Discourse makes some interesting (and mildly controversial) design choices, and their method of displaying forum topics is one of them. The project homepage mentions this, but see also:
and the linked related post by Jeff. They definitely favour the flat approach, although they and make up for it by making things easier to find. Again from the homepage:
Search that actually works
Discourse offers a unified, automatically scoped search on every page: just start typing and >get results instantly as you type.
The page should really mention that you have to click the search widget or hit control-f (which overrides one way of in-page searching, but that is another discussion) to get this wonderful search, but another of their philosophies is 'intuitive by design, so there is still a lack of exposition in some places
Related to what @madde mentioned re merging threads- there is a box that pops up (for me at least) when composing a new thread which suggests similar threads to post to. Some people will ignore this for good reasons (eg it is actually different enough) and some will just plain ignore it. Merging might be a good solution for the latter, perhaps after a moderator asks the original poster first unless it exactly duplicates a topic? It depends on how it works in practice I guess; I’ve read threads elsewhere which require following a chain of “discussion continued at X -> continued at Y -> continued at Z”, which is just as if not more exhausting. Does @chris_r or another mod have an example of a merged thread, or could they create one as an example? Cheers!
first of all thank you very much for all the work you and the team are doing with the community, I really appreciate this.
The forum is nice and smart, actually the first one that I like even more than social networks: both because of good software and great people.
Last, but no least, even if it could seem a bit silly, I like the badges: they’re funny to me
So, keep up the good work!!
It is possible for moderators & admins to a) Move posts to a new topic b) Move posts to an existing topic.
I will create a new post on this thread in a moment and then move it to a new topic and edit this post to add the link in.
[Edit: New post has been moved, see the next post below)
When you see a topic that says ‘discussion continued from…’ this is where the ‘Reply as new topic’ button has been clicked and links it back to the original discussion also. This is useful where discussions are ‘‘off-topic’’ and I would prefer the community to do this themselves rather than having the moderators/admin do it for them (this may well change as the forum matures)
[Edit: After moving a post I see that it puts a link in automatically to the new post, I may well start using this feature :-)]
What kind of subcategories are you thinking, @Stefan? We wanted to keep it open and general to start but would be open to making more specific ones.
@Chris_R Fab, thanks for the detail I think that’ll be handy if there are topics that are similar enough to be merged as it helps reduce duplication and makes reading and finding things easier in line with what @madde says. As time goes by there will probably be a set of questions or discussions that come up, and FAQ threads or “all X in here” (like the delivery agony experiences thread) threads will probably naturally spring up.
It’s good to point out features like the “reply as new thread” option; I’ve used it myself but it’s not one you commonly get with other forum software, so it’s useful for people to know about it. Helps to keep the discussions linked and probably best left to individuals discretion as you say - the less moderating you have to do the better all round!
I also noticed you closed the what kind of SD card does the FP support thread as it had been definitively answered. This is definitely useful- it lets people know that there is an answer and that it is contained therein. It also stops off-topic discussion springing up (eg “well, it would be good if the FP supported 128GB…”) in that thread; but the “reply as new topic” button remains if people feel they want to discuss a related matter.
As @a_bet says, well done to you, @anon90052001 and the rest of the team for your work. Having a decent, helpful community is really useful for something like the Fairphone but it does take work, so well done
I would, for example, suggest a (sub)category called “Operating Systems”, there are already some threads out there which relate to this topic: Stock Android (AOSP) experiences, Future Android Version for the Fairphone, Poll: Future Fairphone OS development. (As subcategory for Software and Apps)
Also I suggest a (sub)category called “Fair Products”, we have been discussing the Fair Mouse, Fair Trade… (As subcategory for Fairphone Café)
What do you think about these suggestions?
I’m not so sure we need a subcategory for Operating Systems. At least for now - the more categories, the more intimidating the forum. And there isn’t a huge overflow of these threads yet.
As for “Fair Products” - that was in the original layout. Something more general even like “Fair Lifestyle” but maybe that sounds too cheesy. But basically it would be a place for people to talk about fair and ethical products… maybe even resellers or respected places that have social values in their mission.
