TPM New Use of Discourse

(Josh Marshall) #1

We’ve been using Discourse as a members-only discussion forum in the background of a high traffic public site for about a year. I think we were actually one of the very first organizations to use Discourse - but not sure of the exact details. In any case, we’re now using the version of Discourse designed for mobile use to stand up a public comments section using Discourse. This also, of course, allows us to have much more continuity between the public and members-only parts of the site.

I know we’re not the first to do some version of this. Boingboing is the only other one I’m familiar with, though I’m sure there are others I don’t know about. I continue to be extremely thankful that the Discourse platform exists. And I wanted to let everyone know of the newish if not totally new use case we’re using it for.

One note: I’m the owner of the site, not one of the techs. So while I know some of the technical details and am deeply immersed in the architectural vision and strategy, I can’t intelligently answer any programming questions.

You can see our use here

And here’s the explanation we put together for readers

I need to emphasize that we’ve just released this in community-wide beta. So we’re still fine-tuning, killing bugs, etc.

(Erlend Sogge Heggen) #2

Wow, really pushing the limits! Color me impressed.

(Josh Marshall) #3

Yeah, we’d had longterm plans of moving to Discourse as our engine for all community interaction. But we got into yet another situation with a third party comments vendor where we were losing control of our ability to control our interface, our users’ control over their data, etc. So we pretty dramatically upped the schedule. We had seen what BoingBoing was doing. But I was leery of having all ability to comment shunted to a separate page. But it was our chief of tech @mazniak epiphany to realize that the mobile view could be repackaged as a comment drawer as we’ve implemented it. It will be even better when we’re able to give the site a more responsive design. But obviously that’s a much bigger build which is still a bit in the future for us.

(Sam Saffron) #4

I love that TPM is using Discourse and love that it totally pushes the edges, but am concerned about the long term health of the approach taken. As it stands TPM is still on version despite Discourse releasing 2 stable releases sinces. You are missing out on tons of features, fixes and critical security patches.

I would love to chat to the dev team about ways to get you off the fork of Discourse and into a “plugin” structure, so you can update Discourse frequently.

(Josh Marshall) #5

eeesh, that doesn’t sound good. thanks for pinging me about this. i think
our tech folks have their heads so deep in building our new cms that
they’ve pushed discourse into the ‘ain’t broke’ bucket and have probably
lost track with how far behind we are. i’ll discuss with the team tomorrow.