Hosting podcast(s) in Discourse

(Anton) #1

I can see two different ways on how a Discourse instance can be used for podcast hosting:

  1. One topic = podcast channel
    Have a topic setting that activates the “podcast” mode for the topic.
    Every post authored by the topic author and containing an audio attachment = one episode
    other posts in the topic are just the podcast / episode discussion
    The Summarize button shows episode posts only

  2. One category = podcast channel
    Have a category setting that activates the “podcast” mode for the category.
    First topic post with an audio attachment = one episode.
    Following posts in the topic = episode discussion.
    Have a “play” icon in front of each episode-topic.
    Latests / Top view naturally shows the episodes list.

In both cases:

  • Make the topic/category RSS with episode posts only, and make it compatible with most podcast platforms, like iTunes (Apple Podcast), Google Play etc.

Benefits of using Discourse for podcast hosting:

  • free = save money
  • one less thing for site owners to setup and configure in order to run a podcast = save time
  • people can host their own podcasts on your Discourse instance = help attracts more people to your community
  • episode list with “play” button embedded into the main community website as a topic; this is not always possible with 3rd party solutions, e.g. if there is no oEmbed support like in this case;
  • natural way for the community to engage in discussion straight away and write comments as they listen.
  • as with Discourse, you own your files
  • naturally consumes Discourse’s backup = less things to worry about
  • integrates well with the community by consuming Discourse features like Search, Advanced Search, topic pinning and interlinking, user mention (who’s featured in that episode?)

Might be a plugin territory?
Anyone likes the idea?


(Bhanu Sharma) #2

It can be into the plugin territory but not in the core but I don’t think most of communities do podcast so I highly doubt anyone writing a plugin for this.

(James Mc Mahon) #3

I can’t imagine the use case of where a discourse community has a podcast being very common, let alone one that might host several.

We host our podcast on SoundCloud (including the rss) and have a podcast category on the forums. Then we just manually post each episode as a topic, using the soundcloud embed link.

The SC embed works quite well when posted in a topic on discourse.

It’s imperfect, mainly because the order of episodes gets jacked up when we get replies. Mainly we did it to have a place for our forum members and visitors to get access first, and join in a discussion of the episode if they wish.

We’d also set each new episode as a banner topic and share the link to the topic on our social channels.

(Barry van Oudtshoorn) #4

This is what I’d recommend – perhaps using something like Autobot - Automatic Content Creator to automatically create posts in your podcast category, too.

(Bhanu Sharma) #5

The Plugin sometimes Goes crazy with RSS and its really difficult to deal with.

(James Mc Mahon) #6

Oh that’s interesting, thanks. We add shownotes and some other things as well, but it’s good to know that such a thing exists.

URL we’re using is which is just redirected to the podcast category until we get the wordpress site up and running.

(Anton) #7

Was it an easy decision whether you wanted a category or a topic act as a podcast?

(Michael Howell) #8

Discourse is supposed to have one conversation per topic. Putting an entire podcast in one topic (as opposed to having a separate topic for every episode) is not going to achieve that.

(James Mc Mahon) #9

The idea of just having a topic for each episode never crossed my mind for some reason, so that made it an easy decision :smile:

(Kane York) #10

You can fix that by making a link to the category listing sorted by creation date.

(Michael Howell) #11

How? shows a limited number of recently-created posts, not a list of everything, sorted by creation date.

(Joshua Rosenfeld) #12

In the settings for the category you wish to sort differently, change the Topic List Sort By: setting.

(James Mc Mahon) #13

Thanks for pointing this out. :heart: