How can someone who wants to primarily interact via email join a thread in progress?

If someone has an email notification for a thread, they can easily reply and join the conversation without switching to a web browser. But what if they didn’t get the notification for whatever configured reason? Is there a way to jump into a thread via email alone?

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Try setting the Category notification level to Watching First Post on the desired Category to receive the emails. Then reply to those emails.

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But what if you don’t have the email already?

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Not convinced you read my suggestion carefully enough.

If you set that notification level you will receive emails for every new Topic in that Category regardless of your involvement.

Well, I read it again and I’m still not getting it. How does that help with a thread that was started when the user had that option turned off? I mean, short of having a time machine.

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Oh sure you can’t go back in time. This will only work for Topics created after you set that and after 10 minutes of closing the browser window.

I don’t think you’ll find any way of doing this without having received a notification you can reply to.

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With a mailing list, you can join a thread by looking up the Message-Id in an archive somewhere and manually editing that in. But that’s pretty advanced and not accessible to typical users anyway. I guess with DIscourse at least they can start a new topic and the mods can move it to the thread if appropriate.

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By the time you’ve found the message ID on the internet you might as well reply on the internet too if the archive has that facility (which Discourse does).

Though I wonder - I think email replies to topics include a topic/message ID in the To: field. It would be possible manually to create that email address. And Discourse might accept it from the email address of a registered user. Maybe you could display the relevant ID to your forum to allow people to do this. Just thinking out loud.

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The system uses reply keys. I don’t think you can spoof them and they are user specific:

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Would it be possible for a plugin to generate and display the relevant reply key - perhaps incorporated into a mailto: link - beside each post? There could be separate “reply” and “quote” links.

I’m not saying any of this is a good idea, but it would replicate some mailing list archive behaviour.

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