Is there some technical course on Maintaining Discourse Forum properly

In this context:
https://meta.discourse.org/t/where-to-learn-sidekiq-and-logs-reading-for-troubleshooting/120983?u=bobbyzopfan

My forum is up and running properly.
I can install plugins, run basic SSH commands.
Can learn (albeit slow) from articles and videos.

I want to know if there are any paid courses with someone, or somewhere, which could teach the necessary skills needed to keep running discourse instance smoothly.
I think many would agree that 25% to 50% of the Admins are just power users of MS Windows or Wordpress Admins at the most. But they want to, and they are, running their own communities, thanks to this WONDERFUL piece of ware. And you’d also agree that in the coming years, Discourse IS going to become another Wordpress of discussion forums. And at that time, there would be hardly any challenger to this ware, as is to the Wordpress today. So, learning its related skills is highly important.

In the nutshell, can you guide me towards some paid/free resource, which one could go over in a month or so and learn all necessary skills or ruby or whatever.

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I have considered offering such a course, but it’s not in my current plans.

What do you think you would pay for such a course? Are you more interested in basics of Discourse (groups, categories, site su /settings), theme development, plugin development, or system administration basics (adding plugins, rebuilding)?

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I want to learn the 2nd level of SSH commands (1st step being installing discourse in SSH terminal window and editing app.yml).

And that I should be able to diagnose and fix basic faults by looking at the logs and sidekiq.

I think if someone could prepare a tutorial or website like resource on Discourse fundamental teaching, he could sell subscriptions to the tune of 20-30 dollars a month (and could sell hundreds of subscriptions). Or cheaper if subscriptions could go in thousands.

And, if there wasn’t any possibility of such a website, then a set of 4-5 videos could sell at a one time fee also.

What would you pay for 5 videos /lessons that covered

  1. 2 container installation
  2. Plugin management
  3. Upgrade with minimal downtime
  4. Off site backups
  5. Emergency restore to a new server

Or, if that’s not what you think you want to know, what am I missing?

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  1. Understand the purpose and basic working/understanding of Sidekiq
  2. Understanding /logs to the level that one could find the culprit (not cure it maybe, only finding)
  3. Understanding/Monitoring resources consumption from inside the container and inside google console.

Would enumerate 1-2 more, as they come to mind.

But I do think that prices shouldn’t be steep. Aim should be selling more, than to selling at more/bigger price.
There are two ideas, if I may.
One could prepare a kit (but that would have to be upgraded every 3 to 6 months) of videos covering each of these topics (each video could be of 20 to 30 minutes)
Or,
One could make a website teaching these skills and sell subscriptions. That way, the teacher could upgrade/edit his material as often as he thinks it to be necessary. Videos on this website could be secondary to the written articles.

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And whatever worth my words are, that site could rank highest in Google ranking in the coming years for Discourse training. And could grow alongside Discourse, as much as Discourse does.

I knew one such site, but that had only basic installation tutorials. That site only helped me install Discourse in the beginning. I may find that site name again by googling. But that was only 10-20% in the direction in which we are talking.
Today, if you search google for any discourse related problem, you’ll find only Meta (which we all know caters to only those who are in dire need, whose site as broken. As soon as they ask something like GCP/DOcean thing, or terminal sort of commands, they’re bluntly asked to Google the problem, unless the asker is an expert already). Meta wants to remain focused on the development of Discourse, not teach users how to maintain the site. Sometimes they clearly say also, which is not bad, that they are not there to teach people ruby/website development.

In other words, there is NOT A SINGLE WEBSITE catering to this type of user demand.

P.S.: I could give you the proof of such queries which were not answered, but the same are not only not answered, but they’re promptly deleted from the ‘meta’ also. May be developers don’t want to show novice users posts on this forum. May be they think it clutters the site and discourages new users to use the site.

This is a great set of ideas.

Have you compared it with what is already on YouTube?:

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=discourse+hosting

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Yeah, this was the resource/site which I was talking and by watching which I initially installed my site.

But I doubt, if any of the videos directly deal with any of the topics deal with.

It tells initial setup, which we didn’t cover/say in our points/syllabus. In fact, correct me if I’m wrong, not one of our above mentioned points has been covered with any of these or or any other, Youtube videos.

