Reply by email



  • It could be great to be able to reply to a topic just be replying by email to the notification received.
    Lots of collaborative tools offer this feature as for example Trello.


  • Admin

    Thanks @Stéphane-Gully, we'd love to get this in a future NodeBB version. It would probably be something that one of our mailer plugins would be able to take advantage of :)



  • cough Mailgun first cough
    We have a similar feature in a ticket tracking system at work, and it is priceless


  • Admin

    My only worry @Ted, is that it would get a little hairy when NodeBB sends you an email every time somebody replies to one of your posts... though I suppose you could always unfollow.



  • @julian, I think it would depend on if the user wanted to even use the feature. This definitely seems to be a plugin to me.
    If users only want notifications to their own topics, as set in user settings, this could be useful to them. Users would of course need to be able to toggle the feature as well.

    While it's a neat concept, that I'd like to see for one use or another, I'm not feeling it should be core.


  • Global Moderator

    You'd be paying through the nose for the amount of emails that would be going out if you have a forum larger than a Sesame Street fan club.


  • Admin

    @a_5mith That you would 😆 Would work best on somebody using a local emailer, for sure.



  • +1 as a plugin or optional feature. This is built in to Discourse.


  • Global Moderator

    Random thought, could this be handled through something like IFTTT? Let's say for example you have an account that can handle the amount of emails, setting the reply to address to something else (gmail for example) would give IFTTT access to it. Let's say if the subject is Re: topic title-tid then it would post to that topic.

    In theorem. As this would negate the need for a mailserver. As they utilise nearly an entire droplet on digital ocean. (I certainly can't run one on my 512mb droplet)



  • I think the way Discourse handles it is via a Gmail account over IMAP or POP. Still no mail server required there.


  • Admin

    Yeah I'd like to see this feature myself :)


  • Global Moderator

    As for ticket tracking notifications, I would love to get email notifications for every reply that is made (make it a user-specific option though). If I could reply to the email to reply to the topic, that would make it even more awesome.

    On my phone, I get instant email updates, so if I could reply to the post from the email client, that would also be awesome.

    The email notification would be easier to implement (I think) than the reply.

    Making the number of emails sent before the user actually checks the website a configurable number in their options would also be an option. So a user would get a certain number of email notifications and then on the last one before the limit, there would be a warning saying "You have received X email notifications, you will not receive any more until you check the site again" or something along those lines.

    I hate having to check the website for a forum I use a lot just to check if there are new posts or messages for me all the time, so notifications are definitely a necessary core feature (or at least an official plugin).



  • @julian said:

    My only worry @Ted, is that it would get a little hairy when NodeBB sends you an email every time somebody replies to one of your posts... though I suppose you could always unfollow.

    I don't think that we can overstate how critical of a feature this is over at http://mangolassi.it/

    The ability to unfollow and set mail preferences is also important. But our users are going crazy not getting an email every time that a thread that they are in or follow has an update. People expect that functionality as otherwise, how are they supposed to know when there is activity?



  • Scott's points are my points - I desperately want email following, but the ability to unfollow a thread is really critical as well.

    It would be nice to be able to sign-up for notices of any new threads that are added to a group.



  • I agree. I also would love it if the notifications for unread only showed threads you've responded to, not everything!


  • Admin

    @A.J.-Stringham For now, we can at least offer the ability to "ignore" certain categories. Possibly we can extend this so that even if "category 1" is ignored, if you've subscribed to a topic, new replies for that topic will still show up in the unread page.

    How feasible is this @baris?


  • Admin

    Shouldn't be too hard to do, question is do we stop displaying topics in the unread page if you are not following them?


  • Admin

    We could mix the two features together... so by default, you follow all categories, so all replies show up there.

    If someone wanted to change the behaviour of the unread page so that only posts which he/she has replied (or explicitly followed) are shown, then they can ignore all forums, and those topics will still show up.



  • @baris said:

    Shouldn't be too hard to do, question is do we stop displaying topics in the unread page if you are not following them?

    I would make a separate thread for this BUT I think that the notifications need to be a bit more robust in general. On a busy site we get flooded with notifications that are useless. Tons of "upvotes" and no way to keep track of what you want to follow. Using unread is tough because you see the unread of everything, not only of what you follow. There needs to be some combination of a view of "new" posts and a view of all unread (like there already is) and a few of "unread of what you follow". Things like that.

    On Spiceworks they use a variety of views including emails of every response to every thread that you follow and an email of every new thread in every group that you follow along with web views of "latest post" and "latest unanswered" and the like. You need, I think, more than one view to get everything that you need. When a site is slow, unread is fine. When it is busy, that doesn't work as you can't unfollow something that you are not interested in as it will always pop up to the top again.

    MangoLassi is now at a point where people are struggling to keep track of what is going on. And our traffic easily doubled this week, so it is getting worse quickly.



  • @julian said:

    @A.J.-Stringham For now, we can at least offer the ability to "ignore" certain categories. Possibly we can extend this so that even if "category 1" is ignored, if you've subscribed to a topic, new replies for that topic will still show up in the unread page.

    How feasible is this @baris?

    that's a good start. We have a "news" category that a lot of people do not want to necessarily follow. But when they want the news, they can navigate to it.


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