I forgot all about Discourse’s built-in Lounge feature until, 13 months after going live with it, a member posted in the Lounge forum category saying how much he liked that the Lounge existed. I did a double-take – “Wait…what is this Lounge thing?!” – read up on Discourse documentation about the designer’s intentions for the Lounge, and then set out to define it’s role in our Puttytribe.
It was initially confusing because you need to explain Discourse trust levels to people who are automatically added to the Lounge, why some prominent community members weren’t in the Lounge (i.e., they didn’t click the Like button enough and the Discourse algorithm to add them didn’t kick in), and take them more behind-the-scenes at the platform level than people are used to.
This hasn’t been my experience at all. Our Lounge – renamed the Putty Tank – is a supplemental, additive facet of the community. It helps that we allowed our members to define it purpose(s), rename it, and take some ownership of the conversations within it.
We’ve had conversations in our Lounge that we can’t easily have in other places. For example, we talk about our scholarship program, the forum taxonomy, deciding what kind of chat option to use for the community, how and when to create wikis (and on what topics), and more.
For what it’s worth, I modified the Discourse admin settings for automatically adding someone to the trust 3 level, change the badge name associated with being at trust level 3, and made some other admin tweaks to make the concept of a Lounge less confusing to our members.
Here’s how the edited “About the Putty Tank (formerly known as The Lounge)” pinned topic reads in our community:
If you can see the Putty Tank forum category and this specific thread, you’ve been promoted to Consistent Contributor status in our forums (a.k.a. what our Discourse platform defines as reaching “trust level 3”).
This is a place for our best contributors, longest members who’ve been consistently active, and our Puttytribe team to discuss all things Puttytribe related. The select nature of the Putty Tank allows for candid conversations that are either annoying to, irrelevant for, or too sensitive for most non-Tankers.
It’s also a place to have advanced conversations about multipotentiality with a peer group who’s embracing, confident about, or otherwise content with their multipotentiality. It’s your space to have intimate conversations with other multipods who have been there, done that, have the badge to prove it (literally in our case), and are now deciding what’s next.
Being a Consistent Contributor means you can do things like:
- Edit the title or category of most threads.
- Have access to this private Putty Tank category for special puttypeep who have also reached trust level 3.
- Hide threads or replies with a single flag.
Here’s the current list of fellow Consistent Contributors.
Thanks for being an all-star puttypeep and continuing to contribute in wonderful ways!
Note: For more information on Discourse’s trust levels, see this topic in their Meta forums. It can get a bit technical and you don’t need to understand how the trust levels work.
Yes. And it’s best to define that purpose before one of your forum members discovers/remembers it exists before you do.