Do you use guidelines with a beta launch?


(Marise) #1

Currently I’m doing interviews and will shortly go to the next step of creating a core group of founding members for the beta launch. Already thinking ahead, I was wondering if it’s necessary to develop community guidelines at this stage. I guess it is, but I would need some extra time to work out the legal privacy part for the guidelines with the company I’m working for. I’m thinking of starting with simple guidelines and modify them after the first period and before the official launch. What would you do in this case? And is Discourse a good platform to start with the beta group?


(Robert McIntosh) #2

yes, and yes

Discourse is easy, quick and intuitive - of course ideally you would start with whatever platform you intend to use longer term. However, you can relatively easily export from Discourse into other platforms so a good option

As for terms, why not? It should not take too long to have SOMETHING in place for beta testing. Users always prefer to have something to critique and improve than a blank sheet

the good thing is that Discourse comes with ready-made guidelines which you can simply tweak

I can also send you my own draft ones (in a Private Message since they are not public yet, but willing to share my own attempt for a specific Society)


(Marise) #3

Yes, Discourse looks pretty good to me too. And good to realise that guidelines can be criticised and improved too! Of course. That surely feels like a good starting point. Hey, and draft guidelines, I would love to take a look at them :slight_smile:


(Marise) #4

By the way, is it fashionable and easy to switch from a private beta forum to a open non-beta forum on Discourse? Preferably using mostly the same content?


(Travis King) #5

We didn’t find it that difficult. Was simply a matter of going from invite only to public in the category settings.


(Marise) #6

That is pretty easy indeed!


(Robert McIntosh) #7

It is a single click, I believe


(Ingrid Peters) #8

We will also be starting with a beta group of founding members. But I am debating starting with a closed group instead of open content since our beta group will be testing our new beta software system. Does anyone have experience with this?


(Robert McIntosh) #9

depends what you mean by “experience” - as I’m in the process of doing the same thing, as I think we all do.

Are you looking for platform advice or something else? It is quite easy with Discourse as you can keep the whole site private, and only allow selected participants to join and read content while you are building it, then you can open it up when you are ready


(Ingrid Peters) #10

The community will be closed to start with. Our ambassadors will have access as they are testing our beta version of our own software. Once the community goes public I don’t want all the beta test results open for everyone to read as well. I think it should be possible to create a category and group ‘beta’ and only allow certain members access to this content. Does that make sense? Or would you go about this differently?


(Travis King) #11

Perfectly doable and it’s exactly what we did. We made a closed beta category that was invite only and then we removed it once we launched.


(Ingrid Peters) #12

Awesome. Is there a secret to linking the group to the category? I created both, but don’t see the group in the list in the category settings?


(Travis King) #13

In your Catagory security settings - Go into your category and click on Edit > Security

Here you can add your group to the category. Click the Edit permissions category and add your beta group from the dropdown menu. Make sure to give them the ability to Create / Reply / See

Click Add Permission and you should be good to go.


(Ingrid Peters) #14

I tried that. But didn’t see the group in the security settings. Will look at it again next week, am on my phone right now. Thanks Travis for your answers in both topics! Have a great weekend!


(Travis King) #15

No problem! It’s rare that I can answer a Discourse question before Sarah :stuck_out_tongue:


(tamara Parris) #16

I am not sure if this is what others do, I created mine with the founding members because it is their community and I believe they should have “Voice” and buy-in.

Then fine tuned it after, and shared back final. Keeping respectful not to do an over haul.


(Nick Emmett) #17

It sounds like you’re getting close to launch @boogy - congratulations.

My opinion is that if you’re planning on having guidelines in your live community then I would have them in the beta too. You can get feedback on them from your beta members, adapt them if needed afterwards and pre full launch.

Let us know how you get on, I’m looking forward to hearing more of your journey as you go through your different stages of launch.


(Marise) #18

Hi @Nick_Emmett, indeed I’m getting close indeed. I will definitely go for beta guidelines, this would contribute to the feeling of ownership among members as well, which is a good thing. I will keep you updated!


(Sarah Hawk) #19

Damn it!
I was on holiday.

Have you got it sorted @ingridp or do you still need support?


(Ingrid Peters) #20

@HAWK, yes thank you, I figured it out thanks to Travis.

Hope you enjoyed your holiday! Where did you go?