Add a "curated personal learning" page for users

I came to Discourse through Seth Godin’s “The Marketing Seminar” which is run on Discourse instances.

Something I constantly found myself wanting in my experience there through TMS6 and TMS7 was a page of my own where I could summarise things I was learning and link to relevant posts (which may not be my own) and external resources. Almost like having a wiki page.

The Discourse profile didn’t work very well for this. First because this information isn’t really my profile and that still has value, and second because it wasn’t easy for people to find. For example here you have to click “Expand” to see the profile about and it also seems to strips links.

My own Discourse site is for discussions related to learning to use and build on the tools I am creating for clients. I foresee a similar need to be able to curate learnings here.

Has this been discussed already?

Thanks.

Matt

Later on, I read

I am not sure what feature you are suggesting here, your wishes are confliciting with each other if I’m not misunderstanding you? After the first quote I would say, use a note taking app. After your second quote, I would like to ask what wrong is with the public wiki posts?

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Create a topic if you want a public page with your notes visible to others.

Send a message (PM) to yourself if you want the notes to be private i.e. you don’t want others to see the notes:

The PM page is as follows - substitute your own username:

https://meta.discourse.org/u/*username*/messages

Or with your mouse:

  • Click on your avatar
  • Click on your username
  • Click on Messages
  • Click on the New Message button
  • Select your username as the message recipient

Here’s my example with a link to this topic:

P.S.
To get back to the notes you should bookmark as below or create a web browser shortcut:
image

This has reminded me that I wanted to replace my bookmarks list with a notes message listing all those links plus an explanation of why I have saved them.

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Hi Marc.

It’s possible there are things in Discourse that I haven’t discovered yet and I’m largely going by what the folks at TMS said wasn’t possible when I asked for it there.

What I want is a page that is prominently associated with my profile that I can edit. I see a later suggestion to create a topic for my own notes and yes I can do that, and I can link it from my profile but it’s very hard to discover as it will live in the “Expand>>” part of the profile text. And I’m not sure if the link will be a hot-link (that maybe isn’t working because my account here is new, I don’t know).

In the TMS context what I wanted to do was maintain a summary of my understandings as I went through the course and link to relevant posts. Partly this is for me but also so that someone else could follow my journey and gain insights from it.

I would aspire to the same thing in my own site.

In the meantime I will check into the How-To to find these “public wiki posts” as they are news to me.

Thanks.

Matt

I added My Journey link to this topic to my user card: Preferences | Profile | About Me.

You are right that it will be more difficult to find but I expect most users who have gone to the trouble of visiting your card will expand it. I regularly do it just to get a clearer view of their avatar so maybe make yours a bit mysterious…

Wiki posts allow other users to edit the post that you created. I don’t think that you want that?

P.S.
I can get a link in the website field but I can’t make it more readable because there is no html link.
image

I think I was confused because he mentioned wiki-style page for users as the title.

@taonmatt
I’m pretty sure you can create a closed post and edit this anytime you want, you can put in under a category or maybe a tag if you like that. I assume you are the only one that has such a summary post?

You could pin this post so every user sees it, it will unpin for them personally if they read it. There are some creative ways to reach this. You could use this plugin to create an header shortcut to your post, for example.

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I’ve just realized my user card says that my journey is four years of doing not much in this forum. Where did the years go? What am I doing here? What have I learnt?

Imgur

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Yes I shouldn’t have said wiki-style page, that was bound to be confusing. Mentally I was thinking “personal wiki”. I have amended the topic title accordingly.

I didn’t make that clear either: no I mean that every user should be able to have their own curated page for things they have learned or to link to posts they think are important as they go about their journey on the site.

m@

Just an idea: Create category: Journey - every user creates his own topic there, they can edit this or reply to their own topic to update their journey. Assuming the audience of your board this could work out.

Up to you if you make them edit or reply to their own. If they reply to their own topic it get’s bumped up so you en all users can also easily keep up with journeys, the Discourse way.

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I get the appeal.

