Setting up Tracking in your profile preferences
to get to your settings in the the Tracking configuration panel, go to your profile preferences (click/tap your avatar in top right corner then the person tab, then gear icon preferences).
go to the "+ Tracking" tab second from right (note that "Notifications"tab is your Likes and Live notification settings if you're on desktop, which are different things - confusing i know but i'm didn't make it that way lol).
you will see some drop down settings under the Topics heading. the meanings should be obvious and feel free to set these how you wish. it is the section under the Categories heading that we are concerned about:
there are four drop down selection boxes that you can set: Watched, Tracked, Watching First Post, and Muted. you do not have to set them all, but they are hierarchial how they work. also note the different bell icon for each - this is the specific alert that will be shown under the bell notification icon on your user menu.
for clarity and because i know a number of you (like me) come from a time and place where some of these terms had different labels:
- category = forum
- sub-category = sub-forum
- topic = thread
- post = comment
the Watched setting
selecting categories in this drop down (you can pick more than one) will notify you of all new topics and posts in that category you choose, and depending on your device you should even see a count on the notification bell icon. if you click "show" it will give you the resulting query so you can verify this is the content you want to be notified for on that particular setting.
the Tracked setting
here you can set the system to only alert you when anyone posts a new comment in any of the categories you select. the alert will also show the total number of the new posts in the categories you select. clicking "show" will again display the resulting query.
note that since the Watching setting also does this as part of it's function (it supersedes Tracking), only the categories you did not select above are shown in this drop down box.
the Watching First Post setting
this allows you to select the categories in which you only want to be alerted to new topics for. the description is a bit misleading. the first post is the OP (original post). technically the topic is the thread title.
note that since the previous settings supersede and include this configuration, only categories you didn't select above in Watching and Tracking (if any) will be available for selection.
the Muted setting
This setting should be relatively obvious - you will not be shown any alerts of anything about new topics in these particular categories, and they will not appear on the categories or latest pages. clearly the previous settings supersede this one and you will only be able to choose categories you did not select above (if any).
click "Save Changes" and you are finished. you may have to play with a combination of the settings to get the alert notifications you prefer.