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Linchpin News Digest

Deliver news to your users’ mailboxes

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Administration Guide Linchpin News Digest

General Idea of the Linchpin News Digest

There's two scenarios where a tool like Linchpin News Digest can come in handy: 

Scenario 1: You want to draw more users into your Linchpin or Confluence instance.

If you have a lot of users that don't visit Linchpin or Confluence very regularly, one way to draw them in is to show them what's new. You publish news or blog posts, that are displayed on the dashboard or at other places throughout your intranet. Then, you set up an email, that's sent out regularly to all users and contains appetizers for those news and blog posts. If they are interested and want to read the whole thing, they'll click in their email and will be redirected to this news within Confluence. And while they are there, they might check out other contents, too. 

Scenario 2: You want people to not miss important news, even if they cannot access the site for some time. 

Because the news digest email is sent regularly, and it always lists all the news that have been published since the last time it was sent, it's a great way to be sure not to miss any news. If there's a lot of news on the dashboard, older ones are quickly replaced by newer ones, and you might miss some if you happen to look there infrequently. 

Active / Not active switch

First, and most importantly, please note this switch on top of the configuration page. As long as it is set to "off" like it is shown on the screenshot, no email will be sent. This is to prevent accidentally spamming your whole company with hundreds of news. Only when you are sure your configuration is like you want it, you actively switch it on.

Also, with this switch you can turn off the news digest for some time without losing your configuration.

Configuring the Basics: Sender, recipients and subject

The email will have a sender address. The domain of this address is by default the domain of the email server you configured within your Confluence. On this Screenshot it's "example.com". The name portion of the email address can be set to anything you like. It could be "noreply" or something like that if you don't want to have users replying to the digest mails. Or it can be anything else. Just make sure to use an existing mail address if you want to receive users' replies.

The sender name can be anything you want. This will show up as the name of the sender in your users' inboxes.

If you want all users of your Confluence to receive the News Digest, simply leave the field recipients blank. If however you want to limit this to certain users or user groups, enter their names in the field.

Finally, you can set the subject and an introductory text in this section. These will be the same in every sent email, so choose something that is generic enough for every news digest.

Setting up a schedule: When and how often do you want it to trigger?

Depending on the amount of news in your system and their time criticality, you'll want to have a fitting schedule. From daily to once a year (or even more) you can set the schedule for your news digest however you like. Also, you can decide on which day and at which time you want it to be released. The latter is set by the "next digest will be sent on" setting. Also, you can see what the next three scheduled digests would be sent with your current configuration.

Date and time always refer to the timezone the server is situated in, so it may differ for users in other time zones.

Also please note, that this time and date is the moment in time when the app starts sending out emails. Depending on how many users receive it and the capacity of your mail server, the sending process can take some time. On very large instances it may take quite a while until the last user receives their mail. This is to prevent the system from lagging and also depends on the settings of your mail server. We made sure, that even with hundreds of thousands of emails being sent, at no point will your Confluence suffer from the load.

Deciding on content: Which news or blog posts do you want to include?

This screenshot shows the easiest case: the news digest will simply contain all the news from all the spaces in your Confluence that have been published since the last news digest has been sent.

No user will ever have a news item in their digest mail for which they have no reading permissions at the time the email is being sent. Depending on reading permissions, the contents of the digest mail may differ for users.

In case of the very first news digest, it will contain all news that have been published since the last news digest would have been sent, had it been set active earlier. So for example if you schedule it to be sent once every month, the first news digest will contain all the news that have been published since one month ago. This is to prevent an email containing all the news from the very beginning.

If you have a lot of news items, you might not want to send them all out in your news digest, but only the most important ones, so your news digest doesn't get overwhelmingly large.

You can set the source as sophisticated as you like by combining various rules. Only those news will be included that match all your rules.

Type

For every rule you first select the type of rule:

  • news from certain spaces
  • news with certain labels
  • news from certain categories (only available with Linchpin Enterprise News installed)

Operator

Next you select the operator of your rules. The operators offered depend on your selection for the type. For example, a news can only come from one space. It can never belong to more than one space. That's why you won't have an option "that comes from both these Spaces", as it doesn't make sense.

Items

Now you'll see an input field where you can put in the desired space, labels or categories.

Combining rules

If you click on the "Add rule" button, another set of fields for formulating a rule will appear. You can choose to combine several rules by AND or by OR.

  • If you combine them by AND, a news must match both of your rules, or it won't be included in your news digest.
  • If you combine them by OR, a news must match at least one of your rules to be included. It also may match both of your rules.

A simple example

In this example, your news digest will contain all news that have been published in one of the two spaces "Global News" and "News Washington" and that are labelled "finance".

It will not contain any news from other spaces, even if they carry the label "finance", and it also will not contain any news from the spaces "Global News" or "News Washington" that lack the label "finance".

A more sophisticated example

The first part of this example is the same as the one in our simple example. But it has been expanded by a set of two more rules. Now, it will contain all news that have been published in one of the two spaces "Global News" and "News Washington" and that are labelled "finance", or that have been published in the space "News USA" and have been labelled "important", "global" and "ceo".

Please note how each rule is separated from the next rule by an "AND" or an "OR". Two rules that are combined by an AND form a set of rules that is indicated by the grey background. If the combination is an "OR" this tells us that there's a second set of rules coming.

It might seem a bit complicated at first, but give it a try in your system. It's really quite intuitive (Lächeln). And rest assured: as long as you don't activate the digest, no email will be sent, so you can play around with these rules as long as you like.

Preview your news digest

At the bottom of the configuration, you'll find a link to a preview called "Check configuration". Please save your entries first.

The preview will show you a preview of the news that would be sent to you in your news digest as they would appear if the digest would now be sent to you. This way you can check your configuration: do you see all the news you expected? Are those news missing that you wanted to exclude?

If an expected news item doesn't show up, there's three possibilities:

  • You have no reading permission on the news item. Solution: change the permissions.
  • The news item has been published longer ago than your schedule collects news, e.g. you set your schedule to once every week, but the news item you are looking for has been published more than a week ago. Solution: Change the settings for your schedule or pick a more recent news item to check your configuration.
  • Your set of rules doesn't include this news item. Solution: check your rules and adjust them.
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