If you click the “Buy” link on Discourse, you’ll find out that you can’t … yet.
Our immediate plan is to find three great partners willing to live on the bleeding beta edge and run forums with us, so that we can be confident we’ve built a discussion platform that works for a variety of different communities. We promise to do everything we can to host your forum and make it awesome for two years. In return, you promise to work with us on ironing out all the rough edges in Discourse and making sure it scales successfully — both socially and technologically — to those three very different audiences.
It’s been almost exactly two months since we launched Discourse, and I’m pleased to announce that yesterday we launched the first of our three partners:
That’s right, How-To Geek!
I’ve known Lowell, the How-To Geek, since 2007 when I first discovered his great, friendly technical help site in my search results. I immediately knew it was going to be huge! It was such a breath of fresh air compared to so many other so called “tech” sites. I recall going out of my way to send an email, complimenting him on his site and telling him that he created such a great resource that he should immediately quit his job and focus on it full time. It didn’t quite work out that way, but I’m fairly sure running the massive – and excellent – How to Geek empire is his full time job now.
We always wanted to work together, but could never figure out a way. That is, until Discourse! Lowell was unhappy with his current forum setup, and the way comments were spread across two different areas of his site: sprinkled at the bottom of articles as traditional blog comments, and behind a dedicated forum area.
Now with Discourse those areas are unified.
At the bottom of the typically excellent HTG article How to Turn a Raspberry Pi into an Always-On Usenet Machine, you’ll see comments:
Those comments are the best replies from the associated Discourse discussion topic for the article:
This is made possible through our Discourse WordPress plugin, which automatically selects a few of the best discussion topic replies and hoists them over to the blog article.
We’re thrilled to have our first official partner discussion community up and running. Do check it out:
We couldn’t have picked a better initial partner than How-To Geek, who truly knows his way around forum communities. He contributed practical and useful feedback for us from the earliest alpha days of Discourse. We hope to further refine and improve Discourse based on the excellent HTG community, which is already off to a great start … and set a course for our next partner announcement in 4 to 6 weeks.