If enabled, Category Following allows all users to:
- Follow Categories
- Choose whether to receive in-app and/or email notifications regarding new content in those Categories
📝 NOTE: This feature replaces the legacy Advanced Notifications feature, which was limited to Admins and Moderators.
The importance of Category Following cannot be overstated: these notifications make it much easier for your users to stay updated about the content they find interesting, which in turn increases the overall level of engagement across your Higher Logic Vanilla (Vanilla) community.
Enable Category Following
1. Access the Dashboard.
2. Navigate to Settings > Discussions > Categories.
3. Click the settings icon at the top of the page.
4. Slide the toggle to the right.
5. Click Save.
Follow a Category
When the Category Following feature is enabled, all users will see a bell icon at the top of each Category page.
📝 NOTE: By default, all Categories will be set to Unfollow, giving users the freedom to choose which ones they want to follow.
- To follow a Category, navigate to its page and click the bell icon > Follow Category.
- This action adds the Category to your Followed Content page, available from your profile. Refer to the Followed Content page section below to learn more.
- You'll then need to decide what type of notifications to receive from this Category, if any (more on this in the Notification preferences section below).
Upon following a Category (or when managing your followed Categories on the Followed Content page), you can decide whether to receive notifications about its content via its bell icon.
- Notify me of new posts: This refers to all new posts in the Category, which includes discussions, questions, ideas, etc.
- Notify me of new comments: This refers specifically to comments (replies) made in posts.
- Unfollow: If you’re already following a Category, you can click Unfollow Category at any time to disable all notifications and remove it from your list of Followed Categories.
For these two options, you can control the type of notification received via the the bell and/or email boxes.
- Enable the bell icon boxes to receive near real-time popups directly in the app (at the bottom left of the screen) AND messages in your Notifications Panel.
- Enable the email icon boxes to have emails sent to your personal inbox. Keep in mind this option sends a separate email for each new discussion/comment, which can result in numerous emails, so it's generally only recommended for Categories in which you're heavily invested or interested in.
✔️ TIP: In your personal inbox, these emails may end up in your Spam folder, so be sure to check there if you don't see it.
- All Categories you follow are easily filterable on the
/categories page by setting the View: menu to Following.
- Followed Categories are indicated by a solid bell icon for easy visual reference.
Followed Content page
Any Categories you've followed are added to your profile’s Followed Content page, making it easy to:
- See which Categories you're currently following
- Update their notification options at any time using the bell icons
- Unfollow Categories you're no longer interested in
- You can sort your Followed Categories by Most Recently Followed, Oldest Followed, or Alphabetical.
Set default Followed Categories for your users
Are there specific Categories you'd like all new users to automatically Follow by default, guaranteeing important community content is on their radar? If so, you can configure one or more default Followed Categories for your community.
- "New user" equates to users who have created an account and have logged in at least once.
- These default Followed Categories may also apply to existing users: if an existing user has 0 Followed Categories, they will inherit these defaults upon their next login; if an existing user has Followed at least one Category, they will not inherit these defaults.
Set your default Followed Categories
1. Access the Dashboard.
2. Navigate to Settings > Membership > User Preferences.
3. Click Edit Default Categories.
4. To add one or more Categories, click the dropdown and select them from the list. To remove a Category, click its trashcan icon.
5. For each of your default Categories, decide whether to also set default notification preferences for them. This will determine whether users receive notifications, and what type. Users are free to update these default preferences at any time.
📝 NOTE: Refer to the Notification preferences section of the article to learn more about these two options and the bell and email notification types.
6. Click Save to apply your changes.
Users' Unsubscribe option
By default, all notification emails have an Unsubscribe link at the bottom. Users can click it to be automatically unsubscribed from that notification.
A user who clicks the link is:
- immediately unsubscribed from the notification and
- taken to the Unsubscribe page.
The Unsubscribe page confirms for the user their unsubscribe action.
✔️ TIP: On the page, the user can undo the action to reverse the unsubscribe and continue receiving the notifications.
📝 NOTE: Unsubscribing is unique to the notification that contained the link. Unsubscribing from one notification in a category(e.g., Posts) does not affect other notifications in the same category (e.g., Posts) or notifications from any other categories (e.g., Groups, Community Tasks). Refer to Other notifications in the same category, below.
Other notifications in the same category
A user who is subscribed to several notifications in one category (e.g., Posts, Groups, or Community Tasks), might be receiving multiple notifications for a single action. The user can manage those other notifications as well (as shown below).
- Other "notification subscriptions" in the same category are listed with boxes that can be unchecked to unsubscribe.
✔️ TIP: Users can also click either Manage All Notifications (upper right) or the text, notification preferences page, to access the Notification Preferences page in their profile.
Advanced Notifications (legacy feature)
Categories you were following prior to the launch of Followed Categories (when they were referred to as Advanced Notifications) should remain on your profile, but we do recommend double-checking your selections in your Notification Preferences.
Click the link below to access a video expanding on what you learned in this article.