What is the business scenario of having a default watched category?
If I have understood watching/following right if all classA parents get notified whenever a parent opens a new topic or replies, it will get as noisy as the old bulk cc emails.
You could instruct the classA representative (the parent who is elected as pivot interface with teachers and school administration) to open a new category-pinned topic whenever there is something official (e.g. class meeting schedule, class outings, etc)
I keep meeting the requirement for a strong PING from a specific member of the community (a parent representative, the director of a no-profit association…), just as it happened with the old email list. I will test the scenario I just described and report.
@evantill your question is right, you can bulk invite via csv to a topic, but you can’t autowatch something.
Still, the parents will only access their own class category and optional school-wide categories, each member will have to develop her own habits and preferences regarding notifications.
But this situation is not optimal for important urgent messages (e.g.“Tomorrow’s trip to the museum canceled, bring kids to school directly.”).
EDIT: instead of compulsorily watching a category, one could think of group-wide @-like mentions. There was I think an obscure syntax to address a group by means of an #groupname syntax, but when I tested it it did not work.
Reading meta literature on the subject, I became convinced that the ability to address a group should be limited to moderators or admins. In this case, the parent that is elected representative for the class.
A collection of links on this topic, for my reference:
@evantill, the #groupname syntax where you write a private message and then add #groupname to the recipients does not work in my setup. I tested several combinations (@#groupname, #groupname, from an admin, from a group member).
The nearest think to the mass email sent to all parents in the class is to publish a Topic or Message containing @ notifications for all the parents in the class. There is a defalt 10 notification limit that you can configure in www.example.com/admin/site_settings/category/posting
max mentions per post
Maximum number of @name notifications anyone can use in a post.
However, a large notifications limit may lead to abuse, and it is cumbersome to write such a mass-CC Topic. In a class with 27 children you may easily end up with 40+ parents (both fathers and mothers).
@blau, I understand that watching a category by default is not the default way to go. But my parents community need to be educate on tools like discourse. The only tools that they are using at them moment is email.
In my case watching by default is the best approach for beginners IMHO.