Necro-thread revival! I didn’t find any newer topics about this, which perhaps speaks to it not being that interesting to people, hence posting to this rather old discussion. But I also think that it may be the sort of feature that people don’t really think of/imagine, but once it existed, it might be more appreciated.
The reason I’m chiming in here is this subject has come up several times recently in various discussion circles I’m in. There is a modern resurgence of interest in collaborative knowledge building, discussion, and community, and an increasing desire to move away from Facebook. Facebook in particular is popular in part because it is a “one stop shop”, bringing together special interest groups around any number of subjects, each with their own private space, but able to be displayed in a single contiguous feed of posts, and interacted with easily, even to the point of using “tagging” to interlink them in a crude way.
One of the areas in which I am heavily active and encounter a lot of Discourse instances is in knowledge and work/task/project management tools and their associated communities. Many are software-specific, but most of these will often have more open areas for discussion about knowledge management more generally, for example. Obsidian’s Knowledge Management area is a good example:
There is heavy overlap there with some topics in numerous other Discourse instances, for example discussions of Zettelkasten. So this is a really good example of a topic that would probably benefit from cross-Discourse topic linking. I can dig up a couple of example threads to show more specifically what I mean if anyone is interested.
I realize there are big technical challenges to this kind of capability in Discourse. But rather than talk about why it can’t happen, I’m curious to discuss and explore what would be possible today, with a not-overwhelming amount of work. And I think a lot of the questions and concerns already brought up here seem, to me, to be aimed at a very specific idea of how it might work (e.g. moderation concerns), which seems premature to me until we have a chance to discuss and mutually understand indeed how it might work.
Many theoretical concerns seem easily addressable and might not be an issue at all depending on how such a system actually functioned and was setup. For example each community moderates its own posts as normal, they just show links to each other and an indication somewhere when a new post is made in the other community’s thread (e.g. an expandable footer on the topic, which shows latest reply in remotely linked Discourse instances). If a post to another community violates this community’s rules, the link can be severed, or the indication of new “remote” posts muted but the link maintained if it is not as serious a concern. In short, let’s think what we can do instead of why we can’t.