Try bot, a bot that teaches staff about Discourse

I think something like this is a very good idea.

I had been thinking (but never got back to it) of trying a “done all the things” Badge that would be awarded when all of the “Getting Started” bronze badges had been awarded.

If the bot could reference those badges to avoid redundancy of tasks I think it would work very well in getting Staff up to speed with basic Discourse features.

It’s a good idea to involve badges for one of the staff try bot “missions”, but some sites do disable them, so it shouldn’t be dependent on badges being present.


It makes sense :slight_smile: as @sam said I think it would be worth experimenting with allowing more users access to a tutorial.

I’ve started on a very basic flow for an introduction bot. A lot of details need to be changed and this is all very dumb right now, but I am kinda leaning more in the direction of a dumb but well connected bot, and having smart responses to users falling out of bounds / venturing off in the thread.

I kind of had the idea of it being able to pull in content depending on what the users shouts at it, but scrapped that because pulling in random images from the internet is a bit dangerous. Maybe giphy, who knows. This is a start though.

edit: Click through, it’s only showing the top of the interactions in this image

Also re:

Can babble be used to support this on the side or is that not what we want?
Also am I to keep this in a plugin? Seems to be the right route. Using jobs and event subscription and such.


Definitely a plugin! This is coming along nicely, we’ll have more to share later. One thing I’d like community input on is this:

What are the top 10 essential skills one needs to use Discourse? This is the stuff the @discobot will teach staff.

Here’s what I have so far:

  1. Reply to someone
  2. Create a topic
  3. @name mentions
  4. Direct quote someone
  5. Reply with a picture
  6. Reply with formatting
  7. Reply with emoji
  8. Reply with onebox
  9. Reply with PM

(just a starting point, by no means exhaustive, there could be 20 of these, but I definitely want to order it by importance so if they get bored playing with the bot, they will have the fundamentals down.)


I’d definitely start with the ones that produce content/discussion and then from there I think it should go into how to participate, and after that, you sort of get into “community specific desires”, such as tech communities may want formatting next, but others may see pictures are more important, or mentioning someone more important.

  1. Create a topic
  2. Reply to someone
  3. Direct quote someone
  4. Like/Share a post (could also teach onebox here)
  5. Flag a post? (teach them they have power to help shape the community?)
  6. Format your posts/topics (maybe cover pictures, the format bar, and emoji)
  7. Mention someone (I’m torn on possibly making this #4)

99. Reply with PM (very last on my list)


Format code is probably a must have on every site point like community.

1 Like

I would add search - very surprised that this isn’t on the list yet. A big issue at many communities I participate in is duplicate topics, teaching people to search would be nice.

Also, changing notification state - perhaps with an explanation of what each state is.


a very late suggestion for this topic; but a graphical wizard like this:

plus the steps mentioned here:

would be a great help for users, as well.

Sorry, we don’t agree that’s necessary. Otherwise nobody would be able to use Discourse at all. If you feel otherwise, take it to another topic.

These two would be pretty high on my list too:

  1. Like a post
  2. Link to another post

Also, perhaps it goes without saying, but while the bot should help the user do these things, the bot should also reciprocate so the user can see what it’s like when their post is liked, replied to, linked to, etc.

  1. Learn how to Search would be top on my list…

  2. Learn how to format basic post text

  3. Learn how to upload images


Teach how to use Staff Post.

OK here is what I have:

  1. Create a “Hi, I’m Discobot!” holding topic in the staff category that describes what discobot is and does, and acts as a container for greeting each new staff member by name as they get added.

  2. For each new staff member that appears, create a new reply to that topic, greeting them by @name and inviting them to reply.

  3. Wait for their reply. (So the reply case is covered)

  4. Reply to their reply, inviting them to create a new topic in the staff category using a set of a few unique topic keywords that discobot knows about.

  5. Wait for the topic to be created.

The rest of the steps are presented in random order, that is, the bot will pick randomly from the remaining topics so it stays fresh:

  • Reply with quote
  • Reply with a picture
  • Reply with @name mention
  • Reply with formatting
  • Reply with emoji
  • Reply with onebox (wikipedia recommended for simplicity)
  • Reply with link to another topic

I have not included “reply with PM” but I think I will add it, as staff should know how to do that.


I hate to nitpick on the name, but Discobot sounds like something that will teach me to dance, not use Discourse.


:rolling_eyes: I wonder if that is a bad thing…


In our community, people (and staff as well) struggle to:

  • link to an existing topic while hiding a link behind a text (they don’t understand markdown and still begging for a WISIWIG editor)
  • reply as a new topic
  • use “Search” function effectively

These three would be very helpful if taught by a bot.


Then … use the link toolbar button?

Closing this as it is covered by Discourse Narrative Bot which is now in 1.8 beta.