Using the full potential of Discourse

Discourse is a bit of a new experience for me, and judging by the comments around the place it seems to be new for everyone else as well. It’s taken me a little while to get used to it, and I’m still learning new things each day. Understandably this unfamiliarity has caused a couple of people to want to create their own community forums, and whilst I don’t have anything against people doing this, I feel it’s a bit unnecessary at the moment, and potentially draws attention from the official forums, anyway.

So how to get the most out of Discourse, as I feel it’s actually pretty damn clean and useful. Granted it’s not perfect, and there are things I hope they add in eventually but anyway, let’s just share useful bits of information and tips here to help everyone get used to Discourse.

The major things I think are important are:

  • Liking posts/topics that are useful, helpful, and contribute to a discussion. This comes in extremely handy when threads get large as people can then switch to a "best of " mode - [url]here’s a good example[/url]

  • If there’s a thread or comment you find extremely helpful personally - bookmark it, click the top right ribbon on a comment and you can quickly access it from your profile.

  • The same applies to ‘favouriting’ posts.

  • I haven’t used this feature yet, but if you are reading comments, and you wish to alert people to something they should also know about, without simply replying to the comment and potentially interrupting the discussion, you can reply to the comment with your own topic. This will then link the two - [url] here’s an example[/url]. (The arrow to the right hand side of his comment).

  • You can switch your view to the ‘categories’ by simply clicking the ‘categories’ button at the top, this will help you navigate around the place, and really isn’t much different to navigating a normal forum.

  • Alter how you keep track of posts. At the bottom of threads you have the ability to change how ‘up-to-date’ you are kept with threads, click the box to get 4 options from ‘Muted’, ‘Regular’, ‘Tracking’, and ‘Watching’. These affect what you are notified of.

So yer, post your tips if you have any, post your annoyances and concerns as well, but personally I’m liking Discourse, it’s clean, it’s fresh and I think it does a good job.


I’m a new user as well but i like it so far, especially the clean UI. One thing, i’m really missing is some kind of poll option were we can ask a question on top of a thread and every registered user can place his vote. This would be a great feature to organize Voxel contests with a weekly theme for the whole community! I would love to do this as i know it from other art & design forums and it can be very motivating to work on something if there is some sort of competition! A great tool for pushing things further as community!

It seems the developers of Discourse did canceled this function because it was to hard to implement properly in the way they wanted. well, we’ll see… anyone has an idea for doing such contests in another way here? :]

New user here too, I actually got the hang of it insanely quick and it’s all pretty self-explanatory, I like it a lot.

As for polls, you could look what reply has the most “likes”?

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well…that’s a pretty awesome idea! :] wondering why i didn’t think of this, let’s see if this will work out but i guess it’s a perfect workaround for now. i will try to set up a thread with my idea tonight, thanks for the input sir!

Haha, no problem Pepe.

@Pepe Found this on the Discourse forums regarding [url]polls[/url]. Seems like it will get there, just, a work in progress.

As for polling, You could try something like [url] Survey Monkey?[/url]


I like it and its clean interface. Fits very well with the graphics style of Stonehearth.


I thought this was some kind of last-minute message board that was supposed to be replaced with a proper forum eventually.
Is this… system… going to stay?

Mostly I’m missing

  • show topics with unread posts

  • mark all topic read

Currently it seems as if you have to guess which topics have new posts.

@Gazz You can choose what your notified of, below the ‘favorite’ ‘share’ and ‘reply’ buttons there should be another box with the options explained.

If you set a topic to tracking It will show you unread posts in the thread alongside name mentions. Also unread posts in threads you are tracking will appear in teh ‘unread’ section of the front page.

Ah, you misunderstood.

The point of getting a list of topics with unread posts is that I would not have to manually configure every thread for “tracking”.

If I wanted to do this manually, I wouldn’t be asking for a “show topics with unread posts” button. =)

Ah my bad!

The closest I can see you getting without the notification settings altering is the ‘New’ section. But then that’s only new topics rather than new comments.

And the only thing you’ll get in a topic is the red bookmark which is placed on the last comment you read?


Well, as a workaround I could set the preferences to “track every topic, always” but for that to work I still have to click every topic to get it on the “new posts” list.

All the forums I frequent have a “show topics with unread posts” feature - no hoops or strings attached.
I didn’t expect this to be an unusual request. =)

Ha, well. New topics are displayed regardless of whether you’ve clicked on them or not.

And then you’re just gonna have to track every topic to become aware of unread comments!

Here’s what you’re gonna do:

  1. Ignore that this is a workaround
  2. Change your settings so that as soon as you enter a topic it becomes tracked.
  3. This will mean that any new topics that appear for you, will now be tracked from there on out.
  4. As such any new comments will then be tracked - keep your eye on that bookmark
  5. Hopefully profit.


Isn’t what the Unread button at the top does?

@Ondaderthad It’s only for tracked topics, I mean theoretically it should be difficult to miss stuff, but if you quickly go on and off a topic it might not change it to tracked depending on your settings which means you won’t be notified of new comments.

At least I think anyway …

By the way, what was the reason for the developers to choose Discourse? Is it something they wrote themselves?

The post editor has a distinct “alpha” feel to it - especially if you try to format bulleted lists - and the only other forum I know not to have an “unread posts” feature was written last millennium. (the reason why the devs don’t ditch that old clunker is all the custom code for handling game registrations)

What’s the benefit over something generic (but finished) like phpBB? There has to be something…

I google’d Discourse a day or two with a friend to check out what it was as I had never heard of it, even as an active forum surfer. What we found is pretty interesting in the sense that presently they are working with select organisations/companies to beta test their forums.

Quote from the Discouse website: “three great partners willing to live on the bleeding beta edge and run forums with us”

Source and where you can find out more about Discourse @

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This Disourse topic has come up a few times and I’m extremely surprised by all the negative feedback about it. From my point of view (these forums are my first exposure to discourse) I’m extremely satisfied with it (with the exception of it being down most of the time during the Kickstarter campaign). Since seeing it here, and liking very much what I’ve seen, I’ve gone to the Discourse site and done some reading about it. It is a beautiful thing they are doing. Forum software hasn’t changed in over 10 years. By software terms that is a life time. Imagine if game engines were the same as they were 10 years ago?

I am really enjoying all the new features of Discourse. It’s a NEW way of having an online discussion. The problem is everyone is trying to use it like every other Forum on the internet. The traditional web forum is one solution to having a collection of related discussions on the web. Everyone has been using the exact same solution for years, and it definitely is not the best solution it’s just the one that everyone is used to.

Here are some remarkable things regarding Discourse:

  • Intelligently analysing your post before publishing to see if it looks like another one already posted. How many busy Forums suffer from people making the same post over and over and over again?
  • Having all the reply’s to a post on one single dynamic page that loads threads as you scroll. How much of a pain is it to reload page after page on a topic with many replies on traditional forums?
  • With above point, remembering where you were in the every single thread you’ve ever opened. Open any thread you’ve looked at before and you will immediately be brought to the first post that you haven’t seen. If you want to go back to the beginning the button for the top is always on the screen (you can’t scroll away from it like most other forums)
  • Extremely intelligent and smart. I’ve only scratched the surface of the learning curve on this thing and I’m blown away. It tracks what you read, and makes intelligent suggested topics for you. There is obviously a lot going on the back end of this software.

I think most people’s objections to Discourse is the age old fear of change. We need to learn to embrace change, that’s how we advance.


in the event you werent aware, that was simply due to the size of the instance hosting the forums… once that was remedied (moar power!), we’ve seen little to no issues in performance… :+1:

couldnt agree with your more … very well said, and excellent post overall…

Having an intro to Discourse thread is high up on my list of things I need to get around to making.

I need more time dammit!

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