Which Discourse features are most valuable to you as a community manager?

Hi, I just happened to read today about Discourse’s Timed Topics. What a great feature! This will definitely help with maintaining a consistent content calendar. It is much easier to pre-write posts a few days (or weeks) in advance, have time to sit on them and improve them, and know they are going to go out on at a specified time.

So I thought I’d put it out there: in your role as a community manager, what features of Discourse are most helpful to you - and why?


Flags! Having a simple queue of things for mods to look through is super handy.

Watching Categories I appreciate how granular the options are for watching categories, so I can just get an alert when there’s a new topic (but not EVERY new reply).

Logs Not super exciting, but very useful and critical in some cases.

Staff Notes Really handy when you’ve got lots of folks having multiple interactions with users.


I love:

  • Splitting topics. So useful.
  • Permissions framework
    • so good you can allow veterans to edit, whilst blocking newbs but allowing them to read, very useful in some circumstances
    • hide categories from people who aren’t logged in/don’t have an account
  • Wikis

Whispers and staff notes for me.


I like:

Flags: As a community manager, the flagging system is a useful feature, it helps keep trolls out, lets us moderate easily and effectively, and best of all it keeps watching 24/7 and does some of the moderation automatically

Banners/Pinned Topics: Useful for promoting events and changes easily in just a few clicks.


Staff Notes/Whispers: Useful for private staff interaction.

Badges Super handy, badges show sense of achievement, so new users can contact them for help in the future.

Logs I find logs very useful and critical as a manager, if there is a problem in the future, I check the logs for any suspected problems.


Trust Levels are by far the most groundbreaking feature for me.

  • It’s an incredibly elegant deterrent of human-powered spam
  • It makes it more difficult for new well-intentioned users to make a bad first impression just because they’re overly excited (resulting in excessive link sharing, mass posting etc.)
  • Creates an “engagement funnel” similar to the widely used sales funnel, making it very easy for CMs to tailor their outreach strategies to different tiers of users. (May be a creepy comparison to some, but a sales funnel done with good intentions is nothing more than a structured process for answering the question “are we a good fit?”)