Great to hear this, my impression is the team is mostly there already. I look forward to the further discussion on how to extend the platform for other use cases that people are now using FB groups for (and thus fragmenting communities), but make it conducive to conversation in the Discourse aesthetic.
Agreed, “social media” is a hype term, with little meaning. Forums are social, if you want a non-social “conversation” platform, something like disqus comes to mind or youtube comments.
I’d say #1 is also being taken over by social media as well. It’s easy to start a group on FB with no technical skill involved. Even though the platform is pretty limited compared to a forum, they are becoming more popular, even finally attracting people who tried avoiding signing up for many years. Google groups started replacing email lists several years ago, and FB groups a couple years ago.
Instead of just ‘video’ I would suggest ‘media’. Which could be video or image. A thumbnail of the media could be displayed next to the topic title. I was going to do a mock up but I should very shortly. (Real life manages to steam roll itself in when it wants to!)
Group and event? Welll. Not every Discourse forum is geared toward events (unlike media, which is a mainstay to probably most instances) but I know some are. Just as long as they can be turned off from the admin CP, I think it’s something worth building into core.
Great - the simpler and more general the better. I also feel that this extension would be the one which would boost Discourse the most. Event and group would be nice, but an image gallery can be found on quite a number of forums out there. And a ‘media’ type would cover this use case in a very elegant and Discourse-y manner…
One thing I learned with image galleries and adding them to forums: don’t do them.
I had a full media gallery separate from the boards. I had high ambitions for it, where members add their art, screencaps, ect.
Of course, sometimes the user doesn’t do what you expect them to do.
My community members eschewed this big image/media gallery and instead stuck to the boards. They would open a single thread and post their artwork, claiming this thread as their own.
After a while, I grew to like this system my members devised on their own. Which is why I am all for a topic thumbnail that fetches the first image/video and turns it into a thumbnail. Now, to have some nice markdown-like code that my members can use to make their large art ‘drops’ look nice? This image ‘gallery’ plugin is the perfect solution. Just need to keep it updated.
And there you go. No need for a separate gallery. It’s inline with the discussions as it should be.
If feature helps the group to bond more easily! it’s a good feature as I’ve read here!
Successful online community building is connecting a group of people online and making them feel a part of something special. This 'something special’ element is the overlooked bit.
However, the common interest is the first level of the group bonding. It’s usually overrated. If you’ve ever been part of a purposeful group you know it’s not the mission/common interest that matters. The most important missions on the planet often have the lowest level of engagement. What matters most is how well you bond with others members of the group.
The better you get to know and like your fellow members, and the more you care about their opinion of you, the more you participate and thus work towards a successful goal.
Your role is to create an environment, through both your mass and micro (one to one) communications, that facilitates this. This means in public you might recognize top members, talk about the community and plan events. In private you might build relationships with key members, introduce members to each other, ask for opinions and suggestions and work towards a greater good.
This also means designing your community that reflects both the common interest and the individual contributions as equals. Half your community might be about developments on the topic, the other half should be about the contributions of members.
Now as your community grows you need to begin decentralizing responsibility. Give popular members their own forums/groups to moderate. Schedule regular events/activities that other members can be responsible for organizing.
Finally, dream big. Begin arranging offline meet-ups and consider pushing the boundaries. Try adding a paid job adverts page, developing branded products, inviting relevant companies to run focus groups.
What I realized was this! Social media you meet a friend off line and then keep in touch using facebook. Or you just look stuff that interesting that people have shared on youtube, Tumblr or pinterest but your not going meetup with those people. Their not part of your community
With online community you talk there 1st and then you meet off line at a event
because generally like to talk people who share similar interest as us
That’s all a forum is to talk to people who enjoy the same things as you do!
We kinda already have that. A topic has the image_url attribute, which is filled by the cooked-post-processor automatically (using only the image from the first post). It is just not used in the current UI, but the infrastructure is all there. And with a custom template, you can just link to that image in your overview pages (or wherever you have a topic-model). That’s what we are doing.
EDIT: it also has a bug in though. At the moment also any smileys are taken as thumbnails. I have a fix for that, but as it isn’t used in core, I don’t think sending a PR for it, makes much sense atm.
Was reading your reply and then you made your edit. Hopes are dashed, for now.
Still, I am glad that was already taken into account. The trick would be to either have topics on the list without images to gracefully fall back to a different, default view or simply replace the topic’s ‘thumb’ with the opening poster’s avatar.
diff --git a/lib/cooked_post_processor.rb b/lib/cooked_post_processor.rb
@@ -203,8 +203,12 @@ class CookedPostProcessor
if @post.post_number == 1
- img = images.first
- @post.topic.update_column(:image_url, img["src"]) if img["src"].present?
+ img_idx = images.find_index do |p|
+ p["src"].present? && (
+ !p["class"].present? || p["class"] != "emoji")
+ return if img_idx == nil
+ @post.topic.update_column(:image_url, images[img_idx]["src"])
The reason I would not want this in core is clear: we filter on the class “emoji”, basically the core adding some specific behavior for a non-required plugin. Other plugins which add picture still show up. This patch – though working for now and fixes the bug – is not good.
The word “forums” has a bad sound to it to people, I do not use it when I talk about discourse and I find even people, who otherwise don’t (want to) use forums, do use discourse. It seems that using that word creates a certain expectation of it being crappy and then people will find a way to make that expectation happen. If you don’t use that word, it appears, they are more open minded and easily fall in love with DC. So, my advice, don’t tell them to use a forum, talk about “creating a community” (or something more positive sounding), and they do “change” their mind … in some way.
I do think forums need a lot of re-branding, they are just not cool, anymore, if ever. Don’t get me wrong, I have participated in them for many years.
I am a bit bummed about discourse now. Last night I showed my other half meta discourse telling her I was thinking of switching the software and the reaction was totally negative. She doesn’t use social media just our forum. She thought it was too busy in the index with the avatars and unfriendly/harsh looking. I am afraid many people will react this way that are not programmers or heavy computer users. I think if I use discourse, it’ll need extensive theming to make it inviting to regular users.