The Lounge: Or Secret Communications

@evalica the reason @grahamperrin and I are administrators is simply due to demonstrating initiative and having first mover advantage. As administrators, we should not and do not (at least in theory) have any more influence than any other member. Administrators are simply stewards and support staff for all members, although this position can be abused or misunderstood. If I or any administrator steps out of line, please point it out (politely and discreetly). Perhaps a complaints area should be set up, if you think site feedback is not appropriate. Please create another topic if you think it is necessary.

Having said that, as one member to another, I absolutely agree that things should be as transparent as possible. However, for reasons that I do not understand, the designers of Discourse seem to feel that a private area is in the best interests of the forum. These arrangements are not set in concrete. Discourse is new to most of us, so let’s keep an open mind.

I guess this is just my way of saying “I completely agree with your thoughts! :smile: But let’s take one step at a time.”



The standard Lounge is not the only private category.

@grahamperrin What are the other private categories? When will we find out what they are?

Are you saying we can’t remove or rename The Lounge?

No. Instead:

I suggest not changing its name.

  1. visit the front page of the forum
  2. click Categories
  3. observe the padlock icons.

To everyone at trust level 3

If you have not yet familiarised yourself with guidelines and so on, please do so now. There is, I think, value in familiarity before suggesting or making changes to organisation and functionality of a site such as this.

Then the READ ME FIRST, which is normally for new staff (administrators and moderators).

Then maybe Counting the number of staff: including or excluding ‘system’ (UID -1) and ‘discourse’ (UID 1) - support - Discourse Meta

We currently have five admin users, one of which is Discourse Staff a.k.a. Discourse Support. It may reassure you to read the praise that is heaped upon Discourse Support.

The only padlock icon I see is The Lounge. Does that mean that that is the only one? My impression from reading other messages on this form here is that it’s not (primarily because I see that there’s links to other threads that I can’t see).

@grahamperrin I appreciate and acknowledge that you have suggested we don’t change the name or remove it. Yet the members of the community who have been here for a long time have asked for it. I am fairly sure that if we bring more members of that community on board, they will say the same thing. But I might be wrong on this, and for that reason it might be time to open this conversation up to the public?

Except for “Discourse recommends it” (where do they recommend this except for creating it as a default?) I don’t feel like a good reason has been presented for keeping The Lounge as The Lounge, or keeping it at all. I can see private categories being interesting for working groups or specific organizations, but not as a general exclusive access level to “in club” members.

While there is certainly value in familiarizing yourself with guidelines and so on, there is also value in knowing the community you’re working for and with.

The padlock for Seed candidates is smaller than the padlock for its parent category. Maybe easily overlooked due to its smallness?

Please, is the Seed candidates category visible to you?


1 Like


I edited the category (including correction to my spelling mistake), you should be able to browse and find it now:

There’s already this move away from the Lounge:

– so when the site goes live, this topic will be visible to the public.

Sorry I just arrived here to see what’s going on. There is a lot of back and forth going on and I think we should be remember what our values are. Thinking of that I don’t see any reason why to have anything closed on the Discourse apart Technical Administration and Moderation Topics (for CoC violations and similar).


Just a brief comment to say that I completely agree with @jan @evalica et al. (newcomers can only mention 2 users :confused: ) about keeping private categories.

We have always been an open and transparent bunch, and it has worked wonderfully for us. I think we all understand openness and transparency come with certain risks, but personally I am completely ok with that.

I do not see a need to keep “private” conversations in our public channels: we are all free to use other channels for those (personal email and the like).

Just my 2c


I fully agree with @elioqoshi here. The mentioned topics, CoC violations and technical administration should be private and I assume everyone will understand. But for all other things I experienced it is good practice to be open.

I would assume that there are good reasons for the discourse team to suggest private areas (as mentioned by @studiospring) however, it this makes sense will largely depend on communities that use discourse and their cultures. And in the current culture of OSD it seems to make sense to only restrict if clearly necessary.


A post was merged into an existing topic: First impressions (preview)


The Seed candidates category (to the left in the screenshot that I shared a couple of days before this forum went live) includes a topic that will be of interest to you, @victoria-bondarchuk. It’s already cross-referenced with your GitHub content but not yet ready for publication.

I disagree Graham. The OSD community has been running for the past 4ish years and I have yet to see any rush on how we’ve done things. In fact quiet the opposite.

We know how we communucate. In public.

I do urge you to read thru our GH issues to see how we got to where we are. Also read the “history story”. The idea to " create" OSD came a out on twitter. In public.

With respect, you lack knowledge of how we’ve operated over those years and as a result to me, it seems you are rushing to change our behaviour.

Sure we’ve all been in communities where things went sour, but so far it hasn’t happened with OSD and i’d like to say (no imperical evidence obvs) a contributing factor has been our openness. But since everything is public on GH you can go see!

Without wanting to get into person all discussions (really I don’t) you seem to be making a connection between transparency and lack of privacy.

I can understand where you are coming from, but I disagree with you.

I have to say I feel the tone of our collaborative way of communicating seems to have changed. I hope it comes back.

I’d like to request all these discourse messages to be public.


If I could give this a hundred likes I would. Great point, @evalica!


I realised today, some things that were previously easily visible to the public are now effectively invisible.

Those things are no longer found by searching, but can still be browsed if (for example) you bookmarked them before they were hidden.

Hmm, does archiving something remove it from search? Then that’s not really what I intended.

@simonv3 hi, thanks for asking, your archiving of this topic was not a problem, as far as I can tell.

With or without logging in, it’s possible to seek and find keywords. for example, finds your openness in that area –

– incidentally @simonv3, please be assured that my raising of this archived topic will not be an attempt, by me, to dissaude you from openness. Openness was, still is, amongst the things upon which I place great value :slight_smile: