I’m starting to put together a curated, weekly “newsletter” on our forum, and thought I’d share something about it here.
The contents include:
- Links to a few of the best discussions from the past week.
- Sharing some high-level thoughts about things we can do to continue to improve the community.
- One or two tips about specific features of Discourse.
My aim is to publish a new topic like this once a week. The topic title is in the format with “Some Title - Sitename Weekly No. X”.
I just published the first issue with the title Making sitename more welcoming - First Issue! - Sitename Weekly No. 1. It is also tagged with
#sitename-weekly so it will be easy to link to a list to all of the issues.
The section that links to existing topics looks kind of like this:
You can always check out what Sitename thinks are the top discussions this week, but here are a few in particular that we’d like to highlight:
- What do you think about the new guidelines around email, Slack and Sitename usage?
@SoAndSo started this discussion about the recent announcement sent by @OtherOne that we should use Slack instead of email for certain kinds of discussions, and Sitename for others. @NewFolk asked some insightful questions and @OG had some great ideas for refinements. Check it out and share your thoughts!
…2-4 more like that…
Pots of Gold
I occasionally come across some pots of gold at the end of the reading rainbow. Here’s one I found this week:
- How we stay effective when your team grows in size
Before @OG was running this place, she was working on projects like many of us here. Check out this post from ~5 years ago where she shares some tips for organizing on project teams as they grow in size.
The tips are aligned with the theme for this issue, “Making sitename more welcoming”:
But who are all these people?
We want this to be an inclusive and safe space for all to participate openly in discussions about things that matter to them, their teams and the organization. People are here from every office and every role, and that’s cool, but it can also be confusing and intimidating, especially to newcomers, but also to many of us who day to day work in much smaller teams with people we are familiar with.
One thing we think can help make our community more welcoming is to make it easier to find out who someone is when you come across them here. So here are a couple tips:
TIP: Introduce yourself (Update your user info)
Take a couple minutes to go to your profile and add the following information:
On the account tab:
- Full Name
Adding your full name makes it easier to connect who you are when we cross paths in othere places (like Slack) if you don’t use the same username. It also makes it easier to mention you.
- Profile Picture
If your photo didn’t automatically load from gravatar, upload it here. Use the same photo you use in Gmail and Slack. It’ll make it a lot easier to recognize you across the variety of platforms we use to communicate.
On the your profile tab it’s helpful to update these fields too:
Add your location so people know where you are. In addition to gaining a better sense of where we’re all from, it can help us understand who else you may work alongside (we might know some of them!).
- About me
Include your role and what you’re working on. Add anything else you want too. It’s a great way to show a bit of your personality in brief. The field supports markdown, so you can add links to your twitter profile or blog too.
TIP: Click on a user’s avatar or when you see them
If you’re not sure who someone is when you see a post of theirs here, click on their avatar and a user card will pop up that will have more information about them, depending on what they’ve filled out in their profile:
What do you think? Do you have other ideas to make Sitename more welcoming?
What do you think? Are there other things we should suggest people add to their profile? Is it worth investing in some integration with Workday?
This text is included in the footer, to remind people how they can follow along via email (and to subtly remind them of that feature in general):
If you want these to get delivered directly to your inbox, go to the #sitename-weekly tag and select “Watching First Post” in the upper right. (Or “Watching” if you also want to be notified about every reply).
Have feedback about this issue or the weekly updates in general? Let us know here or reach out to us in
The reason I’m using a tag instead of a category is that I think there are a number of other groups within our organization that may see value in this pattern and so I’m hoping to model it in a way that allows those groups to autonomously create their own “publication” by following this process if this is successful.
Also, I realize there is some overlap with what gets sent out automatically as the weekly digest, but my hypothesis is that having a shared weekly issue that points out some content humans are specifically identifying, will engender a greater sense of belonging among those having those discussions.
I’ve only done one issue so far, but the feedback has been positive. I’ll try to follow up periodically on this topic to share how it evolves (and feel free to ask me if you have questions).