Private labeled forums?

(Non-technical User) #1

Wondering if it is possible to do private labeled forums as a partner I am working with would like to use our discourse instance but would require it with their logo and show only forums they are interested in. While I require the users they would bring.

Am imagining something like wordpress mu, where individual users can start they own blog but are part of a network.

(Jay Pfaffman) #2

What benefit is there in having them use your instance rather than start a new one? Do you want people to contribute to the same categories and otherwise work together?

(Non-technical User) #3

A few benefits. The organization gets new users for my community. They will be interacting in their own forum but I believe will cross over to our community as well and start using. While I do promotion for them. That’s the agenda for the partnership. But they want their forums under a separate branding.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #4

This is impossible without terrible hacks.

You would need two forums to have separate branding, and SSO provider on you, and SSO use on the other to “steal” user membership.

(Jay Pfaffman) #5

I think that what you might want is a multisite install that uses SSO to share a single user database and maybe something as simple as links from their site to yours. And now that I think about it, that may be what I should do for the project that I’m working on. (I’ll have one site for discussion of using Discourse as a learning environments, and let folks create their own sub-sites to run their own courses). I’m not sure when I’ll get around to figuring that out, though. When I do, I’ll try to write a #howto.

(Non-technical User) #6

That’s exactly what I had in mind and was wondering if it could be done. Thank you and look forward to your how-to!

(Jay Pfaffman) #7

That’s what I thought too, but my multisite/SSO solution should be pretty clean, right? (I’ve never setup multisite or SSO maybe I understand neither.) The sub-sites would share only only users via SSO.

It might be possible to advertise some categories from one site on others via RSS too, I think.

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #8

Yes, your suggestion is exactly what I said:

To me this is a terrible hack :laughing:

Users need to create an account on a forum about Burguers to be member on a forum about Pizzas?

Also, will they receive digests about burgers? It’s almost a scam, like those websites that force you to like a Facebook page to be able to download a file.

(Jay Pfaffman) #9

Hmm. It may be worse than I thought.

Users need to create an account on to set up or comment on a blog. So users would create an account on the Food forum that they could use in the Burger, Pizza, and Hot Pocket forums.

Hmm. Good point about digests. Maybe the “main” site would have no (or few) categories of its own to solve that problem. The food forum would have only announcement categories that affected all communities.

It is a worse hack than I’d at first envisioned, but I think having a way to build groups of communities could be useful. Periodically someone posts about problems with huge numbers of categories and how to deal with them.

Something like this could be a solution for those as well. Big Company might have separate Discourse instances for each Department, but a single user database so that people could cross over if they needed (of course Big Company would have their own SSO). It would be a hack around the only-two-levels-of-categories limitation (which almost always makes sense).

Hack, yes, but maybe not terrible. :slight_smile:

(Rafael dos Santos Silva) #10

You are assuming the two boards are related somehow, in that case I would suggest just using categories.

If they even need totally different logos and etc, I’m assuming one board is about Vegetarianism and the other about Hunting Animals, IE not correlated.