Ability to Follow and Friend other users


(Brandon Rampersad) #1

Following a user will notify you of any posts they made, their liked content etc. This could help relationships to development between both the users and their content instead of just their content alone.

Why Discourse doesn't have Follow social system Like NodeBB
Using Babble to extend functionality of private messages
Followers Feature Request?
Low-bandwidth "lite" version
What would it take to replace Facebook with Discourse?
Watching first post notification for users
(Sam Saffron) #2

On the cards, have not thought through all the mechanics and implications yet.

Using Discourse as a base for a Social Network? Am I crazy?
(Yevgeniya Kobrina) #3

Up. Are you going to add a feature of adding users into the friend’s list?

(Wally) #4

It would be nice to be able to “bookmark” people you would like to follow and have a list of them in your profile along with regular bookmarks and favorites.

(Yevgeniya Kobrina) #5

Agree. This is an essensial feature.

Will we get a reply?

(Sam Saffron) #6

You got a reply earlier:

On the cards, have not thought through all the mechanics and implications yet.

If you want it to progress, provide screenshots of mocks and a deep description of all your proposed mechanics.

(To The Tick Llc) #8

Do you have an example of the kind of format you want for mockups and descriptions @sam? I’d like to attempt a design for this feature. It’s something we really need for our project.


(Sam Saffron) #9

Html mockups based on existing layouts are ideal, where are the buttons, what do they do, what are the mechanics?

(Piotr Szal) #10

Is this a feature for the core discourse or a plugin?

What do you think about this:

Follow button in topics:

Follow button in the profile:

Show activities from the following users in own profile:

(Jeff Atwood) #11

I don’t think this meshes well with the general intent of discussions – seems kind of ‘tacked on’ like adding a truck bed to a car just because.

It is not clear what problem this solves for me; I focus on the discussions not specific users.

In the case where you do need to focus on users, it’s typically that Blizzard scenario where there are a handful of official reps that post somewhat rarely – and this is covered by groups and the group user page, which is already implemented.

(Kane York) #12

Speaking of a ‘handful of official reps’, why isn’t there a group on the BBS for the boingboing editors?

(Adam Capriola) #13

XenForo has this functionality, and it’s kind of pointless. On my forum I think all it does it make people feel important when they get a notification that someone is following them, but the followers don’t really follow the “leader.” (I’ve never clicked to view the “following feed,” at least. The link for it is tucked away somewhere and I’ll click on an individual user if I want to see more of their recent content.)

The only helpful thing it does is show if someone you’re following is currently online, which I guess can help make the forum feel more… lifelike, I guess? Kind of like you’re hanging out at one of your favorite spots and your friends are there too.

(Jeff Atwood) #14

Good point, will try to set this up tonight for them!

(Kamal Patel) #15

I’ve always liked the “Who’s Online?” kind of features. At the broadest level, just showing how many users are online (which can be a double-edged sword for stale forums) and at a specific level showing who’s online on an optional basis (again a double-edged sword). Both trick me into thinking I’m somehow wasting less time hanging out online.

(Kane York) #16

There actually is a “last seen” visible on the user profile:

However, there isn’t any global index showing them.

(Jeff Atwood) #17

There is for groups:


Layout is still a bit crap, but the intent is there.

(Adam Capriola) #18

Agreed. The “Users” column does though at least give some indication of who’s active at the current moment but encourages people to actually add to a discussion to become visible.

It could be neat if maybe the “Users” and others columns would update when a new reply is made while you’re sitting on the homepage (like how a notification for newly created topics will appear, or a new reply will show if you’re viewing a topic). That could create noise though and be distracting, but it might help a forum seem more lively. If done subtly enough and without impacting performance too much it could be a nice feature.

EDIT: Maybe that does happen already? I thought a notice was only shown when a new topic was created, but I guess it’s for new replies too. (I had another tab open when I replied here and saw that it gave a notice. Cool!)

(Kris) #19

Maybe you can favorite everything.

You can favorite a topic, favorite a post, favorite a user, favorite a category… and then you end up with a favorites page with a feed and a sidebar. So on the users feed you’d see posts from your favorite users, on posts it’d just be a list of favorited posts, and categories would be the activity within specific categories…

Though, this does start to feel like a solution without a problem for me. I end up just not caring about a lot of that stuff and barely use favoriting as it is (though some people seem to?)

(Kevin P. Fleming) #20

(reviving this thread)

Unless I’ve missed another Discourse feature, I have a real live use case for this. We have a brand new Discourse site (thanks to @codinghorror), and there are two of us who will be admins/moderators/etc. When one of us posts a support issue here on meta (or a feature request, or something similar), it would be really handy for the other person to be able to see it right away without needing to search for posts by the first person.

In other words, I’d like to ‘follow’ my co-admin, and have him do the same. I don’t care about ‘friending’, or having any additional privileges, just the ability to have notifications when the people I follow start new topics.

(Omni) #21

I’ve created an account just to reply to this thread.

Discourse is very powerful for having discussions, and I look forward to it’s progress.
However, I do see that a friend or following list is a much needed feature.

For a long time, I’ve been searching for the perfect software to build a social community based on common interests. For such a community to grow, bonds must be created. Members of the community will be able to better learn about their peers if they had the ability to follow their activities. This would also allow members to join their peer’s discussions, knowing that they share a bond. The connection better exposes a member to new ideas, as they gain attention through their peers.

Without such a feature, members will be forced to keep track of their connections through memory alone. Though, I have good faith in a human’s ability to retain memory, I doubt that every connection will be on their mind at all times.

A personal example of how a listed connection is a good thing; someone mentioned that my current job was hiring via Facebook. The one who mentioned it was someone that I haven’t seen since High School. If I was not following this person, I would more than likely be working somewhere else, if it all.

This feature does not have to appear ‘tacked on’.

A simple page or scrolling menu that displays profile pictures will do. Simply click on the user avatar, and you will be at their profile page, having the ability to see their latest activity.

@codinghorror You must be extremely busy, and I couldn’t appreciate your work more. But, please, give this feature another look.