Quo vadis, Discourse?

Since 2015, I have been running this forum site, first as part of the School of Data working group and based on the original Vanilla “Idea forum” we set up in 2012, on the model of https://discuss.okfn.org and other Discourse forums I’m part of.

The idea was to have a casual and safe place for Civilized Discussion, and to share things with folks from the Swiss open data community in a slightly less spontaneous and off-the-cuff way than on social media, but with less editorial pressure than blogging.

This forum is structured along four main categories, including: Raw Data Now!, Operations/Meta, Expeditions/Events, and Buffer Overflow. Here are some typical posts from each:

An open forum on our own cloud takes skill to run, and is definitely more of a challenge to be successful with, than social media platforms. Without a walled garden, there are real dangers and threats to take care of, against which we need to learn to wield the right defenses. At this point I’d just like to say thank you to the people behind Discourse, Let’s Encrypt, Docker, and Linode for being awesome and super reliable.

We cannot as easily own …and give away… our content on Mattermost or Slack or Twitter or Facebook, and are always at risk of getting too comfortable with vendors promising us an audience, and the tools to captivate you for a low monthly fee.

Over the years, I’ve learned a few things about this platform and moderation and would like to transfer my experience into the rest of the community and Opendata.ch team, see a more concerted effort on responding to dataset requests and project announcements, work on improvements to the structure and credibility of this platform, add multilingual support and other improvements as discussed previously:

For this to happen, we could use some support from the community. Supportive statements. Earmarked donations. Cooperation project ideas. Comments :point_down: Thanks :hugs:

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You do an awesome job here (and everywhere else)!!

Even if I don’t usually contribute much in this forum, I always read it and hugely appreciate the work you put in to it!

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