New forum demo

Hi folks: I'm Danny, one of the Product Managers at Wikia, and my team has been working this summer on a new Forum feature. We've got an early demo version up for you to try out today, and we'd love to know what you think!

As I'm sure you know, wiki-wide discussions are really important. There are many decisions that are made by the community at large, from design to content structure, and drives to engage new users. MediaWiki's standard Forum namespace is basically just blank pages that you can put templates on -- they don't offer a lot of the features that a Forum usually does.

The Forum we're working on offers a more efficient way to have wiki-wide conversations:

  • Discussions are threaded, so you can follow individual conversations rather than pages with multiple conversations
  • Notifications, both on-wiki and in e-mail, help you keep track of the conversations you're involved in
  • Wiki admins can create Boards to organize threads
  • Threads are automatically sorted by most recent reply, or by most active thread
  • Automatic signatures and timestamps
  • A new way for admins to highlight discussions that they want everyone on the wiki to see -- a more efficient system than the Community Corner! :)

We've got a first demo version of the basic functionality released today on Community Test; please go try it out and see what you think!

The Community Council has been helping us a lot as we've been developing the feature, giving a lot of helpful feedback and telling us what features are important to them. Some of the features we'll be working on through the summer are:

  • Community-editable space in a thread for wiki project work -- tables or lists that everyone can update
  • Polls in threads
  • Quoting to reply directly to a previous post
  • A place for policies & FAQs
  • A way to connect discussions that are about the same topics

Plus a lot more! We're releasing this demo version so that we can continue to learn what people want from the feature. You can feel free to write questions and comments here -- or come start a thread on the Community Test Forum! Talk to you soon.

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