One of the most powerful aspects of Confluence is its email notification of new and changed content. This topic has been discussed in Confluence forums since at least 2006, but no significant action has been taken by Atlassian except for renaming the "Minor change" box to "Notify watchers." I still haven't seen any posting that summarizes the issues as my wiki users and I see them. Since this is the "Ask a question" forum, mine is: what is it going to take for Atlassian to address this very long standing issue?
The problem is that users receive too many email notifications that most people consider unhelpful at best and very annoying at worst. The control mechanisms currently available in Confluence are inadequate to control sending email notifications, and "watch" options available to users can not make up for this deficiency.
We can divide actions and content into new, edited and removed pages, comments, news, and attachments as summarized below:
The X shows the only option, as far as I can tell, for preventing sending email notifications.
Per this chart, email notifications are automatically sent out for ALL combinations EXCEPT for edited pages based on whether users check the "Notify watchers" option box. This same box could easily be made available for editing comments and blog entries and adding or removing attachments. (Searching Confluence forums for "minor change" provides several conversations on this matter back at least to 2006.)
We find particularly annoying email notifications resulting from removing or moving content. As administrator, I have removed pages, comments, and attachments as inappropriate or obsolete and have almost certainly not wanted to bring attention to that removed content. I also move pages, frequently to archival folders, and the only way to prevent email alerting messages from blasting users is to turn off the email function as an administrator. Using WebDAV to move or remove entries generates email blizzards.
We also believe email notifications about attachments (added, moved, or removed) to be of very low value. Attachments are almost always supporting or described by the page content itself which will be the subject of its own email notification.
My users and I believe it is past time for Atlassian to provide users and administrators better control in Confluence over sending these email notifications. This includes, but is not limited to, improving the "Notify watchers" option with clear option buttons or similar mechanisms as discussed in other forum entries.
I look forward to elaboration of this issue by other users and action by Atlassian on this matter.
Thanks, Lucas. I just posted it at https://jira.atlassian.com./browse/CONF-27130. This posting on Atlassian answers was intended to be another forum to generate interest, since I hadn't been able to via https://jira.atlassian.com./browse/CONF-14888.
As far as I am concerned, the reason the Confluence community isn't rallying around this issue is because the people who converse via the JIRA/Confluence platform aren't the same people who actually use Confluence within your customers' organizations. The latter are greatly annoyed by the results of the lack of control, whereas the former don't use the systems and don't get the blizzard of notifications. In that case, it is up to Atlassian to make a decision to the significant benefit of the users and whether or not administrators can empathize with their users. I believe it is time for Atlassian to implement this very useful improvement even if it means delaying for a bit some fancy new bells and whistles.
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