News notifications to be displyed in BOINC manager, too

Questions and Answers : Issue Discussion : News notifications to be displyed in BOINC manager, too
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Michael H.W. Weber
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Message 298 - Posted: 8 Aug 2020, 7:57:20 UTC

When writing NEWS postings, I recommend ticking the checkbox to also copy the news section's information to the contributor's local BOINC manager info panel. Only few people find the time to regularly visit your BOINC project website.

Only today I noticed that after the last NEWS notification in the BOINC manager posted on 18th of July there have been two more informative postings which escaped my attention.

Michael.
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bozz4science

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Message 299 - Posted: 8 Aug 2020, 10:36:48 UTC - in response to Message 298.  
Last modified: 8 Aug 2020, 10:38:15 UTC

Hi Michael,

this has already been shortly discussed in the first issued TWIM (This week in MLC@Home notes) from the 25th July.
https://www.mlcathome.org/mlcathome/forum_thread.php?id=46

Basically there were 2 camps over the course of the project so far, one voting for client notifications, the other against because of being afraid of MLC news cluttering their news page on the client. I can see both sides, but as the project admin has upheld a strong track record of timely and accurate news so far, I am with the majority who is against client-based news.

The unofficial agreement I could read between the lines was to reserve the client-based news section for the most important updates on the project, such as unexpected results, finalised runs/switches to new datasets and final research results but not for intermediate updates on the current run's progress or just preliminary results.

To my understanding the TWIM notes will be posted weekly, thus setting a reminder to take a 5 min look on the weekend should solve this. Glad to read upon your elaboration of your perspective.
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Michael H.W. Weber
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Message 300 - Posted: 8 Aug 2020, 10:55:38 UTC

Well, in the end it's of course up to the project lead to decide. However, I can't see any argument for "cluttering" of the BOINC manager's news panel. That thing is meant to display as much news as possible and not to just look nice and tidy. [Somehow, I am missing an appropriate smiley to undermine that statement]. :))))))

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pianoman [MLC@Home Admin]
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Message 301 - Posted: 8 Aug 2020, 13:55:23 UTC - in response to Message 300.  
Last modified: 8 Aug 2020, 13:56:26 UTC

Yes, it's a bit of a balancing act. When we posted the first TWIM Notes, https://www.mlcathome.org/mlcathome/forum_thread.php?id=46 I asked in that thread if people would prefer a seeing it in the news feed of the client or not. At the time the results were unanimous that people preferred NOT posting that type of news to the feed. Although the sample size was small and (potentially) biased.

We want to keep people as engaged as possible *without* bothering them, so for the moment at least we've decided to limit client notifications to new client releases, new WU types, when datasets are ready for release, hardware outages, or other single-event major news. However, we're constantly re-evaluating all these decisions.

TWIM Notes in particular are rather verbose for a client notification (new one coming today! We'll try to post them every Friday or Saturday).

However, there is an RSS feed for the news thread, and we created a twitter account @MLCatHome2 which will re-tweet when new news items are posted (I wish automatically, but to be honest we haven't spent the time to figure out how to hook up an RSS feed to twitter). So there are two automated ways to get all notifications.

I almost wish there was a way to put a summary in the client news section that points to the whole post. So we could post twim notes, and the client could get the equivalent of the tweet in their feed, like "This week on MLC@Home #3 released, to read it, click here!". I think that once a week wouldn't clutter a client feed too much, and I swear I've seen other projects do that. Perhaps its a setting I haven't enabled.. or perhaps those projects modified the server software.

Thanks for letting us know your preference!
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Sergey Kovalchuk

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Message 304 - Posted: 8 Aug 2020, 22:04:28 UTC - in response to Message 301.  

I almost wish there was a way to put a summary in the client news section that points to the whole post.

divided the news into two parts - a short announcement and the main text.
the announcement will form a topic in the news section, will be displayed on the home page of the site and in the client's notifications. there is always a "discussion" - a link to the topic in the forum
publish the main text as a response to the announcement - the second message in the topic
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Michael H.W. Weber
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Message 305 - Posted: 9 Aug 2020, 10:37:39 UTC - in response to Message 301.  
Last modified: 9 Aug 2020, 10:56:02 UTC

We want to keep people as engaged as possible *without* bothering them, so for the moment at least we've decided to limit client notifications to new client releases, new WU types, when datasets are ready for release, hardware outages, or other single-event major news. However, we're constantly re-evaluating all these decisions.

Well, that's of course your own decision. I am participating in distributed computing with my own machines now for about 20 years, I have been beta tester and moderater over at the Folding@home project for many years, I have founded a governmentally registered charity organization on distributed computing in Germany 15 years ago (still operating) and our team at present operates three active DC projects.
To my experience, people get engaged most when supplied with a constant flow of (meaningful) information indicating progress of the project.
A second thing of importance is rapid and elaborate feedback in the project's discussion forum (yes, can be time-consuming if taken serious, but it's worth it for the sake of educating participants and acquiring more support for the project).

However, there is an RSS feed for the news thread, and we created a twitter account @MLCatHome2 which will re-tweet when new news items are posted (I wish automatically, but to be honest we haven't spent the time to figure out how to hook up an RSS feed to twitter).

Please don't do that.
The result of a standard automated Twitter feed usually is a URL linking to the original source. Nobody I know follows such accounts or would you get engaged by a Twitter message lacking all multimedia content and just showing up a weblink where you need to click on it not knowing where it leads to?
In the DC field there are some accounts which make use of this approach. We do not follow these. They are boring.
Better post little but nicely curated stuff or retweet stuff relevant to the project's science field. And avoid posting messages without multimedia content - you want to catch people's attention in a flood of competing content. A simple image attached to the message often is enough.

Just my suggestions, of course. ;-)

Michael.
President of Rechenkraft.net - This world's first and largest distributed computing organization. We make those things possible that supercomputers don't.
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Questions and Answers : Issue Discussion : News notifications to be displyed in BOINC manager, too

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