What are some simple ways to improve digest emails

Continuing the discussion from Default email digest reset?:

These are some thoughts i had about the digest - things that are simple and could help a lot:

  • More statistics in the subject line.
  • Number of posts, number of posters, anything more than just Digest.
  • More details of number of posts, perhaps next to the Category, under the Topic Title.
  • An option which ensures that every newly updated topic is listed, less Digest more Total recap.
  • Some way to ensure that I didn’t miss a thing because I was on Digest, just didn’t get every email.

The subject line used to have the date but through a regression (IMHO) now every single message looks the same. :frowning:

Hopefully the call for customizable Digest templates becomes a reality someday. :smile:

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These two measures would resolve the difficulties we are having with Digests that I outlined here:

Continuing the discussion from Content of Digests:

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How does this make it more useful? It’s just info porn at that point. Put in numbers because… numbers? Perhaps if you could provide some specific examples, but this sounds a lot like info-porn to me, rather than a practical request.

What if there are hundreds or thousands? Show a thousand new posts in the email? This doesn’t make sense. I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding about what digest is for, if you want a different email that includes every single post ever made in that time interval, perhaps open a feature request for that? Or just ask users (or force them against their will) to have “mailing list mode” on?

Not sure what you mean here? Perhaps a real world example would help?

I have no idea what this means. Can you provide specific real world examples?


The numbers in the subject line? Just something more interesting than [Forum name] Digest

Here’s a real-word example, in which the first & last options are fairly clear.

I think that what Discourse offers now would mostly resemble Digest.

What I want is an Abridged mode - I’m not looking for a recap of every Post, but I am looking for a recap of every Topic which is updated since the last email.

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This is not what digest is for, so you should open a new feature request for this.

What digest is for: attracting inactive users back to the site by showing them the coolest and most interesting stuff that happened while they were gone.


I still contend something like “highlights” is a far better name than “Digest” for this and other reasons. Digest clearly doesn’t mean what people expect it to mean.


The word “Digest” was defined, for me, by Google groups, where the digest was sent every time 25 new messages posted, and i could truly keep up with a forum via email only.

What Discourse has at the moment is not that, so I’m encouraging all my users to Watch categories, so they don’t miss key information.


I really like the concept of this:

I know it works.

What I am struggling with in my use of Discourse, is how do people receive by email, a grouped set of all the posts made on the site, or of the posts they are watching.

A potential solution to this would be to add what is more traditionally called a digest mode to the email mailing list mode feature. Would this be possible?

I know this would really help my users, as at the moment people are not being drawn back to discussions happening in existing threads. Great posts are being made, but many members aren’t aware of them because they don’t appear in the current digests.


Since this is not possible, our help desk advises people confused about the “Digest” term to:

  1. Subscribe to email notifications for every post, and then
  2. Use filters/rules in their email client to move them out of the inbox and into a separate folder/label for later scanning/review.

Perhaps this might be a workaround that works for your folks.

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Thanks for the time you’ve taken to make the suggestion. In our experience, unfortunately we find that this approach doesn’t draw people back to the discussions.

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I also strongly think we need a " a grouped set of all the posts made on the site, or of the posts they are watching." To be more precise, I would say that the user should be able to subscribe for all posts, or summaries of posts, by category and thread (including being able to subscribe to a category and opting out of individual threads within the category).

I’ll make a detailed proposal (after my mother gets out of the hospital) for a flexible digest so users can stay current on forum action via email notification for the categories/topics that interests them. It’s very important, IMO, that the digest be as customizable as possible, both by system settings and user preferences, so it optimizes the signal to noise ratio and the user stays engaged and active.


A bit of searching for to see if this feature existed lead me to this thread. A daily/weekly email digest of topics and posts the user cares about (watched/tracked) was requested for our forum, similar to what mailman does. I’d see this existing alongside the current digests.

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Why would you want a digest about posts you’ve already read?

The use case I see for it would be for people who are interested in a category but don’t visit the forum often and don’t want to get an individual email per post.


Why get a digest? because then it shows up when I search in my email (alongside the rest of our emails)

Also, it’s a much more uniform experience, to get all communications, regardless of weather I [remember] seeing it on the forum.


[quote=“downey, post:7, topic:33224”]
“highlights” is a far better name than “Digest”
[/quote]I still think this change of labels makes a whole lot of sense.

Digest is a mailing list term and bears little-to-no meaning for the average forum user. Interestingly, Google Groups appears to have left behind any mention of “digest” or “abridged” and are now sticking to plain English:


Hmm, that’s a different word I didn’t see suggested yet: “summaries”


How about “Activity Summary”?

Either way, we’d have to come up with a new way to describe the “daily summaries” coming to Mailing list mode, but that’s simple, we can just call them “daily updates” instead.

Revised mockup:


I can’t really mock it up today, but I’d LOVE to see a listing of Categories that I have access to, and an option on the right of each to let me indicate if I want to Watch, Track, Normal, or Mute… this would replace the bucket system currently in place in User preferences,… where I need to know which categories exist and know where to put them.

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