Hi @angus, thank you!
For our case, we’re ok to keep it as simple as possible.
Comparing to the topic watch/follow options, what we’re looking for would be most similar to the ‘Watch’ option, but you would only be notified when that artist is the OP of a new topic. I would disable any notifications of likes/replies/etc. entirely, so in a one-size-fits-some plugin scenario I would need options in the admin to do so. An unfollow/unwatch of the person would default back to something like the ‘normal’ option for topics, you wouldn’t get notifications anymore.
As for the users I am watching, I’d like to have a tab in the user profile that shows them similarly to the way the user directory page works. Later I may turn this into a ‘feed’ of topics by the users I am watching.
It would also be nice to have the admin option of showing a count of how many watchers a user has on their profile. (I admit I’m not sold on the value of this, but I can see it being requested.)
I envision the watch/unwatch as a button existing with the ‘message’ button on the user profile, and maybe a smallish icon on the user avatar within the topic view. For my case, the big thing is the notifications.
Imagine I’m participating in a film industry forum. Yes, a lot of it is general discussion and demo reels, but if James Cameron posts a new project I want to know about it. This is what I’m dealing with, more so than a social situation between users.
Please let me know what additional details I can provide.