RogerBW's Blog

Arking Time 06 May 2020

I've been running a small Discourse forum for role-playing and boardgaming for a while now, ever since UKRolePlayers shut down. It's suddenly got much bigger.

The original idea was that it would be somewhere for the UKRolePlayers community to go, but they didn't; as far as I can tell they mostly ended up on a more conventional forum (of the sort I've never got on with, because I want a forum to be at least as capable as a decent NNTP client).

But then recently it was announced that Shut Up & Sit Down (a boardgame review site) was going to shut down its forums, originally on three days' notice (later extended to ten).

(The reason why is complicated, but I think it largely has to do with (a) the actual staff of SU&SD not being involved in the forum, and (b) all the moderators, who were inherited from their old forum some years earlier, had drifted away, except for one who died suddenly a couple of months ago, so when there was a problem the moderators had absolutely no idea who was who. So SU&SD had to get some new moderators if they were keep the thing running; but because they weren't there themselves they had no idea who in the community might be a good candidate…)

I've been on the SU&SD forums for a while; I joined in November 2016, and my experience there is why I chose Discourse to start a forum for a friend in March 2017, and my own RPG/boardgame forum in December of that year. The community there is a really good one, and while SU&SD are encouraging people to move to "their" Discord server, that's just not a substitute; it's just another of the legion of IRC-imitated-badly of which Slack is the predominant example, and while it has some basic capabilities you can't really have more than one conversation per channel. (Not to mention the horrible privacy implications of using Discord at all. But these are people who use Disqus for their post comments, so users who care about privacy clearly aren't welcome.)

So it was arking time. And I had an ark: a Discourse server, running the same software the SU&SD forumites already knew, up and running and ready for people to log into it.

So now my little toy forum has gone from about five active users a day to over 50, from five posts a day to 200+. Welcome! It's a little bit unnerving…


  1. Posted by John Dallman at 11:50am on 06 May 2020

    It has certainly changed things. I've been discovering Discourse facilities like "Dismiss", which marks everything unread as read, once I've been through the threads that look interesting.

  2. Posted by Gus at 04:51am on 07 May 2020

    'it was arking time' Gawds bless 'er and all who sail, etc. And gawds bless Noah too. Yrs, the really annoying concealed Barnesian passenger. Volunteered for Basic Barnacle training, but heh, the Navy, eh?

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