Discourse for Fluid Community Driven Project Management Utilising Tag-Pages for Navigation and Structure

Discourse for Fluid Community Driven Project Management Utilising Tag-Pages for Navigation and Structure


New Theme: Discourse for Fluid Community Driven Project Management Utilising Tag-Pages for Navigation and Structure


What would you like done?

Creation of a powerful new theme which utilises Tag-Pages and existing theme-components to deliver a highly flexible and user adaptive environment for community growth.

Users can be guided down desired routes, but also where users have unprecedented flexibility to adapt and evolve their own environment. Including a floating nav bar with popular team management tools means a user can create a new tag and instantly have access to a powerful workspace with its own kanban board, calendar, stats, and voting area.

Why Drop Categories?

Categories are limited in depth and not suitable for a user led evolving environment. We could keep them and have the tag-plugin only function on the bottom layer of a category, but its probably easier to just switch entirely.

How The Theme Works and New Components needed

  1. Tag-page Navigation Boxes
    The Tag Pages Theme creates boxes just like category boxes, for an admin defined number of the most commonly used tags in each Tag-Page. Admins can exclude tags from appearing in this component either sitewide, or in relation to each tag-page in the admin section to create a defined path to guide new users and customise where needed.
    (for example ‘to-do’ is a functional tag for the Kanban plugin and would be excluded sitewide

  2. Other tags
    Underneath navigation boxes is a bar with links to the next most common tags for quick navigation. This bar is side scrolling and users can swipe to see more tags on each-tag page. It also adheres to the exclusion rules defined for the navigation boxes.

  3. Floating Footer
    To create the evolving and flowing workspace it will include a floating footer which navigates between popular project discourse management plugins/components by adding text to the url for each tag page.

for example:

Tag-Page: tags/reactjs
click ‘Board’
url appends to: /tags/reactjs/l/latest?board=default
Now the user is viewing the Kanban board and tasks to be done related to that Tag-Page.

The same appending url navigation will work for the calendar plugin. For the voting it will combine tags using the ‘Intersection’ feature.

an example of displaying multiple tags:


Dependency Plugins and Structure


Tag Banner Title
Discourse Tag Banners - theme - Discourse Meta

Search bar
Search banner theme component - theme - Discourse Meta

Tag description (if provided) also to add (‘pin’) important links
this functionality is in the category banner, but not the tag banner
Discourse Category Banners - theme - Discourse Meta

Main Page

Tag-page Navigation Boxes

[most common tag 1] [tag 2] [tag 3] [tag 4] [tag 5]

Other Related Tags Slider
Discourse Popular Tag Sidebar

Discourse posts

Floating Footer

5 theme component pages which link to the tag pages so users can switch between actions on the visible page

[Discuss] [Tasks] [Calendar] [Vote] [Stats]

  • Discuss: Standard Discourse threads
  • Tasks: Discourse Kanban for this tag page
  • Calendar: Events Plugin for this tag page
  • Vote: Discourse Voting Voting is enabled on all threads marked with the ‘vote’ tag, enabling governance and decision making to operate on any tag or intersection of tags sitewide.
  • Stats: A modification of the Discourse Meta page, to add Tags as a filter and open the tag currently being viewed by the user

Major advantages to utilising Tag Pages to navigate:

  • New users can be guided along a set path, while including the search bar for those who already know what they are looking for to skip directly to there.
  • Users can easily create their own tags making the platform highly adaptive and user-led
  • There is no depth limit. If Bob wants to make a ‘Bob’s Crazy Friday Group’, he can easily. If
  • Users also have the god-tier ability to combine tags, and the tools in the footer bar still work perfectly. Creating incredibly powerful methods for cross-team collaboration, simply by adding a tag in a post to drop it into their work flow and call attention to it

Whats needed to create the theme

  1. Creation of Tag-Page boxes in the style of category boxes
  2. All dependency plugins working seamlessly together
  3. Tag-page support added to Voting and Calendar components/plugins
  4. Creation of a Floating Footer with Nav Links
  5. Text description added to Tag-Banners component
  6. Search component works with/embeds inside Tag-Banners
  7. Tag filters added to the Stats page so it can be used in the navigation

When do you need it done?


What is your budget, in $ USD that you can offer for this task?

