We continue our march to being a comment notification system for sites of any size with the release of Postmatic 2.1.
This release sees the addition of two new models for how comments should be delivered to subscribers as well as improvements to email previews in Gmail and most email applications.
Replies-only mode for the busiest conversations
By default Postmatic uses a smooth combination of comment frequency and machine learning to decide which comments are worth emailing to subscribers.
- Comments are checked for reading level, length, and relevance. Only the best are deemed worthy of an email.
- If a post gets too chatty in a short period of time we withhold new comments and save them up for a daily digest. Direct replies are still sent immediately to the person being replied to.
This system works very well for posts with hundreds of comments, but what if you are subscribed to dozens of posts? Even under the best circumstances you would still be getting dozens of comment digests in your inbox each day. For large sites this is a problem.
Which comments plugin (or whatever) is used for the postmatic and replyable blogs? What exactly am I seeing used here? Is Epoch still under development? It seems it has not been updated in 2 years. What’s the plan?
The new Replies-only mode solves it. In the Configured Comments tab of the Postmatic dashboard there is a new toggle which enables it. Once enabled, subscribers will only receive direct replies to their own comments. It’s a good solution for certain kinds of sites.
The risk of going replies-only
I’m not too keen on the Direct Replies Only option – for me, it’s essentially reverting blog conversations to siloed conversations, which benefits no-one. A number of times I’ve had extra conversations spring up after a comment digest has gone out shows the value of open conversations.
That is a fair word of warning, but which brought us to our next idea…
Replies-only + Daily Digest mode!
As a kind of middle ground between replies-only mode and the default behaviour we’ve made it possible to send direct replies to comment subscribers, but also keep them in the loop at the end of the day with everything else they missed in the conversation. We’ll probably make a tidy checkbox to enable this in the future, but for now all you need to do is set the trigger for Comment Digests to 1. That will do the trick.
Inbox previews for increased open rates
We made some crafty improvement to the way Postmatic emails display in your inbox. Most modern email clients display a list of your emails and prominently show who the email is from, when it was sent, what the subject is, and the first 2 or 3 lines of the message contents – which is handy for seeing if a message is worth opening.
In Postmatic 2.1 we take advantage of message previews to display the post excerpt or, in the case of a comment notification, the first few lines of the comment. It’s a small tweak that should make things easier for those of you who live in your inbox. It looks like this in Gmail. Notice where the excerpt is showing up:
These improvements will be making their way to Replyable later in the week. Use that new replies-only mode wisely 🙂