Pinned topics seem like the feature to handle this; they use it here on meta for things like ‘Hey we’re going to switch to Dark Mode for a bit’, or ‘Hey we’re merging in an experimental branch and thing might get weird ’
Other than that, maybe there’s a space for an Intercom-style announcement thing that pops up, but doesn’t show up in the topic list?
But this seems like more work than it’s worth to me (you could probably also finagle Intercom onto your Discourse instance )
That’s typically handled by having an “Announcements” category that only Staff can post to, which all users are Watching Category. You then “Global Pin” the topic so it shows up for everyone that visits the site, until they read it.
I’ve set it up our forum in exactly this way, but we haven’t used the Announcement category at all as we tend to rely on MailChimp blasts for the super, duper important stuff – though it might be time to revise this approach.
But I was asking something else: we end up having a lot of of single post topics when people (not just forum admins/mods) post announcements or share useful information which aren’t intended to stir up a conversation.
Single post topics have caused trouble for me in the past. At the time @codinghorror had commented:
We haven’t found a better way of handling things. We cross-post things on certain social media, but since we’re a closed community, we need to do a lot of things in private spaces.
auto-close these topics after X time – or even immediately after publication. (We don’t currently close topics automatically.)
Create a topical topic (say, “Professional development opportunities”) and then post subsequent announcements in the same topic.
Does this make more sense now?
I’d like to hear how other are handling communication that is not a discussion within the context of Discourse.
I’ve avoided group PMs because users have to watch them to get email notifications. But @mentioning always notifies users by email. It’s a wee bit confusing, because it’s not clear from the copy/UI that they were mentioned as a group rather than individually.