I’m trying to implement a scenario where certain members of my forum should be notified of every new topic that is added to a specific category. In this case, the category’s permissions are set to only let people that belong to a certain group see it’s topics and posts. If I add this category to the setting “Default categories watching first post” under Admin > Settings > User Preferences, will it email out first new posts only to those people belonging to the group that has permission? Am I understanding this right?
That is correct, if the user doesn’t have access to the category it will not be added to their “Watching First Post” (or other) notification state list.
I set this preference, and now I’m looking at a user account that does not have access to that category in any way shape or form, but it says that she is watching first posts on that category. Thoughts?
As an admin you will see that the user is watching the category. If you impersonate the user, you should not see the category in their watched category list. Technically, they are watching the category, but since they have no access to it, they will not see the category or receive notifications from it.