That’s a good point for sure. I can definitely see how Discourse could encourage more eager participation, and I absolutely understand how much of a time-sink providing support for all of these platforms must be. I just fear that Discourse might end up being another enclave of power users and that less tech-savvy users will end up feeling stranded, taking to Reddit, Discord, and other channels for help instead (which they already do, but not so much for AnkiMobile for instance).
This is not a bad thing per se, as these places can provide community support in some form, but the long-term effect might be that discussions on Anki will be even more spread out and that it might become difficult for you and community contributors keep track of important bug reports etc.
Also, even Reddit & Discord aren’t the most user-friendly platforms either, so I fear that some users might just be left behind completely.
With that in mind, I actually think that Evandro’s suggestion to add OAuth support would already go a long way in lowering the barrier of entry: Add new logins providers
In a similar vein, if AnkiWeb logins could be linked to Discourse in the future (as suggested by @AnKingMed), that would be another way to lower the barrier.
Other than lowering the barrier of entry, I feel like we’d also have to find solutions to the following two issues:
- Finding a way to somehow hook up a knowledge base to Discourse like tenderapp had. I’m not sure if tender provides you with any metrics on this, but I would assume that quite a few support requests could simply be resolved / bounced off by the suggestions tender would provide on existing topics / knowledge base articles.
- Providing a clear-cut way for users to file private bug reports. One of the features I liked about tender was that it was fairly straightforward for users to mark a report as private, which could be important in cases where they might have to share debug info that they don’t want to put out there to the general public. I suppose that Discourse’s messaging feature could serve a similar purpose, but it definitely feels a lot less discoverable than tender’s solution.