Do you mean integrating an external blog application, or literally using Discourse for blogging? That would feel wrong, trying to make the platform into something it’s not (and shouldn’t be).
A similar feature has already been requested on SE where the disconnect is way wider. Often forums need a spot for announcements and the like, the distance between that and blog is not too big.
True. I would just fear massive feature creep towards all the millions of little features that make a basic skeleton blog functionality into a really good blogging software (look at WP). It could weaken the product’s focus (how far is it from there to using Discourse as a CMS? Uggh)
But maybe I’m being too conservative.
Yeah, this is clearly not core mission, just a wild idea for a budding plugin implementor. I am imagining we are not going to have too much time to work on plugins in the near future.
Allow people to throw pizza at each other or rob each other’s ships. This has been something communities love since the days of Food Fight!, Trade Wars and Legend Of The Red Dragon:
Since we have a high curve for browser support, make pong or something as a plugin to show how developers could write more games as plugins that admins could install.
(I do realize that just using the system will eventually be a bit of a game in and of itself)
A (group) calendar for community events
Create and share a calendar within the forum community. Events can be added and managed according to permissions settings; you can choose to have notifications sent.
Discourse topics as Google Calendar events
Not awesome, perhaps, but I’d like to see a plugin that would allow me to browse the usernames of people registered with the forum and see some general statistics (how many registered users, etc…)
In gaming communities, it’s common for people to have several threads for trading games, buying and selling from/to each other, and tracking reputations and reliability of those transactions. It would be cool to have a plugin that allows users to track thing they own that are relevant to the forum. For example, on a gaming forum, users could track the games they own and whether they are willing to sell or trade them. They also could track the games they would like to buy, etc.
The plugin could then act as sort of a matchmaking service between people on the forum. If you wanted to buy Daikatana really badly, then you could search for users who have a copy they are willing to sell or trade and send a PM to them. Alternatively, if you were really trying to get rid of your copy of Night Trap, you could view a list of all of the eager potential buyers. Finally, if you were jonesing to play some multiplayer Bolo, you could view a list of people who own it and are interested in MP matches.
This could be equally relevant for other types of media – books, DVDs, etc… – or even for cars, motorcycles, etc. The plugin would allow you to track an entity and then to tag that entity with a variety of tags present by the administrator. It would need to include basic search functionality.
Integrates with, or manages membership for clubs, including payment processing for regular subscriptions (club dues) etc.
Deep integration with Facebook, Google+, Twitter, etc. Allowing one to share not simply links to topics, but to take posts wholesale and reblog/republish them in other media.
Secret Santa. Users can “Join” the secret santa, submit enough personal information for someone else to send them a gift, then the plugin will randomize assignments (so I’d get @codinghorror, he’d get @sam, who would get …, who would get me) and send those assignments to the people supposed to send the gift.
The assignments would take into account assignments made during the previous N secret santas to avoid one person having the same assignment two years in a row, and shipping preferences, so those that weren’t willing to ship internationally wouldn’t be assigned someone outside their country or region (USA vs North America, for instance), and, optionally up to the contest administrator, wouldn’t be assigned someone from outside the country (hey, not willing to ship internationally, not exactly fair you get cool gifts from abroad).
I’ve run a secret santa for a small forum for four years, and still do it by hand each year using excel to match everyone up. I keep thinking about making it a plugin, but haven’t yet gotten around to it.
Rendering of LaTeX for math notation.
Down-voting of posts.
Regarding “browse the usernames of people” I feel this should be core functionality
Should "down-voting" be core functionality in discourse?
Circles of trust or something similar. I frequent a forum where you can post to the general forum, or to a subset of trusted friends. That’s where the real action is, and once you get in the right circles, the discussion is even better. All of this is invisible to anonymous visitors though. While this isn’t great for the open internet, it is actually really good for the community.
By the way, what support is there for writing plugins currently? I’d love to get started experimenting with writing some.
Facebook Pages two way integration - so that new topics & replies from Discourse appear on the Facebook page, and vice versa
The use case for this is that every organisation has to have a facebook page/group these days and huge amounts of discussion occurs there, but not everybody is on facebook so that you also have to have non facebook forum, which Discourse now looks the best option for.
Automagically combine the two with seamless integration and you have the perfect solution
IFTTT integration for notifications.
One of my pet peeves with forum software is that the only notification option is e-mail.
Put in a vote for Discourse in Zapier apps
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I’d love to see something like the notion of ‘Bots’ from Google Wave. Software agents that could be added to individual conversations to do simple things.
For example, if I posted some LaTeX with some “please edit this” flag the bot might automatically render the LaTeX to HTML (or MathML) and edit my post with the results.
Per-user translate option that would just feed the text through Google Translate before putting it on my screen (possibly alongside the original).
… not that I speak any other languages, but it’d still be a hugely important plugin.
Groups (with their own admins/threads etc). These are particularly important for larger communities imo.
Friends/following lists - so people can easily find content from their friends.