Follow article feature to notify users of article content updates

74 Comments

  • Christian Colding
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    Hi,

    One crucial thing we need to implement before we can send out notifications on articles is the ability for the article editor to decide if they want to notify followers of their changes. Sometimes an article is merely updated to fix spelling errors and in those cases we don't want to inform all users of an update - since there really isn't one.

    Adding that feature is not on our immediate roadmap. While we agree that it's something we should add at some point, we are simply focusing on other things right now. Our main objective is to continue building out our Knowledge Management beta app so it supports editing content and gives more powerful filters. Once that is released we will revisit other features like notifying customers of updates to an article.

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  • Patricia Boskin
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    For me, the option of choosing whether to send a notification or not when I update an article is a nice to have, not strictly necessary.

    That said, it would be nice to have.  :)

    We've come up with a work-around until we have this feature - we're going to ask our content creators to add a comment to the article, briefly summarizing what changed.  This will trigger the notification, and give readers a general idea of what to look for.

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  • Antonio Comelli
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    Any user who decided to follow the article should get the notification upon article's update. Simple as that.

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  • Antonio Comelli
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    As you can see in our help center (support.thron.com) our articles describes specific features of our product, and provide detailed guidelines for partners an integrators. Hence, any customer/partner interested into a specific feature or guideline described in the article explicitly decides to "Follow" the article because he expects that if any change is made on that specific feature/guideline, he would be notified of such change.

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  • Tara Kozuback
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    +1 to Antonio and Lester’s comments.

    We desperately need this feature. It is the #1 request from our users. We have disabled comments on our Help Center for very specific reasons, therefore users cannot currently follow an article on our site. We have many specifications and guideline articles throughout our entire knowledge base that service different partners worldwide. Updates are often made to one spec document or article and we need to notify a specific set of users to that change.

    Currently we ask our users to "follow" a section using the workaround that Frank mentioned on 01/08/2015. Unfortunately, this is less than ideal. Once they follow a section, they get pinged when there are new or updates to any articles in that section, some which do not apply to them causing a lot of unnecessary noise.

    Simply adding the ability for us to either “update” an article or “update and notify” to ping subscribers would be an excellent enhancement.

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  • Heather Rommel
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    +1

    When we make updates to our products, we have to update the training and KB collateral - which I'm sure Zendesk did too with the recent logo and UX updates.  We don't want to post new articles, we just want to update the instructions with the corrected screenshots, and hopefully our users who subscribe to "Article updates" would get an alert that this occurred.

     

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  • Kyle Paulson
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    I'd like to add my vote for this feature as well. A little disappointing to discover the article follow button was only for comments. Glad for the workarounds I found here but it's for sure makes it a bit more manual than I'd like

    I would suggest that the follow button on articles be modified to produce a drop-down when pressed with option for: follow all, follow article updates, follow article comments

    I would suggest that the follow button for sections be modified to produce a drop-down that when pressed has options for follow all, follow article adds, follow article updates, follow article comments.

    If user selects all then all options are checked otherwise user can specify options by section and article as stated.

    I think this makes most sense and would be simple to implement on existing UI with just a bit of backend dev.

    Generally drop-down could appear below button and look like:

     

    Let's get this done Zendesk. :-)

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  • Chris Lowe
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    Hi Zendesk,

    Add another plus one to this feature request.

    We use guide for documenting instruction sets, it is critical that any changes are notified to our technician end users.

    Please, please, please add the ability to optionally notify followers when a document is re-published.

     

    thanks

     

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  • Patricia Boskin
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    Are there any plans to update the 'Follow' feature to include notifications when an article changes?

    Could I get an update on this?

    The workaround (setting the article to draft, editing, and then removing the draft flag) would work for our content providers, it's not likely that I'll be able to get our content readers to follow the section.  Our audience is large, global, and we are hiring all the time.  

    They will see the 'follow' button, and click on it at the article level, expecting to see updates, like I did when I first saw it....  :)

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  • Tom Bradley
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    Hi Christian,

    I would just like to add a +1 to this feature request. 

    Anyone who see's a "follow" button on an article assumes that it will follow for any page updates (not just comments which aren't really used very often on KB articles)

    Kind Regards,

    Tom Bradley

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  • Filip Vertommen
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    +1. We have an article on our 'download' page/section that contains references to the dowload locations for our new releases.

    Everytime we have a new release, we update the article with the new download locations (and the rest of the content of the article stays the same). 

    Our customers want to get notified everytime we have released a new version, and the follow feature would address that requirement perfectly.

     

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  • Antonio Comelli
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    +1 on this request

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  • Lester
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    @Christian

     

    We were also interested in this feature and like Antonio, we try to get people to follow the article.

     

    In our case, the HC is used as our bug database. If a customer reports a bug, we raise it in the HC and ask them to follow it. That way we don’t have to keep Zendesk tickets open for months. Once the bug state changes, (eg someone starts working on it, or it gets assigned to a product release), we update the article and anyone who had the bug and subscribed, gets notification. It's out way of trying to keep customers informed

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  • John Falkus
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    A user should be able to follow an article and have the option of being notified of changes as an opt-in like a mailing list.

    As the publisher of the article, you should then be able to notify users as an option as well that way if the change is significant rather say a typo the follows to get the notification.

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  • Heather Rommel
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    (One more thing...)

    Regarding how it is hard to get customers to follow articles... That would be because for some reason a customer has to sign up to follow articles section by section and can't sign up for an entire category. 

