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Question re Town Forum: How to follow subsequent Replies to comments?

Original post made by psmacintosh, Danville, on Dec 12, 2011

First Issue -- no NOTIFICATIONS of followup comments:
I might be missing something obvious, but I have question about participating in the comments sections of the Town Square Forum.
How does one easily follow the comment threads over ensuing days regarding a topic of some interest?
I don't seem to find an easy way to find and view the followup comments (other people's replies) in the days AFTER I have read and perhaps left a comment (my own reply) to any particular story.
Each day, in the TOWNSQUARE section of the Danville Express, the editor's select several (3) topics to list. These are usually topics that have received some follow-on comments by people. So, to see these follow-on comments (and to keep up-to-date on such comments), one has to click on that topic and scroll to the last comments.
But only three topics are listed and there may be many more topics that received follow-on comments.
So, to really know about and read these follow-on comments, one has to go to the TOWN SQUARE FORUMS section of the online Danville Express (not to be confused with the TOWNSQUARE section of the emailed DE), scroll through all the topics looking for the ones that were of follow-up interest to me, and then click on each topic and scroll down to see if there are any new comments made by anyone.
Other "news" sites that I use have an optional CHECKBOX at the bottom of a reply that allows me to choose whether I want to receive an EMAIL NOTIFICATION that a reply comment has been sent to a particular topic, so that I can be appraised of on-going comments to a subject, even weeks or months after the subject was originally posted.
I don't see such a "notifications" option in the Danville Express (or am I missing it)?
Is there another easier way that people are achieving this result? (If so, please send those suggestions.)
Can DE add this "notifications" feature to their site?
Right now, someone can add some meaningful info or comment to a particular topic and it is hard to know that it was posted. Often it is never read or seen by the previously interested commentators, unless it is posted on the same day or is later "featured" in following days of TOWNSQUARE. So I think that a lot of commentary goes unseen and becomes quickly dead or dormant.

A SECOND ISSUE then arises -- having more than one posting regarding the same topic and breaking the chain of comments.
Sometimes a DE Editor will re-post the same topic (with a new or changed headline) and it starts off a new round of comments. However it does not contain or refer to the PREVIOUS ROUND OF COMMENTS, so many readers are coming into the middle of the commentary (often without any clue thereof). This should not be happening.
It's as if the Danville Express doesn't really care about any of these topics--that it is all about quick, flash-in-the-pan, entertaining people capture, and then quick release of them for the next's day of new capture. I'm feeling like a fish.
Some of these local topics are worth following through with more consistent approach than your current system is doing. I wish you would consider fixing this.

Comments (5)

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Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Dec 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

psmacintosh is a registered user.

Wow, I just see a line at the bottom of the page that says,
"Remove this topic from your tracked list (What's this?)"

Clicking on the link says:
"Track this topic:
"Track this topic" means you will automatically be sent an e-mail when someone posts a comment on this topic. "Remove this topic from your tracked lists" means these e-mail notifications will no longer be sent."

But how do you get the Tracking List to start up in the first place?

Like this comment
Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
a resident of Danville
on Dec 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Hi psmac,

That box to track a thread only appears if you are a registered user after you post a comment. Ironically you are the second person to ask me about tracking threads today, and that question hasn't come up in the four years Town Square has been live. I will suggest to the people who can make those changes that we add that box for people who don't comment and / or aren't registered.

The double thread issue is being addressed. That's annoying for readers and editors.

Thanks for the question!

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Posted by Frank Bravo
webmaster of Danville Express
on Dec 13, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Frank Bravo is a registered user.

The ability to track a topic is reserved for registered users. When you create a topic, there is an option 'Notify me when someone comments on my post' which, when checked will sign you up to receive notifications. You do not need to post and then comment to track.

Also, if you have a topic you'd like to follow, again, if you are a registered user, you'll be able to track the topic. I think you've realized this in your second post.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to post here or email me directly at

Like this comment
Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

1. Well, it seems to me that usually the term "registered user" simply means someone who has Registered, which I did years ago, not the state of being a "logged in" user.
So you're saying that a person has to "log in" (with password) every day and then they'll have this tracking option.
It's interesting that I can do comments/replies without logging in. But that's usually what I do. 99.9% of the time.
Yeah, I'd like to see the ability to "track" with or without logging in.
2. Is there a way to see a list of all the topics that I'm "tracking"? (a location to go?)
Anyway, thanks for the info.

3. PS-
FYI, so far I haven't actually seen the button 'Notify me when someone comments on my post'.
What I saw was "Remove this topic from your tracked lists" ....and when I clicked on it (to see what would happen), it now sends me emails when someone responds to the topic.

Like this comment
Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Dec 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

Thanks for fixing the Verification Code issue!!!
It now usually works with until one entry of the code, regardless of how long I've had the reply box open.
Previously I'd have to enter the Code at least two times to get it to go through as a completed submission.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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