We’ve just launched a new public discussion system that uses software called Discourse (www.discourse.org). You can access it here:
You can sign up to the service itself, or login with your Facebook, Twitter or GitHub account.
Unlike a traditional forum, it follows more of a Reddit-style categorisation system, showing the latest posts on the front page and letting the user fine-tune it themselves. This should avoid the plague of dead subforums issue that small forums often face.
There is also an adaptive moderation system built into the system that gives people certain moderation powers over time based on activity, and the developers are working on building another layer of trust into that system so that it becomes more useful over time. This gets rid of the manual moderation burden we previously faced with our original forum software many years ago.
One of the features that mailing list enthusiasts will love I imagine is that you can receive content by email, and reply to it by email. We are not considering retiring the mailing lists at this stage, but I look forward to hearing feedback regarding the mailing list style features that Discourse offers from those concerned.
The National Council will continue to post announcements on the Announcements mailing list as well as on the Discourse instance.
There’s already quite a bit of content on there, so feel free to jump in and have a discussion!
PS: we did only just set this up and it is beta software, so there are bound to be some issues. If you find an issue, please create a topic under the ‘meta’ category on the service, and if you can’t do that, shoot us an email.