Are you using a real user to send welcome messages?

I started off our new Discourse forum with me as the designated sender of the Welcome Message. I figured this would be a nice way to give the message a human touch, and I did indeed have a few pleasant exchanges, just like I had here here on Meta when I got my welcome message from @codinghorror

Problem is, I now have hundreds out outgoing messages crowding up my Messages. When I went there to find an exchange I needed to reference it was really difficult because all of the messages are titled the same as well!

I ended up doing the following:

  1. Reset to default sender, i.e. @system
  2. Give @system our default contact e-mail.
  3. Set @system’s notification settings to send mail when being mentioned or receiving private messages.

Hopefully this works out.

Has anyone else encountered this problem? Did you take a different route?


I discovered this too. I wish that the PMs didn’t clutter up my inbox while still coming from me; and that the replies to that welcome PM still came to me. That’d be ideal, really, in our community.


I am using @system however for different reasons on one of my largest installations.

  • image download event notifications are important to ensure the post still looks the way it should, those don’t make sense coming from a normal user, however they do from @system.
  • technical issues are dealt with by myself and only technical problems, it makes no sense for me to be the replacement @system user as I do not handle community issues and I should not be sending the welcome messages.
  • Usually nobody logs in as @system because there is no point to, we have separate representatives for community issues and it would make sense for one of them to handle it - but then as tech support I loose visibility of the other important events. Discourse - doesn’t seem to allow for this.
  • Only one personal message to @system has been missed - although it was a surprise to find it.

This has perhaps lead to a couple of problems to do with important system event notifications not being received, as I would have expected these to be sent via email:

This may have been due to me not having an email address set on the @system user.

I have recently added an email address to the @system user - hopefully this is part to do with the reasons these events have been missed.

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I agree this is annoying, however, note that search within your PMs works fine if you want to find a particular message. Try initiating a search from the messages tab on your user page – there is a checkbox for it – or view the search help.

Longer term we do need a way of segregating out all the thousands of welcome PMs…


As an addition, I also find it a bit weird that the Admin panel throws a warning when no user is set here.

Enter the name of a friendly staff user account to send important automated private messages from. Update site_contact_username in Site Settings.

Too strong of a message for an optional setting that is currently a bit rough.

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My suggestion would be to not show the welcome messages in the sender’s PMs until there is a reply. (Filter it out from the message lists and counts until posts > 1.)

Is there any common scenario you’d want to see it otherwise? I guess it helps keep tabs on the latest users to join in case you want to reach out to someone you might already know, but that seems rare.

I changed my default sender to @system a while back because my inbox was getting crazy (I don’t know how you manage @codinghorror!) but am realizing that I’ve probably missed out on users replying to the welcome messages, which is unfortunate.


Any idea when this is going to happen? My message box is pretty useless with 25000+ welcome messages :smiley: I did succeed in finding a message a few times, but would be really cool if they could be hidden, somehow.

Or moved to @system (which in turn appears to be the specified admin) and replies goes to the admin specified…


I’d be satisfied with having a way to archive all these messages… Eg have an inbox and archive of PMs. That way you look at them and move them out of sight when you’re done with them. When a reply comes in the messages move back to the inbox.


This is resolved indirectly due to the last round of changes around group messaging and restructuring the user page that @sam did.

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Yes, I plan to change it so all welcome messages are auto-archived, will get that change in this week.

Dealing with the history is a bit of an annoyance though.


Yeah, I have 110k users (auto created with the api, only 30k visited, 10k active) and my pm inbox is wasted :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

not your inbox … your “sent” folder, your inbox should be happy and dandy.

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I am :heart:ing the inbox, sent and archive folders - yay! This will be a huge improvement. Nice work.


Please do it as soon as possible… I want back my personal messages :grinning:

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So, what’s the situation with this currently? I’d like to send more human welcome PMs and was thinking of switching them over from a system account to me. What will happen to my poor sent folder?

Before discobot, I used to send the welcome message from me instead system.

Your sent folder will be full of welcome message, but fortunately, you will receive notifications only if a user reply or like the message.


How exactly were you able to change the email address of @system?

Mine is defaulted to no_email and anytime I try to change that place holder address with my forum’s contact email, it doesn’t work. I go to the Email tab and click Skipped and see the message did not send as no_email is not a valid address.

So I cannot validate a new address as the current email address is invalid. Odd.

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i think you can change the system account email address by going to the account preferences of the system profile (as opposed to the user admin screen). /u/system/preferences/account


You are correct and that is where I went.

Once I change the email, a message with a green background indicates,

We’ve sent an email to your current address. Please follow the confirmation instructions.

However, I never get it.

So I click on Emails and Skipped which states the “To Address” is “no_email” and the “Skip Reason” is,

501 5.5.4 Invalid TO: Missing domain

So the email was sent to “no_email” which means, you cannot change that defaulted address. However, it seems like there must be a way to do this.

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Perhaps you could do it via the rails console using this method (I’d backup first and do it at a quiet time!):