Mautic Community Forums

Using the Community Forums with Slack

The Mautic Community uses Discourse as a complementary system to our Slack instance, not as a replacement or alternative. Both systems provide a unique set of features that are useful for building and supporting our community.

The makers of Discourse provide an excellent guide to effectively using Discourse together with a real-time chat system.

Additionally, Discourse provides a Slack integration plugin that makes it easier to use the two services together. This integration can be controlled through the /discourse command in Slack.

Moving discussions to Discourse

Because Discourse content will not go away, and it is easier for people to find and search, we want to move as much of our support discussions there as possible in order to build up a knowledge base for community support.

Many of these support conversations will naturally start in Slack, and it would be a poor user experience if we tell new people to repost their question in Discourse before we help them.

Fortunately, the integration plugin provides a way for us to easily move those conversations into Discourse after they happen in Slack, so we can preserve them without making the new user do it themselves.

At any point in the conversation you can use the /discourse post command in the channel, it will then grab the most recent messages and create a new draft post in Discourse. Once in the draft stage you can edit the message to remove unrelated content or add context. You should also choose the right category for the post at this state, and give it a meaningful title.

You should post a conversation to the Forums from Slack when it:

  • Has a clear description of what the problem is and that it relates to Mautic
    (So it can be properly described and categorised in Discourse)
  • Is a support topic that can likely be solved without a code change in Mautic
    (If it is a bug requiring a code change, it should be made into a Github Issue)
  • Is a support topic that might be encountered by other users in the future
    (If it isn’t just that the user made an unusual mistake or has an unusual setup - although these topics are often very useful to have in the forum as someone in the future might do the same!)
  • Is not easily answered by referring to existing documentation
    (If we already have a direct answer to “How do I do X?” in the docs, just link to that - it doesn’t need to be a new forum post)

If you push a Slack conversation to a Discourse topic that is configured to notify a Slack channel of new topics, that channel will receive the notification with a link to the new Discourse thread. Otherwise you should provide the link in the channel yourself so that the people participating in the discussion, or just following along with it, can see that it has been moved.

Note that you will be assigned as the owner of the thread - if you prefer the original poster to be the owner, find out their username and ping @moderators in a comment on Discourse to change the ownership of the thread.

WARNING: The post command will only capture comments in the channel, it can not capture comments in Slack threads.

New topic notifications

The integration plugin allows posting notification messages in a Slack channel for new activity in Discourse.

The initial setup of Discourse includes the following notifications:

  • New topics in the Forums will be posted in forum on Slack.

We can add further integrations if the Community feels it to be necessary.

Hat tip to @ekke for pointing out the Discourse slash command!