blog

archives

Dec

6

Free hosting for Patreon creators

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Nearly two years ago we started very carefully experimenting with free hosting of open source projects. We recently rolled out the v2 of this program for open source projects, and today we’re extending the same offer for Patreon creators.   Free Discourse Hosting For Your Patreon Project Are you a creator on Patreon? Then you might be eligible for a free, hosted Discourse + SSL. Our tight integration with Patreon automates badges and user groups for your patrons. For some excellent examples of how Discourse can increase your patron count […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Nov

13

Free Hosting for Open Source v2

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Nearly two years ago we started very carefully experimenting with free hosting of open source projects. Today we’re announcing the next iteration of our free hosting program, casting a much wider net this time. Free Discourse Hosting For Your Open Source Project Do you run a popular open source project? Then you might be eligible for a free, hosted Discourse + SSL. Our tight integration with GitHub automates contributor badges and linking between Discourse topics and GitHub issues. Minimum Requirements 15+ contributors Your project has a clear need for discussions (see […]

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Notable Replies

  1. How will this affect communities in the V1 program?

  2. Projects on the legacy plan will continue to be hosted under the terms that applied when they signed up, meaning they will not need to change their domain names.

  3. This is incredible!!! Thanks so much @erlend_sh and Discourse team!!!

  4. @erlend_sh We’d like to move Gitcoin to use the free version possible. Does this allow for a custom domain? If not, how do we qualify for the 50% off?

  5. The free plan no longer allows for custom domains. The 50% discount is generally for not-for-profit open source projects, which puts Gitcoin in a bit of a grey area. But since it literally exists for the purpose of supporting open source that tips the scale in your favour :wink:

    I’ll send you a PM to discuss specifics.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Oct

3

Discourse as an ideation platform

Erlend Sogge Heggen

People sometimes ask how Discourse compares to the likes of UserVoice and other ideation platforms, where ideas get voted on and the best ideas rise to the top. One thing many companies find appealing with these platforms is that a vote-powered ranking of prospective features somehow relieves them of certain product management responsibilities because the customers are now taking on some of that responsibility. We believe this is solving the wrong problem. The highest ranked idea should by no means be equated to the most needed feature, nor the most […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Sep

10

Discourse 2.1 released!

Jeff Atwood

Today we release Discourse 2.1, building on Discourse 2.0 from May. We’ve chosen a new set of codenames for releases starting with 2.1 that are based on the history of human communication. This release is Bhimbetka, and the next two will be La Pasiega and Vinca. Access to Drafts Once you’ve written a bit of text in a post, Discourse begins to periodically save automatic drafts as you continue to type. That way you never lose anything you’ve written if the power suddenly goes out, or you get dodgy WiFi […]

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Notable Replies

  1. Awesome release! I’m wondering what did you use to record your short videos?

  2. Aha! @erlend_sh is the (reluctant) wizard of short Discourse video clips! Perhaps he can elaborate. :mage:

  3. HAWK says:

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

1 more reply

Participants

Aug

6

Launching a Successful Discourse Community

Jeff Atwood

While we’ve offered general tips for building a Discourse community, we also get a lot of questions about what specifically you can do to help launch a successful Discourse community. What is the “elevator pitch” for your community? The very first thing people will ask — what is this place? How would you describe your community to someone you just met in a 60 second elevator ride? Make sure that’s visible on your home page, as a banner or pinned topic. Build some interesting discussions to launch with What comes […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Jun

25

Understanding Discourse Trust Levels

Jeff Atwood

The user trust system is a fundamental cornerstone of Discourse. Trust levels are a way of… Sandboxing new users in your community so that they cannot accidentally hurt themselves, or other users while they are learning what to do. Granting experienced users more rights over time, so that they can help everyone maintain and moderate the community they generously contribute so much of their time to. As documented in Community Building on the Web, there is a natural progression for participants in any community. This seemed like a great starting […]

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Notable Replies

  1. I’m certain I’ve forgotten a few minor tweaks or rules we’ve added to trust levels in the last few years. Any ideas, community? Point out what I missed!

  2. Thank you for consolidating this documentation! Trust levels (and consolidation of knowledge over time) are two “features” that make Discourse so special.

    UI was removed but now exists again via the arrow key next to the topic title in the editor:

    2018-06-26-110511

    Maybe one point that you could insist on @codinghorror, is that trust levels help combat spam effectively, as damage requires involvement. You only mention it once in a bullet point, but it could definitely be part of the introductory bullet points:

    I’d be curious to read from long-time admins who have experimented with changing trust levels for their communities. How many leaders do you have? Do you actually use their organizational privileges?

