How are `system_messages.welcome_user.*` values used?

I thought the system_messages.welcome_user.* fields formed an email, but I signed up with my personal account and never received this welcome. (I’ve checked spam.)

Is this vestigial? If not, where should I be looking?

1 Like

I think it is the first message you receive from discobot.

I also found

They don’t match:

Plus, this is apparently the %{new_user_tips}

by default, is discourse_narrative_bot.new_user_narrative.hello.message here

This one is used when you have discourse_narrative_bot_welcome_post_type set to “send all new users a welcome message” which is not the default.


Thanks @supermathie! That’s super-helpful.

Is there some sort of guide or other resource I missed on all this? Or was I supposed to “just know” that’s how it all worked? :confounded:


I had to go digging through the code to find the answers; I’m flagging this for our “Admin UX” improvement project.


I agree the UI around enabling/disabling/customizing discobot is confusing.

Discobot is a core feature, and it’s called “narrative bot” in the admin settings. We did at some point add discobot to the description so it does show up when searching for it.

The image shows a user interface with a checkbox labeled "Enable Discourse Narrative Bot (discobot)" that is checked. (Captioned by AI)

The rest of the admin settings are only discoverable if you search for “narrative bot” and not by searching for discobot. We can fix this.

There are three modes for discobot to help onboard new users, which I think are fairly apparent once you can see all the narrative bot settings.

  1. No welcome PM at all from discobot
  2. Interactive welcome PM from discobot
  3. Non-interactive welcome PM from discobot

Customizing text is fairly advanced and you have to typically do a lot of digging to figure out how to change specific text. I don’t recommend sites try to edit the interactive welcome PM because it is fairly fragile and easy to break.

I can definitely see why sites would want to edit the non-interactive welcome PM, which is certainly hard to find. We could improve the discoverability. It happens here:

The included %(new_user_tips) are furthermore editable, and are somewhat dated. We have been removing links to the blog from discourse:

I think the todo here is along these lines:

  1. improve narrative bot (discourse) admin setting descriptions
    • make sure they are discoverable also using “discobot” search term
    • take the opportunity to explain what the feature does and how it works
    • provide links to text customization where appropriate
    • link to documentation topic on meta (see 3)
  2. improve the default text for the non-interactive welcome PM
    • update %(new_user_tips) text or replace it with actual text
  3. write new documentation topic on meta that explains how the feature works in more detail and how it can be customized

Okay, so first, I’m 1000% for normalizing Discobot vs “narrative bot”, and I’m up for your numbered list at the end.

And why do I have to choose between Discobot and sending an email? That’s what I wanted to do: send new users an email.

Discobot teaches people how to use Discourse (BTW, in surveying my two Community Management colleagues… only one of the three of us started the DB tutorial and 0 of us finished it.)

The Discobot interactions aren’t configurable, AFAIK. Sure, I can maybe edit the message about reactions to say something else, but regardless of what I make the message say, DB is still going to expect a :heart:

An email would allow me to say things like, oh I don’t know

As you participate here, we’ll get to know you and temporary new user limitations will be lifted. Over time you’ll gain trust levels that include special abilities…

Why can’t I do both?


Do you have Automation installed on your site? You could always create an automation to send a PM when someone signs up.

It’s not in my list of Plugins. Do y’all even allow that on hosted sites?

We do indeed. :slight_smile: It’s an official one available on the Business and Enterprise plans. :+1:

Do you want me to hook you up?


Yeah! Hook me up! :smiley: