Beginners Guide: Managing Subscriptions on Home Energy Pros

New members may find subscriptions a bit confusing at first. I know I did. As you'd expect, when you create a new discussion or post a comment, you're automatically subscribed to comment notifications for that thread (selected by default on your Settings/Email page). But what if you want to receive email notifications for all new discussions? Or you want to receive comment notifications for a particular discussion but you don't care to post a comment? Read on...

Home Energy Pros Forum is organized into 10 topical CATEGORIES (listed in 'mouse-hover' drop-down menu on FORUM tab): General Forum, Best Practices, BPI, HVAC, Infrared, Marketing, Multifamily, RESNET Modeling & Rating, Training, and Weatherization. When you create a new discussion, there's a Category selector under the text-entry box where you can choose the appropriate category. The default category is General Forum.

To subscribe to all new discussions, open the combined discussion feed (i.e., all categories) by clicking the Forum menu tab (http://homeenergypros.org/forum), then scroll to the bottom of the feed (center frame) and click on the "Follow" link. This will subscribe you to receive email notifications anytime someone starts a new discussion, regardless of category. Best I can tell, it's all-or-nothing since individual category feeds don't have a Follow link. But that's not really a problem since the vast majority of discussions are posted in the General Forum category.

Home Energy Pros also features special interest groups (see Groups menu tab). Currently there are 42 SIG's, some of which overlap topical categories in the main forum. Any member can create a SIG. Note that discussions posted in a SIG do not appear in the main discussion feed.

In order to subscribe to new discussions in a SIG, you must first join (see "Join" button at top of each group's main page). Note that some groups are by 'invitation only' but most are open to all HEP members. Once you're a SIG member, scroll to the bottom of the discussion feed and click the "View All" link, then scroll to the bottom of the expanded discussion feed and click on the "Follow" link. Whew!

Or you can elect to receive notifications for all new activity in the groups you belong to from the member Settings/Email page (see last item on list). I assume this setting includes comment notifications, so if you want to receive notifications for new SIG discussions but you'd prefer to subscribe to comments on a discussion-by-discussion basis, you can use the "Follow" link at the bottom of the group discussion feed.

If you want to receive email notifications for "all new replies" for a particular discussion of interest without having to post a comment, simply click the "Follow" link under the top-post text entry box.

You can toggle your subscriptions ("unsubscribe") by navigating to the same links as described above, which will now read "Stop Following." Or you can click the "Stop Following" link at the bottom of the the notification emails.

BTW, I don't see a way to receive notifications when new Blogs, Videos or Photos are posted. And I haven't figured out if the "Like" button auto-subscribes you to the discussion. Perhaps Diane or other long-time members will chime in.

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Great guide David! Thanks!

We send two weekly emails to keep members in the loop about new blogs, discussions, and other content. If you're not getting the weekly emails, check your email settings to subscribe. Check your current settings by signing in, accessing your My Page and clicking “Settings” in the right hand column. Select the “Email” link on the left. Ensure that all boxes are checked for the notifications you want to receive.

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