  3. rhrmn says:

    Hi Jeff, In order for a forum user to reach the next trust level do they need to meet all of the requirements listed for each trust level or do they only need to meet one of the requirements? It’s not clear on the blog post.

  4. Only one requirement per level would make it rather ineffective as a gate, don’t you think?

  5. rhrmn says:

    Jeff, Thank you for the clarification. I understand the importance of gates, however if they are too restrictive some users may feel dissatisfaction with the fact basic forum functionality like sending private messages is locked behind a gate which they did not know existed.

    The Age of Empires community, of which I am a volunteer moderator, recently switched from Vanilla to Discourse and I am learning the ropes of Discourse. Overall I am very happy with Discourse.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

31

2018

Discourse 2.0 released!

Jeff Atwood

We released Discourse 2.0 on May 31st, building on Discourse 1.9 from January. New Admin Dashboard We’ve completely redesigned the admin dashboard to show off your most relevant and essential community health metrics right at the top, as well as trending searches. Shared Drafts Staff can designate a category for shared drafts, and pre-compose topics that only other staff can see for review prior to posting. After posting, all logged edits are removed so the history is clean, and the timestamp is reset, too. Reply mode toggle While composing a […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Apr

18

2018

HTTPS by Default

Matt Palmer

Here at Discourse World HQ, we’re firm believers in the value of security. We fund a public bug bounty program, and we document our security policy and procedures right in the repo. Securing traffic between a forum’s server and its users is important, too, and we’ve had first-class support for integrating Let’s Encrypt into a self-hosted Discourse server since virtually day one of their being generally available. All of this is to explain why we’re so very proud to be able to announce that every new hosted Discourse instance now comes with HTTPS configured (and enforced via […]

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Notable Replies

  1. Awesome!

    Does this mean the fee for the SSL addon will be dropped on future invoices?

  2. The addon pack that included HTTPS support also includes higher page view and storage limits, so we’re not removing it from existing customers without their consent. If you don’t want the addon pack any more, you can contact support to request it be removed from your bill. Bear in mind, though, that the price for the HTTPS-included addon pack is significantly lower than the current price for the same limit increases. It was a sweetheart deal we were providing, to encourage people to choose to adopt HTTPS, before it was possible to roll it out by default.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Apr

10

2018

Effectively using Discourse together with group chat

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Most modern businesses and organisations today are using some kind of team chat application. The usual suspects are Slack, HipChat, Discord, Mattermost, Rocket Chat, Riot, and Gitter, to name a few. While chat is immediate and primarily synchronous, communication in Discourse is gradual and asynchronous. We’ve seen far too many community managers treat these two modes of communication as competitors. Quite on the contrary, chat and forum communities can complement one another beautifully, and we aim to show exactly how by breaking it down into three different levels of understanding. […]

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Notable Replies

  1. p.s. major kudos to @mcwumbly for his excellent writeup over at the Ember forum, which I completely neglected to give him due credit for upon publishing! :sweat:

    His post was the foundation for the entire “Complementary Workflows” section and I even reused his apt take on “Don’t try to move the conversation over while it’s in flight” pretty much verbatim.

  2. Thanks for the additional kudos, @erlend_sh.

    I really appreciate how you synthesized a number of discussions over the past couple years in this timely post.

    This is an important topic for online communities today and I look forward to any further improvements and guidance you and the team can offer to people trying to find the best ways to use these different tools together.

  3. Great point below by @mcwumbly on using Slack with Discourse. Both that and @erlend_sh blog post have been extremely useful for my communication strategy development.

    if anything new came out of the Slack chat, summarize it in a follow-up post on the Discourse topic

  4. Ty for this post @erlend_sh ! Super informative! And giving some answer to questions i had from a long time.

    In our small group we increased the use of whatsapp and as a result Vbullettin forum post collapsed.
    Having moved on mobile people feel more easy and immediate to use WA.

    I’ve set up a Discourse forum which is much more mobile friendly to counter this trend.
    But chat is still very active and forum is quieter than i would like… (Users are still getting used to the new platform so i need more time to see the final effect!)

