Option: Follow topics you reply to automatically



  • When I reply to a topic, I'd like to be able to follow it automatically, as an option in the Settings area. This is a useful option that other forum software has and I think NodeBB would benefit from it.

    Here's some reasons why:

    • Users will be more engaged as more people reply
    • It's easier than remembering to click the heart button > Watch
    • It makes sense

    Here's how it works in detail:

    • Open up a topic
    • Post reply to topic
    • Topic is automatically added to subscriptions and you will be notified when new replies are posted
    • Feature can be turned off in Settings

  • Admin

    @lukelarris This is a good idea, I like it. I imagine we could build this into core as well, default opt-in, with an option to opt-out in the user control panel.

    Edit: https://github.com/designcreateplay/NodeBB/issues/1369



  • @julian Awesome!


  • Global Moderator

    @lukelarris I think this would overcrowd the notifications, as for each reply you'd get a new notification, multiply that by number of posts etc, it may be better if a visual cue was added to any topics you've posted into so you can see them from the category at a glance. perhaps the avatar of the topic starter could have a different coloured outer circle for threads you've replied to.

    Or this could be raised as a separate issue. 🙂



  • @a_5mith I think the notifications system needs to be overhauled anyway to group similar notifications (for example, I currently get a notification of being mentioned as well as a notification of a reply being added to this watched topic, which is redundant), although I do like the colored circle idea.


  • Global Moderator

    @lukelarris I think that was raised as an issue a few weeks back, not sure what happened to it. When you replied to me, it said I had two notifications, but clicking it only showed me one, I'm pretty sure @julian or co changed it so it picked the more important one. But I could be wrong.

    Everyone loves coloured circles. 😁



  • @julian

    Good idea, but why create a separate issue for it. This, I think, should be an option in the email notification settings in the ACP, when it makes it.



  • @a_5mith I might be basing my dislike of those redundant notifications on the fact that I have Chrome notifications enabled for this forum, so I get two popups every time a mention of me plus a reply in a watched topic happens, but I still think it needs grouping.


  • Admin

    @lukelarris said:

    so I get two popups every time a mention of me plus a reply in a watched topic happens

    Yeah, this bothers me too... desktop-notifications plugin needs some love 🙂



  • Turns out this issue was closed without any apparent progress made, due to opinion differences. https://github.com/NodeBB/NodeBB/issues/1369

    I still think this needs to happen in NodeBB somehow, and I'd love to see it as core functionality, rather than a plugin. Automatically watching a topic you've replied to is a core and default feature/user setting on most forum software, and even on social networks such as Facebook and Google+, which notify you by default when there's a new comment made on a post you commented on.
    NodeBB isn't like most forum software, which is why I like it, but this is a feature that would really help keep discussions flowing, because not everyone is going to click the Watch button (if they can even find it, which is another issue by itself) or take up permanent residence upon the Unread page.

    Pinging devs: @julian @baris @psychobunny



  • With the upcoming push bullet plugin, I actually support @luke ideas... currently I have to "watch" the thread to get push notification from push bullet. I think it is kinda counter-intuitive.



  • @luke

    I'm sorry but I don't like it.
    Unless it's a user selectable feature, then I'm ok with it.
    I think it's enough to be notified when mentioned, when I'm posting to a topic I don't necessarily need to follow it all the time.
    Think about an offbeat thread, I might join in the fun, but don' t want to be constantly notified.

    I think the way it works is good enough. If I want to follow a thread, I'll just push the button. That's it. It shouldn't be automatic.


  • Global Moderator

    I'm inclined to agree with @Giorgio-Chiodi, I'd like to avoid another iMessage fiasco by constantly pinging users when they've only replied once to a topic. It's fine how it is now.

    I post in a lot of topics, doesn't mean I want constant notifications when someone else does. If I'm interested in a topic, I'll watch it, if someone is directly talking to me, I'm already notified. If someone is talking to someone else, I don't need to be notified of this, as it's not in direct relation to my experience on the board.

    I'm aware Facebook does this with photos and comments, but it annoys me to the point where I delete my comment just to stop receiving the notifications. Just because I've commented on something, doesn't mean I want notifying of everything that happens thereafter, unless they're directly talking to me.



  • Well, I did want it to be an option in settings as to whether it's automatic or not. I personally find it a useful feature, but with NodeBB's notifications as messy as they currently are, I guess it could be annoying.

    At least make the Watch option easier to get to or more prominent, it's unintuitive where it is now, behind that tiny heart icon.


  • Global Moderator

    @luke even if the notifications didn't sometimes duplicate, I still wouldn't use it, however, an option in ACP turning on and off different notifications may be a solution, so those that want an "absolutely everything" option can have one and wonder why their users are annoyed and leaving.



  • Well, this depends on your use case of course, but it could be set to be opt-in by default.



  • @a_5mith said:

    @luke an option in ACP turning on and off different notifications may be a solution, so those that want an "absolutely everything" option can have one and wonder why their users are annoyed and leaving.

    I'm all for this. Certain admins may not want certain notifications to be available to the user, or at the very least want to not force certain notifications on the user by default. What I'd like to see, building off your idea, is the admin have the capability to set which notifications are available by default, and users have the option to opt-in at their own discretion to other types.
    Hopefully admins would use this feature intelligently!

    Oh, and the duplicate notifications fixed 😄



  • @Ted Yeah, I like the way that works in IP.Board. You can set some default notifications for new users and then they can change it themselves later.

    And yeah, the notification system needs work.


  • Admin



  • @baris I can't quite tell, but that commit looks like you guys added that feature. Awesome! 🙂


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