Any way to add user post count totals to posts?


Like the messages count there?
Join date and location are unimportant, but I think post counts are the most powerful form of gamification.
When I used to use any other forum software, the main thing that got me to post was watching my little post count go up and comparing it to other people.

In the forum I run now I am getting tons of signups but people just post once or twice and then leave. The built in gamification like badges etc, no one seems to pay attention to.

Does anyone have an example script/css to make post counts work?


Discourse considers read time the more important metric. See


ok awesome

Does anyone know a way to display the users total read time in the individual posts or access it in CSS/javascript? Theres obviously some variable somewhere for it. Hopefully it is accessible. Maybe one could make a script to turn read time into some more nebulous point system.

one can configure badges associated with read time to work as gamification for read time as that article suggests, but people also like seeing numbers go up on their posts. Also my forum uses badges already for a different purpose.

Read time is visible if you click or tap on the user avatar, like so

Is that stat accessible via CSS/javascript so I can manipulate it into a different metric or put it into posts that dont require additional clicking?

and thank you for replying

my forum was recently featured in a huge documentary, and although discourse is great at promoting lurkers, despite all this attention we cant get people to stay

so maybe theres a way to put readtime or a readtime associated metric next to usernames without having to click

This would improve gamification on my forum

The number one thing that gets people to stay is compelling content.

Adding post count (or read time) to every post is not a magic bullet. Heck in the case of post count I would argue it is actually harmful for the reasons outlined in the blog post I mentioned earlier.

For practical advice see

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you said in the interview you actively discourage content lol because there is (in your words) too much content online

which is fine but not great for new forums of a diffuse subject

It doesnt matter in the end for forums where the users of a specific thing are confined by copyright to one forum (Ubuntu, Eve etc)

Which interview was this? Can you provide a link?

the one linked in the article you linked


Oh yes I forgot about that interview. Anyways, there are some good suggestions in the two discourse blog posts I linked. Per

It’s prudent to temper your expectations on “if we just had this one magic feature, it’d make the community.” Here’s a good example: as an experiment on one Discourse forum, I literally gave away a physical item (via postal mail) that is valued at $40+ to new users who signed up and had promising patterns of read time, likes, and topic visits. I did this maybe 40 times in total over the last 12 months. (And that’s not all I did, I also held multiple types of forum contests with prizes too.) Some of those people never really came back or eventually stopped visiting; others did come back and became regulars. There was no real pattern to it that I could discern.

Once you reach critical mass and have a solid group of regulars who do return and participate every day, you’ll find that is what people keep visiting for. Even though I was (pretty much literally) bribing new users to stay, it didn’t seem to matter in the way that high quality organic daily content did. People need a compelling reason to return — and lots of unique, interesting conversation amongst a core of regulars is the most compelling reason of all. Getting there takes time, months if not years, and daily effort.

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it will take a long time. i just thought this recent BBC doc we were in would boost the effort (and it is, on signups, but not so much active users). Perhaps not. And we do have a very active community on Facebook. Its just that Facebook technical support sucks. So we were like ok well lets have a separate site, and discourse was the most functional free, modern option.

Will take a closer look at those other links.

It is worth noting that if someone does sign up, post a few times, then never come back, Discourse will still send them the weekly digest email with a selection of the most well received topics and posts for that week. If the content is interesting and relevant, they’ll click back through.

So Discourse is certainly trying to help you by getting those users back to the site, and this digest email will be sent out for 52 weeks (one year) before giving up on that user and disabling future digest emails for them.

Of course there is no statute of limitation on email reply notifications — even if you are long gone, if someone mentions your username / replies to a post of yours / quotes a post of yours from 2 years ago, you will still be notified via email that someone was attempting to have a conversation with you specifically.

As an example — have you considered any kind of contest, with relevant-to-your-community prizes, involving posting to the forum? That is one of the suggestions in the two Discourse blog posts I cited on growing your community.