    I would like to know if there are some suggested way to integrate forum and chat.
    I see many plugins for chat platforms (not whatsapp) but it seems to me they are meant to push important thread from the forum to the chat to highlight them more.
    I wanted to know if there is something to get part or all the chat and import it in the forum.

    i agree that chat and forum are different mediums but i think it’s worth to integrate them better!

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Mar

13

2018

Discourse in Outreachy Summer 2018

Erlend Sogge Heggen

tl;dr: Discourse will be participating in Outreachy Summer. If you are eligible to participate in this internship, please consider applying! About Outreachy Participants of Outreachy work with an open source organization (in our case Discourse) on a 3 month programming project. It’s similar to events like Google Summer of Code, however the aim of Outreachy is to provide a collaborative environment in which newcomers from underrepresented backgrounds get an opportunity to learn from and contribute to FOSS by doing paid, full-time work. Participation is open internationally to all women (cis […]

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Notable Replies

  1. Weird there are no answers in this topic. If you are applying, leave a message! I think is an amazing opportunity to give back to the project and have a Discourse core member as a mentor

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

2 more replies

Participants

Mar

4

2018

How Does Team Discourse Use Discourse?

Sarah Hawk

As we claim on our website, we use Discourse as our primary team coordination tool to build… Discourse! That means escaping email silos and minimising the number of disparate communication channels required to manage a fully distributed team. We are able to keep distractions like calls and meetings to a minimum and focus on actual work, while still feeling connected to the rest of the team. When I first joined the Discourse team I found this way of working unusual. I was used to Trello, Google Docs, Basecamp, Zendesk, Todoist […]

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Notable Replies

  1. 8BIT says:

    holy cow. this is awesome. the idea had crossed my mind to use discourse as a full-bodied business communication and project system… but hearing it from you guys really does make it seem doable.

  2. I was thinking about this just last week! I remembered @HAWK saying she was working on it. Thrilled to see it come to life. :wink: Well, done.

  3. Bas says:

    Very cool! :slight_smile:
    Currently in the process of weaning people of from Hipchat in my org. and this is some very valuable input.

    One question: why are you running two different instances? Wouldn’t it be possible to merge your internal one with meta and use subforums for everything?

    Is it a matter of convenience? Was it set up before the tooling was ready? Don’t you trust the authentication/security model completely?

  4. HAWK says:

    A couple of reasons.

    Our internal instance sits on a different server so if Meta goes down we don’t lose all our runbooks etc.
    It also allows us to have very different email and notification settings which means we’re less likely to miss important things in the noise.

  5. sam says:

    Yeah we do too… but we have a replica in digital ocean and an extensive encrypted backup story

  6. the idea had crossed my mind to use discourse as a full-bodied business communication and project system… but hearing it from you guys really does make it seem doable.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

5 more replies

Participants

Jan

8

2018

Discourse 1.9 released!

Jeff Atwood

We released Discourse 1.9 on January 3rd, building on Discourse 1.8 from last June. Show Who’s Replying Discourse is all about replies being disconnected in time and space, but we agree that showing when people are actually replying to a topic is genuinely useful in a variety of contexts. So we’ve added live indicators at the bottom of a topic, and in the composer itself, to let you know when other people are actively replying. You may also notice we’ve restyled the composer to bring it a lighter, airier, more […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Dec

21

2017

Discourse Gives Back 2017

Jeff Atwood

We’ve had a fantastic year at Discourse, growing our team to 20 21 people. (There’s also something exciting and major happening early in 2018 that we’ve worked hard on for the last six months that we can’t quite announce yet. But trust me when I say we are very excited!) Starting from our initial prototype work in late 2012, Discourse has always been a 100% open source project that builds upon the decades of hard work of many other open source projects to survive. We try to contribute as many […]

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Notable Replies

  1. AstonJ says:

    Congratulations and well done!! :+1:

    As a forum admin for over 10 years - Discourse is by far my favourite forum platform now, and I love seeing it go from strength to strength and seeing the platform and team evolve and grow.

    I look forward to hearing your major announcement for 2018 and wish you all the best!

    Thank you and well done for all those initiatives!!

  2. 8BIT says:

    cant like this enough!!!

    im so grateful for the team and the product… it’s a huge part of what i do now and my professional future! in short… it couldn’t have been possible without discourse!

    you (the discourse team) are changing lives! this isnt hyperbole… this is fact.

  3. Congratulations and well done discourse team. That is 55K in donations for the Open Source software alone.
    The diversity in the selection of organizations to support is great.

