[Suggestion] Give users page dual purpose - as a 'who's online' page

Something I think is missing from Discourse is something that shows activity on the forum - many people log in but there aren’t always new threads or posts for them to respond to, which can make the forum appear ‘dead’.

Anyone else agree with making the following tweaks?

  • Make default User’s Page All time (Discourse Meta)
  • Add a ‘last activity column’
  • Make the list sort in order of most recently active.

Or does anyone have any other suggestions to help show activity other than posts?

One thing that will slowly but surely kill a forum is the appearance of it being ‘dead’ - even when it’s not.

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I think you are missing something here. When new users sign up and visit for the first time they get directed to the top page. Also when an existing user returns from a long absence they are also directed to the top page. Try it yourself and see.

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In the context of a strict “whos online” feature you describe, aye, I agree with the why and what your implementation does. But this, in general, has already been discussed into the ground, past the mantle, drilling clean through the core then tunneling back out the other end into another land.


This topic below; somewhat related.


I don’t think that will help when there hasn’t been much discussion Jeff. We’re getting a lot of people logging on daily but not posting (because there are not many new threads being posted either). I want to reassure our members that the forum is actually quite ‘active’.

On most of my (non-DC) forums we show a list of who’s logged in in the last 24 hours, and I believe that it’s one of the things that keeps people coming back; because they think the forum is an active one. It’s kind of self fulfilling.

Irrelevant, people visit to see content, not bask in the warm glow of digital “presence”. A million visitors who return every day are worthless absent new topics and replies.

There would hardly be a million visitors with no content - let’s talk real figures and real boards Jeff.

Have you asked yourself why it seems a disproportionate number of Discourse forums don’t last very long? I wondered why that might be the case when I looked at the “Visit our forum” topic recently.

Truth is people like to be part of an active community, and anything we can do to show that would be a positive thing surely?

I think it’s quite telling that one of the most downloaded plug-ins for other forum software is the who’e been online plugins.

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In contrast, one of the things I really like about Discourse is that it shows how often links have been clicked - a great indicator of activity. We just need more things like that imo (and adjusting the User page is one step in the that direction).

Edit: Can’t reply (why is this locked?) so adding here:


vB 4

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This isn’t true, when we looked in July 2012 here were the top 6 popular plugins

vbulletin 4

  1. Spam-o-matic (1.9m) - spam firewall stops forum spam
  2. ibProArcade (1.3m) - pro arcade system
  3. MGC Chatbox Evo (961k) - chat?
  4. Template Modification System (848k)
  5. Everywhere Sidebar 4 VB4 (478k)


  1. Viewtopic Birthday (1m)
  2. phpBB mChat (86k)
  3. Thanks for posts (80k)
  4. ACP Add User MOD (60k)
  5. Advanced BBCode Box 3 (51k)
  6. RelMG Image Resizer (50k)

Anyway, if you believe that a presence feature alone is going to turn around a failing community, because nobody is posting topics or replies, well… that is a fascinating opinion.

As noted above this topic has been covered at length elsewhere. If you want to do a web redirect so every user lands on the user directory instead of latest or categories, go for it. If you want to fund a plugin, go for it. What’s stopping you?