What would cause a new user to automatically be watching a space?

Sometimes when new users are created they then email us soon after asking us to stop the notifications that they are being bombarded with. It turns out that these are page activity notifications because they are subscribed to a space, but they don't remember subscribing.

Is there anything in Confluence that automatically enrolls people in these sorts of notifications? Is it perhaps the new user onboarding screen that asks users what team they are on? Can we disable that onboarding screen?

We're using Confluence Server 5.10.7

1 answer

The problem is a bit of a conundrum

Confluence is a Knowledge Management System

... but Knowledge is only Knowledge when people know when new Knowledge is created or edited!

And it is a collaborative tool that gives them opportunity to contribute when they see something that needs their input to the collective Knowledge ... which means collectively we want them to see it so they can help us as much as collectively we inform them.

If you are in charge of a group of people that have their own Space, you generally want them all to be notified in one way or another every time something is done in the Space ... simply because in the "old days" you would send a flurry of emails everywhere passing on information but of course six months later it is hard to find the information in the Inbox ... what Confluence does is store that information in a structured repository of pages and manages sending all those emails.
So in principle the number of emails they see is no different to everyone doing a "Reply All"

On one hand, most people don't like, or just won't remember to manually check a list of web sites every day or even once a month "in case" they missed something.

On the other hand if they don't see any activity they assume that nothing is happening and loose interest completely

(and I wonder how many crap Facebook/Twitter/.... social media stuff they happily drool over for hours on end)


Lots of email notifications are easy to handle - they just set up a Rule in their Inbox that any notification emails identified by the sender or title get automatically moved to a specific folder.  Then they can spend a couple of minutes whenever they want just scrolling through them to see what is important to read in detail.
I actually have "coordination oversight" of some 170 Spaces for our industry Association.  I see LOTS of emails but it takes me just a couple of minutes at most to check them every day but at least I have an awareness of what is going on.

You might need to investigate what they mean by too many emails and what the content is that they are being notified about

In general I would say it is in their own control depending on the default settings

If you go to your Watches list, on the very bottom of the page (yes, annoyingly not very obvious) you can set your email notifications for certain things such as subscribing to blog posts and daily summary notifications as well as watching any page they contribute to.

Then separately they need to check their Space itself if they have that Space set to "Watch all content" or just certain pages ...



Good reply @Rodney Hughes  As the primary admin for a Confluence instance of about the same number of spaces as Rodney mentions (almost 200), and 7-8000 users, my observations and opinions match Rodney's. 

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