In my experience, for this kind of hierarchical community, the information flows mostly top-down at a national level and the Discourse’s full features are needed more regionally.
Indeed, at that point I think I’d use an instance as an portal for institutional and sso into “regional” ones, with a “visitor” group/category in each.
But soon enough you will have some very active groups and others quite stale. So maybe until a group reaches a critical mass of activity (or upon request), the first few topics can be PMs ?
@sam if I understand correctly, assuming all users but admins have access to a limited number of categories (let’s say less than 20/user), the only consequence of having very large number of categories (10K, 20K… 100K) would be a hit (gravity TBD) on the performance of admin’s pages only (and even very specific pages: Home and Category pages). Users’ performance and experience would be unaffected.
Is that correct?
While it’s still a work in progress, we have been working on making Discourse scale to even more categories and there is now an experimental site setting called lazy load categories groups available to opt into this behavior: