Discourse as a publication platform with various membership options?

Today I stumbled upon

and the nice way this topic is presented, eg having

  • a credit right in the header to a paying member who shared this topic
  • quite a nice, clean layout
  • interesting interactive data gimmicks
  • an expert taking part in the discussion
  • and a call to action to join the conversation by becoming a paying member

made me think about Discourse and its potential to become a publication platform with various membership business models deeply integrated into the software. Is that something that is completely out of scope? If so, what is the future you see for Discourse?

Of course, I’m having a huge bias here, because I just built a startup that uses Discourse more like a cms for community-powered journalism. But I realized that there were quite a few users in the past who were asking for different aspects of paid content/community features - that are available for Discourse but are not deeply integrated which is necessary in my opinion to built a frictionless UX and convince users to pay for content.

I think that the crisis of online media creates huge business opportunities for new communities with cool ways to present quality UGC. So I wonder how you see the role of Discourse in all of this? Thanks for your feedback!


We are definitely expanding our support for paid membership programs cc @sam


Thanks, glad to hear this!

And it would be great to have a nice onboarding process when the user

  • (clicks on a category and) sees all the topics which can be unlocked
  • clicks on a group
  • has read the first post (as in the example above)
  • wants to unlock certain features

It would also be great if a topic could have a clearly defined teaser image (and maybe a teaser text) that can be presented on the homepage and in the recommendations. I think this is the only feature missing for cms use cases.