Mentioning (tagging) people

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  • Laure Hittle

    One of the coolest things anywhere on this site is the ability to tag people. You can tag people pretty much anywhere—in a comment on a blog post, in a forum thread, in a message or status update. These tags are called “Mentions.”

    Anywhere you find a person on the site, if they’re a registered user, you’ll see @username next to their profile picture. To tag them, just type @ and then their username—that’s it! For example, if you want me to come see what you’re talking about, just type @mrs-hittle, and i’ll come trotting right over. Moreover, if you see someone tagged somewhere, you can click that tag and be instantly whooshed to their profile, where you can creep on them and/or send them a friend request!

    Here’s where you’ll find a person’s username in a forum post:

    And here’s how it’ll look in a blog comment:

    Notifications: People get notifications when you tag them, even if it’s in a private message. If you’re throwing someone a surprise party—i know we’re not gossiping here; so i assume you’re working a nefarious blessing plottage—and you don’t want them to be notified, don’t use the @ mention. (You’ll be notified when you mention yourself, too, which is something to watch out for if you tend to speak of yourself in third person or make a lot of tutorial posts. Learn from my experience! Haha.)

    Very important: If you copy and paste that tag, hinky things happen in the code, and the tag won’t work. Some of us have tricker usernames than others, but the only way to make it work is to type it in.

    Broken tags and false alarms: Sometimes the system weirds out, especially when you use punctuation along with a mention. It looks like everything is currently working, so don’t stress about this, but sometimes you hit Submit on your comment and it looks like one of the tags is broken. A quick visit to your Activity feed (in your profile) will let you know if it worked; tags that look broken in the forum but aren’t actually broken will look just fine in your Activities. If after you’ve double-checked it looks like that tag really is broken, post a Bug Report and the guys will get it sorted out—but do check your Activity feed first. If it looks good there, the person you were tagging should get the notification just fine.

    Autocomplete! A super cool thing about this super cool tagging business: In some places on the site, you can start typing @ and get a list of suggestions. The site will automatically provide you seven options, which is nothing compared with the number of registered users we have on this site (currently well over 200), but if you keep typing, the options narrow. For example, @m will give you some suggestions of people whose usernames start with m. We’ve got a bunch of those, so keep going: @mr/@mi/@mwhatever will give you a more specific list. Keep going and it gets even more specific. Then, once you’ve found the person you want, click the suggestion and it’ll pop right into your post.

    This doesn’t work everywhere on the site (but keep your eyes peeled; you never know what our remarvelant admins are up to!). Last i checked, it works in status updates, and, if you’re posting a reply in the forum, click the Text button on the top left, and it works there. (It doesn’t work in Visual mode; sorry.)

    As i said earlier, if someone tags you, you’ll get a notification. And if you want to see a handy list of every place you’ve been mentioned, ever, anywhere on the site, go to your profile and click Mentions. They’ll show up in order, with the most recent at the top.

    i think that’s it! Mentions are a great way to make sure someone sees a blog post or forum thread that sounds like it’s right up their alley, or to drag them into a fun conversation you think they’d rock, or just to invoke their very presence if you need their attention and aren’t sure whether they’re subscribed to the thread you’re posting in. It’s also helpful if there are a ton of voices in the conversation and you want to be clear about whose comment you’re replying to.

    Go forth and tag!

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