How to resolve a WordPress problem that can’t be solved.

English: The logo of the blogging software Wor...
English: The logo of the blogging software WordPress. Deutsch: WordPress Logo 中文: WordPress Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thanks to a very helpful member of the WordPress Support team, Shawna Roberts, I have managed to get resolution to a problem I have failed to understand for some time. Unfortunately, though, although I have discovered what the problem is, WordPress is, at this time, unable to solve it.

So the issue is understood and has been resolved but the problem has not been solved.

The problem is:

  1. I do not want to receive notification emails from WordPress about other people’s comments, which I have no interest in, to posts on blogs I follow.
  2. But I would like to receive notification emails of responses to MY comments on other blogs.

My logic told me I could do this by:

  1. Going to my WordPress Reader ‘Blogs I follow’ and editing. Turning OFF ‘Send new comments by email’
  2. Then ticking the box ‘Notify me of follow-up comments by email’ when I commented on a blog post

This didn’t work because (and there was no way of knowing) the act of ticking the box ‘Notify me of follow-up comments by email’ overrides the first act of turning OFF Send new comments by email’

So I have been continually getting hundreds of unwanted comment email notifications from WordPress even though my Reader is set to OFF

In a very confused state I initiated dialogue with Shawna and eventually learned what was happening.

The outcome 

Shawna says “There is currently no way to receive notifications for only comments that are in response to your comment. We’ve looked at ways to do this and it’s currently quite complicated. I’ll make sure to add your vote for this feature, but as it’s currently impossible, I believe this is where the confusion occurs.

The check box you mention is the one we’ve changed the language for. It now says “Notify me of new comments via email.” to clarify that you’ll be notified of all comments on that thread not just the ones that are follow-ups to your comment.”

Conclusion

By investigating the reasons for my own confusion WordPress have helped bloggers by changing the tick box wording after comments from;

  • ‘Notify me of follow-up comments by email’ to
  • “Notify me of new comments via email.”

I am sure that, in time, the clever boffins at WordPress will figure out a way to solve the problem. In the meantime, frustrating though it may be, we have to choose:

  • TO GET NO EMAIL NOTIFICATION OF COMMENTS AT ALL – Turn OFF your reader to receive no comment emails and DON’T TICK the box “Notify me of new comments via email.” When you comment on a post.
  • TO GET EMAIL NOTIFICATION OF ALL COMMENTS ON ANY BLOG WHERE YOU HAVE COMMENTED – Turn OFF your reader to receive no comment emails and TICK the box “Notify me of new comments via email.” When you comment on a post.

I hope this post will encourage more bloggers to work with the excellent WordPress Support team in an effort to continually improve our blogging experience.

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