  4. Bravo! We love Discourse and the team

    go go go

  5. WOooOoo!!! :metal:

    What an amazing example of the power and positivity of open-source. Richard Stallman must be one happy camper.
    Thank you for your excellent work, and your commitment to growth…

  6. Nope, the entire Discourse team is turning blue.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

4 more replies

Participants

Nov

24

2017

An Instrumentation Story (How I Learned to Love the Elastic Stack)

Michael Brown

in which we discover a better way to meet our customer’s needs while showing us where we can improve our code When you’re operating a hosting service it’s essential to know what’s going on. Visibility into your environment is required, both on a macro scale (performance graphs) and on a micro scale (request logs). Analyzing those request logs can provide you with details hidden by the big picture. We have a few customers that are outliers in terms of how they use Discourse; their data size might scale out in […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Nov

13

2017

Discourse team grows to 20

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Over the last few months we’ve added a whopping 9 members to the Discourse team! We held off on any big announcements until our new team page was ready for primetime. Behold the first twenty! Drawings courtesy of the excellent Nick Staab The nine new arrivals are as follows: Joffrey Jaffeux – Software Engineer Sarah Hawk – Community Advocate Michael Brown – Operations Engineer Joshua Rosenfield – Technical Advocate Gerhard Schlager – Software Engineer Andrew Schleifer – Operations Engineer Kris Aubuchon – Designer Vinoth Kannan – Software Engineer Simon Cossar […]

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Notable Replies

  1. SidV says:

    Congratulations to all the new ones on the team!

    :rocket: Discourse to the moon! :wink:

  2. travis says:

    Love the Roman busts :smile:

  3. Jeff’s bust should be wearing a diadem. Then, the pantheon is complete.

  4. oiclid says:

    Is there any significance to the directions the busts are facing and their background colors?

  5. HAWK says:

    No. I think the only thing of significance on any of them is my hawk feather! I wanted wings…

    We gave the artist a few disparate pictures of our faces on different angles and he came back with these amazing drawings. We then randomly chose background colours because we were having difficulty distinguishing between our avatars at a glance.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Oct

20

2017

It’s Time We Talked About Tags

Sarah Hawk

Consider the typical sections of a daily newspaper: Arts, Sports, Business, Travel, Local, and World. Any given article belongs to just one of those sections, and the content in each section is quite different, such that some people, for example, may only ever read the Sports or Business sections. These are what we call categories. Categories are established by staff for strong, distinct, and secure divisions between content. But when it comes to categories, more is not necessarily better. You can think of categories as walls. Four walls make a […]

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Notable Replies

  1. AstonJ says:

    Great work! I love tags, and I’d just like to repeat some of my suggestions:

    • Ability to require a tag per section (as stated in the blog this is coming!)
    • Ability to add info per tag, such as a short description and a link (this would show on mouse over, as well as on the tag view page)

    These would be nice to have:

    • A redesigned tags homepage (currently very unappealing, would like to see it more useful/informative like the categories homepage)
    • Ability to give tags different colours (not as important but could be nice for some communities)

    With this in place I can see tags becoming a huge part of how people use Discourse :smiley:

  2. scombs says:

    I want to add this feature request to the tag wishlist.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

1 more reply

Participants

Sep

14

2017

GSoC 2017 ends – Outreachy winter round begins

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Since May this year we’ve been working with a handful of incredibly talented students. Google Summer of Code 2017 has now concluded, and we have some kick-ass new features to show for it. If you’re interested in a similar type of program, you should read about Outreachy further below, which is an internship for people from groups traditionally underrepresented in tech. As for Rails Girls, that is still ongoing; expect an update some time in October. Four students entered – Four students emerged victorious Out of the 4 students we […]

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Start the discussion at meta.discourse.org

Aug

29

2017

Who is Discobot?

Jeff Atwood

As of Discourse 1.8, every new user who joins will get a welcome PM from discobot: Discobot is a natural extension of our original, static welcome PM. However, Discobot is much more than a greeter; it also offers to interactively “play” the Discourse game with each new visitor. The goal here is to teach people Discourse by inviting them use Discourse, interactively replying to a PM in the same way you’d reply to a real person. If you’re curious about how it works, watch the video above, or create a […]

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Notable Replies

  1. It’s a fun feature for sure, but the interaction from our users was negligible. Other sites may have had better results, but it appears not to fit with friendly local community forums such as my own.

