Track a Category or Tag with Notifications


(AstonJ) #1

Continuing the discussion from The Official Discourse Tags Plugin: discourse-tagging

Wonder if anyone else agrees it would be handy to be able to track categories or tags and just be notified when a new topic is posted in one.

So for example on a dog breed forum you get a notification when a topic is posted about a certain breed of dog (the tag). Or on a gaming site you get notified when a topic is posted about a certain game (the tag) you might be following and interested in. People can then review the topic/thread and decide whether they want to watch or track it.

On Xenforo there is this - which I think works really well:


(Michael Downey) #2

Watching categories is already possible … so I could see the same UI/UX being extended to tags. and apparently so is watching tags.


(Jeff Atwood) #3

I think a better idea is having simpler “unwatch” support from email.

You can already do this via:

  1. Watch the tag
  2. When you get the email about the new topic, unwatch it if not interested

It is the unwatch bit that is a visit to the site now.


(Michael Downey) #4

To respond, reply to this email or visit https://discourse.example.org/t/slug/42/1 in your browser.
To stop further notifications from this {topic|category|tag}, click here.
To unsubscribe from these emails, visit your user preferences.

Although it’s not always clear why someone is getting a notification. (Reply, participation, @mention, watching a topic vs watching a category, etc.)


(cpradio) #5

That works great if you get emails. However, I turn off emails all the time. So I’d still get bombarded with notifications in the notification bubble for topics I’m watching for a given category/tag that have zero interest in me until I go and mark said topic as Regular/Muted.

I think based on @AstonJ’s screenshot, he isn’t as concerned with emails as he is with the notification bubble.


(AstonJ) #6

I think you have misunderstood me Michael, I don’t want to watch that in the way the current watch system is set up - I only want to know when a new thread/topic is posted about a tag I am following (and then I want to decide whether it’s worth watching or tracking or not).

I’m not so sure Jeff because after a while I think it will become annoying and probably lead to people just unfollowing the tag.

I’d guess that about 10% of topics per tag will be of relatively high interest, and then perhaps just 10% of those the user will actually want to ‘watch/track’ without replying to it. That’s a tiny percentage of all new topics per tag.

It’s like on the main forum now - only a small percentage of all threads will actually interest most regular users (to the extent of wanting to ‘watch’ them without replying) it would be annoying then if we had to unwatch all the threads that we didn’t want to watch to begin with even tho we are interested in the ‘Discourse’ tag (which is basically this forum).

Does that make sense?


'Watching' for first messages only
(Michael Downey) #7

FWIW, the way I do this with email notifications is watch the category (tag) then (in Gmail) hit m to mute the topic in my inbox if I don’t care to see any more about it.


(Allen - Watchman Monitoring) #8

There is a related feature request about this over here:

It would be like glorious icing on an already tasty cake mailing list.


(Dave McClure) #9

There is also the user setting to “consider topics new when”

  • They were created in the last 2 days (default)
  • They were created since I last visited the site
  • I haven’t opened them yet

Rather than get notifications for all topics, perhaps that setting could be per tag or category.


(Jeff Atwood) #10

This was implemented in Discourse 1.5 – you can “downgrade” the notification state of any topic via a click in the footer of each email now:

To respond, reply to this email or visit https://forum.example.com/t/topic-title/1234/5 in your browser.

To unsubscribe from these emails, visit your user preferences.

To stop receiving notifications about this particular topic, click here.

cc @downey


(AstonJ) #11

Were there any more thoughts on including this?

I think a much larger percentage of people would be interested in getting an email for all new threads/topics, rather than hundreds and hundreds of posts.


(Pad Pors) #12

yes, merging notifications together rather than getting lots of them is a nice shot.