Is it possible to add individual profiles to my activity feed?

+7 votes
One of the main points being made in the recent discussion about adding a mandatory description of changes made to profiles is that having such a requirement would improve the utility of activity feeds.  This impels me to ask what other things  would improve my feed.  Mine would become much more useful if I could simply tag specific individual profiles (administered by others) so that that any changes made in those profiles would appear in my feed.  This would, I presume, require a de-coupling from the G2G keywords.  For example, if one of my tags is Smith, then currently my activity feed would be filled with a lot of Smith profiles, most of which I would not care to know about.  By contrast, if a particular John Smith profile is of interest to me, I would love to be able to tag that profile and be alerted when any changes are made to that profile.  Seems like such a feature would be simple to implement, and it would hugely improve the relevance of my feeds--without creating any controversies of the type evidenced in the recent discussions about adding mandatory descriptions of changes.  Seems like a win-win.  Is this already possible and I showing my ignorance?  If it is not possible, could we add a check-box on a profile that says, "add this profile to my feed"?
in The Tree House by Michael Schell G2G6 Mach 2 (27.0k points)
Ask to be placed on the trusted list for that particular John Smith. So far as I know that would cause Family Activity Feed to include him
I work on quite a few profiles with unresponsive profile managers--people who dumped their GEDCOMS years ago and have not done much since.  It seems like an unnecessary formality to ask them to put me on the trusted list.  I just want to receive a passive alert about changes made, in case a new contribution has relevance to my areas of interest. That would save me from having to periodically migrate to the profiles to look for changes.
Well, if there's no response from the PM etc and so forth, you can contact info whatever it is, and ask for intervention such as release of the desired profile. There is a process to obtain management of a profile when a PM is inactive for some specific length of time.

Your other option is to check the profile daily or weekly.

Hi Michael,

What I would suggest is create a spreadsheet on your computer or google drive with the links and information of those profiles of people of who you have interest. Although it can take some time and possibly irritation you can than forward or collaborate on the said profiles yes I keep a huge spreadsheet of many profiles of which I have interest but of which I am unrelated.

Steve, I myself never even thought of doing that --  a listing of the URL of the desirable profiles that one could click-n-go-to inspect on a regular basis -- one would have to inspect them oneself since there will be no notifications otherwise? Because it sounds like -- from what he said -- Michael wants to be notified of any changes or activities. The only way I know he could BE notified is to be the PM or on the Trusted List. (the notice comes to him, not him going to check on the profile)
I appreciate all the work-around suggestions, which I will adopt.  A simple check-box on a profile would be so much easier...what’s the problem with a simpler and more elegant solution? It  would improve my own feed much more than the contentious idea to make adding descriptions of changes mandatory in order to improve the utility of feeds.  A watchlist doesn’t seem to be in conflict with the honor code or spirit of Wikitree, and I don’t think an “add to watch list” check-box would be difficult to implement in terms of coding. If, as Dennis commented, others have asked for this feature in the past, I’ll go read the previous discussions; perhaps I’m missing something.
I suppose the simpler method you would like to see isn't yet available. But you can route a request to Improvements at the Tech section, and they will certainly take it under consideration. That dept is over there at the extreme right side of the page here, and there's tags you use to get their attention like "improvements"

What Michael is asking for is not unreasonable. Its been requested many times over the years, but the responses have usually been something along the lines of "too difficult to implement given the current implementation". Though, I'm quite sure it would fairly easy to implement without disturbing any existing implementation (it can be named something other than "watchlist" to avoid confusion with the current implementation)

2 Answers

+5 votes
I really like this idea - thank you for suggesting this option. I have three Smith lines but do not have a Smith Tag as it would be overwhelming. The same is true for a few other surnames in my list.
by Virginia Fields G2G6 Pilot (561k points)
+6 votes
many people have been asking for a true "watchlist" for years.
by Dennis Wheeler G2G6 Pilot (535k points)
Dennis, what would an "untrue" watchlist be composed of (LOL)?

So far as I know, which is meager in scope, one can be on a trusted list ref a profile or one can manage the profile or one can check on the desirable profile (LOL) on a regular basis without having it on one's watchlist.
Our watchlist currently is composed of profiles where we are either the manager or on the trusted list.

and our activity feed includes surname tags we are following.

It would be much nicer, if we could pick and choose individual profiles to follow -- without needing to be a manager or having to ask to be on the trusted list, or following popular surname tags.

I don't want to have to maintain my own list to check on, on a regular basis. I'd rather be notified by email (such as the daily/weekly activity feed) when changes occur. That's why computer automation was invented.
I don't either see that it should be so terribly hard to add a "Follow" button to each profile, and a basically two-column junction table with it, holding the id's of the follower and the followed.
Exactly.  In the current lingo, all I am asking for is a "follow" option.
I agree Dennis.  My experience is that is that I rarely get added to the trusted list on my first request.  It usually involves multiple requests and me having to keep a spreadsheet to track my initial requests, follow-up requests and then after weeks or months, I eventually file an "Unresponsive Profile Manger" report and then I have to track that too.  When I am spending my time to add sources and improve profiles, I think I should have an easy way to have the activity show up in my feed.  These are direct ancestors I am talking about and it shouldn't take this much effort to collaborate on their profiles.

Carl, I did resolve some part of my similar dilemma by setting up a Personal Category [[Category:Smith-157141]] to house blood kin profiles -- I wanted to get and keep some sort of running tally on them -- similar to a Virtual Cemetery category (which I considered a nifty idea) 

So long as the profile in question is OPEN, there seems to be no bar to adding a Personal Category to the profile, just above the Biography Header, with a note to the PM ... 

THEN. if the PM objects one can remove the category notice 

I have noted that if the Inactive PM is prodded by such an action, it does stir them to further efforts with their profiles ... and so far to date, there's been no squawk from anyone about my action -- I changed nothing of what was there, I merely added the Category

The Tally isn't complete, some number of profiles are not OPEN. In a few cases the PM was a relative in some degree and was agreeable where this was the case and allowed me 'in" 

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