Agnostic Invite Link

This may have been suggested, but, is there any continued (active) conversation around providing an email-agnostic link for signups?

Feel free to close if this is a dupe.


By that, do you mean a link that would allow a user to enter any e-mail address and get an active account? That’s… a really bad idea, because Discourse uses the e-mail address as the identity.


Right, I get that. I suppose the context here is more around my existing community members wanting to invite many people, more like an “affiliate” link style (ewww, feels gross, I know… but closest model i can think of right now), then individual addresses.


Trust level 2 users can send invites via the invite button.


Right, but, not without a specific and real email address.

Along the lines of an email-agnostic invite link… a’la amazon or something:

where you can see: username=8BIT

and i get credit for inviting those folks.

Another idea was some sort of ability to invite users a’la LinkedIn (eewwwww… another gross example) where they have access to your email contact address book and can send links en-masse… i’m not a super-fan of this, but, i’m reaching for relevant examples.


So you still want new signups to have to confirm their e-mail address afterwards, you just want something that existing users can put as a link to get the “invite credit”?


this is well-put. thank you.

or, at a higher-level, alternative ways to use existing systems/services to open up the channels of invitations at a larger scale (a’la connecting to a google apps contact / address book and emailing them a link).

I guess /signup?inviter=8BIT isn’t the end of the world. Personally, I’m strongly opposed to the idea of scraping people’s address books and spamming invites to the world, but it’s not my product, so :woman_shrugging:.


It would be entirely opt-in… of course. Not everyone would do it.

If you’re referring to the scraping of address books, I don’t think Discourse should be associated with it at all. It’s a scummy practice. At any rate, it’s easy enough to write some third-party thing that accepts creds or a token, hoovers up the addresses, then presents them as a CSV for the mass-invite mechanism, so if someone wants it, they can go write it.

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I agree, which is why my original comments had the :nauseated_face: mention in them. There’s got to be a 3rd option… but, I’m unsure of what that might be. So, of course, I wondered if it was an active convo within the discourse walls.

My use case, from a former life, is to be able to email (or post on a learning management system) a link that will allow anyone with the link to be able to create an account with whatever email address they want.

It would be a just like the current invite links (with a long unguessable url) except it would let the user choose any address and many people use it. It could have a user - chosen timeout (like a week).


So this is on an invite-only site, where anonymous signups aren’t allowed, but you need people to be able to signup without administrator intervention for a limited period of time?


That’s pretty much it. It’s a class. A professor wants to be able to send an email with a link and have students register (perhaps being added to a group). It’s usually easy to post a link that everyone in the class (and only those people) can see.
I think it’s exactly like the current invite, but you want anyone with the link to be able to to register.

Just like Dropbox (or gist) let’s anyone with the link see the file.


Here are some other use cases:

  1. Running a VIP conference (Presidents of large organizations). Want to provide notes, videos, and key details in a conference Category that is restricted to one group’s access - the VIPs. Place a ‘password’ or a ‘code’ or provide a link that they can use to access the group. Low risk anyone shares the link beyond conference participants.
  2. Running a registered conference for paid participants. After registration, send them an email saying, “Please access conference materials at our online community.” They click the link, added to the conference group, shown the conference welcome Topic, and have access to the conference materials. Enables us to do customer service through Discourse, engage our participants as superfans, etc.
  3. Onboarding employees. Want employees to join and see a private community just for them (A department group, a topic group). Easier to send them an email and say, click this link, you’ll be automagically added to the group and category where this conversation is taking place.

I know that I pushing for this feature but…

Case two is fairly well handled with the existing bulk invite.

Case three is well handled by settings allowing you to assign groups by an email domain.


Good points, interesting to consider it from different angles.

For case 2, if they don’t accept the bulk invite in time, you have to keep re-inviting them. It would be easier to just give them a link that will work anytime before the end of the conference.

For case 3, if you only want to invite 65 out of 400 employees to a topic group, that won’t work?

Similar issues have been discussed here:

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I’ve got a use case related to trust levels and Discourse Meta itself.

In one of my communities, we are using Trust Level 3 as a way to identify those who want to help improve our product and community, which includes our own usage of Discourse. It’s like our own version of Discourse Meta. Naturally, I find myself frequently quoting conversations that I find here.

That is, by discussing Discourse Meta’s topics about the Discourse software, my community is having conversations about conversations about conversations. We are all indeed a strange loop. :thinking:

Anyway, I see value in inviting the smart people from my community to meet the smart people in this community — all of you fine people reading this. However, because T3 is dynamic, email invites won’t work. Although I could simply invite all of my users with a link here to /signup, it’s only the T3 people who have really proven to have interest in community introspection and curiosity about the software we use. Plus, I feel that having my T3 users discover such an invite as a reward would have a stronger impact and motivate them to really get involved with the larger Discourse world. After all, by helping Discourse, we are also helping ourselves.

If I had an email agnostic link that all my T3 peeps would see the first time they visit our Lounge, I’d have a practical way to bring more people here and also get myself that Champion badge on Discourse Meta. :sunglasses:

I suspect I do not have the only Discourse community that could do such a thing. Also, while this specific example would benefit Discourse Meta, obviously I would also want to use it within my own community so that my own members could more easily become Champions themselves.

You can lock someone at TL3 any time you like via the admin page for that user.