    As a forum admin I prefer the automated message which allows new users to reply to a human if they need help. This feature was lost when Discobot arrived.

  2. I would expect interaction to be rare, the main point is to deliver the key elements in the first message:

    1. Here’s how to reach a person (link)

    2. You’ll be slightly restricted until we get to know you better

    3. Be nice, see our guidelines (link)

    That first link is to /about which is how anyone can contact a human, if they need to.

  3. Sean_R says:

    We did a contest around it in our forum and require it of employees and got 136 certified. Nobody self-certified without the contest.

  4. elijah says:

    Just ask it. Pretty sure it even works to ask in a public topic. @discobot start new user Then the bot PMs to begin the tutorial. The bot does not do the tutorial in public, and won’t respond to third parties if you do it in a group PM (but will still pollute that group PM).

  5. I suffered some procrastination, so I invoked Marvin the Paranoid Android to pimp discobot:

    Wouldn’t that be übercool to have an H2G2-themed discobot narrative? For now I leave it on a private forum to avoid, you know, non-private troubles with copyright.

    Thank you for this great addition!

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

13 more replies

Participants

Jun

22

2017

Boost your Patreon page with Discourse

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Interest-based forums are perhaps the ultimate community experience. These oases on the internet are where you realise that geeking out big-time on knitting, robotics, fantasy football or what-have-you is totally a thing, and there’s no shortage of likeminded enthusiasts out there ready to geek out with you. Unfortunately these communities are also the most difficult to support, because general interests are hard to monetise. That’s where Patreon comes in, with a membership platform for creators. Content creators and community builders are often the one and the same, which is why we’ve […]

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Notable Replies

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

31

2017

Discourse 1.8 released!

Jeff Atwood

We’re thrilled to release Discourse 1.8 today, building on Discourse 1.7 from January. Narrative Welcome Bot Perhaps the biggest new feature in this release is our narrative welcome bot, which greets new users with a personal message and offers to interactively “play” the Discourse game with them. It’s a natural extension of our original, static welcome PM. It took us two releases and a lot of effort to build this. Turns out, even simple chatbots are far more challenging to write than you’d think! If you’d like to customize @discobot […]

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Notable Replies

  1. Thanks for another great release - as always, painless upgrades and elegantly-implemented new features.

  2. Awesome! Looking forward to the theme contest. Hoping to make an entry.

  3. Fab. I’m really happy with this release - nice job, everyone involved in making it happen. :rocket: I wrote up a brief intro of the release for my community - see below. I am especially happy with the narrative welcome bot, which I think shows alot of promise especially if new functionality is added to allow sites to develop their own narrative tracks for various purposes. On our site geared towards helping communities to know, use and shape the law, I’d love to see a robot lawyer helping to refer people to organizations that can help them.

    The topic timer is pretty amazing too… it’s a classy feature that puts a surprising amount of power right at our fingertips as moderators. Thanks for building that in.

    In this day and age, the private email feature is not to be underestimated as well - thanks so much for helping sites to keep their users safe. I’d love to see that develop further to allow private email for private categories and messages but not for public discussions.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

May

5

2017

Discourse for Developer Communities

Erlend Sogge Heggen

Most early adopters of Discourse were developer communities, as is often the case with open source projects. Our own meta.discourse.org community is also a development-centric community, so we’ve been mindful of this use case since practically Day 0. Consequently, Discourse caters to a lot of developer communities. We reached out to 30 of them to learn more about how they use Discourse. How does your organisation use Discourse? We use Discourse for a number of public and private communities, the most prominent of which is the Atom and Electron community […]

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Notable Replies

  1. I love that you are active in really seeking feedback from real customers and making that feedback open in this way!

  2. Not exactly an easy to read response format.

  3. Good point, I darken-iz-ized-eded the text color for div.highlight to #666648.

Continue the discussion meta.discourse.org

Participants

Apr

12

2017

A brand new discourse.org

Erlend Sogge Heggen

This week we unveiled a completely revamped discourse.org! When our original website was first launched in 2013, Discourse’s features were quite novel. Concepts like “infinite scrolling”, “dynamic notifications” and “mobile-friendly” were state of the art for open source community platforms, especially stuck-in-90s era forum software. Now these features are taken for granted, as they should be. That doesn’t mean we’ve stopped innovating; just look at our latest v1.7 release. But we no longer have to convince people that Discourse is modern, hip – dare I say radical – and keeping with the times. That’s a […]

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Notable Replies

  1. For anyone who spends more than a few minutes to look at discourse.org it is clear that you can self host Discourse for free.

