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Chuck

Making the best of ACTIVITY STREAMS and how to customize them/edit them etc.

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What is an activity stream?   It is a fancy word for the custom search of the content on this site, which at the click of a link you can view precisely what you want.   Currently there are only the default streams set up.  You can view these by hovering over "Activity" in the menu as shown below.  Note the "MY ACTIVITY STREAMS"

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 16.17.19.jpg

 

 

 

Click on "MY ACTIVITY STREAMS" and you will see the default streams.  They are pretty good but I know you will want a more targeted stream of content you are interested in.  For example you can set up a custom stream that will show you only unread activity in build logs for three people you specifically want to check out regularly.  And you can filter other restrictions.   Just click on "Create new Stream as circled below.

 

stream2.jpg

 

You will get to a filter screen where you can name your new customized search....see below

 

stream3.jpg

 

Then select the other customized features you want.  Below you can see I selected individual forums and even made it specific to just two members.....and content that I havent read since my last visit.  You can set it up any way you want....

 

stream4.jpg

 

After you save your customized stream (lower right is saved button)  it will now appear in the drop down as shown below....this is the test stream I just set up.....

 

stream5.jpg

 

If you click on it....it will show you only what you asked it to show you.  See below for my custom activity stream.  There is no content because I made it very narrow with only two members as you see.  Read the description of my custom stream below the red circle.  Also note that the icons in the red circle let you select this as your default stream or you can edit it or delete it.   It will remember your selections and now all you have to do is click on it whenever you want to see this particular stuff.

 

Even more awesome is that you can set up as many custom activity streams that you want.........

stream6.jpg

 

 

Eddie, gjdale, jablackwell and 13 others like this

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Chuck,

I might be missing something here, but having successfully set up a custom stream following your instructions, I can't find a way to edit (and save) my selections. The pencil icon only allows you to edit the name of the stream. Am I missing something? Or do I need to delete it and start over?

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Its saved if you get as far as seeing it on the bottom of the dropdown list as a selection.  now when you click on it it will take you to the results.  As far as editing goes I think you have to delete it and create another one.  But it only takes five minutes to do.

 

stream5.jpg

 

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Also

 

As an admin, I am able to adjust the filter settings for the default activity streams under "activity".   So I just adjusted those to be more specific to our needs.  Now when you click on the default stream of Content I follow it should be much better.  It will show you only the topics you follow.....both read and unread.    Same is true for "Unread content".   This stream will now show you the same, but only unread topics since your last visit.   Before I adjusted them they included too much and it was confusing.

 

So please try it again since my adjustments and remembver to hit the condensed display because its easier to read.

 

 

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I also adjusted the number of default activity streams under the "activity" drop down so its less cluttered.  I removed the streams that we wouldnt use.   So now you just see the Unread content stream which is improved and the Content I follow.

 

Plus you can create your own under "my Content streams"  

 

The more I get familiar with the options I will tweak whats showing for better usability.

 

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Thanks Chuck,

 

SO, this allows me to filter down the content so that I can quickly review the topics that I want to follow.  It helps because, as we have discussed, if I want to "follow a topic" my filter blockes those notifications as spam.  This resolves that.

 

Thanks for the tutorial.

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You are welcome...an FYI also.  I have reduced the number of default streams to just four for simplicity.   But I can create more default streams for everyone.  There is one hitch....I cant select individual forums like you can for creating your own.   So I CANT for example create one for you to just see the unread build logs.  But you can create those as well as any other.   I can however create other simplified default streams like the three already there.   So let me know if you guys would like that.   

 

But keep in mind that too many would clutter up that drop down and might be confusing to some.   However with careful naming it may be helpful.  So let me know.  :piratetongueor4:

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Thanks Chuck. You're right - deleting and re-doing a custom stream takes no time at all, so all good there. It takes a little playing around to understand some of the terminology in the filters, but a bit of trial and error gets you there. I'd noticed how you'd refined some of the other streams too. Might be worth mentioning, that once you've created a custom stream, if you click on the "tick" icon at the top of the page, the system adds a "permanent" short cut to the desktop for you (at least, permanent until you uncheck the icon).

