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Discourse tips: 'Reply as a linked topic' feature - Great for keeping threads on-topic

2 min read

I love what the group behind have done. A very usable, mobile-first, open-source discussion forum. It's learned from the world of Social Media and has created a great tool.

Well, this afternoon I discovered a new feature that you all could find helpful.

Fixing the off-topic comment problem

One of the enduring problems with discussion forum (and it's the bane of an forum admin's life) is that discussion threads go off-topic. ie A conversation starts about one thing, then someone raises a point in a Reply that isn't directly related to the main discussion.

I did this myself in a private discussion thread just recently.

Reply as linked topic

Well, the very clever people who have written Discourse have anticipated that and have created an easy way of handling it.

If you put your mouse over a comment, 'Reply as a linked topic' appear on the right of the page (screen grab below)

How the link appears

 

Once this is done, it simply takes you to new topic that doesn't muck up the original thread, but creates a link, so you can find out where the discussion came from originally. 

All very neat isn't it?

(This is the screen it takes you too)

Next screen