Enable chat on the forum?

Just to manage expectations, it won’t be enabled, yet. The plugin is still in beta. But also, if we enable chat here, it must be based on Matrix because it’s an open standard, federated and #open-source solution. Matrix can also bridge with Discord, IRC, Slack, Teams, etc. Just like the forum can also distribute and integrate with other platforms. Which is what we want if we want everyone to be able to connect with each other. Matrix support is not included yet, but is positively discussed by the Discourse community.

This topic is to already start the discussion about enabling chat or not. The major downside is that chat is not indexed. There is a reason why the answers you found in search engines are blogs, articles or forums, but never chat groups. We don’t want information to get lost, or that you have to build momentum from scratch everytime because attention is mostly focused on what’s on the screen. Not the conversations, effort and information that was said before. Chat is a black hole. However, it does work for other use cases, such as community building by having casual chats.

If chat is enabled, we should be aware of when it’s appropriate to ask something in chat (ephemeral) or on the forum (indexed knowledge base). Because what we don’t want is a movement with amnesia that has to discuss the same topics, questions and issues over and over. For that, threads on the forum should be used. Chat also takes more effort to moderate.

With that cleared up, let’s already open a poll about this. Once Matrix support is added (it’s being discussed by the Discourse community) we can enable it here if people agree and understand the pros and cons.

The poll is only accessible for people with trust-level 2 or higher. This is to make sure that the people who are voting are familiar with the forum before they are part of decisions that may alter its course. Getting promoted to TL2 is an automated process and can be achieved by being active for about 15 days on the forum.

Enable Matrix chat on the forum?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

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A sneak preview on the Discourse project forum. Looks promising, some UI bugs though. But it’s still in beta. Hopefully soon it will be stable and include Matrix support.

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In the meantime, as a transition, we could explore this widget below. It was recently released. It’s not an official plugin though, and it’s not Matrix. But once the Matrix chat client is available we can bridge it to Discord. Pavilion is a very active developer community working on Discourse plugins. So it’s semi-official.

It’s enabled now :tada: The configuration is a bit wonky, I have to set a group otherwise it throws an error. I would say, if empty, everyone can see and use it. But now everyone in the TL0 group (which is all) can see the widget. It doesn’t show chat, it just shows who’s online. So as an in-between thing, it’s fine.

Edit: the developer has fixed the group requirement bug I found :+1:

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That is some clean and nice integration.

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