How to improve my Discourse community?

Hi, I host the Discourse forum below.

I think it’s well designed, I focus the design on making it easy for new and experienced users to get engaged. I think the content that’s being posted is also great, it’s in the context of the community. The content is automatically distributed onto social media as well. However, there isn’t much interaction. People signup, but rarely engage. I do see people login, but they don’t comment, post or like things. I have the feeling it’s because the content that’s posted isn’t engaging enough. I don’t want to move towards content that’s more controversial to spark discussions either.

Any advice on how to restructure or otherwise engage with the users? I also have chat enabled and sometimes try to engage with everyone there. But basically there are just 5 regular users that engage out of the 300+ that signed up.


i like your forum :slight_smile:

give it time. people often lurk for a while before engaging. you may also want to have a specific category for more “controversial topics”. i know from my admin experience that in such cases where social movement discussions take place, people often want those more difficult topics. unfortunately those can take moderating resources. starting a forum community from scratch and building content can take time and patience. it looks great so far.

i am also wondering if the TZM name may be factor in how it’s being seen in links, since TMZ is uhm, such a thing.


Hey @AquaL1te !

I took a quick look, few random remarks, quite a few are personal preference. By virtue of your question, most of my response will be negative, I was looking for things to be improved. A lot is going right (starting with the choice of platform of course). So don’t be alarmed. None of this is to be taken as gospel, it’s just my input :slight_smile:

  • I like the design, it’s clean. And the sparks of color are nice.
  • On the flipside: there might be too much white. And using icons for everything makes for a cluttered environment.
    • Applying a bit of background to your tags might already help. E.g.
      Screenshot 2023-08-03 at 16.38.03
      vs. something quickly marked up
      Screenshot 2023-08-03 at 16.44.54
  • Your welcome/about topic doesn’t explain the purpose of the forum.
  • It also doesn’t tell me as (potential) member, what I can expect out of the forums.
  • I see a lot of “automated” posts. These unfortunately have 0 replies, this gives a ghost-town feeling. Consider muting the automated categories for a while.
  • In fact, it’s not articulated anywhere what benefits your members can get out of participating.
  • I’m not sure what your target audience is. Will your members already know about you or is this a first impression?
    • If the latter, you need a clearer introduction on the movement and its purpose
  • you probably need harsher moderation, having comments like public on will drive away a lot of people
    NATO/Ukraine: Playing Russian Roulette with Complex Life | Frankly #33 - #2 by anon10508507 - Audio - TZM Forum
  • I find the font (Raleway) fairly hard to read.
  • You have useful links (e.g. the about page) in the footer, but the footer is almost never visible due to Discourse’s infinite-scroll. Those links should be moved to a top-menu or the sidebar.
  • I think your welcome banner could use some work
    • I’d rename the “quick start guide” to something like “Welcome to TZM One”
    • Global chapters is great, shows your reach.
    • I wouldn’t put a link to categories there, your forum is small enough that people will find their way around without it. Especially now with the sidebar present.
    • You are presenting a “your preferences” link to anonymous users in your top-banner. It’s unusable for those without an account. Better to remove and decrease information load.
    • Add your about page here as a link.

Keep in mind that 5 regular users are enough to start something nice :slight_smile:


that is outstanding detailed feedback @Bas :clap:
i would agree with many of your points.