I think the requirements here are:

  • a “page” where a user can add information relevant to their journey
  • a link to that page that is easily accessible on that user’s profile / card
  • they can edit it as they please

Potential problems:

  • Discourse by default has a limit on the duration in which editing a post / topic is possible - but that’s easily configured with site settings.
  • Will every edit cause the journey topic to be bumped up the latest list? - You can force non-bump edits for said topics
  • Should a journey topic look different than normal topics? - you can easily customize the way topics, in a specific category, look. See Blog Post Styling

Off the top of my head, all of these things are possible in an efficient manner with a well-crafted theme-component

Your needs will require some custom work if the default options don’t quite meet your requirements; however, like I stated above, I don’t see any red-flags that would prevent this from being done in a theme-component. Have a look at the theme guide I linked above if you want to take it on yourself, or create a topic in the #marketplace category if you want to pay someone from the community to take on the work.

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I use a few Discourse instances for various knowledge base storage. My thinking: threads and/or posts are cheap in Discourse, and the taxonomy tools should be used to assist discovery and reference and no more.

I live blog lots of things, and I start these “deep dives”. When I’m learning something new, I create a new thread, and just post everything there, like a notepad. I have a different thread for all my notable Dungeon Crawl morgue files and finds. On my private instance I have a thread for every domain or other IT asset I interact with, and leave a reply to timestamp my interaction. For the various games we play we have wiki pages and replies as lore is updated.

There are some examples; I don’t particularly treat them differently (aside from a “private instance”). Anyone can comment on anything. If it is interesting, it serves the document. If a discussion gains momentum it can split off or merge somewhere with a better fit (maybe someone’s else’s notes…).

Given my method, this ends up being my activity page, but in practice I just use search and interact with the ongoing, active discussions. Meaning I don’t spend time organizing notes, beyond broad categories and maybe some tags.

I don’t know much about the TMS context aside from gleaning it in this thread, but my personal method is to take notes and externalize them to assist in initial memory and scaffolding. After that I don’t look at my notes unless a need arises.

However, I’ve found that revisiting and exapnding on notes is valuable education, so I use a combination of editorial workflow and auto-bumps/reminders to keep it fresh and moving. Part of the process is discussing the interesting parts of my tribe, to benefit from the cognitive diversity.


I picked out a few parts of what you said that I had thoughts on, but in case it is all over the place, my advice: start using Discourse as a knowledge base and logging mechanism now, and then see which parts are missing from your idea. Discourse does a lot right now. :slight_smile:

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This is also relevant to yoyoexpert in the context of buying/selling/trading. They need a link to the unique “buyer / seller feedback” topic for that specific user on the user card.

So this idea has multiple applications cc @eviltrout.

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Hi Marc.

This is an interesting idea and in lieu of a specific feature being introduced I think I will pursue this.

Thanks.

Matt

Joe, yep you have the requirements right.

Can that limit on editing time be varied per category?

I might just change this for the whole site though as this is a learning space and I am okay with people going back to amend things as they learn more.

Also I am assuming that, as a site admin, I can always go back and edit. To some extent that’s essential as some topics link to files which will be updated over time. For example I have a topic that presents a tool that is a PDF, I will need to update this topic to point to new versions as they are published.

Thanks for the link to the marketplace, it’s useful to know there is one. I probably won’t do anything with theming straight away as I am still vetting that Discourse is the right tool for me (all signs point to yes so far).

Matt

In addition, if it is manageable (depends on the numbers of your users), you can create a topic for each of your students, change ownership afterwards and set the permissions to See/Reply so they can’t create topics themselves.

I wonder if we could get away with an admin wrench control “Feature this topic on my user card?”

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That would be a good first step!

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When you say “admin wrench” do you mean ‘administrative tool’ or something that would only appear for admins?

If the former then, yes, being able to flag a topic somewhere (perhaps in the JOURNEY category as suggested by @MarcP) then I think that would go a long way towards what I was looking for.

Thanks.

Matt

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