Discourse is an open source software made for conversations.
The features are just great compared to what is out there
see for yourself, I’m pasting a wikipedia link now
As you can read above, this software kind of reinvent the forum or Q&A software category, you can read more on the link bellow
let’s quote the interesting part
We briefly looked at forum software when researching Stack Overflow in the early months of 2008, but we quickly realized Q&A is its own distinct genre, and stopped researching forums. When I looked at forum software again after leaving Stack Exchange, I was appalled to discover that after four years virtually nothing had changed. That’s nuts! I started a few exploratory threads in 10+ year old web forum communities asking them whether they thought the world needed a new discussion platform.
Just that one feature: being able to use Markdown, and having some plugins for special case like a link to a YouTube video is great
But it’s more than that, the whole system is build from the ground up with a new approach which I think is great for communities.
But instead of jsut listing the features, I gonna compare with what I see on other forums
it is OK’ish, super easy to setup, hosted by Google
but you are forced to use a Google Account to use it
and yeah you don’t own the data, and other missing features
it’s not bad, but it feel old
same, easy to setup, but again hosted by Facebook
and forced to have a FB account to use it
code syntax highlighting ? nope
a bit more modern than Google Groups but same
you have to use a Google+ Account to use it
and hosted by Google so you don’t really own the data
Discourse allow us to use Google / Facebook / Twitter / etc. accounts, so you don’t have to create one or chose one.
But, more importantly, we do own the data
we can make daily backup
you, as a user, can download all your posts
we are not playing in anyone social media field
and we can also reuse this data with a JSON API.
See, one of the great thing on stackoverflow is to be able to write code with syntax highlighingt to talk about coding problem, but it’s not like you can chat without code or technical questions involved.
On those other groups like FB, G+, etc. it’s more a social media chat, but LOL it is the worst thing to talk about code, even less write some.
Discourse allow us to do both, neatly and simply.
Also, as a community we can transform posts in wiki pages, and so without necessarily being a Github project we can crowd participate at creating content.
But there is more, we can use discourse as the comment section of blog posts, or even use discourse to write the blog post itself,
so if you already have a blog instead of using some shitty thing like Disqus, or if you have no blog, instead of posting your opinion on Medium, you can instead use discourse for all that.
There are tons of other reasons and features like the security, the way the moderation is crowdsourced instead of imposed, how there are measures in place to fight spam and spambots, etc.
The only big pain point of Discourse was either paying for it or installing the instance myself … see the pricing, so I do sysadmin, I installed myself because I can.
That’s about it