How to enable your community to use Discourse as a (micro) blogging platform


(Dave McClure) #1

The following is adapted from a how-to topic on our forum. It assumes you have tagging enabled and available to most trust levels, and also that you have the Slack plugin set up. It also links to topics for how to subscribe to tags via email and Slack that I have not adapted to post here, but you can edit that part out or add similar content yourself as well.


So, you want to start a blog about what your or your team is doing to share with others. Great! We can help! Here’s a short how to on how you can use our forum as an blogging or publishing platform.

Why Discourse?

While it may not seem obvious at first, but posting on our forum can be a great way to do this. Here’s why:

  1. It allows an easy way for you to engage with your audience. Others can comment on your posts and continue the discussion with you and other readers.

  2. It has built-in features for subscribing to posts via email or Slack.

Also, while your core audience may only be a slice of the community here, sharing your experiences in a place that is open and discoverable can contribute greatly to our shared understanding about the things we are doing here and how things are connected.

How To

It’s pretty easy. The basic ideas is to “just use a tag” which you can create freely. But here is some additional guidance for what you can do to put it all together.

  1. Choose a tag for your blog. (e.g. #team-awesome-blog)
  2. Choose a regular cadence that you feel is sustainable (e.g. weekly, bi-weekly or monthly)
  3. Create a new topic for each post*
  4. Title each topic with something about the content and the name of your blog.
    (e.g: Try out our new fizzwhig feature! - Team Awesome Blog No. 2)
  5. Tag your topic with your tag (#team-awesome-blog)
  6. Include a bit of boiler-plate** at the bottom of your post to:
    • Link to the previous post.
    • Link to the list of all posts.
    • Remind people how to subscribe.
  7. Finally, when you publish a new post, share the link in other channels where your core audience hangs out (Slack, email, twitter, etc).

*Having a separate topic for each post gives people a place to reply, comment and discuss the ideas in your post with you and others.

**Example boilerplate below:


Previous issue: First beta release! - Team Awesome Blog No. 6
All issues: #team-awesome-blog. Subscribe via email or Slack.

Here’s the corresponding markdown:

---

*Previous issue: https://forum.example.com/t/first-beta-release-team-awesome-blog-no-6/26991*
*All issues: #team-awesome-blog. Subscribe via [email](link-to-how-to-subscribe-to-a-tag-via-email) or [Slack](link-to-how-to-subscribe-to-a-tag-via-slack).*

That’s it!

If you want to give this a try and have any questions, feedback or other ideas, please reply below.


See also:


Microblogging (the inverted Ask Me Anything?)
(Blu McCormick) #2

So cool. Thanks for sharing. We are doing this in our forum. If you use wordpress for blogging, you can use WP Discourse plugin to embed forum comments re the blog (presented as a topic in the forum) in the blog in wordpress. Wordpress has some great plugins for sharing the blog instantly across social media with the click of a button and great widgets for creating the website for non programmers like me.


(Dave McClure) #3

I may not fully understand the Wordpress workflow, but I think this is a bit different in that it:

  1. Does not require wordpress (obviously), but more importantly
  2. Enables any member of the community to create their own “blog” within the forum just by using a well named tag (it assumes the community will self moderate to avoid using that tag for other topics).

In any case, it’s still early days for us, but we are seeing some success with this so far.


(Blu McCormick) #4

Yes it is different and very cool.


(Alessio Fattorini) #5

Did you try? Any real example?