Subscribing to Users

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Please note: This is a new feature which we're testing out on h2g2. It's not necessarily finished, and there might be problems with the way it works or the way it's presented. We're very interested in your feedback, whether it's positive or negative.

We're pleased to announce a new feature. Users now have the ability to subscribe to others' Guide Entries. This enables them to keep informed of the work of other people on the site. This only works using the Brunel skin.

To see this feature, please scroll down your Personal Space. You'll see a new grey bar between 'My Friends' and 'My Guide Entries', entitled 'Subscribed Articles.'

What is it for?

Subscribing is a way to keep track of new Guide Entries written by other Researchers. If a particular Researcher writes really interesting entries, you can already check their Personal Space or their 'More Articles' page to see if they've written anything new, but you'd have to check each Researcher you're interested in. With subscription you can add those users to a list, and whenever they create a new guide entry it will appear on a list on your Personal Space. There is also a new page to show a longer list of articles by subscribed users, which is linked on your Personal Space.

How do I subscribe?

If you find a Researcher whose writing you like, and you want to subscribe to them, go to their personal space click on the link in the right-hand column called 'Subscribe to User'. This adds the Researcher to your subscription list. You'll be taken to your 'Subscribed Users' page.

Managing your subscriptions

Your 'Subscribed Users' page is where you can manage your subscription list. You get a list of your subscriptions (possibly more than one page if you've got more than 25 people on your list) and each one has a 'remove' link next to them which allows you to remove people from your list.

What happens when I subscribe to and remove people?

When you subscribe to someone, they are added to your list, but you don't get any of their existing guide entries added to your list of subscribed guide entries. Only new ones will be added when they are created.

When you unsubscribe, not only is the Researcher removed from your subscription list, but all of that Researchers guide entries are removed from your subscribed articles list.

Seeing who is subscribed to you

The Subscribed Users and Subscribed Articles pages have a link to 'Users subscribed to you' which shows all those researchers who have added you to their subscription lists. All those people will see your new guide entries on their personal space when you create them. Which is nice.

Blocking users

Although it's a very flattering thing to have people subscribing to your guide entries, we understand that there can be reasons why you don’t want that to happen. Although, obviously, everything you write on h2g2 is public and readable by everyone, you still might have reasons not to want your guide entries to pop up immediately on other people's pages. So we've also included some features to manage this by allowing you to block individual users from subscribing, or to block anyone at all from subscribing.

On your 'Users subscribing to you' page there is a link next to each name which will 'remove and block' that user. This will remove you from that user's subscription list, and add that user to a list of users who are blocked from resubscribing. When you block a user you are taken to your list of blocked users. From this page you can unblock users if you change your mind. This won’t automatically resubscribe these users to you – they will have to do that themselves – but it will mean they will be able to subscribe in future.

If you're desperately shy, you can choose to block all users from subscribing to your guide entries by clicking the 'Block All Subscriptions' link on your subscriptions page. And if you change your mind, you can click on the 'Allow Subscriptions' link that will appear. Blocking all subscriptions won’t automatically remove all the users currently subscribed to you – you'll have to do that yourself.


We're keen to have feedback on how this feature works. There are a host of improvements and changes that we could make, many of which we’ve thought about, but we decided to release this with a small set of simple features to see how useful people find it, and where it can be improved based on real-world use. Please use the forum below to make suggestions, either good or bad, and we promise to read all of them and take them into account when developing this feature further.

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