Possible to create a news site with pics and videos

Hello,

I am thinking of using Discourse to create a sports site since ESPN and many others have completely banned comments from their news stories, so it’s like a 1 way propaganda.

I source my sports news from twitter, IG pics and videos and facebook posts. I would like to create a news site where each news item would be a discourse topic post under the corresponding category of news, and the users would be only able to comment on the topic (i.e. the news post)

Also want to customize the home page and category listing pagest to show thumbnail of the topic (news post). Example below. Hope you get the idea.

  1. Does anyone know of any existing discourse installations that are used like a news site / news blog ?
  2. What would be involved in customizing the default or some other theme to add thumbnails to topic posts and display them as shown above?
  3. Also, is it possible to restrict users from creating topic posts (since I, the editor will be creating them) by category? In other words, most categories will be comment only for users. Except a couple like “Help wanted” or “For sale” where users would also be able to create topic posts.

Thank you!

You can do that with a Wordpress site and Discourse as the community/commenting platform. There are many topics here on meta describing the WP–Discourse setups, but start here:

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Thanks! I checked out the plugin on wordpress.org

So it looks like the plugin lets you cross-post wordpress posts into a discourse site, for discussion and comments etc, is that right?

Example:
On this story on boingboing.net => This mini-printer makes memos anywhere with zero ink refills / Boing Boing
if you click “34 comments” it goes to the discourse site at bbs.boingboing.net to
This mini-printer makes memos anywhere with zero ink refills - boing - Boing Boing BBS

Which has “Read entire post” and if you click that, it shows entire post that’s on boingboing.net wordpress blog.

What if I don’t want to cross post, i.e. only have the discourse site as the main news site? Can I achieve that using this plugin, and somehow keep the wordpress site out of view of the search engines and stuff (i.e. use wordpress as the discourse posting engine) ?

Thank you!

The problem and challenge here is that WordPress is excellent at serving reasonably static pages out to tens of thousands of users while using moderate server resources. Discourse on the other hand will require significantly more in the way of server capacity to serve the same purpose. Add in the time it will take to customise Discourse to behave like a publishing front-end, it’s just not the right tool for the job.

You’re going to be much better off serving your content from a content management system, fronted by a cache, and using Discourse for the community element.

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The WP Discourse plugin has a bunch of options - you can display comments from Discourse on the WP site instead of just the link, or show the full post in Discourse instead of the truncated version…

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Thank you! I am currently using Wordpress and am trying to move out of it to a static site (using something like Hugo). Reason being Wordpress gets hacked no matter what I do to secure it and I end up with a bunch of via-agra ads on my site and google flags my site as a spam site.

So in this context, is it possible to use a static site generator for the news content ( pics, videos etc) and link the comments / discussion to discourse? Has this been done for static sites ?

This sounds interesting. If I can show full posts on the discourse site, then is it possible to use Wordpress purely for content creation and posting, i.e. don’t expose the wordpress hosted domain also to the world and search engine?

By that, I mean that

  1. I’ll have wordpress installed at, say newssitecurationadmin.com and a robots.txt at root that blocks all indexing
  2. Use this wordpress install to publish full posts with pics and video to discourse, hosted at , say, mynewssite.com
  3. mynewssite.com is what gets indexed and marketed.

Will something like this work?

Otherwise, won’t we get flagged on the discourse site for duplicate content by search crawlers like google, bing if we have both a wordpress instance at newssitecurationadmin.com and the same content on discourse at mynewssite.com ?

WordPress isn’t easily hacked, particulalrly since they added automatic security updates.

WordPress plugins on the other hand are a real problem. Minimise your use of third party plugins and put your WordPress site behind Cloudflare.

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Your screenshot looks very like my tiles theme on Topic List Previews, a Discourse plugin I help maintain. I’m about to release an enhancement that allows you to increase the size of featured items to take up 2 columns instead of 1. The standard view is 3 columns.

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Hi

I checked it out, and yes, this is more or less what I am looking for.

I think the homepage for my site would look really close to your top bar (in your plugin example, screen pasted below) .

https://discourse.angusmcleod.com.au/c/tlp/l/top

And the individual news item listing would have the reddit-style feel.

Is the Plugin ready for prime-time?

I’ll gladly support your development with donations if it’s close to being finished without any major bugs. I don’t see any link on your sample site for doing the donations, it only shows the amount. LMK.

EDIT: How are the thumbnail images set? As a custom field / upload in the EDIT Topic page? Is there a way to NOT SHOW the thumbnail image in the individual post listing? I saw in your samples that the thumbnail is the 1st image inside the post.

Thank you.

It’s in ‘Production’. There are a few known issues but nothing major.

Donations are very much appreciated (Select Topic List Previews). If you have an account on Angus’ site you automatically get displayed as a backer.

Thanks for your consideration and let me know if you find any additional bugs.

I’ll make sure Github issues are up-to-date.

That’s correct. First image unless there’s just a onebox in which case the main target thumbnail image is selected. This is up to onebox code, but is usually determined by the source site tag in:

<meta property="og:image" content="----here----">

There’s no way to select which image manually in TLP, apart from support for a default image.

Richer behaviour is an enhancement and has been requested by the community. First change would be to allow one to select an image. I have a couple of sponsors already for that effort. More welcome.

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What’s a OneBox ?

Also, I tried a test post on your plugin forum, with style="display: none;" in the 1st topic image, to see if it gets hidden inside topic, but still makes it to the topic previews thumbnail.

My account is on hold as your site says that new users can’t post more than 1 image. All I was doing was testing the plugin lol

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Ah good issue to raise @angus might want to relax that limit

It’s the standard out of the box Discourse preview layout for internal and external links. Similar to the preview Facebook generates (but focuses less on highlighting the images). So instead of having just an ugly URL the user is presented with a nicely formatted preview/excerpt box which gives them a better idea of what the link links to.

Unlike Facebook and because Discourse is a forum not a microblogging system there’s a Topic view (where posts live) and a Topic List view. Oneboxes live in posts. The plugin presents thumbnails on the Topic List.

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