Getting the most out of Discourse

Continuing the discussion from We invite you to share (or continue to share) your Holochain story:

Great question! I expect to notice room for improvement gradually as I get more deeply involved with the Holochain community, so I’ll use this topic as a living document to be updated over time.

First of all it’s worth mentioning that the Holochain community is already incredibly well run. Most of the best-practice boxes have already been checked.

It’s especially heartening to see several Holo team members as regulars on this forum. This is in my personal opinion the best way to ensure a community’s success, on Discourse or otherwise.

Who’s here?

Leadership comes from the top. The presence of staff speaks volumes about whether your community is alive and thriving. Don’t just say you believe in this community, demonstrate that through your personal participation and enthusiasm. Lead by example. Reply to questions people have, help your community learn the ropes, gently guide and shape the community as you go.

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Now on to the improvements that could be made. Here’s a first batch of 3.

Apply a group flair to all Holo team members

It’s a bit unclear to me sometimes whether I’m talking to an official Holo team member or just a trusted contributor. This could be clarified with the use of group flair & titles.

Fewer categories

The number of categories here is a tad overwhelming. This pre-empting of needed categories is very common, but usually causes more cognitive overload than it’s worth. Most sub-categories here get just a few topics per month, which is a sign that they’re probably not needed yet. You’ll be better served with tags or nothing at all.

Discourse makes it very easy and cost-free to recategorize content, so it’s better to start small and let organic demand point the way to which additional categories are in fact sorely needed.

Acknowledgement of early adopters

As I’ve pointed out before, Discourse could be used to more formally recognize certain tasks that are of high value to the platform during these early days, such as testing new Holoscape releases and submitting basic apps to the directory.

The flair tweak is pretty straight forward. As for the category downsizing and engagement acknowledgements, if a Holochain community worker wants to spend time on this I’d be happy to discuss it at more length.


Thank you for sharing this feedback. We are committed to supporting the Holochain community and make it a priority to show up on the HC Forum. Our core devs see the importance and value of using Discourse to facilitate open discussions. And they have been supportive and responsive on the Forum too.

Excellent, I’ll add group flair as an action item.

Noted and agreed. Which categories do you think should be considered and reorganized?

I think this is super important. I was thinking we should have a list of our early adopters. But it feels like we should create a special badge for them? Or have a community contributor list on the Dev Portal and tie that to the number of issues/posts submitted?

Category downsizing is something we can address fairly quickly.

I think engagement acknowledgements may take more time, but we are committed to figuring out what’s best. This is quite important and I would love to have more discussions (practical/actionable ideas) about this.

Update: The group flair has been created. Let us know if you have other questions. Thank you!

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