"Automatically track topics I enter after _____"

(hamburglar) #1

The wording of this setting is kind of weird and doesn’t really make it very clear what it’s for. As far as I can tell, it really means “automatically track topics I read for at least _______”. It’s also a bit strange, behavior-wise. The length of time I spend reading a thread depends on the length of the thread, which has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not I’m interested in tracking it. It took me a few instances of getting inexplicably signed up to follow specific threads before I figured it out.

I’ve turned it off and my suggestion is that it should be turned off by default or junked entirely. It’s a very odd criterion to use for subscribing to a thread.


Discourse has threads you’ve read with new posts show up in the “Unread” tab by default. This time delay is supposed to act against you not enjoying or being interested in the thread. Note the difference between “Tracking” and “Watching”. The only thing “Tracking” does is change what shows up in the “Unread” tab.

(hamburglar) #3

Well, I don’t have any idea what “watching” is if it’s different from “tracking”, but my comments were about the criteria for putting a thread in the “unread” tab.

(Chris Leong) #4

It is quite possible for someone to subscribe themselves to dozens of threads before they realize what is happening. Please reconsider this as a default setting

(Sasha) #6

you will see unread and new post counts on this topic, plus notifications of @name mentions and all new posts.

you will see unread and new post counts on this topic, plus notifications of @name mentions and replies to your posts.

You can see those descriptions (along with two others) when you click on Notify button on the bottom of every thread. The text on the button is one of the Watching | Tracking | Regular | Muted.

I agree with you that default setting of auto tracking a topic after one minute is bad, I turned it off.


See, I appreciate it. I like to keep up on the updates of threads I’ve viewed. What else would you use the Unread tab for? Also, if a post is too prone to spammy discusison, its easy to change your setting on the bottom of each page.

EDIT: The tracking setting is the exact same as “Regular”, except it shows on Unread.

(hamburglar) #8

It’s not so much that the auto-tracking is prone to spamminess, it’s that I have ended up with a lot of threads in there that made me go “huh? why am I getting updates on this? I’m completely uninterested in it.” And the answer was "it took you 65 seconds to read this thread, therefore: INTEREST! The length of time it took me to look at a thread has zero correlation with how interested I am in it and 100% correlation with … drumroll … the length of the thread. :smiley:

(Jeff Atwood) #9

So go to your user preferences and turn up the default auto-tracking interval to something much higher, or turn it off altogether!

(hamburglar) #10

Yep, I did. I’m just casting a vote saying that I think it’s a very weird default. I doubt very many people think spending X seconds browsing a long thread means they’re interested in tracking it.

(Jeff Atwood) #11

I agree somewhat, we increased the default from 1 minute to 2 4 minutes for auto-track.

(Jesse Perry) #12

:ghost: This topic lives.

Question: how can I change this setting in admin and have it update for all users who haven’t otherwise changed the setting (basically everyone?)

I want to go from the 4 minutes default to 0 (immediately), but it appears that changing it in admin doesn’t change it for existing users?

(Sam Saffron) #13

Allowing admins to set defaults is something that is on the roadmap but not implemented yet best you can do is run a query to set it for all existing users

(Jesse Perry) #14

I’m referring to the setting “Auto Track Topics After” in Admin settings.

But based on your answer it sounds like this only applies to new users?