Introducing Discourse Discover

We’re working on a new initiative aimed at making Discourse communities more discoverable than ever.

Discourse Discover is set to be a standalone site that makes it easy for anyone to find communities that trust Discourse as their community platform. It is going to be a site for everyone to draw inspiration from and to discover the diversity of communities within the Discourse ecosystem. By opting in, you’re not just increasing your community’s visibility; you’re joining a showcase of unique communities.

How to Join

Opting in is straightforward – When you go to Admin > Settings > You can filter for the term “discover”. Check the box to enable the “include in discourse discover” setting and we will know you want to include your community in Discourse Discover.


Telemetry? :melting_face:

Can we know what these “usage statistics” are?


We haven’t made any changes related to collecting usage statistics yet. @mcwumbly can better speak to our plans going forward.

But as a general note, we’re an open source project, all our code is public, any changes we make in regards to stats collection will also be 100% public.


I’m assuming this only makes sense for public communities. Correct?


Correct, this is limited to public communities only.


For those like me looking for the link with the sites.


Would be helpful to see how this site will actually look like and how communities will be featured, before opting in (or recommending others to opt in).


Will this use AI for semantic search?

Can those applying crate paragraphs for a description that an AI will use with semantic search?


Just enabled this on AMC! Hope we get some new users.


What about public communities with private spaces?


Not sure what spaces are, do you mean a community with some private categories? Yes, those count, as long the forum isn’t for logged-in users only, it will be considered.


Big picture: Seems like an excellent idea and I’ve opted my public sites in. If nothing else, having another way to find potential community members is helpful.


  1. Do you have an idea of what criteria might cause CDCK, Inc. to include/exclude a site? Is the goal to maximize the number of sites included or build a curated list similar to the customer list?
  2. Potentially related to #1, do you plan to use nofollow links?
  3. Is there a possibility of reciprocal sharing? For instance it could be interesting to know what the median DAU/MAU rate is for all sites in the sample that have more than X topics. If we are giving up some of our data, it seems reasonable to get data about the universe of Discourse sites in return.
  4. Would there be some sort of ranking or categorizing system?
  5. Is there any plan to showcase interesting topics within a site?

General observations on . . . this sort of thing

I recently submitted my site to Product Hunt. It’s not an ideal fit but I thought it would be worth a try. From what I can tell, all my engagement came from what I classify as hustlers. I got some reports of website vulnerabilities from very helpful people willing to help me fix them (for a fee) and some offers of more upvotes on Product Hunt to help my project get more visibility. I did get a lot of anonymous visitors and web crawler traffic, but the whole thing seems like a waste of time.[1]

Over on Stack Exchange there’s a page for all the communities on the network. When I was working there I used it a lot as a community manager, but I don’t suspect it was very useful for people just looking for a place to find out more about, say, 3D printing. I suspect it was exclusively used by people who were interested in Stack Exchange first and something in the list caught their eye.

The bit that really worked was the hot network questions list that’s the default view of the page. You might not care about a site called “Retro Computing”, but really be curious about What did corporations use for long-distance networks in the 1980s? It’s the same sort of thing as Hacker News or reddit’s home page. Nobody starts by being interested in a site or community. Everyone starts getting interested in specific content first and only later in the group of people that create that content.

It should be noted that the connecting thread for this feature is the software that is being used to create the content. That’s not an ideal hook for the general public.[2] For people like me who want to understand how Discourse is used, this could be a great resource. If I could find out how other sites use Form Templates it could give me some models to copy. But there’d need to be some way to find the sites that are most effectively using them. Not an easy problem to solve without some sort of curation.

  1. If I could have done the same thing by checking a box in my site settings it would be a lot smaller investment, but still pointless. ↩︎

  2. Again, content is king. People like reddit because of all the cool things people post there, not because it happens to be on reddit. ↩︎


A lot of questions, I can only answer some

I think we will try to include most sites, as long as they look like reasonably useful communities for the general public. The goal is to eventually allow people to search for communities based on interests they have, that can be through keywords, semantic search, tags or possibly something else.

We will exclude communities with content we find objectionable. Anything illegal or discriminatory and the sort, for sure.

I personally don’t think we should add nofollow to the links.

Interesting question, I hadn’t thought about this, I must admit.

Thanks for bringing up this experience and example. We don’t have any plans to do this in v1, but this certainly sounds like a great v2 or v3 feature. Thinking out loud here, we could reasonably quickly get to a place where we have a “hot topic” list populated by the participating forums in the network. We’re far from that in this first iteration, but I think it’s a great long-term goal.

One additional piece of information that is somewhat relevant to your questions is that we plan to integrate the Discover page in our DiscourseHub app on iOS and Android. It should make the app more useful and interesting to a wider audience. New users can browse the possible communities as soon as they install the app. And existing can expand their Discourse forum exposure, if they’re already using the app for Community A, they may find communities B and C interesting too.


Yep, we thought of keeping this even quieter until we had something more to show here, but decided to announce it early on meta so the community here is aware of what we’re doing, where our plans are still just sketches, and to have an opportunity to share ideas and questions like the ones being raised here.

Certainly we’ll want to have something more concrete to show before we do anything like a blog post about this.

The motivating factor in collecting usage data is to be able to make better data informed product decisions. As @pmusaraj mentioned, anything we collect will be open source. For example, if we want to be able to measure the impact of our improvements to chat threads, we may want to be able to measure how many messages are sent on a site within a thread vs. to the main channel as we’ve done here.

This is something I’ve kicked around informally a bit with some folks. I think it’s on the table, but no concrete plans yet.


This seems like an easy way to discover new communities with ease, so this is nice.
Is it going to be similar to how Discord does it?

Wait, DiscourseHub is used for organizing communities, so I think the discover feature would be useful there as well? Just a suggestion


Yes, it’s in our plans to add this feature to DiscourseHub (also noted above).


That would make the app more useful. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I understand it’s early on yet, but I do think it would help to categorize communities for the app. Maybe let communities self-categorize?


This is great! There’s a real need for directories like this on the internet.

I’m not sure if it would be at odds with the idea of promoting the decentralized internet, but it might be worth looking into having the site function as an auth provider.


I think providing more centralized services that add value is worth considering. An auth provider that removes the toil of setting up social logins is something that continues to come up from time to time and is very much on the table.

We just need to be mindful to do so in a way that avoids them becoming strict dependencies so sites continue to have the freedom to operate completely on their own in a way that is fully supported by the community.

11 Likes is used by people wanting support using discourse. Will this hub be a separate site detached from the developer communities and aimed at people only looking for communities to join of interest to them?