    People who aren’t willing to devote those few minutes to evaluate Discourse as a forum platform on the basis of it’s strengths are also pretty likely to skip or ignore the minimum requirements and standard install instructions, but nonetheless post support questions on meta. This is a waste of time for Discourse’s support team. (Who, by the way, do an excellent job, regardless of if the user asking a question is a paying customer, or a non paying “consumer”).

  2. I still do feel that you should include a “free” pane on your plans page or put back the “or install it yourself” link next to the “View plans” button on the call to action, at the very least. I’m not completely knowledgeable with programming stuff and I tend to skim a bit, so it took me quite a bit to see where the free version of your software was on your site.

    Also, I feel if you guys want to grow as a more popular piece of forum software – you have to appeal to everyone. You should probably link directly to the install guide on GitHub, as well as to the GitHub repo itself.

    Finally, I still feel you guys should at least mention some of your forum’s biggest features – such as infinite pagination, Markdown, and notifications – in text form somewhere near the bottom of the page, instead of just being on a separate page. Take Flarum’s site for instance. They do a good job of quickly advertising their features with a simple scroller in the middle of the page (near the “Learn more about Flarum’s features” button).

    Sorry if I’m sounding nitpicky, I’m just a staunch believer that good UX can make all the difference.

  3. Remah says:

    I am distinctly underwhelmed by the new discourse.org. Not for the same reasons as other users but sometimes orbiting around similar issues.

    On the positive side, Discourse should be defined by what it is and who you are - I could easily say “who we are” given the strong sense of community. So please don’t waste your time looking at WordPress, Flarum or whatever. There are logical pitfalls in doing so. For example, free WordPress is an integrated service provided by Wordpress.com whereas free Discourse is not.

    Some issues and unanswered questions

    I’ve chosen three main issues and added questions for each - I’ve made an effort to be clear but I am watching sports games at the same time.

    • The home page lacks a passionate pitch.
      Q. How to instil a sense of passion and stronger direction?

    • Free Discourse should be ABC.
      Q. How to clarify access to the free DIY option?

    • Discourse doesn’t need everyone.
      Q. How to assist prospective users to self-select?

    Some suggestions

    The home page lacks a passionate pitch so How to instil a sense of passion and stronger direction?

    I feel that the home page lacks passion because it doesn’t strongly suggest either action or clearly present problems resolved. Discourse.org so clearly represented passion that I committed to it before having any need for it. Perhaps I need to let go of this but I don’t think so.

    From @erlend_sh’s blog entry, both early and late goals are presented but I don’t see either realised.

    Initially:

    What problem can Discourse solve for YOU?

    Later:

    We ultimately settled on three “pillars”:

    1. Emails don’t scale.
    2. Problem solving is best done in public.
    3. Communities ought to be owned by their creators.

    The structure and text simply doesn’t make it clear. Instead I read three out of four as warm fuzzies:

    • “your team”
    • problem of “email silos”
    • “solutions together”
    • “your community”

    Also the term “email silo” is relatively obscure - do a search to see - which is why I would leave it out. It is one step too far beyond more easily understood terms.

    Free Discourse should be ABC so How to ease access to the free DIY option?

    At a very basic level, the issue of paid versus free is confusing because free includes three very different concepts:

    • free trials
    • open source licencing
    • self-managed installs on a non-Discourse host

    Then there is the issue of using different language/imagery/concepts on different pages. I’d prefer to see basic and consistent descriptions repeated across various pages so less educated visitors can clearly make the right connection the first time they encounter each instance. For example:

    • Managed hosting seems less helpful than official Discourse hosting
    • Fork us on GitHub is cryptic compared with install Discourse yourself in the cloud. But confusion also arises because neither mention that you need to get your own host.

    Here’s a table quoting the text on the various pages for the four topics I’ve mentioned. The situation gets even more unclear with Digital Ocean and community installs added to the mix.

    On web page Paid Free trial Free install Free licence
    www.discourse.org Managed hosting Start your free trial Fork us on GitHub an open source project
    .../about official Discourse hosting Start a free trial install Discourse yourself in the cloud Uncompromisingly open source, etc.
    .../features ? ? ? 100% open source
    .../pricing .../buy hosted Free 14 day trial self-install ?

