Confusing wording for email notification settings

In the " Add more granular user option levels for email notifications" feature that was added in 2.3.0 beta 6, the “Send me email notifications even when I am active on the site” setting was removed in favor of separate “always / only when away / never settings” for messages and for other notifications. (email_messages_level and email_level).

This is a great improvement. However, the accompanying text “Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username, or invites me to a topic” does not cover all emails, especially those that are sent by the watched/tracked settings in Preferences - Notifications - Categories, while these are being covered by that setting.

(Actually it seems like this was always the case, but it got more confusing now since the explicit ‘always send everything’ setting was removed).

Maybe this could be worded in more broad terms (for instance: “topic activity notifications”) so it would cover the category notifications as well ?

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Maybe, propose your exact changes side by side with the original copy in a reply here?

Sure.

Current:

Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username, or invites me to a topic

Proposal #1:

Send me an email when I receive a notification regarding a topic I’m watching, tracking, or participating in

Alternative:

Send me an email when I receive a notification regarding topic activity

That seems extremely vague. As a rule I don’t like to replace specifics with vagueness. So the answer is currently no.

I do see some other unrelated opportunities for cleaning up copy here though…

I’d like to hear specifically which emails you feel are not covered here, with examples. And please use text, not screenshots, so we can all save some time…

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The following emails are covered by the “Send me an email when someone quotes me …etc…” setting but are not included in the descriptive text for that setting:

  • emails that are sent because a notification is generated because a new post or topic is created in a category I’m watching because it appears in the list set by Preferences - Notifications - Categories - Watched
  • emails that are sent because a notification is generated because a new topic is created in a category I’m “watching first post” for (set by Preferences - Notifications - Categories - Watching first Post)
  • emails that are sent because a notification is generated because a new post is created in a topic I’m watching because I set it to ‘watching’ on the bottom of the topic
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Could be like the following:

Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username , or invites me to a topic, and also regarding categories and topics I’m watching.

Maybe the text is a bit too long, but I think it is clear about what it does.

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I am trying to write a summary of the notification and email notification regime and finding it difficult, but this thread, and in particular this wording, has helped.

In relation to this one, my current understanding is that no email is sent for anything that is merely tracked (your subsequent helpful summary reflected this).

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Here is what I have come up with so far. It follows a paragraph about the latest page, notification page and the numerical count.

You can apply the following levels to categories, tags or topics:

  • Watching — Notified: new topics and replies. Counted: new topics and replies.
  • Tracking — Notified: only if someone replies to you. Counted: new topics and replies.
  • Watching first post (category only) — Notified: new topics in category, but not replies. Counted: new topics.
  • Normal — Notified: only if someone replies to you. Counted: nothing.
  • Muted — Notified: nothing. Counted: nothing.

and

By default, if you are away from the forum, you will be sent an email for anything you are Watching or Watching first post.

Before I tidy up the wording, could you possibly check it for accuracy? @RGJ

Thanks.

When I wrote the above I thought that the “count” mentioned in “notification levels” was the number in the top right.

Now I realise that number is just the number of notifications. It wouldn’t make sense otherwise.

The “count” must be one of the per-topic numbers which appear to the right of the topic name when listed - probably the “unread” number which appears in a blue circle.

I’ll update this if I discover that this is wrong too!

This confused me for a bit. The fact that watching is missing altogether from the email preferences text made me wonder if emails got sent at all for watching notifications.

Currently it says:
“Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username, or invites me to a topic”

AFAICS it should say:
“Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username, invites me to a topic, replies to a topic I’m watching, or starts a topic in a category or tag I’m watching.”

Maybe this could be shortened to:
“Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to me, mentions me, invites me, replies to a topic I’m watching, or starts a topic where I’m watching.”

I was similarly confused by this with a Discourse instance I’ve set up to replace some mailing lists. I didn’t want to make the default behaviour be mailing list ish so I needed to provide instructions for users that want to keep a mailing list like experience. (Watching desired categories, rather than receiving everything)

The related preference above is titled with this:

Send me an email when someone messages me

So I have customised the text on our instance to change this:

Send me an email when someone quotes me, replies to my post, mentions my @username, or invites me to a topic

into this:

Send me an email when I receive any other notification

I’m not entirely convinced it’s the right wording but I do think it works well with related texts, such as when choosing to watch a category:

You will automatically watch all topics in this category. You will be notified of every new post in every topic, and a count of new replies will be shown.

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