"Reply as New Topic" notification questions


#1

Continuing the discussion from "Reply as New Topic" purpose?:

So, who gets notified when someone starts a new topic in reply to an old one?

  • Does the original poster get a notification about this reply?
  • Does the author of the particular post I split the conversation at
    get a notification?
  • Will anyone who was tracking this topic get a notification? And will they now be automatically tracking the new topic too?

And on the related subject of split topics:

  • If a moderator splits several posts to a new topic, that moderator shows up as the original poster. Does the user whose post initiated the conversation that had to be excised from the original topic receive any kind of notification? Will they be tracking the new topic?
  • Do the users who's posts have been moved get a notification that their posts are now somewhere else? Will they automatically be following that topic now? Will they continue to receive notifications about the original topic?

Tangents: how off-topic is too off-topic?
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#2

For reply as new topic, notifications are treated as a quote because it is a quote, so the same "when would I be notified that I was quoted?" rules apply. Unless the OP of the original topic is also quoted or mentioned, they will not be notified. The only notifications originate from the quote of post that the reply as new topic was 'branched' from. Tracking is not carried over to the new topic.

For moderator split topics, it is still a bit odd that the owner of the new topic is the mod who created the split. We're discussing that internally still. Users whose posts are moved by a moderator do indeed get a notification that their posts were moved.


#3

So I'm thinking that the current scheme of notifications and tracking are in conflict with the stated goals of topic splitting. I feel it is too easy for a user not paying hyper-attention to simply lose track of a conversation they were been interested in.

  • The OP receives notifications "because (they) created this topic." Presumably, if they haven't changed that level of attention it means they actually are interested in every reply to their topic. It would be a shame if the OP didn't see the answer to their question simply because it occurred in a reply that the replier thought was sufficiently different to warrant starting a new topic.
  • In addition to automatically tracking a topic simply because I spent enough time reading it, I can manually track it, and I might decide to do so because I liked a particular post and want to see how it's replied to. Anyone tracking the topic should at least get a notification that a new topic was created as a reply, even if they don't automatically track the new topic.
  • The same applies to moderator-split topics. I might have been interested in a topic because of the replies that were split, and I'd at least like to be notified of the existence of the new topic.

@embryoconcepts, @Felton, @William_Holz: What do you think?


#4

I'm thinking that you're right. . . I see glimmers of genius in the concept and think that there's definitely a better structure just waiting to happen. It's not quite there, and everything you hit on definitely has merit!

I like that approach, perhaps with some visually obvious options? We're definitely due something that's in improvement over old-school threaded forums, and this way seems potentially really useful (compared to the gawker network, which went a bit far and makes it impossible for people to connect with each other.)

Oh! I have to add something! Good work there, @codinghorror (if that's your real name).

I saw on the 'dragon washed up at sea' topic there wasn't JUST a 'got talk on the BBS link, but also a few featured posts. I never saw that before in this incarnation, I really like it! It's a good bridge between the posts and the BBS, I think. Keep that up please! smile


#5

I think those judgments might be premature -- there need to be a lot more "Reply as New Topic"s on BBS for the community to absorb the change.

A lot of this just takes time. It's a cultural issue too, because the vast majority of new topics are BB created, so community BBS topics can be overwhelmed in the sea of new stuff from BB proper, and that may have nothing at all to do with notifications.

I'm open to changing the notification scheme a bit here on Reply as New Topic notifications, but we need more time living in the house first. Go so forth and create community topics, either manually, or by Replying as a New Topic and see what happens!


#6

Yeah, it's not really judgement, it's actual experience. In the nearly two months since the switch to Discourse, I have lost track of a few conversations because they split. Most of those were from moderators splitting a topic, but at least one was from someone experimenting with the reply as new topic option.*

As for the issue of community-created topics getting lost in the firehose of BB-created topics, I still think the best solution for that would be to swap the latest and Categories views, so that http://bbs.boingboing.net/ shows the categories view and http://bbs.boingboing.net/latest has to be explicitly visited. In the current setup, creating new topics only adds to the firehose, making any particular community topic even less likely to be seen.





*Which reminds me, is there a way to see a list of all the topics I am currently tracking?


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#7

Even better, teach me in the interface! :wink:

I easily saw the bit where I could see all of the conversations I was part of and all my posts, but didn't see an option to 'track a conversation' either, I figured it was part of the 'closing in 5 days' thing. So I may have missed something too.

You know us humans, we're lazy! If we're screwing this up maybe others are too and just aren't posting here. They might have better ideas than us and they're just sitting there thinking them into space :smile:


#8

The notification control is at the bottom of every topic.

Visit your user preferences to change how auto-tracking works. It defaults to tracking topics you reply to, and topics that you read for 4+ minutes.


#9

Oh! I didn't notice that, it's a brain quirk thing, somehow I didn't register it because of its' positioning below the line, it was a bad interaction with my lame psychology.

Also, I have to confess. . I first tried clicking on the one the arrow was pointing at and was like 'hey, it doesn't work!'


#10

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