Apply "mailing list mode" per category

I’m confused. You can set the watch state per-category, so wouldn’t that do what you want? Yes, you need to do this initial setup via the website, but even mailman2 has a web interface to set up your configuration.

Well, “watch” state, as far as I can tell, also means that when looking at the forum through a browser, I get notifications (the palid blue and green numbers on my avatar) about such threads. I would like to keep this for the part of the forum that mostly works as a forum, but I would like to avoid getting posts in that part of the forum as e-mails.

I’m part of a private organization that is migrating from a (very old) custom forum/mailing list hybrid. Like some others in this thread, we historically had one mailing list per category, and are trying to replicate that behavior in Discourse to the extent possible.

In our case, most users are not subscribed to most categories. However, users are accustomed to being able to discover new categories quickly by visiting the homepage. Therefore, mailing list mode presents challenges: we currently have it set up so that all categories are muted by default and users have to choose which ones to unmute, but many are unhappy with this.

Alternatively, one could disable mailing list mode, leave all categories unmuted (therefore discoverable), and just choose which categories to watch and receive emails from. In this case, though, users do not receive email copies of their own forum posts, which is an inconsistency.

Simply adding an option for users to receive emails of their own posts in “watching” mode would resolve the asymmetry between the two options (mailing list = “push”/“opt-out”, watching = “pull”/“opt-in”). It would then be equivalent to the “mailing list mode per category” request that originated this thread. This would be extremely useful for us and many others.

I thought we discussed having this option @sam? It doesn’t make any sense at all to me (why would I want a copy of a message I already sent), but as something people can opt-in to it is probably fine, since I know we’ve had discussion about it before?

Yeah we talked about “echo mode” in the past but never built a toggle for it. It’s about 2-3 days of work to get this working properly, we would need a new site setting, a new user setting, a bit of UI to pick it and so on.

Not sure we should prioritize this work at the moment.

Previous related discussions:

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I will just reiterate that this would prevent users to use the forum in a hybrid mode where some categories are in mailing list mode and some are accessed through the web interface while having the advantage of watching some of the categories that are not in mailing list mode. As a workaround, it might do, but it is hijacking a feature (keeping track of selected topics of interest) in order to do something else (receive each post in a given category as e-mail).

In order for this workaround to work, “When I post in a topic, set that topic to” must not be sent to watching. However, when a user posts something in the parts of forum that are not desirable to be in this pseudo-mailing list mode, they will get e-mails when they are quoted, replied to or they are mentioned.

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