I have a small forum, but it has a good interaction. It has around 200 members and more than 5000 posts.
But very few topics are created. The reasons for this, according to my investigations are:
- There is no emphasis on the create button topic. Some people came to ask me where it was (and was not user level 0)
- The natural shyness to create topics.
Obviously, I will do some campaign to try to reduce shyness. If anyone has suggestions about that, I’m open.
But I think the system can do something about it. I have no solutions, but some suggestions:
More emphasis on the creation of topics.
On Facebook, the creation of topics is highlighted at the top of the group:
When the user clicks “Escreva algo” (write something), the editor opens. Could there be something like this in Discourse. A pre-editor prominently in the top of the homepage. Perhaps it could be like this to reply a topic.
##Possibility to create topics from links##
In my experience with Facebook groups. most of the discussions were created based on a link. A news or an article with a comment or text starting the debate.
In Discourse this is not possible. Not all links generate embed (like Wikipedia).
In the beginning, to get used to the editor, Facebook had a “Share Link” option in the options editor. Today, everyone knows that just paste and this is embeddded.
Sorry for my English, I’m not a native and I’m terrible with grammar. I tried to be understandable. My suggestions are perhaps not the best. But I want to bring this difficulty I’m having with my experience with the Discourse. I just think it could be a way to entices the user to create a topic.
The beauty of Discourse is that many of the difficulties are resolved with features. This may be the case.