Avoid staged users to receive notifications

Hi there,

On my private Discourse, external emails creates discourse topics with staged users as senders. I would avoid to send notification to these stage users when a reply on this kind of topic. Generally our community discuss on this topic the best way to reply and it can be very annoying to have these conversations read by the original sender.

Can we forbid email notifications for staged users by default ? Thanks.

Hi @Globulle. :wave:

A major use case for staged users is the ability to have them email in and receive replies without creating an account.

Check out “whispers”, which allows a group on your site to use “internal” messages that are not shown/sent to users outside the group.

Staged users + whispers are a solid solution for running a ticketing/support system where anyone can email in, let’s your community members discuss it, and then reply with a “regular” message when you are ready to send the staged user a message. :+1:

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Thank you for your reply. My concern is to have the “no-notification-mode” active by default.

The “whispers” are fine, but I would need to have this mode active on concerned categories by default, since I cannot expect all users to use whisper mode at any time.

Another way I have thought of is to untick the notification preference in distant user. But again, how do I achieve that by default?

I haven’t set it up, but I think you can create a category that allows email in from staged users, but the permissions are configured so they can’t read them and therefore are not notified of by replies.

However, it doesn’t support this use case:

Whispers allow you to have a conversation while also allowing replies between participants. Could you explain more about the context of these messages? Do you intend to reply to them from Discourse?

Here is a typical use case :

  • our Discourse is private
  • diverse partners are sending emails to our generic address like contact@example.com which redirects to the forum. For example: “hey, we inform you that our group organize a wonderful event. The members of your community are welcome!”
    (Practically, the email arrive first in a private category, then moderators changes it to a public one when it is relevant.)
  • then the message is visible to our logged members, and we have internal discussion such as : “I am interested, who want to go with me? I have 3 seats in my car.”

When a reply has to be sent to the partner, we use our official email address to not confuse them. No need to send a reply from Discourse.

My impression from this is that the relationship between the staged user and the topic may be irrelevant for your purposes. One possibility that comes to mind is that you could allow moderators to change the owner of posts (moderators_change_post_ownership setting), if that’s appropriate for your forum, where part of the process would then be for the moderator to change ownership before moving the topic.

This might need to be tested though, I don’t know for sure how notifications for staged users are handled so potentially this won’t actually stop the staged user receiving emails for the topic.

Another option might be to write (or commission) a simple plugin to react to new topics in that private category, check if the author is staged and if so, do something. That might still be changing the owner but without requiring moderators have that permission and ensuring it won’t be forgotten or perhaps it’s possible to have the staged user unwatch the topic.

Edit: Upon re-reading, I realise that actually you will eventually want the email address from the staged user so changing the owner is probably unhelpful. I also notice there is the allow_changing_staged_user_tracking setting which suggests to me that staged users tracking/watching topics is how notifications are handled.

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Indeed. And we need to know who is the sender of the message. Some partners email us on a regular basis, so it makes sense they really are a staged user.

I’ve notice that setting too, but it’s not clear to me what is its effect.

Isn’t that how all staged user topics work? We have a lot of customers relying on the above configuration for support scenarios, but the users will receive the responses.

I think it causes the same notification preferences to be visible on a staged user’s profile as are visible on any other user’s profile. So you could, for example, go in and set a staged user to be watching a category.

One obvious use case would be that setting staged users to watch first posts in a category and posting announcements in that category would provide a newsletter experience.

Sadly the user preferences don’t list topics watched so you won’t be able to use that setting for your purposes.