Exploring Discourse as Policy Manual platform

@TedRau @deborah.chang There are a lot of reasons why it would be good to use Discourse - particularly for localization since it has the built in translator, also so people don’t need to learn more platofrms.

@deborah.chang could you help us understand a little how to get a nice table of content like in your post on the YPC?

Also, any thoughts about formatting?
The wiki.js really seems to have a lot of options for that :stuck_out_tongue:


Can you try giving Discourse a whirl as a policy platofrm?

All topics in this cateogry are wikis by default.

  1. Add a Table of Content by clicking the Gear Icon when editing.
    Use "# " before a header to add an H1 Subheading that will be picked up by the TOC.
    Use "## " to make an H2 subheading, etc.

See the link Deborah posted above for more details on the TOC element.

I everyone can edit a wiki post, which is now enabled by default in this category.

We can also setup a policy template that is a default for all categories.

I think it should include links to the Google Drive in most cases, and circle information, etc.

Once we have a template, we can start porting in various policies, but I think we’ll need some specific guidelines around post tags (perhaps by circle, among other things), and Topic names (perhaps they are policy names, though we may want some identifiers, or to include terms or things… Maybe there’s a reminder plugin… that’d be cool.

*EDIT: I started making guidelines for maintaining the Policy Manual - still a work in progress :slight_smile: @TedRau if you have ideas about the template for each type of policy topic, feel free to add them in. That topic is a special topic, but since you’re an admin you should be able to edit it.

Anyhow, give it a try.

Some benefits to using discourse:

  1. accounts are already synced with Wordpress
  2. less extra learning curve for another platform
  3. localization is already working (and pretty amazing frankly! auto-translate!!!)
  4. no second platform for maintenance and development
  5. Ruby is a nice modern language and discourse has a lot of attention and is well maintained in general

I do kinda think the wiki.js is a bit prettier, but it is less functional in our case.

Bonus feature:
The bookmark allows you to set a reminder so folks can make sure they know to come back to the policy on the review date! :slight_smile:

I have a few questions/comments. Overall I like it.

First, I think I need to see what the structure will look like. We should put a few things in as examples (copy over from wiki?) so I understand it. The markup and toc options seem to suggest one can use discourse basically exactly like a wiki.

Second, the timer and the translations are potent features, yes!
Presetting templates is awesome. Thank you @deborah.chang for that.

Almost ready to copy policies over :slight_smile:

Make sure you’re using the Docs plug-in. Discourse-docs: Documentation Management Plugin - plugin - Discourse Meta

That gives you the functionality to set both certain tags and categories as docs (which you could rename policies).

I like it paired with card filters for easy categorization.

See meta.discourse.org/docs for the robust policy manual that I’m trying to get to.

Personally, I’ve set up our forum so that our Docs page is filled by anything tagged ‘documentation’. That way the policy can be in any circle’s category and be actively maintained by them.


I’m interested in renaming ours policies, too, now!

A mindset shift you may need to make is to equate structure with searchable and categorized as opposed to being in a set order like chapters of a book.

Here’s one more plug-in that you could find useful.

It prompts users to confirm that they’ve taken certain actions and/or agreed to a policy.

I did setup docs already, though it will need a little more refinement and when editing it seems the standard forum method is still the way to go

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I got the structure all setup, give it a try :slight_smile: