Please stop closing forums and moving people to Discord

…or hosting anywhere else–there’s more than one Discourse hosting provider.



let me summarise the thread, people are moving chats platforms even when they truly need is a forum…due to usability of chat platforms with one click they can create a room, invite users and bam…due to that ease of use people are preferring that than discourse because an average user can’t selfhost

I was suggesting instead of giving full discourse admin acesss, using groups, group invitation links and private categories the same can be pulled off

Some one else can do it as a startup or discourse itself can do it offering plans from 0$ because this way it’s not too heavy and they can handle multiple communities per discourse installation, community admins expect to have user management and data export functionality not all need the complete discourse admin functionality


I’m guessing they only want one place to maintain and are choosing chat because then you can effectively ignore history and don’t need to maintain or curate anything.

We do offer this! But not for everyone who thinks they need a forum since communities take time and effort to build:

A thousand ghost towns benefits nobody.

If one is willing to put in the effort, then there are even free options for anyone.


Messaging platforms are completely different beasts. Discussion forums are not intended for quick messaging.


It’s not like the are lack of hosting solutions, it’s the usability for an average community owner and managing discourse is kind of over whelming.

Imagine a flow where I tell my community name ( and description) it creates me a link which I can share like a discord link. And if they want to create a new room, they create a new category/sub category. This way single discourse instance can handle multiple communities and as a hosting provider it can be offered without too much load of spinning up a discourse instance per user, there by offering competitive pricing of 0$ to small communities.

The 0$ thing was mentioned as a effect not a cause. An average user doesn’t need all the features provided by discourse admin, they need user management, data portability and few UI related settings.

I think my whole point is lost and it may be easier to show what I mean than trying to explain it.

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This is such an important topic. I’m glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Speaking as someone who did a couple years on email lists before moving to forums 20 years ago, I’ve seen so many communities fail in the last decade. Far as I can tell, it’s a combination of factors.

  • Eternal September. We drove the newbies away with our expectations of self-reliance.
  • Facebook did to the Internet what Walmart did to Main Street, making the forum “an extra stop”.
  • A decade of social media has eroded our collective attention span to that of a 5-year old.
  • So many forums sprung up out of spite as hosting/implementation became more accessible.
  • The eternal struggle between being niche/focused and too general/off-topic.

I wish I had the answers—but here’s where my head’s at these days.

  1. Go heavy on trust, privacy, and security. We’re seeing unprecedented lack of trust in the foundations of civilization in general. We don’t trust our elected “leaders”, Big Banks, Big Oil, Big Pharma, Wall Street, or even the next door neighbors.
    – The forum doesn’t just represent better knowledge curation and access, it also allows for selective membership, relative privacy, and a safe space to be yourself without fear of being tracked/tricked.
    – Recent comment from one of our forum members: I wouldn’t give my home address out to a regular commenter on my 20-year old blog—but I wouldn’t hesitate to share it with a member of this community. (It’s all in the rules.)

  2. Ride the wave of tribalism. This growing lack of trust in the status quo is driving people back to more primitive, tribal ways of thinking. Facts no longer matter unless they support your personal opinion. And while the bad guys are already using this as a recruiting tool, it’s something we could and should be using for good.
    – Tap into the vulnerability behind this sentiment. Find the others, as Seth Godin would say. Bring them together, and organize around values that actually matter.
    – Done right, our communities become beacons to others seeking a slower, more meaningful experience; aka: all the stuff we thought we were getting with social media before the marketeers* showed up and ruined everything like they’ve done with every other media ever invented.

  3. Empower the user base. This is where Discourse naturally excels compared to the forums we all cut our teeth on back in the day. Automatic promotion and empowerment of our most engaged community members? It’s a damn shame more people don’t realize this is possible.
    – In my experience, most people—even those who grew up with, love, and miss forums—struggle to grok this one. We’re all used to joining the 2nd Generation, Non-Turbocharged DSM forum, what do you mean by the more I do here, the more I can do here? Isn’t this ‘just’ a car forum?

*Source: Am marketeer by day. Historically, advertisers have been the only ones willing, if not able, to pay for all these forms of media. So there’s also a case to be made for building communities around value worth actually paying for. That’s our model.

In any case, I’m doubling down on the paid forum model. Slashing our prices. Losing the niche focus. And going big on personality, privacy, safety, and trust. We have three rules:

  1. No assholes. Everyone you meet here is cool.
  2. No politics/religion. We’re all friends and lead by example.
  3. Time well-spent. Feel good about spending time online.

We’re going from $50/yr to $10/yr to keep the lights on. Other than that, pretty much anything goes. I’m looking forward to our tl4s creating their own categories one day and seeing how our community evolves.

As for Discord, I wonder what the VideoCompiler (:exclamation: loud/f-bombs) is up to these days? Maybe the hero we need?

:eye: :heart: :discourse:


Just tried to move a bunch of messages to a different channel yday on Discord. You’d think that would be trivial, right?

Even the related feature request, is hosted on a forum. Enough said!


Interesting article and discussion: Use forums rather than Slack/Discord to support developer community | Hacker News


So much demand for a good forum software, few of the replies mention what they like to improve in discourse. With recent funding news and articles like this hitting top of the page on HN it’s a great opportunity

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I moved my previous football forum to Discord and now considering moving to Discourse. The problem with Discord is that it’s just message after message and no quality discussion. If you ever want to discuss something in more detail, the message is off the screen.


This is our solution: