Mailing-list-like sign-up process

(Helder Ribeiro) #1

I want to start a Discourse forum for a software project that’s just starting, and I want to do it before there’s a mailing list and everyone is on it and all hope is lost that I’ll move them over to a forum.

Current sign-up requires button click, email and password. As a mailing list replacement, I think it would work better to only have an email input field and a submit button.

That email field would be on a conversion-oriented landing page, not Discourse’s regular topic-list front page.

The user would get a confirmation email, click the confirmation link, and be done.

They would by default have “get every post as email” checked on their preferences.

That way, they never even have to know that the website part of the forum exists if they don’t want to. Optionally, they could set up a password after clicking the confirmation link, or just be asked to do it the first time they actually want to sign in to the website.

Is this possible? Would it be a lot of work for me to hack this into place myself? Is it something Discourse plans to have? Thanks!

(Jeff Atwood) #2

Why not go ahead and start the Discourse forum? There are a number of fairly mature email-only ways of interacting in Discourse, including this preference:

Receive an email every time a post is made on the forum (unless you have muted the topic or category)

which we call “mailing list mode”

(Tobias Eigen) #3

I am also working on this right now… I agree with @codinghorror that discourse is generally ready to start a new forum instead of just using a mailing list tool.

However, one feature missing in discourse right now for drop-in mailing list replacement is indeed the ability to add subscribers or allow them to subscribe just using their email address. They also need the full name and username and password:

I guess you could complete that signup form on their behalf and make up a password if you know their name and email address but then they would still have to click the link in the email to verify their email address to start participating, and somehow get their password.

There are also some cultural differences between forums and mailing lists and how they work that I’ve been grappling with that you might also have trouble with if you are hoping to seamlessly replace say mailman with discourse.

(Helder Ribeiro) #4

Yes, having “mailing list mode” on by default for new users who sign-up through the email-only form is one the things I mentioned on the original post. Is it possible to set it as default?

The other thing is allowing sign-up through a (embeddable?) simple email form. Think Mailchimp. That’s a more distraction-free sign-up process than the plurality of content and calls to action one sees on the forum’s front page, and dispenses with choosing a password. Is this possible/planned?

(Jeff Atwood) #5

No, but it should be.

@sam maybe we can have a better way of globally setting any site setting at the admin level?

Ability to globally set any user preference at the admin level?
(Tobias Eigen) #6

What does “mailing list mode” mean exactly? Just that the user has Receive an email every time a post is made on the forum (unless you have muted the topic or category) selected?

(Helder Ribeiro) #7

I guess setting the “mailing-list mode” flag for new users is the easier part and, worst case, I could do it myself. The main issue, though, remains having an embeddable, email-only way of signing up new users.