Request: Finer selection controls on automatic tracking

I read almost all new topics here, but I don’t want to track them all. So I set “automatically track topics” to “never”. I have retained the default for “when I post in a topic, set that topic to” “tracking”.

I’d like to see other ways to automatically track topic. I understand that you are all busy now, so it is not going to happen soon.

Two conditions that I could see myself using are:

  • Automatically track topics when I “like” posts in them.
  • Automatically track topics when I bookmark something in them.

Others I can see possibly being useful:

  • Automatically track topics when I flag posts in them.
  • Automatically track topics when handling a flag in them.
  • Automatically track topics when I create a linked post.

Obviously this gets to be quite a lot of cases, and would probably need a new UI design to handle that many things.

A couple of questions for the community here:

  1. Is this something other people would like, or is it just me?
  2. Are there other cases people would like to see tracked automatically?

So you are saying even the maximum setting of 10 minutes for Automatically track topics I enter is not enough?

I agree that there is room for improvement in the autotracking feature but I’m not sure if adding piles of new options is the right way.

To start with, I think it’s important to remind ourselves that it is incredibly easy to manually set a topic to tracking, so many use cases can probably be accommodated by having a rather conservative auto-tracking setting and manually track whatever is not captured automatically.

So based on that, the question becomes: what is preventing you (or me) from finding a sufficiently conservative auto-tracking setting without effectively turning autotracking off? The answer is probably “because reading time alone is not a sufficient indicator for interest in the topic” (Although it is doing a pretty good job, I have to say! In fact, it occurs to me that it might be punishing mainly people who read a lot into a topic before deciding to drop it).

So I think what is needed is one additional criterion that will be connected with a logical AND to the time criterion. So, for example: auto track topic if I have read it for 4 minutes and liked a post. Or - an option that you haven’t mentioned yet: “I have read it for 4 minutes and read all posts.”

BTW, a completely different solution might be to add an auto-untrack setting which sets the topic back to normal if you have ignored the topic with new posts for x days. Actually, I think that might solve most of my tracking issues…

The trouble with autotracking as it is now, is that it does not prioritize my reading the way I would like it to. I use the suggested topics at the bottom of a topic as my next choice to read all the time. The suggested topics prioritize new, and then tracked topics, then semi-random. If I track everything I read, I’ll get the wrong suggested topics.

The order of suggested is tracked/watched, then new.

I think by

he meant “not the ones I want (because I’m tracking everything)”

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Yes. I don’t want to track everything I read because of that problem.

Watched stuff appears as notifications, and I’ll often clear those before even starting the suggestions in Suggested Topics. I use Watching as a fix for a few very interesting topics on one big site where I am tracking nearly everything.