How Does Team Discourse Use Discourse?

Originally published at: How Does Team Discourse Use Discourse?

As we claim on our website, we use Discourse as our primary team coordination tool to build… Discourse! That means escaping email silos and minimising the number of disparate communication channels required to manage a fully distributed team. We are able to keep distractions like calls and meetings to a minimum and focus on actual…

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holy cow. this is awesome. the idea had crossed my mind to use discourse as a full-bodied business communication and project system… but hearing it from you guys really does make it seem doable.

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great insight thanks @HAWK - just shows how flexible it certainly can be if you want it to be!

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So, Discourse is essentially the One Ring. Sauron would be proud. :grin: I love how you guys have figured out a way to get rid of all the distractions by building most of the features you need into one app.

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I was thinking about this just last week! I remembered @HAWK saying she was working on it. Thrilled to see it come to life. :wink: Well, done.

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This is awesome. Thank you very much!

I have a follow up question regarding task management.

Are you tracking commits with tasks for those that have code changes through discourse? Something similar to the way Jira w/ BitBucket or Github works?

I found a couple of plugins and topics that are related:

  • Seems nice if you are/were using Github issues and want to mirror them in Discourse and use Discourse to further the conversation, but not if you don’t want to use Github issues.

https://meta.discourse.org/t/the-github-linkback-plugin/66081

  • Looks for mentions in Discourse and then adds links to GH messages.

I realize that this can be done easily by manually pasting a Github/BitBucket commit into Discourse, but I’m curious if there’s something automatic.

Thank you again for the great post!

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Hey Eric,
We use Github Linkback but we don’t have anything automated.

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Very cool! :slight_smile:
Currently in the process of weaning people of from Hipchat in my org. and this is some very valuable input.

One question: why are you running two different instances? Wouldn’t it be possible to merge your internal one with meta and use subforums for everything?

Is it a matter of convenience? Was it set up before the tooling was ready? Don’t you trust the authentication/security model completely?

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A couple of reasons.

Our internal instance sits on a different server so if Meta goes down we don’t lose all our runbooks etc.
It also allows us to have very different email and notification settings which means we’re less likely to miss important things in the noise.

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Fair and logical reasons :slight_smile:

That brings up painful memories :scream: (we once stored our emergency customer contact list on the wiki, in the datacenter, where all the customer were hosted…)

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Yeah we do too… but we have a replica in digital ocean and an extensive encrypted backup story

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the idea had crossed my mind to use discourse as a full-bodied business communication and project system… but hearing it from you guys really does make it seem doable.

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We have a Discourse instance that we are using internally as a hub for the teams. We want to open certain aspects to the public and others to customers.

I’ve read the article How does Team Discourse use Discourse and I was wondering why to you use 2 separate instances: public & internal?

We are going with 1 unique instance and restricting visibility through user groups. The benefits we initially see from a unique instance approach is centralization and the link graph we can build… But after reading the article it’d be very interesting if someone could share the pros / cons of 2 instances and how is it going for Team Discourse?

many thanks!

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You were not the only one with that question

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Yet another reason is dogfooding the multiple instances use case, as we have customers who hosts dozens of instances with us.

We have special oneboxing between Discourse instances, can get centralized notifications via Web Push, Email, Discourse Hub, open instances side-by-side in mobile devices via PWA, etc.

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The biggest challenge of using a single instance for a workplace: you could very easily accidentally share something publicly that should be private. All it would take is selecting the wrong category or setting incorrect permissions on a new category.

To sum up how it’s going now:

  1. Great! It’s allowed us to support and get real feedback from everyone using Discourse on Discourse without the risks outlined above.
  2. Our internal instance was an inspiration for Discourse for Teams. There’s a lot of potential for companies to use a tool like Discourse for building an internal community.
  3. There’s a lot of activity happening in both communities, so we’re always looking at ways to make sure we connect with both as our team and Meta grows.
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A fascinating read, thanks for sharing (not sure how I missed it before now).

Heads up on a 404 for the Discourse Presence link used here:

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Fixed that up – should show up on the blog shortly! Thanks for catching it :slight_smile:

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