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How to get an on-site notification whenever there is *any* activity by members that I follow?

Andrew Leniart
on
Hello Experts Exchange experts :)

I'd like to get an on-site notification whenever a member I choose to follow posts a question, posts a comment to any question or makes a post. I know I can go to a members profile and check their history, but this is both a cumbersome and tiresome way of doing it. Is there a way to do this that I'm unaware of?

I asked this question in one of the support groups once I think and was told I could set up a saved search that I could use, but I'd have to create a saved search for every member I want to follow and run each search one by one which would take too much time.

For the purpose of this question, let's use Joe Winograd as an example - an expert I find very useful who often posts Video's, answers to questions I haven't participated in or makes a post in a Group discussion. Articles are not an issue because I get notified of all article submissions to EE.

What I need

1. How do I configure my EE settings so that I get an on-site notification whenever there is *any* activity by Joe or anyone else I follow?

or

2. Alternatively, how can I configure a saved search that includes *all* members I want to follow and receive on-site notifications for whenever there is *any* activity by them?

Please include detailed and step by step instructions on any solution to give me this ability.

Many thanks in advance for any help.

Regards, Andrew
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
Under your own profile, under Settings, under Network, you can receive a notification when someone follows you. I don't think that notifies you if they view a post of yours.

I turned following OFF so that people cannot follow me and I do not follow anyone. I don't see this as a problem. People can and do search out my posts (and post their own comments).

We cannot stop people viewing our profiles and if viewing is only occasional , I don't care. If viewing is daily or more frequent, I ask them to stop
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Hi John,

Did you even read my question? :)

I think you've misunderstood my problem. I already get a notification whenever someone follows me and I have no problem with people following me at all, nor if they read a post of mine. All are welcome to follow and read whatever I write and I don't need to be notified if they do so.

Please re-read my question. Your answer makes no sense to me?
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

Commented:
There is no way to get notifications the way you want. I reviewed the settings carefully.

Because of this, and for other reasons, I turned following OFF. That is why I offered the additional comments.

My apologies if I strayed too far off topic
Developer & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
I think John is correct in that following does not work that way.  Instead, create an advanced search.  There is not currently a direct route to advanced search. To get there, search for anything in the search bar, then click advanced search.  From there you will want to tick each type of interaction such as Questions, Solutions, Articles etc.  Next remove the keywords section from your original search and add Members. You can use the username or id, not the friendly name. To find the username, go to their profile and note the url. Joe's profile is https://www.experts-exchange.com/members/joewinograd.html and thus his username will be joewinograd.  

Use this link to view the results for searching joe Search For Joe

Last, you need to save the search.  If you are just clicking the link above, click the Advanced Search link on the results page.  At the bottom of advanced search, there is a box to tick for Save this search.  Once you tick that box, you have options for on-site and/or email notifications.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Thanks for the detailed instructions and example search Scott, very helpful, but that's kind of similar to what I've tried before. though I didn't know I could include more than one member.

The problem with this solution is that it shows ALL contributions/posts/comments the member(s) have ever made, going back years. Is there a way to configure such a search so that only new contributions are listed since the last search was performed?

I've always wondered what the purpose of the "Follow" function was at Experts Exchange as it seems that what I'd like to be able to achieve with members I follow would be a basic function. Following someone doesn't appear to achieve much at all so far as I can see and what I want to achieve is something I would have hopped following people would allow me to do. Am I missing something about the follow function?
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
@Scott
Once you tick that box, you have options for on-site and/or email notifications.
Does that mean that if I click On-site notifications, that I won't have to run the search again and that if any new contributions are made by the EE members I've included in the search will trigger an on-site alert without my needing to run the search again?  If so, I think that would do exactly what I'm trying to achieve.

Can you confirm?
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Commented:
the alerts are only for anything new.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
the alerts are only for anything new.

Brilliant. Thanks for confirming. I'll set that up now for myself :)
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
Many thanks for your help Scott! This should do exactly what I want :-)
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
@Scott Fell

The search function you've shown me appears to work well, but it doesn't seem to work if more than one member is selected. Does this mean that a saved search for each member I want an activity alert for must be created? I thought I could just add more members to the saved search, as in joewinograd "and" member1 "and" member2 etc. But when I do that, I don't seem to get a result when I run the search after adding more members. Does that mean I need to create and save a new search for each member I want an activity alert for?

If you could clarify, I'd much appreciate it.

Thanks...

Andrew
Scott FellDeveloper & EE Moderator
Fellow 2018
Most Valuable Expert 2013

Commented:
On the advanced search, every time you add another member,notice the word AND in bold shows up. This means if you Choose "Joe" and "Scott", you will only see results where both those members are in the same thread.
Andrew LeniartIT Professional | Freelance Journalist | Looking for Opportunities
Author of the Year 2019
Distinguished Expert 2018

Author

Commented:
you will only see results where both those members are in the same thread.

Aha! Now I understand. So to get notifications from individual members I want to follow, then I need to create and save a separate search for each member I want to follow. That makes perfect sense and explains why it wasn't working for me when I included more than one member in the search that I'd saved for Joe Winograd.

Thank you once again for your detailed help Scott, you've been extremely helpful in helping me understand the search function at Experts Exchange. Other's have tried to explain this to me in group discussions but I never did truly understand their explanations. The way you've explained it makes perfect sense to me. You're a legend mate! Thanks a ton! :-)

Regards, Andrew