Change "There are no latest topics. That's sad." to a less depressing message

It is possible to arrive at a view in discourse where a list of latest topics shows no results, for example when you are a new user and looking at tracked topics when you’re not tracking any topics, categories or tags yet. Currently, the message shown is quite sadness inducing:

There are no latest topics. That’s sad.

I get that the message is intended to motivate the user to post something. But still I think it should be changed. Others might have better ideas, but something along the lines of the below might be sufficient, as displayed at the bottom of topic lists.

There are no latest topics.

We could also take inspiration from TOP and make a suggestion, e.g.

There are no latest topics. Browse all categories

Screen Shot 2020-08-27 at 10.46.00 AM


I like your last option, adding a link to browse all categories. :+1:


This is a good idea. I think it could display either create new topic or browse top or latest


I don’t know :thinking:, I kinda like the “humanization” of the app, even if it’s a bit judgemental, maybe something along the line of

There are no latest topics. image That’s sad !


There are no latest topics. image That’s unfortunate !

But I agree, a link to something would be great too :slightly_smiling_face:


This is not the topic you are looking for. :love_you_gesture:


I think it needs to be something funny and upbeat, but also serious: you need to create some topics for anyone to want to even come here!

(Not in those exact words, but you know what I mean. A Discourse without topics is… rather pointless.)


Yup. I agree Jeff. Message is bland as as tobias put it ‘depressing’


I’m not really bothered by the “that’s sad”. I don’t find it “depressing”. It’s a small joke, a kind of wink :wink:
What I find a little strange is more the “latest” part, when it doesn’t really have anything to do with “latest”. All the searches of tracked or watched topics return the results in the “latest” page (which may already be a small oddity in itself), and probably sort them by date (I would assume), so = “latest” !?

It would be more logical to have a “There are no “tracked” / “watched” topics”.

Also, in the preferences, you have to go into the “category” section to perform a search of the TOPICS you actually track or watch (by clicking “show” above the boxes where you enter the categories). Not the most logical thing. Not the most illogical either, but maybe strange the first few times.

You get returned all the topics you watch or track by clicking on “show” without any distinction if it’s because you created the topic, posted in it, stayed in it for more than x minutes, chose to track/watch manually (=All the “individual” topics watching/tracking) or because you’re actually tracking/watching tags or categories. It’s all mixed up in one single big return. Which is useful and should exist. But maybe several other searches in the respective portions of the preferences could return a list of the topic you’re individually T/W (tracking/watching), T/W because of categories T/W’ed, T/W because of tags T/W’ed, or everything T/W’ed (=the current search)

It could make sense to return the results in a different tab than “latest”, or simply to rename “latest” while it’s showing the results of the search.

Anyway, all suggestions. Make of them what you want. The point is that there may be room for improvement in term of UX. As for the initial point: “it’s sad”, you could just remove it, or replace it with something more “joyful” while keeping the initial “spirit”:

"Start following/tracking some topics to get results next time :wink: " or anything in that kind of idea (+maybe a link, indeed)


How about, “You’re all caught up! Ready to [start a new conversation]?”

It’s not funny, but it’s more upbeat.


Seems nice for when the forum is started and there isn’t actually any post yet (that’s just once at the very beginning of the whole forum)
But as Tobias mentioned, you also get this message when you search the topics you track or watch. That’s far more common.


I think the current message is fine, categories should never be published as empty. Part of the staging strategy for new categories or even new sites should include starter topics.

In new categories that message isn’t even visible unless an admin unlisted the category description topic.

Nothing to see here. Move along! :policewoman: Why not start a new topic or catch up on your unread topics?

Personally, I find this far worse than the actual :wink:


Yeah, agreed! I wasn’t being serious.

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I"ve always thought it funny and cute.

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About the need to create topics, I came to realize that between the lack of technical proficiency for new users, and the inherent difficulty to spontaneously write anything, a mix of some kind of stage fright and the efforts to make, the draft feature might be something to promote and improve ? But that’s a bit off-topic :sweat_smile:

There are no latest topics yet. image Time to start brewing! :coffee: :writing_hand: Browse my drafts

Clearly the only suitable replacement:


It depends how you perceive the ‘that’s sad’

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I think it is important to not inject one’s cultural norms, beliefs and personal opinions into other peoples web site designs, communities and business models; and so these types of phrases should (and could) be easily user (admin) configurable.

If a web site owner / designer does not like, for whatever reason (to each his own, right?):

There are no latest topics. That’s sad.

and they want to change it to:

There are no latest topics. Please visit this link on how to post a topic.

That should really be up to the web site owner(s), easily configurable in the settings. The default could be whatever as long as the admins can change these phrases.

Sidebar: As someone who has travelled to over 50 countries, worked (some short term gigs) in at least 15, and is currently an expat living outside my birth country (US) for around 14 years (now in Thailand), experience reinforces common sense that every culture has it’s own “norms” and what is funny in one culture can easily be offensive in another. (sorry, for stating the obvious…end Sidebar)

That’s my 2 cents: Make these phrases admin configurable.

It is good for Discourse to make these phrases admin configurable and this creates the broadest possible user base for Discourse.


You’re so right that it already (partially) is :slightly_smiling_face: