Change individual topics to default to reply in a new topic

We have certain FAQ topics (mostly owned by staff), which are closed, so that people do not start a discussion in them. But then they also do not get the quote option, if they highlight parts of them.

Other topics (usually the current change log) are open, and people are supposed to reply in a new topic, but its just easier to reply in the existing one and these quickly (and always) turn into a mess.

As a moderator I’d like to change them into a Hub Topic, which stays open, but automatically sets the composer to reply in a new topic (not sure, if it needs to be a linked one). I see two ways to implement this:

  • Soft version: Still allow everybody to change it manually back to Reply to topic, so that curator(s) who do not have moderator privileges can update the topic.
  • Strict version: Disable to reply to this topic for regular users, except for specified non-moderator users (like the owner, any co-curators or a custom group of trusted forum regulars).
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I do not follow. Why can’t you close these topics and keep them closed? That way nobody can reply.

If you open the composer in another, open topic, and then navigate to the closed topic, this enables the floating quote button when you highlight text in the closed topic.

  • If the composer is minimised, pressing Quote will open up a new reply in the ‘reply as linked topic’ mode with the quoted text in.
  • If your reply window is open, then pressing Quote will drop the quoted text into the existing reply (though you may need to minimise your keyboard on mobile to free up some screen space)
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What he wants is to be able to reply as new topic on a closed topic. Rather than start a new topic, then navigate to the closed one, then highlight and quote. I think this was possible at one point.

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A more efficient way of quoting a closed topic would be nice. Often the guide-style topics are closed, and quoting excerpts from those in related topics is quite useful. The current method works, but it’s not intuitive for the average user, and can be a bit of a faff overall.

Allowing the floating quote button to still show up in closed topics (even if you still can’t post a reply there) would be much easier than remembering to bring a composer with you.

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My bad, I forgot to specify the other scenario:
Certain topics might be curated by one or more regular users. As they lack moderator privileges these topics have to stay open for them, but everybody else is supposed to start a new thread.

@JammyDodger - thank you for sharing this. I wasn’t aware that this has been possible. Partly because as moderator I do not need to proceed like this.

But I am looking for an intuitive way, which makes it easy for people to start a new topic, while the current one can stay open. Then we only need to educate a handful of people how to reply in such a Hub Topic. And they have an interest in learning it.

Nobody has an incentive to start a new topic, as long as the default suggests to reply in the same. And a closed topic just discourages people from starting a discussion.

Alternatively you could add reply and quote buttons (when not using the above secret) to closed topics, but that would make it too easy to continue any heated discussion, which was the reason why the topic needed to be closed in the first place.

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I think this case is suitable for kanban plugin, where finally topic is closed (this is a part of workflow). Easy way to reply topics as a ticket system would be useful.

Ok so what you want is for the quote button to appear in a closed topic when you select text, like so?

Thus the user would be forced into “create a new topic” when they pressed quote on selected text in a closed topic?

I see the intent, but that might be a bit jarring or unexpected.

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Maybe it could display that warning box that sometimes appears in the composer preview to point out why it’s creating a new topic. By warning box I mean the thing that says you’re replying too much or that there might be a related topic when you try to create a new one.

That can come in handy, too. But you want to restrict this to pinned topics, a certain category and / or topics with a tag from a visible-to-everyone-but-can-only-be-used-by-xyz group. Otherwise people could easily miss that a discussion was closed because it got out of hand.

Yes, like this:

While you cannot post a reply in this closed topic, feel free to start a new topic or include any quotes in another open one.


But my primary request has been that mods can change a topic so that replying to it defaults to start a new topic. To avoid confusion the preview window could display a message like:

To keep this central topic clean and clear, please start a new topic on the aspect you wish to discuss. Use a meaningful title and include quotes as appropriate. Create multiple topics, if you wish to discuss unrelated items.

At the end of the day, I do not mind if such a Hub Topic is open or closed. But curator(s) need to be able to reply in the topic when they lack moderator-privileges, whereas everybody else is encouraged to start a new topic (if it does not already exist).

Or, you could make that text the last post in the topic and close it? Then users would simply need to read and follow the instructions on their screen?

:mega: To keep this central topic clean and clear, please start a new topic on the aspect you wish to discuss. Use a meaningful title and include quotes as appropriate. Create multiple topics, if you wish to discuss unrelated items.

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It sounds to me like what you really need is a way to allow the OP to continue posting in a topic that has been closed, as opposed to just mods. That seems like a more straightforward workflow than nudging people towards opening a new topic but still allowing them to reply directly. This way, the OP can keep replying to their change log or other personal topic while blocking other users from replying.

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If the OP is a staff member or category moderator, this will already work… so I suggest making that person who owns the topic a category moderator if you need them to have the ability to reply to closed topics.

Making them a category moderator might put too much responsibility on them. Is there a way to create a custom user group, which enables members to reply in closed topics (on conditions like they or one of them started the topic or it has a certain tag)?

Not at the moment – your best option is a notice as the second post, or as an alert panel at the bottom of the first post:

:mega: To keep this central topic clean and clear, please start a new topic on the aspect you wish to discuss. Use a meaningful title and include quotes as appropriate. Create multiple topics, if you wish to discuss unrelated items.