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Then there’s definitely a nice opportunity there for someone to create a new series of videos :slight_smile:

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I would insist on a small ‘tutorial’ type website, which could thrive on small denomination subscriptions. In the way, that 60 to 80% of the discourse forum admins would like to subscribe permanently.

There could be a small monthly fees or a steep life time fees.

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Would you pay $30/month for a Discourse community where basic discourse / system administration issues could be addressed?

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Yes I would.

But honestly, I couldn’t perhaps sustain paying that amount month after month, for years. I think for many, including me, that is steep monthly fees.

Lynda, top of the line, takes only 20 dollars a month, watch any course out of hundreds.
But of course, everything is diff and not same. Every scene is diff.

So, I’d pay.

But when my forum has started earning some ad revenue, then this amount is nothing.

Then this amount will feel meagre.
This looks steep only when one’s forum is in infancy and attracts only 10 posts a day as of now.

P.S: I was tying to suggest something thru a PM to @pfaffman, but perhaps he doesn’t accept Personal msgs. Request @pfaffman to PM me so that we could talk separately.

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For that amount we can get you managed hosting for your forum so you don’t even need a course anymore :slight_smile:

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I am a big old school fan of table of contents.
My point is: I don’t know what I don’t know. So I like to be able to trust one source point that will give me the whole picture of what there is to learn, with at least the minimum information needed in each part plus organised links to additional information.
Discussion forums are great to explore deeper or ask questions. It remains a very time consuming way and makes it hard to “plan” your knowlege acquisition and inherently, the progress of your site.

I find a structured body of knowledge is always needed.
If such resource exists about Discourse, I still haven’t found it. Granted, it is so well done that a lot of the beginning phase is learned intuitively. But some features such as the collapsing of quotes and such, I just learned by “accident” while searching here how to do something else.

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Aren’t you veering off Topic, slightly? The OP is talking about the technical aspects of running a forum? Not a user guide. More an SA and Admin guide.

If you want a User Guide with a ToC, how about Discourse New User Guide?

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I might have. I apologise for that. Notwithstanding, that provided you the opportunity to helpfully point me towards a resource :wink: (and I am also an admin so I would also benefit from OP’s suggestion, in the ToC form I was referring to) Thank you!

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I think that’s what I think. Either you know system administration so it’s not that big a deal to figure stuff out, or you don’t want to know and would rather not learn.

Back when I was a college professor, I used to tell my students that I know a whole lot of stuff that they don’t know but that most of it they don’t want to!

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Good point.

But perhaps you’d agree that there might be two types of disco forum admins.

One that don’t have time to learn nor they want to learn (there may be different reasons for that).

Others, who want to learn, or keep learning whole their life. Howsoever slow that learning may be.

Imho, more people belong to the 2nd category. And I too.
I think, people like me have something in them, which makes them do diff things as much on their own as possible.
Even in many cases, there is a much easier way, but they don’t take that.

Take the example of bitnami implementation of discourse on Gcp. It’s just one click install. And thereafter bitnami will take care of all the updates etc. But don’t know, why that didn’t inspire any confidence in me. May be we are wary of depending on others for very long and so want to depend as less on others as possible.

I think if one’s community started thriving, then a person like me can/would pay 20/30 dollars a month, for years together if it not only helps to not only maintain his forum, but also keeps giving him something new to learn every now and then.

Finally: I don’t know what percentage of people have hosted their WordPress site on paid WordPress.com servers and what percentage keeps keeping their site on their own. But I’m sure, the percentage who keeps fudging on their own, even if it takes much effort, and may be, to some, it proves costlier even not hosting their site on WordPress servers, will be much bigger.
And that’s why WordPress training websites are so much in vogue/thriving.

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This will sound condescending, but it isn’t really.

You don’t need much training to run a discourse forum. My experience was that I found it a challenge initially, but after a fairly short period I had found my sea legs.

The minor details of Discourse change fairly rapidly, but the basic admin tasks stay the same.

A block diagram of how the software works might help, especially when something has gone pear shaped, and you’re trying to phrase a question to post here on meta, as would a description of what the individual sidekiq jobs do.

How do you avoid things going pear shaped?

  • Run a supported install, on a machine with enough oomph for your needs.
  • Use an approved mail service
  • Make sure your import is clean before you go live
  • When in doubt, disable your unofficial plugins
  • Upgrade your site regularly
  • Stay active here on meta
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