We’re hosting a crowdfunder to raise funds for an alternative Summit at the World Economic Forum in Davos, aiming to inject more kindness and compassion into the heart of the economic world. The Summit will be powered by the Tag Navigation Theme, where ideas to benefit humanity will be suggested, discussed and built on the platform.

The best we can do in terms of funding is offering a percentage of the crowdfunder, the platform adds weight to the crowdfunder so completing it 1st will raise us more to divide up among those who help out (as we’re switching from a non-monetary volunteer community, to a blockchain backed community for creating peace and well-being)

We’re launching the blockchain Token which will incentivise people to build the top voted projects on our platform and will match the crowdfunder division with an equal amount of our tokens. I’d like people to chip in opinions and let us know how much it will cost to build this theme component, which will be open-sourced for everyone to use afterwards.

TLDR: we will reimburse everyone who joins in as fairly as we possibly can, and use the platform to deliver a lot of good into the world :slight_smile:

A percentage of our upcoming crowdfunder. Which we expect to be a decently weighted offer

@PublicHappinessAndy Thanks for laying this out in some detail. This isn’t really a feature request for the custom layouts plugin :wink: ; I’m going to move it to a different category.

I appreciate where you’re coming from Andy and your motives. I hope you also understand where we’re coming from. We’d love to help you guys out, but we can’t do full-blown projects for free (or for non-bitcoin crypo-currency). There are many worthy causes out there, and we can’t be captured by one amongst the many.

That said, I think I can help you here in more concrete terms. I’m going to give you some free strategic advice, which in some ways is more valuable than free development work. Please take it as some constructive advice. I’m not trying to fob you off here.


Over the past 5 years I’ve worked with alot of people who have visions for how collaboration in their discourse community will work. One of the consistent themes I’ve found is that in-depth systems that start as a theory invariably don’t work. Your plan here strikes me as falling into that category. I’ve had, and worked on, similarly grand plans myself in the past, and they all haven’t worked. Not to say that they can’t work, but that they need to be very well thought-through and, crucially, evidence-based.

Now, I’m sure there is alot going on behind the scenes leading up to this feature request, and perhaps you have ready answers for my concerns and points. If so, I’d be happy to continue that conversation to tailor my strategic advice a bit more to your context.

Some specifics

When reading your specification, here’s specifically what comes to mind:

What makes you think your users will spend the requisite time to adapt and evolve their online community environment. Do you have evidence of this in an existing online community? Do you trust all users equally to adapt and evolve their environment? Or do you only want users acting in good faith, or with the requisite “experience” to behave in that way.

If not, are you willing to deal with some users not sharing your vision, or doing things you’re not comfortable with? If so, what is your scope for a user you want to have this power and how is it different from the typical method of user trust levels and moderation.

In what sense are categories limited in depth? What evidence is there for this? To the extent that they are limited, what issues are you experiencing with the traditional method of handling structural changes in a community, i.e. by relying on a group of trusted users and moderators.


Morever, given your limited budget, your timeline and your bigger goals here, I don’t think investing time in changing a tried-and-true structure like Discourse is the best use of your time.

It sounds like you’ve got a big agenda, including a conference, a crypto launch and probably a bunch of other initiatives. Why spend time trying to fundamentally change an online discussion model that works well for so many other communties around the world?

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Thank you, i appreciate your detailed reply Angus.

I’m suggesting a percentage deal with our crowd-funder, in addition to a matching amount in our token. Alternatively looking for a quotation and i’ll take a bank loan out to try and cover it, and pay myself back from the crowdfunder.

I think sites like Reddit show that users thrive in an environment where they have the ability to evolve the platform to their needs. All our members agree to our community values statement, and we want them to be free to use a much creativity as possible to achieve our shared vision and enforcing those agreed community values themselves.

Our members have been complaining about them since we began using Discourse. We have too many categories, which either leads to too many options which are UX team hate, or it means we need more depth than the two offered by ‘categories’ and ‘sub-categories’

The Summit and Token are dependant on having a flexible project management environment with team calendars, kanban boards, discussion and voting. The plugins all exist but don’t work together. If we can make them work with Tag-Pages then Discourse would also have the flexibility we need - something we think many other users will enjoy being able to use.

In addition discourse isn’t designed well to be navigated by tags, so we’d need to bring available tags to the user, which requires making a new plugin where tags are presented like categories are now (category boxes).

To have this operating we need:

  • Two existing categories to work with Tag-pages. We’ve already succeeded with Discourse Kanban boards, and it is logical that all plugins will move to support them in the future. Why not begin now?
  • Existing plugins to work with each other, which benefits all users
  • A Tag navigation plugin built. As Discourse is moving more towards plugins it also seems logical to create a way to bring the available tags to the user (the existing plugin doesn’t work well on a mobile)

I was hoping the benefits offered by turning this into a flexible plug-and-play project management system built as a Discourse theme, would bring others in to support the theme. It would be great for users if plugins such as Kanban, Voting, and Events were working with each other.


When looking through the comments in meta, a common theme emerges that when forums grow to too many categories and subcategories, users begin complaining that the forum overwhelming and no longer intuitive. This is the issue we’ve been struggling with since moving multiple teams and projects over from Trello and Slack.

Like in this thread: Customizable Homepage or Discussion Feed?

Using a navigation system built around tags either within the category structure, or ignoring it completely, would transform this.

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@angus as it seems there are more users interested in this, and you’ve explored something similar before. Would you be able to give a rough quote to give a ball-park of what we’d need to raise to have it created?

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@PublicHappinessAndy, Yes We’re seeing the activity on your post on meta. @angus is currently on a leave and will be back around 2019-11-04T18:30:00Z. So he’ll respond once he’s back.

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Please do asap. We have a deadline, and whatever solution we find to the problem needs to be ready by mid-November. I get the impression that isn’t going to be possible via Pavillion or the Discourse community, so we’ve begun exploring low-tech solutions. Its a pity as i feel the work we want to find a way to get completed will be done anyway by the Discourse community in the fairly near future because it is needed and logical. Just too late for us, and we are happy to find a funding solution for that work.

I’m still waiting to hear back from @angus or someone else about this. I believe i’ve sourced the financing for it, although i’ll know more when i know how much the design will cost to build

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That was meant to read ‘two existing plugins’

@PublicHappinessAndy Hey, I’ve spent some more time today trying to understand the scope of your project to try and reduce it something workable from a technical perspective.

I appreciate your answers to my initial post, but I still really think you need to re-think the strategy here. What you’re proposing with a tag-based Discourse will take months to build successfully, i.e. in a fashion that’s reliably usable and adaptable in the fashion you’re envisaging. Yes, we could do it, but we’d need to spend at least a few more weeks defining the technical specification, before we got into development work. And then you’re looking at least a few months of development. The cost would be between $5k and $10k USD.

If your aim is to have something ready for mid-november, and within a reasonable budget, you need to focus more on ways of using the existing toolset.

I understand where you’re coming from, and I know how frustrating it can be to have a vision stymied by the seeming inadaptability of technical folks. I’ve happily worked on many ambitious projects to customise Discourse before, as you can see from my work on meta. I understand that sometimes software developers’ stubborness can get in the way of their ability to see the utility in an approach. This is not one of those times.

Within the parameters of what you want to achieve and your timeframe, we can’t help you, sorry.


5 - 10k is possible. I’ll pass it on to the guys who offered to fund us and see what they say. All of the development is based on modifying/improving existing plugins’, which I used as a base to keep costs and time down. I’ll have a think and see if it can be broken into sections of build. At this point we’re going to have to move the due date to end of November anyway

I created a new write up here as well for our UX team to work on, although it repeats much of what was said already: Reviewing new Global section before we begin the build - UX Team - The Public Happiness Movement

@angus Here’s the final brief.

I invited a few more quotes and most think they can achieve it for around 1k. 5-10k is pushing it a bit as we need it before the crowdfunder and so are putting it on credit cards. I think my previous versions made it look more complicated than necessary so if the new brief makes it look like a quicker job let me know.

You likely know the Discourse code best so i’d prefer to work with you so i thought i’d get back in touch before signing off on the build.

I hope you’re enjoying the holidays :slight_smile:

Hey Andy,

Ok, I’ll take another look at this in some detail in the next few days and give you an specific quote :+1:



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Any updates Angus?