Using Discourse to power comments in an event system or blog?

Andy - I am interested in this effort and may be able to help; I definitely want to join this conversation. I have a similar need to provide the means to create ‘conversations’ that are topical within the Street Medicine community in a ‘forum’ like manner. I want to create a ‘watercooler’ where Street Medicine practitioners come to discuss best practices, ask questions, get help from fellow Street Medicine practitioners.

Question: is there a group of folks that are putting their heads together to solve this need?

We joined up with @syl who has been doing the leg work on a solution.

Is it a good time for more people to join in Sylvain?

Sure, any help is welcome.
@rayjnorris, you can have a look at this page to see the first prototype.


I have just had a look but I get >

Docuss - Error in website JSON file

Failed to load

are you still working on this?

Will it be possible to have the comment in a sidebar as on Europe takes another step towards copyright pre-filters for user generated content – TechCrunch instead below a text?

This is strange, everything looks fine on my side. Would you please give me the names of your OS, browser and ad-blocker(s) please?

Yes I do.

The current version of Docuss looks very much like your TechCrunch link. Would you please detail what you want different? Thanks.


my mistake, forgot to check the NoScrip Firefox add-on, works now :slight_smile:

look great may a cleaner/flatter interface would be prefered sometimes, can you use used-as-commenting-system styles to discourse when it is displayed in the sidebar?

Yes you can. When displaying the sidebar, some Docuss classes are added to the <html> tag, so that you can override all Discourse classes with sidebar-specific versions.


(Replying here because this topic was auto-bumped today. Revisiting the idea of Discourse powered comment systems has been on my mind for a while.)

It’s interesting that this topic was prompted by changes to Disqus. A recent announcement by Meta that they will start blocking links to Canadian news articles has me wondering about using Discourse as a comment system for Canadian news sites.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the issue between the Canadian government and big tech (Meta and Google at the moment) is resolved, but I’m sure it’s got Canadian news organizations thinking about how reliant they want to be on Facebook. For example, my local paper’s comment system is powered by Facebook Comments. As things stand, their comments system is going to be broken within the next 6 months.

I’m seeing two possible issues with using Discourse as a replacement for Facebook-like comment systems:

The first is that Discourse does an inconsistent job of pulling in external posts when the “Show Full Post” button is clicked on an embedded topic. I’m confident this can be improved though. I’ll fiddle around with it this week and see what I can come up with.

The second issue is that the consensus in this topic seems to be that for a comment system to gain traction, users need to be able to comment directly on the post, without having to visit the Discourse topic. In the Discourse based comment system I’m imagining, the “best” replies would be displayed on the news article, but users would be forced to login (as seamlessly as possible) to the associated Discourse forum to leave a comment. This is both for technical reasons, and because Discourse provides moderation and community building tools that can be used to prevent comment systems from becoming dumpster fires.

Does anyone have thoughts about whether or not this could be made to work, or have any examples of comment systems that function in a similar way? I’m guessing about user behaviour here. Some friction for commenting on an article seems like a good thing, but maybe having to create a Discourse account before leaving a comment would be too much friction.

The stated cause of the issue between the Canadian government and big tech is that tech platforms are making lots of money while news organizations are struggling to get paid for their work. Ideally, a Discourse powered comment system would provide some way for news orgs to generate revenue - either via subscriptions, advertising, or both.


We’re still using Docus successfully which allows using Discourse to power discussion on other websites.

The only real issue for your use case is that users would need to visit your site and then navigate to the site they want to comment on.

I could see that solved by presenting the project to look like a ‘Discourse comments’ web browser, so users would feel like they are just surfing the web as normal but with the ability to comment on any site they visit and discuss it with their chosen Discourse groups.

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