How Lawrence Systems Built a Thriving Community using Discourse

The internet has long served as a virtual gathering place where individuals seeking answers and information naturally gravitate towards forming communities. Through the evolution of technology, online forums have emerged as vital platforms that facilitate and enhance this sense of community. One such example is the Lawrence Systems forum. Born of a need to provide more in depth information than the comments section of his popular Youtube channel allowed.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Hi, Stella. Thank you for this interesting interview. I’ll be checking out Lawrence Systems’ forum shortly. In the meantime, I asked my wife to read the end of this topic from: Sign up for our newsletter! The first she asked was, “Where’s the sign up link?” I told her in the small print at the bottom was the link to the article on Discourse’s blog, and the sign up link is at the bottom of the (same) article there. She thought it was strange that none of that was mentioned.

Maybe a 1-sentence notice as to exactly where the newsletter sign-up can be found on the blog would help users new to Meta to find it easier? I had my wife click on the link to go to the blog and again she asked was, “So where do you sign up for the newsletter?” I told her at the bottom of the article.

She thought it was weird for someone who read the article on Meta, clicked the link to the blog topic and there’s no newsletter sign box. Would everyone know it’s below the same article they had just read on Meta? After scrolling down to the end of the article she finally saw the newsletter sign up box. She said that was almost like jumping through hoops to find the sign up box, and that if I hadn’t told her where it was, if she probably wouldn’t have bothered to scroll down to the end of the article if she had already read it on Meta. I think she has a good point.

What say you? :slightly_smiling_face:


You’re completely right Jim! When we render the blog post here on Meta that without the extra info it is definitely confusing. Thanks for pointing this out, we’ll look for a fix.


This is great! I’ve been looking for examples of Discourse sites that are integrated with Youtube channels. Linking to their Discourse site in the video descriptions, then posting the videos in the forum’s Youtube Releases - Lawrence Systems Forums category seems like a good approach. My concern in the past has been that having a Discourse site might reduce the number of comments on Youtube and hurt the video’s Youtube ranking. I’d be curious if Lawrence Systems have any thoughts about the forum’s impact on their Youtube ranking.

I brought this up a while ago and Sam proposed a simple solution here: Topic embedding needs some love - #6 by sam. Also, the “Fostering Community Engagement” heading is missing on the embedded post.


@JimPas this has now been solved thanks to @jomaxro

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