The fear there is that the word “fair” becomes a little too diluted. We don’t “Fair” to become some catchall term or lose its meaning, it’s already a complex topic. But if there’s a need for a category for Fair Products, we all could think about it. But are there so many threads that could be written under that?
Is there any way to better integrate the blog and the discussions which unfold there into this forum, so that comments from the blog show up in the blog threads here in the Forum as well. After all, both are running on a disquss platform, so integration should be possible - right?
The forum is discourse, not disqus, but yeah, it would be nice if each blog post was linked to a forum topic so discussions would take place here rather than on the disqus platform.
ahh - discourse - my bad!
Good one. We tried integrating Discourse (this platform) with our blog comments, but we felt there was too much of a threshold to become a member before you could comment.
In a way, that’s good, it forces people to sign up to the forum.
But from the first week we tried it, we saw that it greatly decreased the number of comments we were getting through the blog using Disqus. So we kept it as it currently stands with 2 different platforms.
Totally understand that, personally I would rather refrain from commenting than take up the hassle of registering to another thing when I only want to share my thoughts this one time.
I wonder, is there a Guest option for the Discourse platform? Like whether you could enable Guest posts on blog comments, but not on other parts of the forum.
Doesn’t disqus require registration as well?
You can choose on disqus if you require users to log in (via a disqus account, google, twitter, facebook…) or if you allow guest posts. The latter is done at the Fairphone blog. I usually use this option.
In my opinion the forum is going really well. Having such a vibrant community that helps each other out is just a perfect example of what I imagined as being part of the ‘Fairphone-family’ meant.
I’ve read all replies in this post and I think a lot of them are very interesting. For example: I completely agree with the fact that this forum is much more appealing and attractive as the previous one. It’s fun for me to browse topics and try and help people out, as well as read some replies you guys give.
What was mentioned here as well was the fact that getting used to the forum can be quite a hassle in the beginning. Therefore, and I’m not trying to “promote” myself or anything, but I wrote a small guide regarding the basic features of this forum. Feedback is appreciated and you can also ask me to add or clarify certain parts.
As for moderating the forum, and here I speak for myself (Not really sure what @Chris_R’s opinion on this is) but it’s sometimes quite a struggle to merge/move/rename … topics. Basically when someone makes a similar topic but the problem isn’t the exact same and/or there are some differences, I leave the separate topics as they are. Same goes for renaming: maybe the title isn’t 100 % ‘useful’ for example for other people to find this topic but yet it describes the problem at its best, then I will not change it.
Lastly, if you see a topic where you think “This needs to be checked out”, whether it’s about the title or going off topic or anything else, you can always PM one of the community moderators. At this time that is @chris_r and myself. Another thing (that I just did) is you can “summon” us by typing ‘@’ and then our user name.
I agree with you @robin, sometimes merging or moving just seems wrong so better left as is
I don’t think that you can do anything about this but it bothers me that every post is saved in history. I don’t know if the site is actually reloaded but when I scroll slowly through a thread the address bar changes at every post. I guess this is supposed to be a feature but I don’t like it especially when I’m searching in my history for a thread I’ve recently read. Anyway I guess this is the forum software and not your problem.
Other than that this board is pretty cool!
These are anchors. Each reply has it’s own ‘location’ on a page so you can refer to them specifically in other posts.
I can see the advantage over the old forum but not over other forum software. But that’s okay. Was only confusing for me to find a specific thread.
Anyway I also see in nethogs (Windows users can do it with NetLimiter) that every thread that I open in a tab in Firefox is using some bandwidth for update purposes - about 10 kB per minute. That doesn’t seem much but for hundreds of users having maybe some tabs open this seems … inefficient. But I’m sure the forum devs have thought something about it.
A quick calculation for an average thread: 600 kB - that will be used up in an hour. One post per hour seems sane but still the average user will hit the reload button every so often.
Again this seems nothing you can change so I’ll just go with the flow.
P.S.: Alright you’re hosted on Greenhost.