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I would like to propose a new StackExchange network feature: The Discussion Boards.

Every question would have a button: Propose for Discussion. After five users (or one moderator) clicks this button, a special thread is created in a micro Discourse install.

This would allow users to discuss posts and similar in more of a forum-like environment. Basically, it's a better combination of comments and chat discussions.

After a Discussion is voted into existence, it has 30 days to live. In these 30 days, users would be able to post things, talk about what worked, what didn't, etc. After the 30 days end, the thread is locked and the question is no longer able to be opened to a Forum. (Moderators will be able to re-open questions for discussion).

Users must have at least 100 reputation to use the forum, and must have at least 500 to vote to open a discussion. Moderators will be able to lock, delete, or otherwise do what they want to the threads.

There should also be a button called Move to Answer. After five users click this button, the post in the forum is automatically moved to the Q/A thread as an answer. Moderators will be able to instant-migrate.

Question askers will have a similar button: Move to Answer and Accept. This button will convert the post to an answer and will also auto-mark it as accepted. This would be good for questions that are answered in a discussion board (ie a workaround).

These forums should be kept on-topic, and used only for discussing answers. Flags will be handled by a community moderator.

Community editing would be disabled, however moderators will still be able to do whatever.

Permission Table:

|                                   | <100 Rep  | 100-499 Rep   | 500-9999 Rep  | 10k+ Rep  | Question OP   | ♦ Moderators  |
|--------------------------------   |---------- |-------------  |-------------- |---------- |-------------  |-------------- |
| Discussion Rules                  |           |               |               |           |               |               |
| Vote to Start Discussion          |           | +             | +             | +         |               | +             |
| Post in Discussion                |           | +             | +             | +         | +             | +             |
| Vote for Move2Answer              |           |               | +             | +         | +             |               |
| Move2Answer + Accept              |           |               |               |           | +             |               |
|                                   |           |               |               |           |               |               |
| Posting Rules                     |           |               |               |           |               |               |
| Post Links (<2)                   |           | +             | +             | +         | +             | +             |
| Post Links (2+)                   |           | +             | +             | +         | +             | +             |
| Post Images                       |           | +             | +             | +         | +             | +             |
| Edit Posts                        |           | Own           | Own           | +         | Own           | +             |
|                                   |           |               |               |           |               |               |
| Moderation Rules                  |           |               |               |           |               |               |
| Flag Posts                        |           | +             | +             | +         | +             |               |
| Lock Threads                      |           |               |               | Vote      | Vote          | +             |
| Delete Posts                      |           |               |               | Vote      |               | +             |
| Delete Threads                    |           |               |               |           |               | +             |
| Block Question from Discussion    |           |               |               |           |               | +             |
| Handle Flags                      |           |               |               | Limited   |               | +             |
| Force Start Discussion            |           |               |               |           |               | +             |
| Force Move2Answer                 |           |               |               |           |               | +             |
  • Put directly on MSE. I think a lot of sites can use this. – Kaz Wolfe Dec 10 '14 at 19:21
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I really wouldn't like to add another "layer" or "level" to what is happening here.

We have one core activity: asking/answering questions. You can pick questions that you find interesting or challenging for some reason. You read other questions and answers, learn a few things (a lot actually). That's it.

We're all equal in that; you keep focused on the subject, and although you like the behavior of some users more than others, it's not that important as long as the story outside ourselves is interesting.

What happens if you add a discussion forum? It is almost unavoidable that we become the subject. There will be people who participate in that (leaning towards social media) and people who don't (like me). The first split up is a fact. Some answers are the result of a group discussion (I doubt if that is an improvement), some are not.

Remember answers as well as questions are already being discussed and improved in a cooperative way, via comments and edits. In the open, visible and readable for everyone.

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Why not use http://www.ubuntuforums.org/ for this? I think the advantage of askubuntu is that it isn't a forum. I don't know, I haven't been here long enough to know if it's called for. But it seems like if something is interesting enough or needs further discussion you can post it on the ubuntu forums and just put a link on this website.

  • This isn't just for this site. This can be system-wide. – Kaz Wolfe Dec 10 '14 at 17:55

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