How do we want to fix new-topic notifications in Discourse?

Discourse has a great system of subscribing to the categories and tags one is interested in – which will then result in getting e-mail notifications when a new topic (or new post, depending on the setting) is added to a category or tag.

However, people here don’t really use this system. I just had a look at the numbers, and:

Our current maze of tags is certainly not inviting to subscribe. But still, these numbers are incredibly low. It seems people don’t know about this aspect of Discourse. This basically means there is currently little way for people to be notified about potentially relevant topics, resulting in lower-than-optimal engagement.

So how would you imagine notifications to work ideally? I can then try to map it to the existing Discourse features (subscribe-by-default categories and tags, topic invites and mentions, digest e-mails). One of the most elegant ways might be to derive who should talk to whom next automatically from Graphryder data and then sending topic invites automatically (which might be a discussion of interest to @hugi and @alberto).

I would add the option to subscribe to tags on the signup form. Also, perhaps it’s time to do a one time email asking the whole extended usebase whether they want to subscribe to a newsletter + let us know how frequently is optimum for them?

How about making this the default for all users for categories such as: Campfire?

For all other topics the default should probably remain ‘Normal’, but if a user participates in a conversation in that category the settings are automatically changed to Watching First Post.

Just a thought.

Honestly, even as you wrote it I had to really dig deep to see if there is a Subscribe button. But no, if I have it right only from the User profile - Preferences - Notifications can users do this. For myself, I do it directly from the Watching- Tracking -… icon on every cat or topic page, but for most it is probably not at all visible, this option :roll_eyes:

Makes sense, and is possible with existing Discourse features. Which categories exactly? I would probably limit it to just Campfire, and then we’d start topics (from any project) in there if they are relevant to the community, and move them to their project-specific categories later after the conversation was kindled at the Campfire.

Yes, that’s the right way to do it. You think it’s not visible to most because they just don’t see the button consciously?

Makes sense, but will be harder to implement. I’ll see …

Yep - but we also need to exercise judgement - more blog like and curated calls for participation there, not everything we now pile up in the projects to go in Campfire.

It’s not at all visible.
For topics particularly, the button is at the end of the page and nothing about it says ‘Here are your settings for this post, and you can adjust them’.

For tags though, I think we would need to link to a tag page (clusters of topical posts) more often to make it a habit of browsing through tags.
They would need to be more embedded in the visual architecture of the website - right now categories is the way to browse it seems, not at all tags.

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Is it advisable to also offer up a selection of well-used tags on the site to assist people in making their choices?

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