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Chuck,

This is great thank you. However I cant seem to figure out how to delete a custom stream. I have created one but it doesnt do what I expected so now I want to delete and start over. What am I missing?
Sam

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Click on that custom stream and to the right of the stream name one of those icons will let you delete it.

 

stream6.jpg

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Thanks Chuck, not sure how I missed that, I blame it on lack of sleep. 🙄

Sam

 

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So I apologize if I've missed something, but I have a couple problems/questions:

 

1) When I set up a custom stream for Content I've Posted In (which is how I track things), it's showing every new comment in any topic as a separate line. So, for example, it might separately show three new comments in Them Old Jokes before showing a new comment in another topic. Before all these changes, the system just showed me which topics had new content, not every single element of that content. The new way is a pain, because I have to scroll through lots of individual comment listings to check each topic. I used to just be able to see a list of topics that had new content, and click the icon to be taken to the first unread post. How can I now tell it I want to see topics, not comments?

 

2) Having set up a custom stream as described above, it's still buried under two menus levels. I have to mouse over Activity, mouse down over 4 stream types I don't use, then click on (not just mouse over) My Activity Streams, then once again mouse over the same list of 4 stream types I don't use that are already shown in the first menu, and only then click on my custom stream. This is honestly quite a pain; isn't there a way to customize these menus to simply put the streams we actually want to use in the upper-most menu where we can easily click on them?

 

 

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You are selecting all the wrong settings for what you expect to acheive.   When creating a custom stream make sure you select the correct "content type".  This should have only the "topics"selected.   Under "show me"   make sure its just "content" that is clicked.  I could go on...

 

Then when viewing it.....you can make it the default version which will display on the top right of the screen and it wont be buried.  It will be there right on the top.  Other than that you will just have to adjust.  Also as mentioned.....the condensed version after viewing makes a huge difference.

 

I can also set up a new default stream for content that you posted to.   If that is something more than just one or two people use.  

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Eric....for example I just created a new default stream for what I think you want.....I have the same selections available as you do and it seams to be working fine.   I think you were clicking the wrong filter setting options when setting yours up.  But check it out under activity.....is this what you were trying to do??   If it is...just make it your default.  NOW I cant set up a million default streams because everyone uses the site differently.....

 

So rather than post a very specific issue here while getting frustrated.......just send me a PM and tell me what you want your current stream to do and i will tell you what boxes to check etc.   It all works very well if the correct selections are made.  

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OK, I think I have it configured right. Chuck, I understand your frustration as I've been on your side of things too, but it's also true that it's really easy to develop a "curse of knowledge" approach when you develop or manage a system and can't easily envision all the ways other people might interact with or understand it. For example, several of the options you advised me to select worked, but my brain didn't read their titles as meaning what they did, so I didn't understand that I should choose them.

 

As for PMing, my rationale for posting here was to potentially save you some work and frustration, as there's a chance someone else will have a similar problem. If I PM, you still have to spend the time answering me, but no one else sees the answer. This way doesn't cost you more time but potentially helps the community (and you) if even more more person sees this and doesn't bother you individually. That was my reasoning anyway; I was trying to be respectful by NOT insisting on personal/private attention.

 

Maybe it would be helpful to post a guide to what each option actually means/does? I found them confusing, and I'm 37 and reasonably tech-savvy.

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I would do exactly that but time is precious lately.  That mention to send a PM for help was meant for any other folks in the future.  It would be easier to for me to just ask  specifically what a member wants and then tell them what to click off.  I just think posting all that here would clog things up in this topic.   I am trying hard to help everyone I can, and make the site enjoyable for them.  

 

Chuck

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Just to be clear, I am very grateful for the work you and other admin types are putting in. I know how frustrating it can be to the herd cats into a new system. I am very appreciative.

Chuck, Canute, CaptainSteve and 1 other like this

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Might be a stretch here but every time I come to MSW I click on 'Unread content since my last visit' or as it used to be on the old layout, 'Active threads'. Would it be possible to add a link to this on the main menu bar? Not a huge deal, but a slight annoyance (2 clicks instead of 1) for something I do every day. Maybe others find it slightly annoying as well? :D

 

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