Community FAQ

Some of you have asked how certain parts of your reader profile work. Here are the answers to some of your common questions.


What are notifications and where do they go?

There are two types of notifications: email and news feed.

Email notifications are for comments to articles you’ve commented on. For example, you comment on an article and you’ll receive an email when anyone else does the same.

News feed notifications appear in your reader profile. These notifications appear as people reply to your comments or articles are posted in any topics you follow (see below). You’ll receive a notification bubble in the top right of the site to let you know there’s something for you to see.

A profile notification.

How do I subscribe?

You subscribe to email notifications when you comment on an article. You have two options:

  1. You can subscribe to the comments of every article you comment on by default. You can change this in the Notifications Settings section of your profile.
  2. If you’ve turned off default notifications, you can subscribe on an article-to-article basis. When commenting, click the cog above the text box.
The comment box.
Subscribe here.

How do I unsubscribe?

There’s an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of every comment notification email.


What is my newsfeed?

Your newsfeed is accessible via your profile. It tracks articles posted in topics you’re following and replies to your comments. If your newsfeed has any new content, notifications will appear on your profile (as mentioned above).

How do I (and why should I) favourite articles?

The share options.

There are a list of actions you can take on every article: share, favourite, comment. They appear to the right of the article.

Every article you “favourite” is listed in your profile. Doing so creates an archive of stories you’ve enjoyed or found interesting, or want to come back and read at a later stage. Good for times you’ve tried to remember an author or article but just couldn’t do so.

A favourited article in your profile.

How do I follow topics?

Following topics sends articles in that area to your newsfeed. For example, if you follow “Morality” every article with that tag will pop up in your profile.

You can follow topics in two ways.

First, via each topic’s page. Clicking on an article’s tags takes you to a landing page with every article using that tag. There you can click ‘Follow topic’ (or subscribe to its RSS feed).

The ‘Follow’ link on a topic page.

The second option is through the main topics page. You can access that here or on your profile. It lists every topic used on The Conversation. Subscribe to your heart’s content.

The ‘Follow topics’ link in your profile.

Is this information public?

Yes. Any visitor to your profile can see the topics you’ve followed and the articles you’ve favourited.


How does the reply structure work?

Comment replies are shown chronologically, regardless of how deep a comment-thread goes. Each reply has a “In reply to [name]” link; clicking on the name will take you to the original comment. This will also provide a URL to that comment.

If you’d like a link to a comment without a reply, you’ll need to access it via the commenter’s profile.

What does the Recommend button do?

The Recommend button is an easy way to show your appreciation for a comment. If a comment gets enough recommendations, it receives a star.

A ‘recommended’ comment.

How do I report comments?

The report button.

Each comment has a “report” button. It’s next to the comment’s timestamp. Clicking on that will provide you with a list of options with which to flag your report. The article editor and I (as community moderator) will receive an email about the comment.

Your report options.

If you’re curious about anything else, let us know and we’ll see if we can help. You can post your questions below or email me directly.