New users aren't starting the discobot tutorial

I haven’t been here in a few years, so I came by, looked at the blog, peeked at the forums, etc. to see what’s been happening with Discourse.

I looked at the blog post for 1.8, saw something about playing the “discourse game”, and I clicked on the video.

I skipped over the bookmark line and had to rewind the video slightly when the messages started appearing below and then I got it.

I did glance at the text at the bottom, but I didn’t pay close attention to it and the only thing which stood out to me was something about bookmarking the post.

I dismissed it as pointless and watched to see what the new feature is, ironically completely missing it :flushed:

So, this might be one reason why people aren’t interacting with it.

I’m not saying that the following is a good idea, but on most sites with tutorials, they usually have something like Clippy jumping out at me and telling me that there’s a tutorial.

If I wasn’t watching a video showcasing the feature, I probably would have completely missed it.


Is there a way to make @discobot approach/re-approach our whole userbase? We are looking at 19 completed basic courses out of 1.5k+ users.

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I would just start a topic on your site and tell people how to initiate the bot conversation.


Even here on meta, only 31 out of 29,800 users have completed the advanced tutorial. That’s 0.1% of users.

Something seems wrong. Could it be there’s no instructions – even more so with the advanced tutorial – on how to begin it?

  1. Despite my personal presumptions, @discobot does not say anything about the advanced tutorial after completing the basic tutorial.
  2. There is no new personal message started automatically at any point about the advanced tutorial.
  3. The system-provided badge descriptions don’t say how to start it, nor can they be edited by admins.

I would bet that any of these things would very quickly increase completion rates. And this is actually a testable theory. :slight_smile:


Hi Michael! The problems you are describing have been well hashed out already, in this topic and in other topics on meta. My sense is that the discourse team are happy enough with the current functionality for now and that any further development on this is probably dependent on paid customer interest or is #pr-welcome.

It’s not a high priority for me but I’d like to see a URL method for starting discobot tracks that can be added to the hamburger menu and used in messages to people, as well as the ability for mods to just go ahead and start tracks on behalf of other members. What @JagWaugh aptly called the “bot bazooka”.


The advanced tutorial seems to be hidden… The only way to start it is to PM discobot:

@discobot start advanced user

Currently, this command isn’t listed on @discobot display help

I’m guessing it’s not completely done yet.

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@discobot display help

I currently know how to do the following things:

@discobot start new user

Starts one of the following interactive narratives: new user, advanced user.

@discobot roll 2d6

:game_die: 3, 6

@discobot quote

:left_speech_bubble: Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you — Princess Diana

@discobot fortune

:crystal_ball: You may rely on it

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Is the command not shown on your site?


Oh… my bad… I guess you can start both tutorials with the same command.

It’s really subtle. I’ve looked and not been able to find it when I knew it was there.

I think it’d be cool if the first one told you how to start it when you completed it (like on the certificate page). Also, the Badge for the advanced one could include instructions to start it.

Its very cool work that you did on that tutorial, @tgxworld, and a shame that so few people get to see it.


Advanced wasn’t that much work, just getting the basic interactive tutorial going was by far the bulk of the work.

I understand that. It’s still awesome, though, and it would be cool if more people could figure out how to do it.

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To be clear: Would something like adding the sentence below to the basic certificate page be a #pr-welcome task?

Eager to learn more tips? Just reply to this message with @discobot start advanced user.


Maybe if the site owner has not disabled that functionality.

A user on our site just made this specific feature request as well, /cc @downey

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Works fine for me :slight_smile:

Is it possible to still have the discobot send a private message when a new user logins in for the first time without having it darken the rest of the screen? My fear is that the discobot is actually driving users away immediately because they may feel like it’s confusing or a requirement.


At the completion of the initial tutorial I really think there should be an extra line in that block of text stating something along the lines of

If you want to keep going right away, just say ‘start advanced user’

There is some really good information in the advanced track and it would be a shame if people miss out on it just because they don’t realize it’s there.


Is there a way to rename the DISCOBOT?