We have just launched a new service at Critique Circle called The CC Digest which I wanted to tell you guys a little about.
What Is It?
This is a personalized newsletter that we send out to our members once a month which contains updates that might be interesting to you.
Examples of the type of information the email contains is unread messages and crits, novels you have been critting, the activity of people you have regular contact with, buddy events, news items, blogs, novel updates and much, much more.
The Digest attempts to locate pieces of information that are relevant to you by searching through forum threads you are interested in and people that you have come in contact with (through crits, likes and whatnot). The result is a collection of links to content on CC that we hope is interesting to you individually.
Since the digests are generated per member no two digests are the same (unless you've done absolutely nothing on CC, in which case it's of course pretty generic )
One of the main reasons for this service is to update people who have not visited for a while about the going-ons on CC, which hopefully gives them a reason to stop by for a visit.
When do I get my digest?
By default this digest mail is sent out to people who have not visited in several weeks but you can configure it to be sent to you every month regardless of whether you have visited or not. If you don't care for these sort of mails you can also just disable it from that same link.
The reason that this is opt-in for members that have visited in the last month or so is that we don't want to spam people with information that they might already have. However, I believe this might be something you might very well be interested in receiving even if you are active on CC since it provides you with a great birds-eye view of the activity of the last month and even a few pieces of information you cannot get anywhere else.
Each member's digest will always be delivered on the same day of the month, but we send out digests for most of the month in order not to overload our email system. To see when you will receive your digest take a look at your settings page.
You cannot change the day when your digest is sent but you can ask for an extra digest at any time (see below).
What's in the digest?
The following sections are in the digest now. We might add or change these as time goes by in order to ensure that this information is as relevant as possible.
Blogs and news
These sections contain the blog and news entries for the last month. Hopefully this will give our blogs more exposure and turns them into newsletter entries for free. You can therefore expect not to get many newsletters from CC in the future since they are already in the digest.
The digest tells you about unread messages and unread crits that you have received in the last month. This will be especially useful to people who haven't visited for a while.
It's always fun to see who has clicked like on your updates. The digest will highlight your forum posts and crits that other people have liked. You can also see here if anyone marked you as their favorite CC author.
If you have critted any novels the digest tells you if there have been new submissions in that novel. If you are submitting chapters in a novel I highly recommend that you use the novel feature since that will allow the digest to make this connection and tell people about your new chapters!
You will be able to see how many times people have viewed your stories and your profile page in the last month. This is always fun for a bit of epeen and something that you will not be able to see on the website. We also include some CC stats so that you can see how active CC is.
There are also a couple of other things in there such as account information. Please let us know what you think of these and if you want us to add something new.
The digest tries to figure out which threads you would be interested in seeing. This does not use the 'watch thread' feature but tries to figure it out by your views, responses and likes which will hopefully give a fuller image of stuff that people might want to see. If you have not been active on the forums at all then we show you the top 10 threads for the month in terms of posts.
Updates from people you know
This is a very exciting section and gives you an overview of the activity of people that you have been in contact with. This includes crits that are available for viewing, new stories that are up for review and forum posts.
Here is an example screenshot from a section of the digest that I get delivered to my inbox:
If you want to see what your own digest will look like just click here to get one sent to you now. It will take a few minutes for the system to generate your digest but you can always get a new digest generated from your settings page in the future.
Please let us know what you think of this new service. Do you like it, do you hate it? Are there any bugs that we should know about or is there some information that you would like added? You can reply to your digest email with comments, respond to this blog, rage on the forums or send a message to the CC team from the message box.
Thank you, and I hope you enjoy this new addition!