Am I the only non-sysop here?

I’ve never managed a BBS. No phpBB, Discourse, none of them. All I’ve ever been is simply a regular user.

Just curious, am I the only such person here on

You see I’ve got a lot of UX feedback to share.

You’ve come to the right place, but how in the world did you figure out this is where to find us?

It was tough but I am actually a computer science graduate myself, so did manage to figure it out.


I definitely read the title as “psyop” and I started questioning a lot of things :joy:

Most users are not thinking too deeply about the platforms they use. There’s no reason why they should either because they don’t really have the power to change anything about it. So of course this support site will skew toward people who do have the power to modify a discourse instance.


I have been SysOp for a couple of Discourse forums now for almost 6 years.

Prior was a remote SysOp on a few old Renegade DOS BBSes(Telegard Hack)


Why keep it that way?: careful, it’s addictive! :sweat_smile:

Before you know it you will have installed an instance out of curiosity … and leave it running!

And then you will be able to customise it (no doubt heavily) to match your taste and the site may one day become an authority on your chosen subject area.

I jest a little but I’m also serious: give it a go and join the community of the Discourse admins! Relive your computer science days and fully appreciate first hand how far computing has come. Imho it’s pretty eye opening just how easy it is now to create a sophisticated presence on the web at surprisingly reasonable cost.


No, you’re not.


Nope, you aren’t! I did have a forum that I tinkered around with but not anymore. Alas, I don’t think it should affect your experience here :slight_smile: Last time I checked Meta is for everyone :smiley:


I’ve been admin on a lot of forums and other enterprise systems and I have never referred to myself as a sysop or even used that term. Anyways, we all start as regular users somewhere and generally speaking it’s up to you to take it in whatever direction you want. And as @Moin pointed out, you are clearly not the only one. I see plenty of regular user and moderator questions.


It’s kinda hard to avoid using Discourse these days, with how popular it is, so most people probably end up using a Discourse instance for a long time before they start their first forum, potentially even without realizing it.


What are BBS and phpBB??


In this context, they refer to running a Bulletin board system - Wikipedia or phpBB - Wikipedia; those webpages have the history and context to assist understanding what Dan is talking about. :slight_smile:


A SysOp and Co SysOps are terms for Admin and Ci Admin/Mod. From the days of DOS Based Dial BBSes. The had Text/ANSI/Avatar graphics.

And wiki

This was one of the most popular Telegard BBS hacks.


I know what the term means and its origins, I just said I never use it. :woman_shrugging:t2:


Hmmm - my milage varies. At least in that anything that isn’t intuitive and immediately useful gets a lot of emotional attention from users.

It’s a hygiene factor - what works disappears from the consciousness and what is missing (even just from understanding) gives rise to either work arounds or annoyances. The discourse UX in the hands of non IT folk has loads of challenges like markup/down syntax, the FIFO paradigm to open pages, the search mechanics (I still wonder what the basis is cos beyond ‘fuzzy’ I can’t fathom it!)

What I particularly notice is when admins change the UX without announcement or availability to take comments - that is the source of surprisingly strongly emotional responses


I would consider these as examples of not thinking deeply about the platform. Expecting it to just work, not being interested enough to do a 20 second google search to learn the basics of Markdown, getting upset about small changes (more often than not, improvements).

This is not a judgment on these users, just commentary. The users who do want to deeply think and immerse themselves in that platform are going to explore the hidden functionality, learn Markdown and will be interested in updates even before they are out. That will also be the people who participate on this site and will skew heavily toward admins. As you mentioned, the average user is only thinking about the platform itself when it does something they don’t expect


You’re not alone.

I mean, I did run a Discourse forum before, but that shut down because no one could pay for it and my free Discourse request got turned down. Anyways, I still barely know how to do things in the admin panel (twofoursixeight told me what to do there, so thanks to him, I ran a forum).


We have a different perception probably drawn from a different use case .

At a guess …

What I see is people who are using the platform for peer support of brain injury so when the platform gets in the way it generates a fair amount of angst. What you seem to see is techies who are interested in the platform and not the conversation.

Perhaps it was the word deep that caused an illusion of commonality.

Anyway be well ciao


I’m curious as to the reason for your question.

I’m not and never have been involved in sys-ops and I’d say the same for half a large contingent of the people here.

Why do you ask?


Also a non sys-op for the most part, but I’ve been learning. Maybe I should make a topic about the two years I’ve been using this software. Maybe I should praise the software for its ups!


For future reference the answer to literally every question that starts with “am I the only…”

The answer is no


About expecting users to Google about Markdown. First they have no way of finding out that it’s called Markdown. Second there’s no help button to get them started to even say that they need to Google for Markdown.