Submit Link (Similar to Reddit or Hacker News)

This would be better as a plugin than as a core feature.

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I suppose it could be grow into a discussion about the item linked, with the link serving as an invitation to discussi it.

Should anyone roaming here know of such a plugin that has been built in the mean time, I’d appreciate if you could point it out to me.

Why not just… start a topic with the link in it?


I am doing it:

But this is a forum then people prefer to have a brief description about the link.

Fair question, not sure I can explain why I feel there is such a big difference between HN-like mode and what you’ve proposed.

It might boil down to additional action from the user. If she needs to click through to the discussion and then click again to the link, if this is something that is not of interest to her after all, she would need to go back to the discussion, and then go back again to the list of topics. (If I’m not missing something, Discourse newb here.)

Additionally, this could also provide information to the users regarding the type of discussion. If it’s a discussion regarding a topic expanded upon elsewhere, something I did/said/found interesting, this is, in my mind, signifies a different sort of discussion from something more open ended, a question, thought or an observation expressed by the user to the community.

One of the extensibility points in 1.2 is to make it easier to extend the share dialog to add custom share sources. So this does exist now.

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I don’t get this @codinghorror. Could you tell more about this?


+1 @codinghorror; looked at / couldn’t find the feature?

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(Sorry for reviving this)

+1 this would be really useful to have as a feature.

Submitting a link, instead of creating a topic with a link in it, is useful because it saves the user a click and a trip into the thread to see the link.

Discourse is amazing and awesome for a discussion board, but for some uses it would be great to have a Links Category or something like that. External links are also discussion topics. A good example of how this is being done is where they have a feed which consists of discussions and links.

Quick mockup below

If this is out of scope for Discourse, i would also be interested in getting in touch with people I could hire to build it for me.

Hmmm. I saw no discussion at the site you linked to.

Discourse does not exactly have what I would consider to be a small code base.
(In fact, TBH, as much as I like some of the features that have been added in the year and a half that I’ve been a member here I’m hoping it doesn’t become “bloated” over time)

I imagine code could be written so that Discourse could display a page with a list of external links, but IMHO it would be over-kill for a site that is essentially nothing more than a link farm.

You can comment each link: R.I.P. Sunrise – Designer News

Sites like Reddit, Hackernews, etc represent other kinds of forums where the discussions are centered around external links. This might not be a core feature in discourse, but could maybe be an optional feature or plug-in? I think the whole UX of Discourse would serve something like this very well.

Aha, thanks. I missed the “# comments” links

I’m still thinking it would be more conducive to generating discussion if the OP invested some time writing a post instead of posting a simple link.

And I know I wouldn’t want to be tasked with moderating such a site, but to each his own.

I am not sure I understand this request.

What’s so hard about:

  1. Select “New Topic”
  2. Paste in the URL of site you want to discuss in the body
  3. Add a title
  4. Submit topic
  5. Watch the discussion replies roll in

It just seems like we’re looking for a solution to a problem that really doesn’t exist. If people want to discuss links, it’s pretty easy – the only thing I can think of to improve it is some process that would auto-title the topic based on the <title> of the article in the URL? That’s about it.

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What you describe could of course work fine, but since some discussion boards might mostly be around external links you might want to make it easier for users to get to the link and not having to click twice to get there. (Click title of thread > click link)

I could imagine something where a user could choose a category called Links and then would only have the option to write title and post a link when creating a new topic.

When looking at the overview of topics on the front page of my discourse installation i would then be taken directly to the link by clicking the title. If i want to comment on that link i click ‘comments’

Why would anybody want this, you might ask.
Normal forums are great to discuss original content on the actual forum. However, there are a lot of use cases for discourse which are similar to Reddit, Hackernews or Designernews - basically an easy way to post links to something externally, but have a discussion about it on the site.

This is basically the opportunity that Telescope is going for. Telescope is just not as good a platform as Discourse.

In my case i am working on something similar to Designernews, a place for people to mostly post links and discuss them but also a place to ask questions to the community - more like traditional forum threads. Since we anticipate mostly link content we want to make it super super fast to get to the actual link and not doing to much clicking into topics and out of topics, which is why we were looking for a way to put the actual link in title of the thread on the front page of the forum if the category of the content is a ‘link’

Hope it makes sense :smile:


I’m fairly sure I understand.

Rather than have the “focus” of the forum be listing discussion topics, the “focus” would be listing external links.

I say “focus” because there is some overlap,

I fear such a shift would prove too inviting to fly-by link-droppers and though the number of members would be great, the number of quality members would be not so great.

I think it really comes down to what kind of website you’re trying to create. In our case, we’re moving from a blog format to a forum/hacker news format and we know that people on our site only is interested in posting links to what is going on in the industry and discuss it on the website. We also know that most people will not be interested in writing long forum posts. So we anticipate content like:

  • 90% external links, e.g. “New Adobe illustrator out now”
  • 10% questions & traditional forum posts, e.g. “How do i turn on pixel preview in adobe illustrator”

And there is currently not really any good open source software for something like this. We’ve only been able to find Telescope so far.

Btw. this is what it looks like when you’re trying to create a post on Designernews. You choose to either write something or post a link. (Not saying it should be the same for discourse)

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Hello @commonpawn;

Did you find a solution to modify discourse, for a designernews-like ?

No not yet - but wrote a small PRD on what i imagine this plugin should be like. Follow the conversation over here:

Hope someone can build it

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