Give discourse social media look


(Joe Seyfried) #48

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… :smiley:


(mountain) #49

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.


(Charles Wilmott) #50

If feature helps the group to bond more easily! it’s a good feature as I’ve read here! :blush:

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 :smile:

That’s all a forum is to talk to people who enjoy the same things as you do!


(Benjamin Kampmann) #51

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.


How to determine category from a header customization?
Reddit Style picture thumbnail on the left
(mountain) #52

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.


(Charles Wilmott) #53

I’ve just up with idea for “Category Group Content”

It’s basically the image category background but the image links to the group topic.
What do you think?


(Joe Seyfried) #54

@lightyear, thanks for digging into this!

I somehow disagree here: since the code is there, and the functionality is now mentioned here, people (like me) might start to look into it and use it for their own custom themes… :wink:


(Benjamin Kampmann) #55

Here is the patch we applied:

diff --git a/lib/cooked_post_processor.rb b/lib/cooked_post_processor.rb
--- a/lib/cooked_post_processor.rb
+++ b/lib/cooked_post_processor.rb
@@ -203,8 +203,12 @@ class CookedPostProcessor

   def update_topic_image(images)
     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")
+      end
+      return if img_idx == nil
+      @post.topic.update_column(:image_url, images[img_idx]["src"])
     end
   end

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.


Reddit Style picture thumbnail on the left
(Charles Wilmott) #56

I’ve tried a few different niches now and I still get this type of reply about forums

i dont really know, as i am not familiar with forums, and
i dont personally participate in them

Did anyone find their users views changed about forums after
using a discourse forum?


(Benjamin Kampmann) #57

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.


(Charles Wilmott) #58

Thank you that’s great advise! It’s made more feel more positive again! Thanks again! :blush:


#59

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.


(Joe Seyfried) #60

Hm… I see your point. Maybe this is also a non-issue - If people use a gallery-type category, post their pictures after a :slight_smile: , they will quickly figure it out when they look at the thread list. Maybe I will just give it a shot without, and apply your patch if necessary. Thanks anyway!


(Bcguy) #61

I disagree - I think forums - and our forums especially - are about social media - by definition. We provide a space for people to interact, to socialize and exchange viewpoints, etc.

Any discussions between people are a form of social discourse, social interaction - social media.

I view social networks as just one subset of the social media space.

I think part of the issue is that the median age of typical social networks is frequently a lot lower than Jeff Atwood and of Stack Overflow users (which is where Jeff has most of his experience). Jeff Drives most of the important decisions at Discourse - so naturally it reflects in the design of Discourse and its appeal to younger audiences.

The average age of a Stack Overflow user is 30.1

I think it might not be a bad idea to include a small focus group of 20 year olds that would provide input to the Discourse team to help make it appeal more to a younger demographic.


(mountain) #62

I think the disconnect here I’ve seen in this thread has to do with the definition of social media. I already stated it above, and was cast aside, even though it is the official definition and not my original wording.

I will reiterate the content of my previous posts in this thread.

When one speaks of social media, they are not speaking about social networking. Social media is focus on the user, which is not the networking. The networking is the by-product. This is why facebook is using that obvious fact to sell statistics on these users. That is why they are so inclusive, which as @codinghorror has stated in a very good blog post on the subject. Same with twitter, and every other Social Media site currently in existence.

You cannot have the same discourse on facebook or twitter as you do on an online forum, such as a phpBB forum or here on Meta, for Discourse.

Discourse =/= Facebook
Discourse =/= Twitter
phpBB =/= Facebook
ect

Ergo.

Internet forums =/= Social Media

By technical terms, internet forums are not Social Media. Internet forums have their own culture that has nothing to do with Social Media.

I am using the definitions that are standard.

Why this continues to be a point of contention is beyond my grasp.


Encouraging User Participation - Some Ideas, More welcome
(Zack) #63

There seems to be a lot more of a push towards it on other platforms. For instance, IPB has personal blogs and status updates. Not the same thing, however, other forums are making a push towards using some elements from social media.


(mountain) #64

That is called stealing. In this specific definition, that’s a good thing. Internet forums and social media have two very separate aims.

If I must use an analogy: you can use a hammer to build a club house or a swing set. Those elements are nothing more than tools for different goals.


Hidden restrictions: Poll can't be changed after the fact
(Zack) #65

I’m not saying discourse should implement any of them - at most, they are plugin worthy. However, the general theme that should be kept at heart is simplicity. Twitter is simple, facebook is simple (until you want to delete your account :stuck_out_tongue:), etc etc. As long as you keep discourse as simple as possible while allowing for advanced options, it’ll be good. Go down the path of crazy amounts of options / extensions / etc, and you’ll close in on vB levels of difficulty for new users (I still know people who just could not grasp how to use vB nor IPB).


(Charles Wilmott) #66

Totally agree, @19eighties, that my experience too.

Have you added images to categories?

I tried it today and it’s give discourse a totally different feel!

It actually now looks less like a forum! :smiley:


(mountain) #67

I agree, no worries. Not everything social media uses is forum-worthy.

I once helped out someone when they wanted a custom vB theme. I think I had to pop a Xanax after just looking at the admin CP. I suspect Xenforo is similar, seeing that when I want to bookmark a post on a Xenforo install, I am accosted with all these options.

Just let me bookmark the damn post.