A workaround would be for the author to update the first post and then create a new post indicating the first post has been updated; any one watching the thread would then get alerted based on their preferences.
Might have an idea, if possible. If I use the move thread option, it has a option to trigger an alert to watchers. But, if I move from forum 1 to 3, then back to 1, it wont trigger an alert on the move back to forum 1 as that was the originating forum I think - certainly from my tests that seems whats not happening or am I missing something?
If people are watching the thread, then they will get an alert/email when a new reply is added.
Be careful not to confuse the Watch Forum and Watch Thread option.
It sounds to me as though people should be watching the specific threads (for new replies) and watching the specific forums (for new threads) or, watching the specific forums (for new messages and new threads).
Just to be clear: Watching a forum for new threads does not mean they are watching all threads that are posted in that forum.
Actually, the move options has option for "Notify members watching the destination forum" which does not work, based on my tests in scenario:
Move thread from forum 1 to 3 ( but set no redirect or alert watchers )
Move from forum 3 to 1 and set to "Notify members watching the destination forum" - no alert gets triggered.
I might be the double move, or the fact its going back to the originating forum.
The problem with watch specific thread, users moan about getting "loads" of replies, and we have alot going on which I can understand. All they really want is to be modified of a new or modified thread - the modified bit is the tricky bit.
The most robust solution is if you can identify the users by the forums/threads that they need to be notified about.
For example, all parents who need to be updated about Team1 could be in a user group named Team1. That would then allow you to do the aforementioned Email Users solution. When the important thread for Team1 is updated, you can send an email to all parents of Team1 notifying them the thread has been updated.
Where I agree with you, the sheer overhead on doing this is a nightmare. We have 300+ members, all in teams, that members change every 3 months if they need to move. You then have new teams, members etc, very tricky. There is only so much time I have to admin them all.
I think the option to re-notify forum watchers, via moderator bar for a specific thread is a useful option to a have.
Another solution which puts the onus on them, is custom fields.
Get them to fill in a custom field during registration with a list of teams. They would need to update this themselves if things change. It can be a drop down list of teams.
When using the Email Users function, you can filter the users the email is sent to by a custom field value.
Thread in team 1 is updated, send an email to all users who have a value of "team1" in their team custom field. Or, promote to specific user groups based on the value of that field, and send the email to that group.
I appreciate you can't necessarily rely on people to put the correct team in, nor update it if that changes, but I would guess the same is true for them watching the correct thread/forum.
Though it does solve another problem. If teams change, currently, I guess they need to remember to unwatch the current team and then go and watch the new team. If they can only specify one team (or a multi-selection of specific teams) then that step should be easier for them. It's also basically zero effort for you as a busy admin to manage too.