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Mar 21, 2019 12:36:42

Notifications need to be useful

by @brandonwilson PATRON | 260 words | 546🔥 | 546💌

Brandon Wilson

Current day streak: 546🔥
Total posts: 546💌
Total words: 198007 (792 pages 📄)

I was inspired by a recent post by @santhoshguru discussing the value of social media. 

Specifically I want to talk about notifications. I have a running joke about Facebook. I wonder what is the minimum number of notifications I see where I am guaranteed to see something I'm actually interested in. I think it's around five. Some of the notifications I like: Someone's birthday, someone commented on one of my posts. But so many notifications mean nothing to me. Someone added to her story. So what. XX page has new posts. Meh. You have a new friend suggestion. Oh goody. 

LinkedIn is also notorious for terrible notifications. You appeared in nine searches this week. So what. Someone viewed your profile. And?? 

I suppose there are ways to customize these notifications for each app, and I thought at one time I did that. But the rules keep changing, and now I guess I have to get under the hood again to refine notifications to the extent it is possible. 

Notifications need to be useful. For example, the notifications in 200WAD are very useful. I know when I see even one notification, it's going to be something thoughtful or at least well intentioned for me to pay attention. Hopefully @basilesamel keeps these clean.

I think there is a lesson here for people who develop products that use notifications. Provide users with many options to customize notifications and make it easy. If I get notification fatigue, I'm liable to just turn off all notifications, which will result in less engagement with the product. 

  • 1

    @brandonwilson Those guys don't have our interest at heart when building the product. They just wanna have us come back for the sake of the advertisers.

    Seun Oyebode avatar Seun Oyebode | Mar 23, 2019 23:52:09
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    YOu need to define a technical term for this. like the Wilson Ratio. haha

    the ratio as to what amount of notifications useful out of received.

    200WAD = 1 Wilson Ratio
    Facebook = .00000000000000001 Wilson Ratio

    Abe avatar Abe | Mar 22, 2019 16:16:32
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      @abrahamKim That is fantastic! This gave me a good chuckle. I think Facebook and LinkedIn would be neck and neck for the worst ratio with LinkedIn probably at the bottom.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 22, 2019 08:58:21
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      haha I'll take your word for it because I haven't been on either platforms in years.

      Btw, referring back to your comments about your bloodwork results and type 2 diabetes. T2D is caused by the cells no longer responding to insulin... because the host '' that's you in this case the guy stuffing food in his mouth ' no longer eats/lives in a manner that triggers insulin in a way that seems useful to cells.

      Like normally insulin is super useful... just ask any type 1 diabetic like @keni . However, if one constantly 'notifies' cells to take in glucose even when they have been stuffed with it, they will start to resist the notifications... and even turn it off one day GASP..

      Abe avatar Abe | Mar 24, 2019 13:57:25
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      @abrahamKim Yes I have learned a lot about diabetes since my diagnosis. And I am 100% committed to reversing it.

      Brandon Wilson avatar Brandon Wilson | Mar 24, 2019 12:02:37
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    @brandonwilson I agree with you about notifications! They should be easy to turn off, too. The apple calendar one comes to mind. It still gives a (1) even if I've accepted an invite.

    Kathleen Celmins avatar Kathleen Celmins | Mar 22, 2019 07:21:34
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    @brandonwilson Great observation. Like a UNICODE consortium, wouldn't it be nice for a "Notifications" consortium of social media companies (FB, Twitter, LinkedIn) and mobile OS companies (Apple, Google) and define a standard on how to send, customize, partially-opt-out of notifications. Some notifications are extremely useful and some are useless, it also is context/user dependent. Wish someone pioneers this.

    Santhosh Guru avatar Santhosh Guru | Mar 22, 2019 12:02:31
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    @brandonwilson - Interesting observation and feedback for this site as well. I have disabled a lot of notifications for the exact reason you stated. Keeping things clean and simple is becoming rare and hard to find.

    Keni avatar Keni | Mar 22, 2019 01:06:47
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