A sidebar for quick access to some standard topics on Discourse

I know that we should stay with the most maintainable variant of Discourse.
But I think it would be nice to have a sidebar where you could see pinned
topics or more important, active ones. Right now it feels like everything just drifts away.

This is just an idea, haven’t checked anything. Maybe won’t even look good to have
a sidebar on a such layout of forum.

These are the topics that could be globally pinned or accended to the “global” sidebar.

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This is something a theme component/plugin could do I think. We use many already. It starts to become tricky when you apply your own custom CSS. Some themes over time get out of sync with the Discourse base and then start to become buggy. The Fairphone forum is a good example.

There are a few options to pin topics:

So there 3 scopes, global and category levels. Global being forum wide at the top. Category just in the category itself. And then there are topic banners, such as the one you see at the top of the site. The thing is, if you pin too many topics, it starts be look very static. Because only if people unpin it manually, or read the topic till the end, it becomes unpinned. New/active topics only appear underneath pinned topics (and that’s the goal).

If I understand you correctly, you would like to see a way to filter pinned topics or dedicated side menu to browse pinned topics. I suppose the goal is to highlight important topics? I would say that the docs would be a good place to use. But pinning too many topics will make the forum look stale. But if I misunderstood your suggestion, please feel free to correct me.

You can also search for pinned topics, even those that are unpinned already.

You can also create bookmarks on the forum (not with your browser), to keep a record of your own list of important topics and posts. You can also configure reminders for bookmarks.

Maybe an interesting plugin/theme component already exist. Maybe that the Discourse community can give some suggestions. One requirement is that the plugins/theme components are official plugins from the Discourse project. For the same reason as for the theme stuff, it needs proper maintenance.

Something like this? I’m not a huge fan, because it eats away space from the already not so wide Discourse column. It also mostly doesn’t add stuff to the experience, especially if it’s just for pinned topics. The docs page is I guess a better solution. The plugin below also requires some work to configure, it’s not with batteries included. So for now I’ll postpone this due to time and other priorities. But maybe there are better plugins. Feel free to suggestion something.