Just wanted to call out a Discourse feature I stumbled on that looks very handy. It’s captured behind the button to the right of “+ New Topic”:
The difference between “Tracking” and “Watching” seems a bit unclear (I had to read this thread on Discourse Meta to understand it), but “Watching First Post” seems really handy for those of us who want to keep up with particular discussions without remembering to visit the forum regularly.
With the “Watching First Post” option selected for a particular category (e.g. Packaging), Discourse notifies/emails you only for new threads in that category. And when you get notified for a thread you want to follow more closely (i.e. a thread where you want to receive notifications for each post), you can do that with a couple of clicks from the UI of that particular thread on Discourse.
I like the ability to opt-in to notifications on a granular basis like this.