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How to make sure you don't miss information that's important to you

Discussion in 'Using the forum - advanced tips' started by peter, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    When you contribute to a discussion, by default you'll Follow that discussion, and be notified of future posts. This is particularly important if you've posted a question and want to know whether it has been answered. If you're no longer interested in a particular discussion click Unfollow discussion (at the top right).

    To follow a discussion to which you haven't contributed click Follow discussion at the top right.

    You can also ask to be notified of new discussions posted in a forum that's of particular interest to you. For example, if you have a 'brick wall' in Hertfordshire you'll probably be interested in postings in the Hertfordshire - More Resources forum. In this case click Watch forum (or Unwatch forum to cancel alerts).

    You can choose whether alerts are sent to you by email, or whether they are added to the list of Alerts within the forum (top right).
    • Good tip Good tip x 2
  2. Katie Bee

    Katie Bee LostCousins Member

    I am finding this option very useful.
    Thank you Peter
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Over the past few weeks I've noticed that I am not receiving some email alerts. Some are reaching me, but others - possibly almost 50% - are not. I have, of course, checked my spam folder but they are not there either.

    Alerts show up normally on the top right of forum pages, it's just some of the email alerts that are vanishing, and I have no idea where or why.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    At the bottom of each email it says "You will not receive any further emails about this thread until you have read the new messages."

    As a result we all have more alerts than we receive emails - the ratio will depend on hoe quickly you respond to emails.
  5. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Thanks, Peter, but it’s not that - it’s times when I should be getting a new email alert, and it’s just not reaching me.

    I did receive the expected email alert for your reply here, but other times when a first reply is made to something I’ve posted, no email alert arrives. It was all working as expected until just a few weeks ago.
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In that case I can only suggest you try using a different email address for the forum. Different email providers treat incoming mail in different ways - I couldn't receive emails from a well-known genealogy newsletter at my LostCousins address, so I had to use my personal address instead.
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I think first I will get in touch with my ISP/email provider to see if there's any reason for emails going astray. It's only been an issue recently, and until now they've always been very reliable. Also, some forum emails are reaching me, so it's not clear cut - ie they are obviously not totally blocking forum emails.
  8. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    There is apparently no obvious reason why any emails sent to me are not arriving - no recent software updates, or known issues on the server. The only correctly addressed emails not delivered to my mail box would be those thought to have suspicious content (eg a virus), in which case they are quarantined and an email notification sent to me. Any emails which can’t be delivered for some reason are bounced. So it seems likely that the missing emails are not reaching their server.
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    That's a typical response from an email provider - it may or may not be true. Why not switch to a different email address for a week and see if it makes any difference?
  10. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Yes, I could try that. However, today - since I mentioned it - all the alert emails have come through OK, so I might wait a few days just in case it’s sorted itself.
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Perhaps your email providers have a conscience?
  12. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I was actually referring to mentioning it here this morning, as I didn't speak to my email provider till later this afternoon - it was more a wry comment on the perverseness of life.

    I don't really think anyway that the issue has (or had) anything to do with my email provider. I've been with them for 17+ years, and while there have been changes along the way, and I won't pretend for a minute there has never been a problem, I've never had the kind of issue with non-delivery of emails that I've seen plenty of others report.

    But I'll monitor things, and if forum emails start disappearing again I'll try a different email address for a while and see if that sorts it.
  13. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    Reading the above - mostly the Pauline/Peter exchanges - I have over time (but it has to be said not for a month or so) had exactly the same problem with failing to get Newsletter reminders. I have emailed Peter on more than one occasion and received similar advice but for me there are sound reasons why I am loath to change even though I have a perfectly good Gmail address not to mention one or two of the Hotmail variety, and one or two ad hoc including would you believe ' spiers.com'.

    I have been with AOL since it was the original American On Line hosted from the USA. I cannot recall the year but it was long ago. At one time I had up to 5 addresses (not counting the one my wife uses) but I eventually settled on one main address which I use for countless registrations and is known to all, family and friends alike. Even though AOL have long sold off their European franchise (now owned by TalkTalk) my main AOL email still reigns supreme. It would take forever and a day to notify any major change which I would only do if TalkTalk upset me enough times to warrant the change; so far they fall well short of that occurrence and in fact have responded favourably when taken to task.

