Ghost blog comments reply notifications to authors in multi-author blogs?

Someone has a blog, and with different author writing blog posts. They’ve installed a commenting system, Talkyard, and, when a reader posts a comment to article X, they want the blog post author of article X to get notified.

However, the commenting system doesn’t know about the authors over at the Ghost blog, or even that the blog is a Ghost blog.

What are good ways to “connect” a commenting system to Ghost, so that the correct Ghost blog author, gets notified, when a comment gets posted on his/her blog posts?

… Although the commenting system and Ghost use different databases, user accounts and servers, and don’t know about each other.

One thing that came to my mind, is webhooks: if Ghost sent a site.changed webhook to Talkyard (the commenting system), and includes the URL to the new blog post, name of the author, the author’s unique id, and the author email address, then, Talkyard could automatically create (upsert) a user account for that Ghost blog author, in Talkyard’s database, and remember that that user is the author of the blog post. And automatically enable email notifications, for that author, for comments on that blog post. …

… However, there is no email address included in the webhook? Without an email address, this wouldn’t work (since then Talkyard doesn’t know where to send the notification emails).

(I found these docs: — no email address mentioned. Is that the right page? There’s also this docs page: but it doesn’t describe how the web hook json looks. Is the webhook json described anywhere? :- ) )

Another idea is that Talkyard sends a webhook to the Ghost blog, when a comment gets posted, and includes the URL. Then maybe A) the Ghost blog, or B) a tiny custom HTTP server connected to the Ghost database, could look at the URL, lookup the author in the database, and send an email.

However, seems A) isn’t supported? Ghost doesn’t have API endpoints for doing that? (looking up an author for a blog post at a certain URL, and sending an email?)

B) could work, but requires the blog owner to write custom code, setup a new tiny server, … Is there no solution that doesn’t require coding?

A third approach is that the Ghost blog authors create accounts at the Talkyard blog comments site themselves, and manually subscribe to notifications to their own blog posts. However, being humans, sometimes they will forget to subscribe to comment replies (or so I think).

Thanks for any help & best regards,
Magnus (developing Talkyard b.t.w.)

Hi there @KajMagnus! This seems like an interesting feature, but also quite a custom one. The complex nature of it says to me that it will need at least some coding, that’s why we’re suggesting that you pursue the idea you explained in option B. However I don’t think it’s out of the question to suggest that people sign up and subscribe to comments manually. At least this way people can opt-out of comment notifications if they want to. Sometimes comments can get heated and people will want to not get involved.

It’s that or create a Zapier app. You would have to develop/code it, however others wouldn’t.

Hope this helps!

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Hi @DavidDarnes thanks for the reply! The short answer seems to be: Talykard’s RSS feed, + Zapier = webhook, which the option B) tiny http server can listen to.

Details: Your mentioning Zapier + webhooks, made me think about creating Zapier compatible webhooks — and I then noticed that Zapier itself can generate a webhook request, whenever an RSS feed gets updated. … And I’ve already implemented a basic RSS feed for new posts (comments). … What I now have in mind to do, is to ensure that the RSS feed (well, Atom) includes all info the Ghost blog would need for knowing which blog post got a comment. And then the blog owner can connect the RSS feed with a Zapier webhook to his/her custom tiny HTTP server (and I don’t need to implement webhooks myself, at this time).

Yes, subscribing for comments manually makes sense I think — also, since Ghost makes a user id available to the Ghost templates, it’d be possible to connect the Talkyard user with the Ghost user, via this id, and automatically subscribe the author to comments, when s/he posts a new blog post. — They would however need to sign up and create an account at Talkyard, + a manual step to input the Ghost user id into a Talkyard “external id” user field somehow.

Ok, so seems there’re some OK solutions then :slight_smile: .
(albeit not as simple as I had hoped. I’m actually surprised not more multi-author blogs bring up this question )

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