When you started your first Discourse community, what did you find hard to do?

Do you mean technical setup? In this topic we’re talking more along the lines of community management or software onboarding.

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I found (and still find) it hard to set up a good moderation model. Detached interfaces for administration and moderation could be a great help there.

This could make it easier and more visual to grasp how moderation is setup and how adjustments change the model and processes. It could also better support on-boarding of new moderators and revising moderation decisions.

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Neat suggestion, I haven’t looked at it like that before. Have you set up something similar before? Any ideas you can share here?

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Maybe we should have two settings
I mean in settings page only show the settings that are mostly used by the new users and add a :white_check_mark: Show advanced setting checkbox in top alongside :white_check_mark: Only show overridden checkbox to show all the settings below Advanced settings text.

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Nice suggestions! We are actively discussing splitting advanced settings even!

This will be tricky to figure out which settings new users use, any thoughts?

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For this we should ask community managers which settings did you overridden like now i only edited
these 26 settings.

title
site description
short site description
contact email
contact url
site contact username
exclude rel nofollow domains

logo small
large icon
favicon
short title

base font
heading font

enable google oauth2 logins
google oauth2 client id
google oauth2 client secret
enable facebook logins
facebook app id
facebook app secret

min password length
password unique characters

tagging enabled
max tag length
min trust to create tag
tags listed by group
force lowercase tags

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The hardest part of onboarding is figuring out how to deliver information to my users with optimal visibility, concision, and friction.

I’m using Versatile Banner for anonymous users just to give them an idea of what we’re about.

Then I have a category called Start Here

And here is where I’m stuck. I’d like to have about eight fixed topics that are always in the same order. That would let me deliver bite-sized chunks of information. But I don’t see how to freeze the topic order.

I’ve seen people put everything into a massively long topic with a TOC, but I think that’s a bit overwhelming. I could create eight sub-categories with one post each, but then they’re needing to click on the category followed by the topic.

Any ideas?

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I never saw all of this in one place, so here’s my partial checklist to personalize a new Discourse install

Menu / About

  • edit the tabs: About, FAQ, Terms of Service, and Privacy

Menu / Admin / Customize / Text

  • Edit the recommended texts
  • Then search for blog.discourse You’ll see a lot of links you might want to change

Most of those links point to the following guides that you might want to copy over onto your site:

You can also search for meta.discourse but most of those references are not visible to most users

Menu / Admin / Customize / Email /

  • Welcome Staff also points to the Moderation Guide
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When you say search for, do you mean search in?

What references here are not visible to most users? It will be helpful to work on those and fix.

Do you mean to edit the Welcome Staff to include a link to the Moderation guide?

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One thing that i found difficult was lock post vs the close topic function. Yes, they are easy now but I always was locking posts when I wanted to close. I think it would be best to change the lock post icon to make it look different from the close icon.

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In Customize / Text, there is a search box that says: Search for the text you'd like to edit. I mean, type “blog.discourse” (without quotes) right there and hit enter.

That’s how you will see all the references to posts on blog.discourse that you might want to relink to your own posts

If you search for meta.discourse (in Customize / Text) you will find, for example, dashboard.s3_cdn_warning which talks about uploading files to S3, which most users would probably never see.

I mean Welcome Staff already includes a link to the moderation guide on meta.discourse, so if you create your own moderation guide, you would want to change that link. I went through all the emails and that’s the only one I saw that includes an external link that someone might want to personalize.

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I have set up Discourse for a local political party organisation, that has a complex structure of responsibilities and access rights for the normal members, activists, or members of parliament, etc.

To reflect this in Discourse with permissions and roles, turned out to be hard.

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Did you draw out a role assignment table of some sort? How did you design the permissions and roles before trying to implement them?

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No, I did not draw a table, but now that you mention it, I probably should have. Because political organisations have such a clear structure and hierarchy, I started with the expectation that I could simply mirror the real-world roles and access.

But that turned out to be impossible. So, in the end, I simplified across all elements. Fewer members, fewer roles, fewer rooms.

This did make it much easier to manage, but it also meant less engagement because some people and/or groups did not find themselves in the online version.

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I’ll say list out all the different roles and write out the access you want, then list our the different Discourse user states and the access they give – you can also leverage category and group permissions, then do a matchup.

You should definitely get something.

I say this because Discourse is a tool, and a tool is only as good as how it is used. You need to use Discourse and customise it to your exact needs.

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Thank you @osioke,

I hope that you do not misunderstood me. I was answering the question what I found a challenge. I am not complaining or giving up.

Thank you for your ideas how best to proceed.

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One issue here is that even admins should not be able to enter certain groups. I know, this is impossible, but it clearly shows the limits of online as opposed to offline.

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That sounds like that would dangerous. If something gets out of hand, who’s to put a stop to it or at least force them to calm down. And if it’s just person, would you want that person to continue causing trouble for the rest of the group?
The administrator is responsible for the entire community and therefore should have access to everything, groups included.

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That is probably true if the discussion is about games, and if the users are anyone who has an opinion.

But for an invite-only Discourse among members of a political party, the more important aspect is that they can develop ideas and positions before they share those with everyone else.

This goes back to my point that online does not (yet) reflect offline. Offline, we all seek out quiet places where we can talk with another person in private. But online this does not seem to be a concept at all. Or this is only possible on Signal, Telegram, Threema.

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There’s a plugin for Discourse called Discourse Encrypt (for Private Messages) that allows people to encrypt their personal messages. So, I imagine, while it may not be possible to create groups or categories where an admin doesn’t have access, I believe people can create group personal messages that are encrypted, thus preventing admins from viewing the group message’s content.

Perhaps that solution would work for you.

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