Asking for feedback about the new forum

Since we are just introducing this new technology, we would like to ask for feedback about the transition to the forum. In particular:

  • Do you find the organization of the forum sufficiently organized, or do you have specific suggestions for how to improve the organization?
  • Do you think it is easier to interact in the forum with other users?
  • Was there anything particularly unclear or confusing in the transition to the forum for you?
  • Do you need additional information about how to set up notifications?
  • Was the transition process sufficiently clear and helpful? Was there enough time to transition to the forum?
  • How important is it for you to transfer all archived discussions on the mailing list to the forum? All of them will be archived on the old page anyway, but we might be able to include them in this forum with some effort.

I hope you are as excited as we are about a more convenient way to interact with other users (including possibilities to link to github discussions, react to posts, or link to papers).
Let us know what you think about it.


1 Like

Neat. Did you plan to migrate the existing threads?

Yes. We are studying our options. Thanks for weighing in and Welcome!

I think the forum looks nice, and I like how you can go from one section to another. I don’t need to have the full archive transferred here as long as we can still access the old forum.
However, I have no clue how to setup notifications (e.g. receive summary by email). :confused: :upside_down_face:

@montesi - I’ve included a couple screen shots regarding how to setup email notifications.

First, to get notifications for the ASPECT category navigate to that category and click the circle at the top right. Then, select the ‘watching’ option. This will send you notifications (within discourse) for all topics in the ASPECT category. You can also do this on a topic (e.g., post) by post basis. See the attached file edit_notifications_aspect_category.

Next, navigate to your account preferences by clicking the letter (usually first initial) at the top right (see navigate_to_prefereces_file). From there, click on your username and that will take you to preferences.

Last, you will need to edit your email preferences and I believe what you should select is ‘Enable mailing list mode’, which will override all other email preferences (see file email_preferences). My recollection is that you will now receive emails for every post in topics or categories that you are watching. At least this is what currently happens on my account. If this does not work, please let us know!

@jdannberg @tjesser @ljhwang @gassmoeller - Anything missing from the above explanation?


  1. Unless you want to receive emails from all the forum categories (e.g., not just ASPECT), do not use the “Enable mailing list mode” option. Instead, use the various email options above this option to control when you will receive emails in combination with the ‘Watching’ option for different categories, topics, etc.

  2. You should receive an email updated from posts that you author.

Thanks @jbnaliboff. I got it now. Will wait to see how the digest feature work before I switch to mailing list.

@montesi - Sure thing. One thing to also be aware of is that the emails sometimes take quite a long time arrive (10-15 minutes or longer) in your inbox after they have been posted on the forum. You may also not receive emails corresponding to posts that you wrote.

How would you explain to people that they need to “watch” announcements assuming this is planned to be used instead of announcements over the cig all list? Can this be done by default? I fear that many people won’t bother.

I switched to mailing list mode and just got my own message over email.

As far as I understand we can convert new topics in the announcements category into a banner that will be shown for everyone at the top of the forum (like the welcome message you saw when you first logged in). I am not sure this will send it out as email, but at least everyone visiting the forum will see it. I did not see an option to let new users automatically watch certain categories, but I also do not have full access to the admin tools (I am only a moderator), maybe @tjesser knows more? in the worst case the admin probably has the option to email every user with a service announcement (or whatever it is called), but I could imagine this is not what we want.

We just made sure that we can let new users ‘watch’ the announcements category by default and will enable this setting.

The Announcement category has been set to be watched by default.

@jbnaliboff It seems like mailing list mode causes all activity on the site to be emailed, except anything muted by the user, which may not be what most people want. I do think the ‘Watch’ setting could use a good introduction, maybe we need another category for forum FAQs.

@tjesser - I agree we probably need an FAQ section for these types of things, which perhaps could be located at the top of Announcements or a separate category?

I’ll edit my post above to let people know they should not use the mailing list mode unless they want to receive all forum emails.

I would thinking modifying the FAQs and/or posting in General would be appropriate. Let’s not middle up Announcements.

Lorraine Hwang