Watching and sending notifications for keywords?

(Tyler Langlois) #1

I have a use case that I think is pretty common, but haven’t been able to find an existing feature either here or in Discourse itself that fits the feature I’ll describe.

Essentially I have the need to get notified for new topics that could potentially span more than one category for specific keywords. My use case is the Elastic forums at wherein I want to get notified about any topic that includes the string puppet, which can come up in the Elasticsearch category, Kibana category, et cetera.

Right now I’m using a script an Elastic employee wrote to capture these, but I’ve spoken to multiple non-technical people who have a similar need, so it feels like encapsulating this functionality in Discourse proper or a plugin seems like an apt fit.

Is there a feature I’m overlooking that could provide this, is it too specific for native integration, or is this something that would be worth doing?

(Jeff Atwood) #2

This is related to other proposed work. When a certain word appears, take one of these actions:

  • block post
  • require approval for the post
  • auto flag the post
  • allow the word but censor it out
  • add this tag

Cc @neil

Upcoming feature to-do list
(Neil Lalonde) #3

Yeah this is another example of a new trigger we need based on post contents so that something (in core or plugins) can take an action.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #4

I believe that add this tag plus the user Watching a tag would solve this case.

(Jeff Atwood) #5

Sure I added “add this tag” as an outcome from the word match being hit. It’s a very powerful scheme.

(Sam Saffron) #6

I think this fits more as a “per user” action as opposed to a “global” action.

Perhaps a plugin that adds

Automatically watch topics containing the following words: banana, monkey, apple


Notify me of all new posts containing the following words: banana, monkey, apple

We definitely have all the hooks in-place to enable such a plugin, no core changes are needed.

(Jeff Atwood) #7

Maybe but it has been requested multiple times by customers and I think it makes sense as a global.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #8


(Dave McClure) #9

I’m sure some users on our site would appreciate this.


Many of our users have gotten used to adding #some-tag in the body of posts from previous the previous platform they were on (Socialcast) as well as other apps out there they use every day.

I’m not a huge fan of that, but it’s hard to “untrain” this behavior, particularly now that tags do auto-complete in post bodies.

But when they do this, I also have to teach them that:

  1. The topic itself is not tagged when they do that.
  2. People watching that tag will not be notified.
  3. Doing so will not make the topic show up in the topic list for that tag.

Their main motivation for tagging posts is to notify groups of people (use case 2), so this would potentially be a solution for that (as would the auto-tagging depending on how that is implemented).

We could also try to retrain people to use groups for some of this, but we don’t want to allow group messaging at this time, just notifications.

(Tyler Langlois) #10

Thanks for the input, all! :pizza:

Based upon the feedback given here, should I assume that this is something that Discourse core wants to put on their roadmap, or should this functionality be taken up by the community in a plugin?

(Jeff Atwood) #11

It’s been added to #releases for the longer term roadmap, not currently assigned to a release.

(Johnny) #12

This would be amazing in my case as well, I’ve turned half of the forum private but there’s still a public part. People keep posting about certain private things in the public place and this would solve that problem nicely :slight_smile:

(Jay Pfaffman) #13

Can someone point me to a plugin that does something similar?

(Todd Day) #14

We would also be interested in this function.

We use Discourse internally and application owners would like to be notified when users mention their application; e.g. application X is down.

Additionally, brand and marketing managers would like to be notified when a particular brand or model is mentioned; e.g. ACME widgets are the best.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #15

This is available in this plugin:

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #16