Chrome/Firefox extension "Share to discourse"

I don’t know if I’d call it lack of interest but more a lack of need for the amount of work that would be needed to be done.

Discourse oneboxes quite well so it’s simply a matter of copying the URL and pasting it into the post.

And posting content from a WordPress blog into a Discourse topic can be done using the plugin.

As for some type of “share with Discourse” browser or app widget I’m guessing it could be done somehow, but there would need to be specifications first. By specifications, I don’t mean only the “goal” but detailed logic steps the code would take from beginning to end. The if this, then this, when this then this stuff.

  1. I am a systems analyst schooled in Brain Science and IT.
  2. I operate a WP + Discourse forum.
  3. I have never written a Discourse plugin.

Out of the box, there is no programic workflow in WP + Discourse that enables for example, a casual patron of my site to instantly share, Wired: This Guy Is Creating An All-NewW CELL Network Built By You, an article relavant to an existing discussion or to spawn a new topic using the WordPress/JetPack “Press This” (codex: functions, hooks, classes, or methods) allows quick publishing with a special web browser bookmarklet. You can create a post by quoting some text, images, and videos on any web page. That is primative compared to hundreds of social media plugins.

To imply the creation of such an app or extension is in some fashion exotic or not a common expectation of functionality when using social media is not an informed opinion. If you wish to debate that in another thread of discourse I’m interested if we stick to a context of evidentiary science.

I use Facebook professionally. However, I don’t personally enjoy it. I have no choice but to take my patron’s enjoyment of the platform seriously. The Facebook Discussion Groups, their mini-forums, are now integrated with their Page architecture. The workflow for sharing data both in and out network is virtually seamless, and the official facebook smartphone apps for administrating for groups and pages are well designed and easy to use.

If you post in one group then go to another, the moment someone responds to your comment a contextual box opens as a option to respond if you want. The UX notifies with context, and require no User action. The group format remains poorly formed but I totally want that notification feature adapted to Discourse ontology.

Back to spontaneous sharing.

Crafting a smartphone app and browser extension is not remarkable. The saturated level for apps and extensions and the tools to make them with is mindnumbing. There are apps for making social apps that don’t require any knowledge of programming, whatsoever.

While there may be logic specific to the Discourse ontology and code schema, niether evidences prerequisites outside your experience. The cost of productionalizing an app and extension suite for the Discourse ecosystem is significant, but not insurmountable.

The way I see it, time and project bandwith is the real problem. I would chose to hire the talent, and gift the project to our community instead of stealing mindshare from projects that I know deserve higher priority.

If you are interested in being on that team, pleave let me know. It will be third project in the queue and a year out from inception. If you have a candidate to recommend for project manager with elite personnel, business, and code management kung-fu, let me know please.


+1.513.512.7597 Personal Mobile
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This can work with the WP Discourse plugin. It’s possible to either publish all posts that are created through Press This to Discourse, or to limit which posts are published based on a tag or a category. Right now, this doesn’t work out of the box with the WP Discourse plugin, but it can be done by adding a function to your site. It can easily be added as an option to the plugin if there’s a demand for it.


Thank you Simon, I understand that, hence the reason I made the very statement you quoted.

Again this odd turn of phrase, “if there’s a demand for it”, offered as a reasoned qualifcation, yet also, and I can’t really be certain any of you repeating it are aware, that displays an implicit bias. To me, it is also odd because, principles and evidentiary science don’t arbitrarilly change unless the observed ecological (psycho-social) and or environmental (social media ontology) criteria is a notable enough departure to prompt reclassification. Discourse ontology, though displaying genuinely original UX/UI configuration, nonetheless, does not claim to manifest a new paradigm by its Co-Founers.

In brief, there is no evidnce to suggest well-formed tools (share apps) demonstrated as widely adopted by Facebook and myriad others, would not be equally useful in the same context in the cae of Discourse, simply because the UI “looks different”. There is no studied evidence, and no compelling reason to assume, people in any way show, a departure in behavior oft displayed in these other “of a kind” social media, when they upgrade to, or additionally use Discourse.

The onus of proof is not of me to justify the inclusion of standard social media “share” features, but it is for anyone implying Discourse is so notably different, that its science is new, and the values observed true in “like” social media, no longer can be considered applicable.

If anyone here is suggesting Discourse objectively, measureably, rises to the level of a “sea change”, I honestly wish them to share that data with me so I may incorporate it in my business plan for SUBVS.US Corp.

Use of “And Or” in a Sentence
It very popular to condem the use if the grammatical device and or in a sentence. The difficulty I have with accepting this and discontinueing its use, is that in every case I’ve studied of its detractors in the US and UK the disparagements are inarguably each cultural not logical, with alternatives to clarify bordering on the comedic.

Two alternatives proposed as “improvements”, the first is to replace it with x or y or both. The second is to simply use or and rely on context to determine whether the “or” is intended to be inclusive or exclusive. How “x or y or both” is grammatically more elegant or using simply, “or” reduces potential confusion, only demonstrates how knowing in principle what “critical thinking” is and how it works is in no fashion to be construed as certain the person is disciplined in the rigorus study and practice of critical thinking.

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What I mean is if it’s something that can solve a problem for someone, I’d be happy to add it to the plugin. Because it relies on having a WordPress site, it doesn’t really address the feature request in this topic, but it’s a reasonable workaround for forums that are associated with a WordPress site.


If you want a share link in your browser, make a bookmarklet with the javascript


(replace with whatever discourse instance you want to share to).

That will open discourse, open the composer, and insert the link into the title of the topic. You can even adapt that link to make it share to a specific category, or pre-fill some tags.

The same approach could easily be used on any site to add a “share to forum” button or similar.


SUBVS.US Corp is only using WordPress as an inexpensive sandbox for prototyping ideasto be later developed as Native Discourse Plugin or Extension.

Nothing I’ve said implied that I or my company were using, or plan to use, adapt, create a WordPress Plugin.

Also repeating, “if it’s something that can solve a problem” in different variations doesn’t magically embued it with any greater validity than saying it once. Since it’s a standard feature in social media ecosystems, you need to explain what makes Discourse an exception that doesn’t need it.

People I attract to my Discourse instance assume it functions like everything else they are familiar with on the web, they ask how do I share assuming the features found to be ubiquious among other platforms from Youtube to Faceook, are also in Discourse. Each time the person is sure Discourse can do it, they feel stupid because they can’t see the share buttons.

Saying nobody asked for it isn’t science. Nobody asked for CD-ROMS either, so please stop saying that, it makes no sense.

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That’s nice, however, it isn’t something you offer as a solution to Jill and John Q Public who are accustomed contemporary social media like Facebook and Youtube. People don’t expect the need to hack their app or browser extension.

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We added a feature for this in version 1.7, simply paste the URL in the new topic title area:


@Muiran, does not this bookmark do what you want the chrome extension to do?

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@pfaffman, @codinghorror You honestly can’t see how the UX you are showing is functionaly not the same User Experience common to dozens of well known social media?

After everything I said earlier to see this level of mis communication, I have to admit defeat. I literally cannot think of any other way to explain this. The frustration is due large part because outside this conversation no one else expresses confusion about the point I’ve made. There is noshare app or browser extension with granularly of choice regarding what is being posted, by whom, to whom. I find myself reading an arstechnia whitepaper that fits a Discourse topic there is no way to do that without leaving the arstechnia article. If I’m reading something and want to share it with 4 people ina group I admin, I not only can instantly share with a select few, but I have option of publishing as the group or pages activity stream or myself. Obviousl I can share/publish to one or more whole groups, page member subscribers who “follow” general posts, all from a single click used by millions of technically illiterate people.

I could go on but my sense is that nothing I say makes sense to any of you. I can’t fathom how I’ve now spent half a day futilly trying to explain something this much at the core of social media use.

Please don’t ask me a question better answered by your own study of any one of thousands of browser extensions and smartphone apps.

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We find that users generally understand how to copy and paste URLs, and expect to do so.

Tap and hold, copy URL, switch apps to browser (or Discourse iOS / Android app if that is how you roll), then paste into appropriate topic.

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Jeff the only anecdotal comments I’ve made are in regard to the apperant difficulty in clarify evidentiary science about how people percieve and understand socal media tools. If this is a matter of a group of Discourse mavens “feeling” their experience doesn’t concur with current assumptions i UX science, that ok.

I just don’t see any value in discussing a matter of popular consensus about subjective experience.The way that you word you response precludes any useful discussion.

I’m 60 years old and as a teen had this same exchange of views when I tried to explain how I’d used a make-shift resonance cavity and a klystron to heat water. I knew both thephysics and the social science were intersection, that if I kept at it I was on to something. Not because of how I felt but because that was where the evidentiary science, then as now lead me. Dr Sperti, my mentor was George Sperti, matter factly explain how heating water with microwaves would never be a thing so long as women could simply put a kettle on the burner. If I’d insisted I would have alienat Dr Sperti and lost my lab and library privileges at his foundation.

I was 14 at the time.

Ten years later my law firm fired me because “hubris” y insistance on throwing my money away and damaging the prestige of Santen & Hughe by arrogantly insisting CD-ROM was going to be the emergent standard. I’m too old to have those conversations anymore Jeff. If you are skeptical about the veracity of that small peek at only two of my failures, I can provide references.

I’ll pursue this project on my own since it clearly has no support.

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Maybe I need pictures to understand how a simple Javascript bookmarklet is that different from what you want. When I developed what may have been the first social bookmarking app I made a bookmarklet that works let got select the text that you wanted to be used for the description. That was long before you could trust Javascript to do anything useful.

Lots of people I work with are not willing to install browser extensions, so even if you made it they’d never see it.

It sounds like it could be a cool idea! Go ahead and do it. If you have money to get it done, post in marketplace. It doesn’t sound like it’ll be that difficult. Post in #marketplace; if think that a couple thousand dollars and a couple weeks could give you what you describe, or perhaps I still have no idea what you’re talking about.

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I apologize for my earlier posts not being clearly understood. I look at features from a developers perspective and I admit that I often assume others have familiarity with the terms and abbreviations I use.

Projects that do not have clear specifications can lead to frustration for both the developer and the client.

IMHO a good way to start is with a simple outline eg.


  • a “share” button that can be embedded into pages
  • a “share” button that can be used from a browsers chrome
  • an editable modal prepopulated with OG data such as title and image, with send and cancel buttons

presumed Logic flow

  • user wants to share a web page to a Discourse forum
  • triggers “share” button event
  • reviews / edits content in the modal then sends
  • a topic is created in a Discourse forum populated with the modal content and attributed to the user that sent it

What I don’t know are the details of how you envision this working.

  • Who specifically can see and use the share button?
  • What Discourse forum does it post to?
  • Which category does it post in?
  • Does the post go into an approval queue?
    etc, etc.

The more clearly you can provide details the better.


I’m not interested in making a browser extension, but I’d like to try making a share to Discourse plugin for WordPress. A specific logo could be used to link to a specific forum, or clicking a general logo could open a modal window with a list of forums that had registered with the plugin. Once a forum was selected, it would be possible to offer a list of categories/groups/individuals to share the post with.

The end result would be to open a new browser tab with a link similar to the one @david posted. Doing it this way would let Discourse handle the most of the work.

I’ll try making a prototype of it and see if it makes any sense. Thanks for the idea.


I’m willing to support that idea Simon but I’m sure there is a audience for that.

Elsewhere on meta.discourse, I’ve posted my interest in a high-level, onebox integration of Diaspora* a privacy-aware, distributed, open source social network that can bring synergistic enhancement to Discourse such as a more feature rich User Profile but without adding complexity and dreaded Feature Fatigue.

Adding standard, and it is unquestionably a web standard, contempory social media share tools caters to web denizens whose lives online are entirely on the surface:

  • Instagram,
  • Snapchat,
  • YouTube,
  • Facebook
  • Oxford English Dictionary

The SUBVS.US proposal for the Diaspora of Discourse plugin with Diasora sidebars open and Discourse selected instead of the stock Diaspora Activity Stream

Instead of static sidebars these have Sliders ie Baby Hamburgers on each side that can be set to open and close automagically or manually. In this mockup we see the Discourse forum is “In Focus”, the Activity Stream is always a toggle away from use.

A social media button would be accessible at all times within the editor.

The iconic share buttons look and work the same on every website. All of them are connected, and I simply propose making acess to that ecosystem possible from within a Discourse paradigm.

Another long term project you probably will claim you don’t get, is Discourse for Google Docs, a version of WordPress for Google Docs it is one of my all time favorite chunks of code from Automatic.

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This will be covered by the new Web API:


This is live in Chrome Canary/Dev. However Firefox and Chrome devs are discussing the string format of the URL and this will not land in stable browsers until it gets settled.

Here is how it will work when this lands:


This is what I have been looking for! A lot of people like to just click and share, I have a few web site owns will to place something like this on there website so our users can post on to our forums with ease

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