Short and painless pitch: Discourse is the platform this forums runs on. If you don’t know it, then now’s a good time to get acquainted with all the small details that make it so great. This topic is also intended to be a place where you can ask for help, if you can’t figure out how to do something here.
For those who don’t know Discourse, you’re about to discover that forums – as you know them – have been all wrong for years. Fortunately Discourse fixed most of what was broken with forums, and it did so not by making them more like a social network (though there are some elements of that, as you’ll have noticed) but by making them more community-oriented.
To understand this concept better, first of all, take a look at this short FAQs here:
Discourse uses a very simple, but powerful concept to make forums more community-driven. As people get involved with the forum, they get more access to its tools and capabilities, to the point that when you reach a certain level, you effectively become a moderator.
There’s a very detailed write up about this, on the official Discourse forum over here: https://meta.discourse.org/t/what-do-user-trust-levels-do/4924
As you will also have noticed already, Discourse uses markdown (like Github, and many other places). You don’t need to know about it (unlike with the previous forum), but if you know how it works, you can use it directly when writing posts.
*Staying up to date, reducing the noice
Topics can be set to either of these options (which are found at the bottom of the topic, if you scroll down)
- Tracking. You’ll get notified of activity
- Normal. You’ll only get notified if somebody mentions you or somebody replies to you directly
- Muted: well… it does what it says
You can do similar things on whole categories: if you go to the category list, you’ll see a similar button like the above, where you have 5 options. You can go from being notified of everything that happens in that topic to muting it altogether. What each option does is neatly explained in the dropdown.
Mentioning and quoting
You can mention people by appending a “@” before their username. Like for example I can mention myself like this: @Papernoise. People who get mentioned are notified of it, except if there’s some muting going on.
If you select some text you can then click the “Quote” button and that will add their username to the quote and inform the person that they have been quoted.
This shoudl be the most important stuff to get you started but If anybody wants to add something, please go ahead!