    I do like the etc. on the about page:

    There is only one version of Discourse – the awesome open source version. There’s no super secret special paid commercial version with better or more complete features. Because Discourse is 100% open source, now and forever, it belongs to you as much as it belongs to us. That’s how community works.

    Discourse doesn’t need everyone so How to assist prospective users to self-select?

    Discourse shouldn’t appeal to everyone because everyone doesn’t want or need Discourse. We should also remember that Discourse is represented by the quality and effectiveness of its installs.

    • Select whether I really have a useful need for Discourse.
    • Select the most appropriate Discourse implementation including the no Discourse option.

    The best example of self-selection that I can think of is clarifying the “free” use issue above. Other examples would be show-stoppers that are disappointments when revealed or confirmed in the forum:

    • hosting requirements that trip people up, i.e. versions of Linux, Docker, etc.
    • clarifying supported versus unsupported installs
    • cutting out those unprepared to leave behind traditional tools like PHP and mySQL
  4. The home page had a slightly different layout originally, it said “Are you a developer?” as the heading there. I removed it to simplify the layout. So the idea wasn’t that you’d be an average user installing Discourse, you would be highly technical, a developer.

    I’m not a huge fan of the “fork us” GitHub joke thing, so it could be changed:

    Discourse is 100% free, open source software. Forever.

    Fork us on github

    to

    Discourse is 100% free, open source software. Forever.

    Install from GitHub

    Audience is a bit different though, developers, it could cover both. The fork thing is a bit too clever-clever anyways.

    Also note the buy page has the what if none of these plans fit my budget info right under it… plus info on the educational and non-profit discounts.

  5. Linking “100% free and open source software” to github.com/discourse/discourse makes sense. What about also making the second sentence read:

    You can install it yourself on your own server, or for a flat one-time fee of $99, a trusted member of the Discourse community can install Discourse in the cloud for you.

    ?

  6. Point of order: i can’t code my way out of a wet paper bag and I’ve never been a developer at all in my entire life, but I am a pretty handy sysadmin—and that’s why I wanted to self-host. Not to hack on the code (I leave that to folks who can do it without curling into the fetal position, which is what I end up doing), but to have the pleasure of hosting a community my way and on a server I already pay for.

    So, cloaking the download behind “Are you a developer?” is a little sideways, imo, just because developer != admin (and, much love to the devs I’ve worked with professionally, but most of them are sucktastically awful at anything resembling operations or security, at least as it applies to big-picture best practices in a multi-tenant, multi-application environment).

    However, that being said, “Install from Github” is perfect. That avoids the “what if i’m not a developer but i want to self-host?” question.

    tl;dr: the bikeshed should be purple

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Participants

Mar

11

2017

Moving from Facebook Groups to Discourse

Erlend Sogge Heggen

The following is a guest post by Martin Eriksson @meriksson On January 4th 2017, the news aggregation site cor.ax completed its migration from private Facebook Groups to a private Discourse community. Why the move? We used to have about 20 Facebook groups for people involved in a network of alternative media projects. Some of the groups were dedicated to editorial discussions, some were general discussion groups for our paying members, some were interest groups about financial issues, gaming, cultural topics etc. We started using Facebook since it was very easy […]

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Mar

6

2017

Discourse API Documentation Released!

Blake Erickson

Today we would like to announce our much anticipated Official API Docs! You can find them at: http://docs.discourse.org Today, more than ever, an application needs to be able to integrate with other applications and the Discourse API allows you to easily integrate your Discourse forum with any other application. We do have a Ruby based API client, but your company or server might not support Ruby, so our documentation can easily be used to write an integration in any programming language through simple HTTP REST calls. To aid in integrating […]

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Notable Replies

  1. Already nostalgic for the old “documentation”!

    :sweat_smile::sweat_smile::pizza:

  2. That is still useful if you want to know exactly what API calls are needed for a particular UI action!

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Participants

Feb

28

2017

Summer of Code 2017

Erlend Sogge Heggen

This summer, Discourse will be participating in three different “summer of code” projects! Google Summer of Code 2017 First of all, we’re happy to announce that we’ve been accepted into Google Summer of Code for the 2nd time in a row. Official Profile Ideas List Application Guide Rails Girls Summer of Code 2017 As per usual (this is our 4th go) we’ll also be participating in RGSoC. That process is run entirely on RGSoC’s end, so please see their website for more information. railsgirlssummerofcode.org Outreachy 2017 (May) We’re very excited […]

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