I’ve been pondering about this for a while now, but I’ve finally decided to get it off of my chest. Is Discourse customizable enough to be used as a proper (full-blown) social media platform?
I’ve been dipping my toes into the world of start-ups lately. I have my own idea for a social network that combines the best of what brings people together online (more specifically, tech enthusiasts and people in the tech industry as a whole).
While observing other social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit, I simply couldn’t ignore the fact that they just don’t have the same convenience that Discourse has. They aren’t seamless and don’t offer real-time discussion or superior search functionality. They don’t offer infinite scroll or flawless integration of other services. They don’t allow you to customize the style beyond accent colors and light/dark. Most importantly (for developers) though, they don’t let you customize the platform the way you want.
On the other hand, Discourse accomplishes all of those things. It’s customizable from head to toe in terms of looks and functionality. It combines what makes traditional forums best and what makes social media best. In essence, Discourse is unmatched by anything else.
This quote from Jeff Atwood speaks for itself.
I absolutely do have a ton of fun using Discourse, and significantly less fun using XenForo, vBulletin, SMF, Reddit, Twitter, email, and … gosh… there’s very little I use online that gives me the same real time, topic based, paragraph-based reasoned discussion, intelligent notification satisfaction of Discourse.
Alas, this is not intended to be a #praise topic, but to more or less ask a question that has been on the tip of my tongue for a while now. I become eager whenever I think about it and it further feeds my unhealthy obsession with Discourse. I think I might love it too much.
That ultimately brings me to the question that I’m posing in this topic. Theoretically, could Discourse be “transformed” (for a lack of a better term) into a social media platform if you heavily customized it, added/removed certain features, etc? Fakebook is great, but it doesn’t capture the full “social media” experience. If it were to be expanded on with many features and many other visual changes, I think I could really end up liking it. For example, I don’t think badges would fit well in the environment that I want. Like Twitter, I would want users to be able to “like” posts and reply to posts directly from the homepage. That kind of functionality would be a game-changer in my opinion, and I already know that it’s possible with Discourse!
Any kind of input would be highly appreciated.