is launched.   For example, Jennifer mentioned that the email digests are receiving an overhaul - it would be great to get an idea of what the mock-ups look like to provide feedback before extensive coding changes happen. 

                          • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                            Kara Francis

                            yes, they really should rename those preferences - and most people don't really understand the difference as new users since they aren't familiar with those features yet

                             

                            I also think that a default setting must be "off" for actions notifications.  Our users tend to not be notified when they have been invited to join a group.

                             

                            Does Jive ever hold focus groups or user experience testing with its customers?  I used to work for an organization that had 60,000 users on a competitor's social collaboration platform.  At their annual awesome conference at Disney World they had user experience labs that I hung out in for two to three hours a day.  It was one of my favorite things to do at the conference (since it used to be more technical (and too technical for me as the business owner and end user advocate) since I could talk face to face to those on the product team and have them see how excited we were about some features or how non-intuitive other features were - and for some features we were able to provide feedback BEFORE the code was implemented for users.  I'd love to be in a Jive focus group or user experience test if Jive does those.  Posting ideas in the community or having these conversations are nice, but I'd still like other avenues to share real, candid feedback with the product managers and hear their responses and to get a true sneak peak of what they are working on and be able to provide feedback before the "preview" site is launched.   For example, Jennifer mentioned that the email digests are receiving an overhaul - it would be great to get an idea of what the mock-ups look like to provide feedback before extensive coding changes happen. 

                        • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                          Jennifer Kelley

                          Hi, Gordon - thanks for your perspective, and I want to clear up any misunderstandings about the Jive-x Cloud feature set as it pertains to email preferences and notifications.  There certainly have been changes in Jive's feature set there over the years with the addition of custom streams and News, but email notifications and digests still play a critical part in how end users engage in our Jive-x communities.

                           

                          There are a few options that relate to configuring and fine-tuning email notifications in current Jive-x Cloud environments, a couple of which are changes you will likely want to educate and train your end users on, I'll try to summarize here and point you to the relevant documentation and perhaps Billy Volpone has some other tips and tricks he can share too.

                           

                          1. News streams - these are set up by the administrator and allow you to "push" targeted content to defined lists of users based on security group or profile field data.  For each News stream you decide if you want to email enable it or not (i.e., have it result in an email notification).  There is more documentation in the The specified item was not found. group and here: Creating a News Stream for Specific Users or Creating a News Stream for Everyone
                          2. Custom streams - these are set up by end users, as you know, so they can consolidate stuff they follow into a single stream or view.  The user can decide whether to get e-mail notifications on activity from that stream or not.
                          3. Email Digests - these haven't gone away and there is some design overhaul on the horizon to make these more engaging.
                          4. Email Preference settings - the preference options change to become more granular to correlate with the features above.  It's always a good idea to remind your users to check and periodically fine tune their preferences to make sure they are engaging and staying up to date the way they want.

                           

                          I hope that helps as a start.  Jamie Battin thank you for posting the original question and please reply if we haven't fully answered.  I'd be curious to know if you have a customization in place today for your digests? 

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                            spearce

                            It boils down to one simple concept; members of the community want one inbox. 

                            I understand them.  At work, I have my Outlook inbox, my Engage (jive-based) inbox, my Jive Community inbox and one more inbox.  To respond in a timely fashion across platforms, I need a centralized view.

                              • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                                gordon_sorensen

                                And I would add, at least in the case with my colleagues within Mentor that respond to community posts frequently and I believe also our customers, that one centralized view is  NOT in Jive. Sharon - you're at Alcatel-Lucent who is one of Mentor's customers. Would be interested to know what area of AL and maybe we can talk off line about your use of Jive.

                          • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                            nick

                            Thanks for all the feedback regarding email notifications and alerts. I'm sorry this experience has been frustrating for you. I'll add some additional information that might help and we'll also take this feedback to see how we can make some improvements going forward.

                             

                            Kara Francis - the subscription stream email notification issue should be fixed. Let me know if you have a specific JIRA id and I can follow up, but I'm not currently aware of any open issues around subscription stream email notifications not being sent. I know there was one a few months ago, but that should have been resolved a while back.

                             

                            Regarding email notification preferences for an end user, let's start with a screenshot for the email preferences in our latest cloud version.

                             

                            Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 10.57.27 PM.png

                            Receive Notifications is the master switch for enabling / disabling all email notifications in Jive. If this is turned off, the user will not receive any email from the Jive system. It's mostly used in conjunction with the unsubscribe links we include at the bottom of the email notifications, since we are lawfully obligated by anti-spam laws to include a global way to disable email.

