Notification changes

posted by Patrick Crowley on March 23, 2009 at 8:55 pm

We have made a number of changes to our notification system.

First, going forward, you only be able to receive a notification when new comments are made on theater pages. This feature will not work for other parts of the website (such as our blog, link directory, etc.)

Second, because many users were complaining about receiving phantom notifications (and there was no technical way to fix this problem), we have reset notifications for everyone.

We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused, especially to our most active users. We are working on improved notification system that we hope to debut in the next few months.

Thanks for your understanding.

Comments (42)

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 24, 2009 at 11:40 am

I also wish the email subject line would name the theater, or at least its number, so I don’t have to open each email to see which theater it’s about. It gets very time-consuming, especially if there are multiple posts about the same theater.

kencmcintyre on March 24, 2009 at 12:57 pm

You have to memorize the numbers-1139 is the NuWilshire, 5 is the Los Angeles and so on. I know most of the theaters that are repeatedly commented on.

moviebuff82 on March 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Yup. I’m not getting any notices at all too. I even get notifications to theaters that I haven’t been to, so I don’t subscribe to them at all.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on March 24, 2009 at 4:08 pm

When we reset the notifications, we had to delete everyone’s notification preferences, because many people were getting notifications they no longer wished to receive (and there was no way to change settings for specific users).

So, if you’re not receiving any notifications, that’s why. Going forward, as you make new comments on theater pages, you’ll be able to sign up again for notifications.

Again, we’re sorry for the inconvenience to some of you, but this was the only possible way to fix this feature and make sure it works correctly for everyone.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 24, 2009 at 4:55 pm

Sounds like you threw the baby out with the bathwater. Couldn’t people just remove themselves from the unwanted pages?

HowardBHaas on March 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

All our preferences were deleted! That’s terrible. I realize this isn’t set up as a democracy, but I’d think most of us would have voted to tolerate an occasional phantom email rather than lose track of many theaters we were following.

Al Alvarez
Al Alvarez on March 24, 2009 at 6:26 pm

Patrick, I think this move will hurt most when we lose track of the thousands of old timers who posted their valuable comments on one or two theatres and may never come back without a reminder. Many are not theatre buffs and it seems like wasted email resource list to dump them.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on March 24, 2009 at 9:49 pm

Yes, I have memorized many theater numbers, but you have to first open the email to see the number. And sometimes that’s an awful lot of emails (though apparently not a lot lately!)

shoeshoe14 on March 25, 2009 at 2:14 am

I changed email addresses 2 months ago and emailed you guys 3 times to let you know and i have still not received any comments in my inbox.

Patrick Crowley
Patrick Crowley on March 25, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Thanks for your input, guys. We really wish there was a better way to deal with this problem too.

Unfortunately, we didn’t write the blog system, so there’s no way for us to renumber blog posts as you described, BWChicago. And even if we could, changing those pages would mean that we’d create broken links wherever anyone had linked to them.

We’ve always had a strong community on this site… and I don’t think this temporary setback will jeopardize that.

Thanks again for understanding.

kencmcintyre on March 25, 2009 at 6:48 pm

My wife says thanks. All of the notifications go to her blackberry as well as mine. She asked if CT was mad at me because the e-mails stopped showing up. I told her I hadn’t violated any policies recently, as far as I know.

Bway on March 26, 2009 at 11:02 am

I understand that it was a problem with keep getting emails when they didn’t want them, but this is also quite upsetting, as the only way I would keep current with any of the comments people made in all the theaters I am interested in was through those notifications. Now no one has any idea if someone made a comment in them, without checking every theater, which is a lot for many of us. I wish there was a way to check “watch this theater” or something to that effect so that we would know when commented in a theater, and we could get on that list without just making an “empty” comment to every theater we are interested in to set the emails coming again. Either that, or perhaps a longer running list of “newest comments”, instead of just the last 10 or so theaters with new comments. That way, even if we haven’t signed into the site for a few days, or even a week, we could run through a list to see which theaters have new comments in them.

Patsy on March 28, 2009 at 9:40 pm

“I’d think most of us would have voted to tolerate an occasional phantom email rather than lose track of many theaters we were following.” I agree!!

Bway on March 31, 2009 at 2:21 pm

It wouldn’t be so bad if you didn’t have to make a comment in any theater you want to keep current with, but there isn’t a “watch this theater” box or anything, and I want to avoid having to make empty messages in any theater I would like to recieve notifications on. it’s a shame really that this was the only situation, as it was a wonderful way to keep track of many theaters we have interest in.
I also didn’t mind the occasional phantom email, and much prefer it to what happened, but such is life.

Panzer65 on April 12, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Time to rework the entire site, the interface does seem a bit antiquated.

TLSLOEWS on May 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Cinema Treasures is great just look at CinemaTours it sucks.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2010 at 10:56 pm

TLSLOEWS where is cinematours is like CT? Nick hasn’t said anything about it.

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