Get notified of new topics, but not posts

People on my forum would like to get a mail when a new topic is made in a category. Then they can decide if they want to have a look. They don’t need notifications for every new post in those topics (as is possible now).

The digest doesn’t work for them, as it’s only sent once a day at minimum.


Is the digest too slow for this? They can ask for it daily in their settings.

For a specific category or all categories?

I can see why this would be useful for forums being used to provide customer support.

For instance, it can be useful to have more people see the initial description of the problem or request for help since its not obvious who will be best able to answer the question. People with something to contribute to the conversation can then pop on the site and add their thoughts. If they don’t participate they do not get more email notifications. If they do participate, then they do.

If so, it’d be better if it could be enabled/disabled for specific categories.

To really do what I’m talking about though, you’d also need a setting like “Automatically Watch Topics I Have Replied To”


This is also useful for big forums with many new topics created daily as some people would like to track new discussions specifically not only updates to already existing ones.


I’m not sure, but a feature like this could easily become a nuisance for forum users.

Yes, the digest is too slow, as some topics need a reply within 24 hours.

A specific one. Just as the current option to watch a topic, but without the replies.

Exactly. I tried to watch a category of Meta here and immediately got ‘spammed’ with all the replies on the new topics, while just the new topics would have been enough. It’s unusable even.

Could you explain why you think it would become a nuisance?


Because at the speed you would like to get notified, E-mail traffic would soon become very straining on the user and the mail server. I personally would not like to get an e-mail every 5 minutes telling me there is a new topic.

Well, the option to watch a whole category (that is an option already) is even worse then: it not only mails every topic but also its replies.

Besides, mailservers like Mandrill won’t even blink with these amounts. So mailservers shouldn’t be the culprit.

Neither would I, unless I specifically subscribe to a category. It’s the same as it is now with the watch option, just without the replies.


Oh I didn’t even know that feature existed, yes I guess it’s fine when it’s optional on a per user basis.

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I wonder if the existing option should just be changed to what you’re suggesting here. Does anyone use the current feature as implemented?

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I think the better solution here is to let people opt into digests that are sent every 4 hours, or whatever.


one pain point there is that you can not reply to digest.

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I don’t know if you should reply to a topic, either, without seeing the other replies that may exist in the topic first…

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True, good point, and they already have full mailing list support if they want that.

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A more frequent digest could work as well I think. Although I still would rather get an immediate notification.

We use our forum for client requests and then one of the team will pick it up. Before it’s picked up it will be discussed. Not everyone in the team is interested in every request. So they don’t need to know about the replies. But if they are interested, they should respond quickly, don’t want to keep the client waiting.

I agree you should not reply to a topic before you see the replies, but like I said: for Meta the watch category option is completely useless now. Way too many mails.

One of the things I dislike about mailinglists is you either have a digest - which is slow - or you get every single mail. Nothing in the middle. If Discourse is taking over the mailinglist concept, wouldn’t it be nice to make it ready for the next ten years as well?


I am open to adding a site setting here to enable the feature. Our main objection here is about giving users too much choice and paralyzing them

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Much easier to just add another range for digests to be sent:

e.g. “every 4 hours”

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For the use case I’m considering, that doesn’t help too much. I want people to be notified almost immediately of new topics (aka ‘tickets’).

And I would need to be able to limit it to specific categories.

What about the idea of changing the definition of what it means to be ‘watching’ a category? Does anyone use it the way its currently implemented?


I use it as currently implemented

I understand this new use case, but its a new couple of options.