I’m going to be talking about Discourse a lot in a short while, and I’ll be referring to these profiles of Discourse instances, and how various concepts, settings, and practices apply to each.
A friendly Discourse is one focused on folks hanging out. It is like a club, just folks talking and collaborating, no real agenda aside from a place to be online. It is open registration, inclusive.
A worky Discourse is one focused on a work. It could be a passion, a job, or something in between. It is like a coworking space, where folks come to progress an agenda and communicate with others. It can be open or invite-only, generally exclusive to stakeholders.
A personal Discourse is single-user. It is for over-achievers that use complex web software to solve simple problems, but they really like the web interface and take a misanthropic view on email, so here are… It is as closed as can be, which isn’t really a Discourse feature.
A conference coterie Discourse is when folks are brought together for a conference and want a way to keep in touch because it is difficult to exchange contact information effectively using existing channels; quickly setup and used to keep in touch.
There are obviously other profiles out there:
- Customer Support
- Professional Networking
- “Community” attached to “something”
Etc. But I’m gonna focus on my three because they are profiles I use, and also those others don’t really activate me. We’ll start with these, and branch out as needed.