After having a discussion earlier today with a ReSearch! subscriber who commented on the number of email updates he recently received with no apparent changes in the schedule, I just wanted to clear up a couple of things in regards to how the system works and also note a couple of changes I made earlier tonight to make the system more friendly for everyone.
First, please note the system notifications are automated. I don’t choose whom they go to, the system automatically sends them to anyone that it determines may be affected by changes in the refurb schedule. Please note I said may be affected, not necessarily will be affected. To explain why this is, let me first explain how the system determines who gets the notifications:
Subscribers have three pieces of vital information stored: start date, end date and a checksum. The checksum is a way of determining if information for that specific subscriber has changed and is derived by a combination of attraction name, refurb start date and refurb end date. This means that in some cases, you may be notified of a change in the refurb schedule that doesn’t affect you if the dates change but are outside your date range.
The reason why the dates are considered is because the dates have changed and will likely affect some subscribers, but not all. Recent examples include Splash Mountain and Dream Along With Mickey which were extended with very late notice. If someone going from 1/16 – 1/19 were initially notified that Splash was closed through 1/17, they may assume they’d be able to visit it on 1/18 if the system ignored the fact that they already knew about the Splash Mountain closure. So it’s important that the subscribers are notified in the case of date changes as well as new refurbishments.
Another issue that can trigger apparent false positives is my error. Unfortunately I’m not perfect (ironically, it’s that character flaw and the willingness to admit it that does make me truly perfect). For example, today I entered the wrong dates for an event which first triggered an alert to subscribers who the system thought would be affected based on my mistake and a second trigger to those same subscribers after I made the correction and the system simply thought the event was removed from the list.
With this in mind, here are the new changes:
1) Once a subscriber is emailed an alert, they will not receive another alert until they visit the link in the email. So now if there’s 5 changes in one day for a subscriber and the subscriber doesn’t look at the link until the next day, there is a total of 1 email sent, not 5.
2) The system will now require me to enter a message that will be included with the alert. The intent is to make you aware of what changes were made in case they weren’t obvious. Note that you will still need to visit the link in order to receive future messages/alerts.