Building a Discourse Community

Anyone can set up their very own Discourse in 30 minutes or less. But how do you get people to go there? I often describe Discourse as a great, interesting dinner party. Or, depending on the community, just a party.

This topic is for comments on the original blog entry at:


I am using Discourse to move an existing community from a mailing list to a collaboration space that is just a bit more structured, but still free-flow.

A bit more on the Restaurant → Discussion connection, from the UX perspective:


That’s very interesting. Thanks

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Hi @blau Yesterday a pilot has started as an alternative to the wikimedia-l mailinglist. How far have you come with moving an existing community? What have you learned, what can you share?

Hi @Ad_Huikeshoven, moving an email-only community to D, things that worked and were appreciated:

  • has better thread management
  • gives context to discussion (just scroll)
  • information stays there and is easy to find again
  • search
  • wiki posts
  • mobile support (web)
  • email support (mainly for those on the road)

Things that did not go as expected:

  • surveys:
  • @ group broadcast: it’s just noise, those who do not respond nor particpate won’t change behaviour.
  • moderation and flagging did not catch up (this may depend on the peculiar nature of the community)
  • guidelines enforcement: e.g min topic title length. This was strongly rejected and made fun of.

Thanks for your answer. I do recognize the postive points. Regarding surveys, I’ve come across something like polss in D, is that what you meant? I haven’t tried polls yet. You mention “@ group broadcast”. I don’t know what that is in D.

I mean polls, yes. They work, but in the past if I changed the poll itself or the info below it it broke the poll. Don’t know if it has improved, since I don’t use it often.

Second, I mean the ability to tag a whole grout wit the syntax

@groupname (similar to @username)

You can fine tune it creating a group of users, and in the group options decide who can tag the whole group.


I’m looking to create a forum for handling data. I’m curious to understand what metrics you monitor as you build your forum. My guess is items such as new members, active members (how do you decide this?), and # of content items posted.


Just refreshing this topic.

Discourse is the very best forum web app.

WOW. Genius.

Using it’s integration on all of my Ghost blogs.

THANK YOU is all I can say!


Yes, this data is all featured directly on the Discourse dashboard at /admin in the form of pretty graphs, which we’ve revamped significantly since this was originally posted. :hugs: