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Service announcements - please use clear date / time

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Superuser
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Service announcements - please use clear date / time

Might I suggest that service notices be unambiguous in specifying when an activity is to be conducted.  I noticed one published today states that the work will be undertaken "Tomorrow at 2am".

Now to make sense of the above you need to look at the date of my post to work out when "today" was to find the notice I am referring to.

Similarly when reading the notice (which could be sometime after it was posted) the reader has to a similar translation of "tomorrow" to know when the work will be (or was) conducted.

The use of "When: 25th May 2016 02:00" is clearer and easier to 'take-in'.

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Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

It does say the date twice on the post, so repeating it a 3rd time in the post is a little redundant, which is why we post as a relative time there.

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 Chris Parr
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

Doh!!!

@Chris,

I take your point ... up to a point!

From the board list, one sees (only) the abbreviated title (date & time does not show).

On opening it *I* do not reread the title, I read the body text - find that there is no "when" and then need to start looking for some point of reference.

Now you've pointed it out, I see it is in the title, but I still think it would be clearer if the "When" within the body was explicit ... possibly not putting the date in the title at all?

I wonder how others find this in practical use?

Superuser
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

I support the @Townman reading of the presentation style.  The text and the heading are two separate entities and should stand on their own merit.  Sometimes *I* only read the headers before making a decision to read or not, but having decided to READ the text, I expect it to be unambiguous.

In the case of a date further in future e.g.  "Next Thursday" the message is even more incongruous? If you make the house style include the date in the text it makes it work in ALL cases.

M

Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

Point taken, however we have been posting the service status like this for several years without issue!

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 Chris Parr
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

There's always scope for improvement Chris and the change is minimal.  Cool smiley

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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

In my years of writing contractual letters and planning work in industry we would avoid colloquialisms such as tomorrow and this weekend using instead unambiguous calendar references and using the 24 hour clock to avoid confusion between AM and PM. But I'm an Engineer so probably on the Autism Spectrum Roll eyes 

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Plusnet Help Team
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

Fix

The idea behind changing it initially was to make it friendlier to read, in line with Plusnet tone of voice. How about something like:

 

When's this work happening?

Tomorrow, 26th May 8am.

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 Chris Parr
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

Something along those lines would be OK. I'm keen to continue using the "tomorrow",  "next Thursday" style since it's much easier to understand at a glance than having to work out when 26th May or 2nd June is.

The main complaint with the Service Status board on Community seems to be that often the applicable date is not visible in the truncated title. Prefixing the title with "[Planned Maintenance]" uses up 22 characters out of the available 53. Removing all prefixes would help, and perhaps "planned" could be dropped from the description too.since it's implicit for work in the future. An abbreviated style of date, eg Wed 07 Sep 2016, could also be used.

David
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

The [Planned Maintenance] and [Service Status] was directly my suggestion, I wanted to be able to easily differentiate them so it's clear to see outages vs planned work. It does make the title too long though. We could do something like this:

 

Subject: Broadband Network Maintenance 12/05 8am-10am

 

And then have the full title in the body?

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 Chris Parr
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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time

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Re: Service announcements - please use clear date / time


Chris wrote:

 We could do something like this:

 

Subject: Broadband Network Maintenance 12/05 8am-10am

 

And then have the full title in the body?


I'd go along with that @Chris. It would also be helpful if some sort of rota between you guys was used so that announcements weren't missed - eg. never got the 2nd update and Resolved for the Data Transfer issues. Missed the BT Network Maintenance week commencing 2nd May and the Plusnet one for 3rd May Wink