Discourse, by profile

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 collaborative Discourse is one focused on accomplishing tasks and communicating as a team. It could be a passion, a job, or something in between. It is like a coworking space, where folks come to progress an agenda.

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@judytuna, since this hasn’t moved, I would appreciate a profile describing your endeavor, and then we can configure them in aggregate! :sunglasses:

What is your “something”? :slight_smile:

The AMP, or Allied Media Project, which has hosted AMC, or Allied Media Conference, for over 20 years now, ran their first all-virtual AMC. They created a Slack group for attendees to meet. We formed many channels and introduced ourselves. I think most of us thought the Slack group was going to stick around forever, but then partway through the conference we found out that AMP planned to shut it down immediately after the conference was over because they don’t have the resources to continue to moderate it. After we all freaked out about losing the community we were building, they said they’d leave it up until Aug 1, 2020, but it wouldn’t be moderated after the conference ended. AMP staff encouraged us to create our own communities to keep the conversation going. So we’ve launched into a sprawling, multi-threaded, very confusing to keep track of discussion of what tools to use. The most popular was a different Slack group started by another individual. I really love what I’ve seen of Discourse, thanks to @maiki really, so I’ve tried hard to advocate for it.

The something is “we were brought together for a conference and we want a way to keep in touch because it was hard to exchange contact info really fast.”

I love it! What is a smaller way to refer to it? “Spontaneous Coterie”? “Conference Gang”? :slight_smile:

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Conference Coterie!

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I’m taking a snapshot of these, because I’m changing them and wanted to explain why.

  • Friendly - keeping as is, talkgroup is an example (and will move towards that more in the future)
  • Collaboration - this is worky, but also a more general project space. I thought of calling it “Teams”, but collaboration is more open than that, for my purpose.
  • No more personal - a collaborative space includes the ability to communicate with folks outside the site, so technically begins in “single-user” mode, so it is essentially the same, but with drastically low team members…
  • A better suggestion for conference coterie: Snikket (

So my two profiles I’ll go over are “friendly” and “collaboration”. Obviously those two descriptors go hand-in-hand, but I believe there are behaviors we should encourage around certain types of communications. The more people open up and share their lives with each other here on talkgroup, the more difficult it is for passer-bys to drop in and say something mundane yet useful.

In a way “collaboration” is a shell of talkgroup being cast off and creating it’s own functional system. When I configure that, I’m keeping in mind a different kind of project-focus, whereas talkgroup is a great hangout space with a whole lot of other stuff going on.

Okay, next steps:

  • Explain what I think Snikket will be used for future event signalling
  • Start walking through the settings for Discourse, by section x profile