The Next Discussion Software

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    Henning
    Keymaster

    This forum was a first try to have a communication platform that is more sustainable and has better formatting options than email. However, as it turns out, the software bbPress, which we are using here, is not very intuitive and does not support mobile devices very well. For those reasons, not many people are using it right now. Hence, we need a better solution.

    Recently, a few of us have tried Twist, but also that has a few shortcomings (especially the price and its usability to some extent). In this post, I will give an overview over a few options and compare them. The intention is to have a basis for a serious discussion on the software that we use and make an informed decision, which is not just based on some gut feelings.

    Criteria

    Let me first identify some criteria that, I think, are important. If you have other criteria, please let me know. Then I can add them to the list.

    • Unlimited, searchable history of discussion
    • Organisation of discussions into groups and threads
    • Either software that we can host ourselves, or a service that is either cheap per user or independent of the number of user
    • Privacy and security in case of external hoster: no sharing of usage and stored data; encryption of stored data and communication
    • easy to use across platforms (any operating system on computers, mobile phones etc.)

    Software/Platforms

    Name History Size Groups & Threads Pricing NGO Discount
    bbPress Both Free (Self-hosted)
    Twist 1 Month for free option; ∞ otherwise Both 5€/month & user; free option with limitation Unknown
    nodeBB Both 100$/month Unknown
    Vanilla Both Free with self-hosting (which I need to try first)
    Discourse 100$/month or 10$/month for self-hosting in cloud 50% (then only 50$)
    Name Mobile Support Security Typesetting
    bbPress No Enrypted transport/Non-encrypted storage Rich Editor & Arbitrary HTML
    Twist Yes, through application Enrypted transport and storage; Collect usage data for analytical purposes that may be handed out data to governmental organisations Very basic through text markup
    nodeBB Yes, the forum is designed to run well in a browser on mobile devices Enrypted transport and storage; Collect usage data for analytical purposes that may be handed out data to governmental organisations Rich Editor & Text Markup
    Vanilla Supposedly, the forum works well on mobile devices; To be tested Enrypted transport; Storage I need to figure out in the self-hosting case Rich Editor & Text Markup
    Discourse
    Name Extras Opinions
    bbPress User Management through website
    Twist Personal message system
    nodeBB Internal Chat and notifications; Plugins for social interaction, gamification and others; Login through a platform of choice (nodeBB account, Facebook, G+, github, …); Integration into website possible On Slant
    Vanilla Own themes; built-in gamification; Private Messaging On Slant
    Discourse On Slant

    To be continued…

    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Henning.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Henning.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Henning.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Henning.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Henning.
    • This topic was modified 8 months, 2 weeks ago by  Henning. Reason: Added Discourse
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