                             

                            The next item you see is a subscription stream. I'm automatically subscribed to a company news stream. I can choose to receive email for activity in that stream or not.

                             

                            The next item is the Inbox. Anything the user creates or participates in will appear in their inbox. And any future activity on any content the user created or participated in will also appear in the inbox. By default, email notifications are enabled for this type of inbox activity.

                             

                            Inbox: Direct Social Actions is another set of content that can appear in your inbox. Instead of content you are participating in, this is the content that is directly sent to you, either through mentioning or shares. We've had many requests over the years to make this a specific email notification setting, as many users want to enable email when they are mentioned but not for everything else in their inbox.

                             

                            Inbox: Alerts will include the last set of inbox activity like notifications, group invitations, tasks, etc.

                             

                            Inbox: Moderation will only appear if you are a moderator in the system, but enabled you to receive email alerts when new items are in the moderation queue.

                             

                            Following is the default activity stream (used to be called Connections Stream) that includes everything a user chooses to Follow. This includes people, places, content, and tags. The idea is that users can simply follow what they want in the community, and then turn email on / off for everything they are following.

                             

                            But often, power users that follow a lot of things want to group / organize their follows. To do this, they create a number of custom streams so they can follow certain people or projects in different buckets. Email settings can be enabled / disabled per stream so that users can tailor their email alerts when they get to this advanced of a stage.

                             

                            The final thing is the email digests that include a summary of activity the user hasn't viewed in the system, based on global trending, inbox content, and activity streams. This can be set to daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or never.

                             

                            If a user does nothing in the system, they should get email notifications for all activity in their inbox. They can then follow anything they are interested in and they can enable or disable email notifications for everything they are following. If they want to segment their follows into buckets to have email on for some and not others, they can use custom streams for this purpose.

                            2 people found this helpful
                              • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                                jamie.battin

                                Thanks all for your participation in this thread. I had been feeling like our customers were the ones that were "out of step" regarding their desire for email communications and specifically a digest. 

                                 

                                gordon_sorensen your customers sound similar to mine in that they rely heavily on email.  I fear that transitioning them to an on-line approach will impact customer sat, and we will loose engagement.

                                 

                                We have 70+ spaces and 30+ groups with a VERY diversified portfolio of products.  For us quite frankly the email digest and the news feed in cloud is an absolute non-starter.  Our customers will not gain any value from this.  I understand that News can be organized by interest groups, but based on our diverse community it would impossible to construct something that would be meaningful to the masses.

                                 

                                We are on 7.0.2 hosted.  We worked with JCS to build a daily digest stream.  On a space by space, group by group basis a customer can follow any space to their daily digest stream.  The extra value we have provided is to then push out an email based on that stream.  It runs overnight so when they arrive at work, their digest email is awaiting their review.  AND that digest is 100% tailored to what they choose to follow to the digest.

                                 

                                Billy Volpone and Nick Hill and Jennifer Kelley I would love to continue to dialogue on this.  I completely understand the Jive prod strategy regarding being in the community.  But with external users engaged in such a wider variety of systems and solutions,  email becomes the common denominator for all.  Customer email brings everything together for them.    I completely and agree with Gordon's assessment and I think that Kara Francis   has a great for a focus group.  I will be the first to sign up.

                                 

                                As I said we are on hosted 7.0.2 looking to move to cloud and based on others experiences am now even more hesitant.

                                 

                                Thanks for listening.....Jive folks we await your response.

                                  • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                                    gordon_sorensen

                                    Jamie - this sounds great: "On a space by space, group by group basis a customer can follow any space to their daily digest stream.  The extra value we have provided is to then push out an email based on that stream.  It runs overnight so when they arrive at work, their digest email is awaiting their review.  AND that digest is 100% tailored to what they choose to follow to the digest."

                                     

                                    Unfortunately it had to be custom work. It would be great to have the ability to check a few boxes to create an email digest that "is 100% tailored to what they choose to follow to the digest."

                                      • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                                        jamie.battin

                                        Gordon, you hit the nail on the head.  100% tailored to what they choose to follow.

                                         

                                        Unfortunately, we are now in the difficult position of having this kind of customer focused approach in production.  As we evaluate cloud, the functionality around digest pales in comparison and we are faced with the very difficult decision of moving to cloud for very good business reasons vs moving to cloud and disappointing our customers.

                                    • Re: Email Digest vs Streams
                                      gordon_sorensen

                                      Nick - thanks for this detail. While I am aware of much of it, it helps to reinforce a few concepts, plus there are a few new details, too. However, I do have a few questions and will post them later after I can digest this a bit further.