For many people throughout the world, income levels are a barrier to internet access. Unless individuals use free or cheap products they won’t be able to gain the benefits of the technology revolution.
####Enabling html mode
Html mode could be enabled on a forum by having the administrator provide a subdomain to access it on. For example, if the main forum is accessed at
forum.example.com, the html version could be accessed through
####Replying to a topic
Instead of having a ‘Reply’ button, there could be an email address input, and a button that asks the user to ‘Join’ the conversation. Entering an email address and clicking the button would stage the user if they were new to the forum, and send the user an email to which they could respond to join the conversation. From that point on, the user could participate in that particular topic entirely through email. If they wished to see the entire thread of the conversation, or join a new topic, the could navigate back to the website.
####Creating a topic
Clicking a ‘Create Topic’ button in the header could open a form that asks the user to choose a category and supply a topic title and their email address. Clicking a ‘Send Email’ button on that form would stage the user’s account if it didn’t already exist, and send the user an email to which they could reply to create the topic. Having done that, they could participate in the topic entirely through email.
Use a simple, one column view that is designed to collapse the width of a mobile phone.
- hide/show forms to clean up the UI
- preload pages for faster loading
####Visiting the main forum
A hypothetical use case is a forum for translating Persian text into European languages. Users who wish to have text translated can create a topic on a Discourse forum. Translators in Afghanistan can browse the forum in html mode on their phones. When they see a topic that they wish to translate they can join the conversation by email. Ideally, multiple translators will work on each topic. When agreement is reached between the translators and the client that the text is properly translated some money can be sent to pay for the work.