One of my Discourse installations is for the local running club, and we want to have a post-race debrief discussion between the race director and the set of volunteers for that race. Some criteria:
We would prefer the discussion to be private because we think the volunteers won’t speak freely about bad behavior or other things if it could be viewed by anyone.
We’d like these discussions to be viewable by other race directors and board members for posterity (hence, we don’t want to silo these discussions in private messages).
The set of volunteers changes for every race, so it’s not feasible to create a single private category with all volunteers in it. Nor is it sensible to create a private category for each race, since there would be almost no traffic other than volunteer assignment and then debrief messages, once per year.
Because Discourse is still new, many people don’t yet have accounts, so it would be nice if the solution could be email-friendly.
The only solution I’ve come up with is to give up on the private category. If the category is public, anyone can post so the race director could create the debrief topic and manually mention all the volunteers so they were notified. Those without accounts yet could be invited to the topic. As I noted before, the downside is people speaking freely or there being private side discussions about negative topics.
I was trying to figure out if there was some way to combine a private category with anonymous email posting to allow the topic to be held in email, but with Discourse receiving all the email and maintaining a conversation in the system as well. But I can’t figure out if that’s possible—anonymous email accounts and then the staged accounts they create can post to a private category, but as soon as someone creates an account and it doesn’t have permission, they can’t email in anymore.
Am I missing any clever Discourse features that will let me bring both registered users and email users into the same private discussion in Discourse?