Using Discourse as a internal Knowledge Base / Intranet

Thanks, @jaevanryssel. This definitely helps a bit. We use Slack too and so there has been some discussion on when Slack is appropriate vs Discourse.

funny that this thread is being reawakened now. I am working on this right now - we use discourse as a community forum and for internal staff discussions. I’d like to reconfigure things so it’s optimal for both, but it’s been a bit of a challenge. For example internal discussions swamp the frontpage for staff so sometimes it’s hard for them to see and deal with community discussions. For today I am trying out the “hide category from frontpage” setting and adding a link to that category on the top menu, visible only to staff.

I also am looking to create a wiki category with sub-categories, to contain operating procedures and how-to docs for staff. This is working well, especially with the “boxes with topics” category view - like the #howto category here - see screenshot. I like! I think it will be a big improvement over the google docs we were using previously for this purpose. Especially when considering that it can respect permissions and show people only the sub-category of procedures that they need to see according to their role.

Up next, I think, is to figure out a way to present the wiki topics in a structured interface externally, so it can be used without the distraction of discourse discussion features, safely also when discourse is down, and also perhaps even offline saved as structured PDFs.

The learndiscourse experiment might be a help for this - and if anyone has done it recently with success and has a recipe for it I’d love to see it! Sadly, learndiscourse.org is not working right now.

https://github.com/erlend-sh/learndiscourse/blob/gh-pages/about.md

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This is great! I’m also thinking about using discourse as a KB. Only issue I’m seeing so far is localization, seems like that would be a bit more painful than the solution we have now.

There isn’t really a way to have a single topic localized is there?

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The same topic translated into multiple languages? Not really, no. Once you get to that kind of upscale requirement I think it’s time to transition to a specialized docs platform. Using something like https://www.gatsbyjs.org you could continue using Discourse as the data source for your English content, whilst translating the rest in Transifex.

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Wiki vs. Bulletin: I am not completely sold on idea to have bulletin system for Knowledge Management. Generally speaking, if everyone is familiar common location in a hierarchy, it is easy to reference something. Searching, you may not recall the exact word or key word needed, but you’ll know the location. I look toward analogy of having an index vs. sleuthing through lot of information to extract the exact information you need.

Confluence wiki vs. Other Wiki: I am open to using an alternative code-friendly wiki, maybe something that can be integrate changes that occur with code, so that it is refreshed, e.g. https://www.mkdocs.org/.

I stumbled upon this post as I to am searching for a good knowledge base/wiki solution for my company.

I noticed that discourse has this setup and I like it.

Is this something that is easily configurable out of the box? I like the clean look and organization through categories and tags.

Edit: I am also wondering if there are a couple of other feature sets available within this:

  1. Version control with rollback
  2. Approval/pull request type pipeline for certain items
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Hi Jordan! Yes, this can be enabled using the official Knowledge Explorer Plugin.

Topics are normal discourse topics, which provide version control. Not sure about the pull request type pipeline - can you expand on that?

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@tobiaseigen Perfect! Thank you for this. I will look into it further.

Regarding the approval/pull request type scenario I’ve tried to put some more clear thoughts below:

I say pull request as an example because I think it works pretty well for soft dev and could also (and is in some wiki type software such a gollum I imagine) as a way to control updates of certain KB articles. To clarify, it really could be any type of approval workflow, I am just using a pull request as a familiar example.

ie. Someone owns that article and any updates to that article need to be submitted as a pull request (or similar) for review and approval.

Does that make sense?

This is built into Discourse-core version edit history.

You can set topics to require moderator approval for new topics in a category. We do not have this feature in core, but there’s an open feature request for it.

This would not be for the topic creator, however. Only staff could approve posts.

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