    I don't know about other Zendesk customers here, but we have multiple sections within a category and while we do like the ability for our customers to narrow down their interests, why is all the control (permissions too!) at the section level and not the category and/or the article level?

    Thanks,

    Heather

     

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  • Christian Colding
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    Hi Mary (and all),

    No this is not currently available. We would have to add in the ability to specify if you wanted an update to go out. If you're only changing a few spelling mistakes, you probably don't want to inform your users of changes.

    It's not something we're working on at the moment. We understand the need, but we are simply focusing on other features right now.

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  • Sore
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    +1 for this as well.

    We put our documentation online, and whenever we add something new to our APIs, we usually updated existing articles, and would really like to notify our end-users with these additions, as the majority of our changes are brought to us directly from our customers, so it's highly relevant.

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  • Ehsan Rostami
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    To Zendesk developer:

    Getting notified for updated articles is a useful feature for many types of articles.

    There's only one concern that what if you are just editing a typo! you want your user get notified?

    I don't want it for our KB, But there's a solution for this!

    If the articles have an option for version control, then if the author is fixing a spelling issue, won't change the version, however, if there's a big change to the article's content, then they can modify the version, and the end users can get notified, which is what exactly the users are looking for if they are following an article!

     

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  • Michael Maoz
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    I think it is natural that followers of articles are notified when the articles a updated, what other use cases are for following an article?

    We use articles to allow our customers to be updated with features in our pipeline, a customer who wants to know when a certain feature is released will follow the article and receive the notification.

    Making this a complicated process (some here archive articles and create new ones instead..) makes this tool useless for this purpose..

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  • Evan Nelson
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    Hello,

    The request to add this feature was placed October 22, 2014. That's nearly 5 years ago. 

    Please add my vote for this feature request.

    Use Case:
    We like to update our clients with release notes on a weekly basis. The idea of having to create a new article for each release note is not attractive. I do not want ~50 articles added a year just for release notes. 

    Instead of creating many articles, we would prefer to have a single article for release notes and to update that on a weekly basis. Unfortunately, the ability to notify watchers after an article update is not available. Some of the work arounds mentioned here seem marginal at best. ZD users have been asking for this for so long, please add this feature.


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  • Katie
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    Please add me to this request list as well. This is an urgent need for us.

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  • Hkerkdijk
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    Same here. You can add another one to the request list.

    Common Zendesk, no reaction from your side for the last couple of years?

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  • Kyle Paulson
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    Thank you Hkerkdijk...you made me laugh. I've noticed several tickets like this that have languished for years without movement as well. I have been forming an idea to make an article about the negligence and post links on all the neglected articles to bring "a known bug" to the attention of Zendesk with the hopes that the evaluation process for feature requests gets fixed. This would also simplify things because we could all just follow that article ;-p 

    More seriously though it would help to have more transparency about what kind of traction is needed to get a feature request implemented around here...and if development resources are an issue, then maybe a ticket about negligence really would really help make that a topic of conversation behind the scenes as well.

    That's my two cents!

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  • Hkerkdijk
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    Dear Kyle,

    same here.

    Or copy and paste this link to the 'Get help' chat with a request to investigate?

    Best wishes,

    Henri

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  • Won Lee
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    Add me to the request list as well!  Thanks, Zendesk.

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  • Hkerkdijk
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    Since nobody from Zendesk is watching this anymore for the past couple of years, how do we get the message across?

    I tried the 'Get help' function, but a bot isn't helping any.

    Ideas?

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hi Hkerkdijk

    We are watching this thread. Is there a question we can answer for you? 

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  • Nicole - Community Manager
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    Hi Kyle et al - 

    Unless the product team comes back and tells us that this is already in development, it's not something that will be addressed by the end of next month. Product roadmaps are planned on a quarterly basis, usually several months ahead of time. So if it's not planned for development already, it wouldn't get done this quarter. 

    To give some explanation to how and why some requests stay active but not prioritized for several years, we receive several thousand unique requests every month, and can usually put a dozen or so on a roadmap in a given quarter. As you can imagine, this means that the product manager's job is one of ruthless prioritization. They have to balance improvements to current products with new innovations, and take many factors into account. 

    User feedback is one of the most important data points, but it's not the only one. They look at how many users are impacted, and how significant that impact is to their business (i.e. is something an urgent requirement or a nice to have) They also consider market factors, other things that have to be developed first to lay the groundwork for a given request, and future plans that may serve the need in lieu of the exact solution being requested. They also have to look at the direction of the market, what our competition is building, etc. 

    I realize that this request has been around for a long time, and ideally would have made it on to a roadmap by now, and so this answer may not be so satisfying. We know that our process with the feedback forums hasn't scaled over time - as our customer base has grown and our product line has expanded, we're getting a ton of feedback, and don't have a great way to put it all together, make sense of it, get it implemented, etc. There are currently thousands of active requests, the majority of which we can't prioritize in the immediate future.

    We're looking at ways to change how we collect and act on your feedback, so that it's a better process for everyone involved. I know we've been saying that for a while, too, but we have a lot of folks we have to get on the same page about how we want to collect feedback, how we want to go about implementing it in our product, and how we communicate all of that back out to you. Progress is being made on that front, but we aren't there yet. Thank you for your patience. 


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  • Angela Chahal
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    Yes, that would be great. How do you currently notify users when you update an article?

     

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  • Frank Perazelli
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    We ask our users to Follow the Section. When we post a new article an email is generated to users Following that Section. If we do a major update, we temporarily remove the article by making it a draft item, Update the article and then make our edits, remove the draft checkmark and Update. This is now seen as a new article and out goes an email...

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