    Should it dawn on me I have not had a Newsletter reminder for some time, my solution is to trot over to LC and check under 'Latest Newsletter' label, perhaps to discover there was one the day before yesterday. Then, for whatever reason they failed to show, reminders return. I have long given up on email Forum alerts, and having read Peter's response to Pauline I can perhaps understand why I get some and not others. My solution now is to just visit the Forum daily and check there, and at the same time view new posts.

    All ISP's encounter problems, some self induced and some caused by external factors, and the media can be awash with reporting them. If such problems affect me I give them chance to explain and keep on to them until I get satisfaction. So until the day I get thoroughly peed off and I meet total indifference; things will remain as they are.
  14. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't think that people should be so tolerant of the way that email providers interfere with incoming mail - if somebody did that with conventional mail it would be a criminal offence.

    The worst cases are the ones where the emails disappear into a 'block hole', ie the sender has no idea that the email hasn't got through and the recipient has no idea that an email was sent. Yahoo are the worst infringers.

    AOL are not blameless because they will sometimes reject emails for no good reason, and it can be very difficult for the sender to know whether or not to leave the person on the mailing list.

    But the worst culprits are the recipients who designate emails as spam rather than removing themselves from the mailing list. This lazy behaviour can lead to other people not getting the emails they have asked to receive (indeed, this seems to be what happened in the BT/Yahoo case over a year ago, when thousands of LostCousins members couldn't receive my emails even if they whitelisted the LostCousins email address).

    If you know you have a problem with a particular sender (eg the forum) the sensible thing to do is divert those emails to another address, such as Gmail. They can still be forwarded from Gmail to your usual address, so it's no less convenient, but it means there's a copy on the Gmail server so you can see what has gone wrong.

    Changing your email address for the forum is a trivial inconvenience because you can use your username to log-in.
  15. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I agree, which is one reason why I've stayed so long with my current provider.

    Since I first posted about this I have been receiving most notification emails (as opposed to only about half of them earlier in the month), though I missed one I should have received in the early hours of this morning.

    I will try a different email address but may wait until after Christmas to do so.
  16. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    All had been working fine over Christmas, but this morning I missed two notification emails.

    So I've now changed to a different email address, but the email I should have received to confirm that email address didn't arrive, which is a bit ominous. I requested a new confirmation email and fortunately that arrived within seconds, so that's a relief.

    Now to see if normal notification emails reach me any more reliably.
  17. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    My problem with missing forum notification emails is continuing and I have been running various tests to see where the problem lies. It seems there may be an intermittent DNS issue somewhere along the line resulting in some emails to me from the forum being wrongly rejected as having an invalid sender domain.

    In other words it seems to be a 'behind the scenes' technical issue at my end, and it's nothing to do with spam, blacklisting or inappropriate interference with incoming mail.

    Anyway, having mentioned the problem here I thought an update might be appropriate.
  18. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Pauline, if it is any consolation, when I sent out my latest newsletter some of the first emails bounced back saying that our server had been blacklisted by Spamhaus (absolutely not true, as I was able to verify in minutes). Amongst those bounced emails was my own copy! Thankfully it was just a handful, but it could have been much worse.

    I don't know what caused the problem on this occasion, but a previous incident some years ago was said to be the result of the Spamhaus server being slow to respond, and the recipient's server being set to reject emails in the event of a time-out. I only mention it in case it gives you any clues.....
  19. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I guess it could be a time-out causing the DNS issue and that could explain why it is only happening intermittently.

    I think I am going to have to live with this problem in the short term, and in the meantime look around for a suitable new host for my domain etc. I've known for a while that I would have to do this eventually as my current provider is gradually giving up on domain hosting, but now I'm thinking it should be sooner rather than later.
  20. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    Looking around the Forum in an effort to find out if I'm doing something wrong I came across this discussion.
    First, it echoes one discussion I started about not receiving emails from Ancestry. I was alerted by email every time somebody added to that discussion.
    Second, I replied to a discussion about Private versus Public Ancestry trees (or is it vice versa) but did not receive any email alerts for the ensuing comments. It was only when I read Peter's newsletter that I realised I had been missing those emails and when I did locate the discussion I had to read about 14 pages that I had not seen.
    It seems odd that I get Peter's newsletters but no longer get alerts about my followed discussion which incidentally is not in my watched Discussions and I wonder why?
    I definitely have ticked the Follow and receive email Options, as I have done with this comment.

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