Ability to add multiple topic timers

Hey all,

Is it possible to set up multiple Topic Timers – for example: publish, and then a separate one to auto-close the thread. I have a direct need for this…it’s not a deal breaker for it not to exist…just automation is amazing.

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Is this what you’re after?

Auto-closing is already core.

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Not possible right now as we only allow one public topic timer (publish, closing, opening) per topic. As a workaround now, you could set a publish topic timer and add a reminder for yourself to close the topic.

Could you build on your use case a little as to why you have a need for multiple topic timers? Multiple topic timers is not impossible but tricky to deal with as we now have to make sure that there isn’t any overlap with the time range.


I pretty much wanted a publish timer and a timer to close the topic automatically…not much more to it.


Here’s my use case for two topic timers on the same topic.

In my community, we have a recurring weekly topic called Wow Us Wednesday. It’s a 24 hour period for members to do self-promotion as we’ve found they need a time and place to vent their promotional steam.

We use the existing topic timer functionality to automatically close the topic 24 hours after being published – mostly so promotion stays contained to a specific weekly time frame and doesn’t keep bubbling back up to the top all the time.

However, using the auto close topic timer prohibits me from using the schedule publishing topic timer – and I want to use both.

I would prefer to schedule 4-8 weekly Wow Us Wednesday topics all at once from an efficiency perspective. Right now, I can’t use the schedule publishing topic timer as my one topic timer because, if I miss my window to manually close the topic 24 hours after it’s published, members can do self-promotion beyond our 24 hour concentrated time frame.

Since our Wow Us Wednesday takes place from 12:00 a.m. PDT - 11:59 p.m. PDT and I’m two hours ahead in CDT, I’d have to wake up at 2:00 a.m. to manually close the topic – something I’m not keen to do. That says nothing of my changed responsibilities if I’m on vacation, sick, or can’t find another admin in a different time zone to manually close the topic.

Having two topic timers on the same topic wouldn’t be revolutionary for me. But it would sure make my scheduling and team coordination easier, and I imagine hundreds of other Discourse users would say the same.


Interesting use case.

I think there is totally merit for supporting “delay published, auto closing” topics. I can see use cases where it is useful.

A current workaround is to post it to a category with auto-close topic hours set, would that not work?


I appreciate the workaround suggestion, Sam. I could see it working for some Discourse users … the issue is it doesn’t work for mine.

The self-promotion threads are published to a category called “Anything Goes” and the nature of the category is to have wide-ranging conversations. The only forum threads in the category I’d want to auto-close are the self-promotion focused ones I publish. The rest are published by community members and I want to leave replies open indefinitely.

Granted, I could create a new category specifically for these weekly self-promotion posts. But we’re wary of the communication and UX tradeoffs when we create new categories and try to do it as infrequently as possible.


How about a “wow us Wednesday” subcategory of “anything goes”?


Stephen, we played with the idea of having a “Wow Us Wednesday” sub-category of the “Anything Goes” master category. However, despite the efficiency gain of being able to have a dedicated sub-category with the ability to auto-close all topics in it after 24 hours, we weren’t willing to make the trade off in UX.

For example, having a sub-category filter in the Anything Goes category for the Wow Us Wednesday sub-category and seeing the standalone Wow Us Wednesday sub-category on the the Categories view page (e.g., https://yourforum.com/categories) draws too much attention to the fact that we have a dedicated sub-category for self-promotion.

Our goal is to limit the visibility of self-promotion for the 144 out of the 168 hours each week where we’re not actively doing self-promotion.

I’m grateful for the suggestion. I’ll just wait until @sam or someone else on the Discourse Team develops the “delay published, auto closing” feature Sam mentioned he’d like to see.


Did you experiment with hiding that particular subcategory from /categories using css?

I have another use case for publish-then-close: I am running a course, where we are posting announcements inviting input for each course activity, and afterwards closing the announcement after the corresponding activity (lecture or Q&A) is over. An auto-close category wouldn’t quite work because different activities have different expiration.


Hi, tried to setup multiple timers for recurring events. Allowing 2 - 3 would be useful!

  1. Delayed Publish
  2. Delete All Replies after 7 days
  3. Auto Bump weekly, or bi-weekly, before the event recurs.

Thanks for considering. Also using new automation plugin to:

Auto-Pin topic the day before next occurrence. Hoping to eventually set this as recurring weekly / bi-weekly / monthly rather than on a specific day. ← This how we’ve configured our Event plugin.

Perhaps there could be more interplay between topic timers and the automation plugin in the future. Cheers.

Another topic timer option that could be useful:

  • Remove all emoticons from topic.

This is because users like to use emoticons to interact with a topic when they agree / disagree, etc.


That belongs in the event plugin IMO.


My use case for this is for game threads.

I want to launch the LOCKED thread at midnight because people will start looking for it from our week-long event blog. This I can do.

I want to set it to unlock at 9am when the game actually starts. The only way I can do this is to stay up after midnight to set another timer or do it manually at 9am.

Another use case is giveaway threads. I’d love to send the launch and close times at the same time instead of waiting for it to launch to set the end time.

I would LOVE to set two timers. I can see where this gets a bit tricky if they conflict but maybe limit the use cases or put in some checks & balances.



Would it be useful to split this into a specific RFE for scheduled posts which auto-close?

The workaround of having an auto-closing category makes sense in general, but I’m wanting to do this for a specific set of conversations as part of a structured discussion over the next few months, and setting up a separate category seems heavyweight for that.

Why not just so that as a seperate sub-category? That isn’t so bad, and you can config it so that your users probably won’t even notice.

My users are very notice-y. :slight_smile: Many have filters set up to sort their notification mail, and therefore are sensitive to category changes.

I’m also unsure on how notification settings work for subcategories… if I create one, will it inherent from the parent for existing users, or will they have to subscribe separately?

Uggh!!! You need to move them off mailing list mode and get them onto the Discourse UI! Not easy, I know from real world experience. Good luck.

The email subject tags will include the name of the parent category, but it would depend on how they set up their filters (particularly if they include both of the square brackets).

Is a little complex - there is an inheriting functionality in there when setting up notification defaults, but I haven’t messed with it. You definitely can set them independently if desired.