Two very interesting new platform features


(Sarah Hawk) #1

What do you think of the concept of inviting a specific user to a thread?

Discourse has very recently implemented two new platform features, one of which I think is brilliant, one of which I'm not yet sure on. 

The first is the Summarise this Thread feature. Take this thread for example. At the end of the first post it says "There are 58 replies with an estimated read time of 6 minutes" (which in itself is brilliant) and beneath that is a button which pulls out the (in this case) 12 most relevant posts.

The feature that I'm not so sure about is having the ability to invite someone to a specific thread (which the above thread is actually about) if you think it is of interest to them. In theory the idea is solid, but I'm not sure how it differs from @ tagging someone in the thread.

What do you think?


(Susan Burton) #2

In my mind it depends a bit whether the community is virtual only, or members have some real life connection. If the latter I would see no problem with sending someone an invitation.


(Steve Bridger) #3

I think the 'invite' feature is fantastic - particularly for a community of practice - when you know of someone not already a member of your community who you think would be able to make a valuable contribution. It would also help scale any niche community gradually. 


(Sarah Hawk) #4

when you know of someone not already a member of your community

So I agree that that would be fantastic... but that's not what this is. This is for inviting an existing member of the community to the thread... which surely is what @ tagging does already?

Edit: Ignore me. You're right Steve. I misread the thread. It used to just invite existing members, but has been expanded to now invite new members via email. Brilliant.


(Steve Bridger) #5

But it shows the feature probably needs more clarity in how it is articulated to community members. I'm a fan of short videos to illustrate things like this. 


(Anton) #6

In my view, inviting via a button is too impersonate, it never worked well in my small community of 500 people.

Instead, mentioning with @ in the right context sounds more inviting and just as if you cared to invite the person.


(Sarah Hawk) #7

But that only works if they are already a member, right?


(Anton) #8

yes, correct - only if they already are


(Sarah Hawk) #9

Right. So the value of the invite via email is that you can pull in practitioners from outside of your community that you know have something to add to the conversation. Unfortunately we use SSO here so that feature isn’t activated.


(Anton) #10

I think not only this. In forums where there are many boards, or where people are very busy and head in rarely, there is still sense to invite them by a nickname when they’re already registered. Unless I missed what you meant actually.


(Sarah Hawk) #11

I was saying something different but I absolutely agree with what you are saying - tagging people into posts to force a notification is very powerful. In this case I was actually referring to the ability to invite someone who is not already a member into a thread.


(Doug Agee) #12

I use the email/messaging feature to “tap” someone to replay. I feel like it works better because the experts I reach out to may not be spending a lot of time in the community. Seems to be a more efficient way to get a response from members.