Below are frequently asked questions about the Discussions feature, and answers to those questions.
Will the current Forum (found at Special:Forum) be replaced immediately, when Discussions is enabled on a community?
No, it will not. The two systems will continue to operate independently until Wikia migrates the older Forum posts into Discussions. Your community will receive notice when closer to that time. Additionally, be sure to watch the Staff Blog and Technical Update Blog for details!
However, the Forum "Related Discussions" footer module, which sometimes displays at the bottom of article pages, will be replaced by a Discussions module at the time Discussions is enabled. This module features the current "trending" Discussions posts. Its purpose is to let readers know that Discussions exists and to showcase interesting content. As time goes on, this module will evolve, in terms of both functionality and design. What content will be migrated from Forum to Discussions, when it's time?
When the new Discussions feature is ready, we will be able to migrate content (all posts, threads and boards) from the current Forum feature. Follows and Kudos will also be migrated for communities that have currently active Forums. Forum URLs for specific posts will be redirected to a new Discussions URL. Forum boards will become Discussion categories, and Kudos will become upvotes.
Will this replace the wiki-style forums (i.e. the ones typically found at Forum:Index)?
No. The wiki-style forums are not part of any migration or retirement plan. They will not be affected if Discussions is enabled for a community.
When the Forum content is migrated to Discussions, will my edit count go down?
Discussions posts and replies are counted separately, and have a separate total displayed on the user profile page. When Forum posts and replies are migrated to Discussions, those will be counted as Discussions posts and replies in that separate total. There will be no immediate change to the "wiki edit count" since the Forum content will still remain in the database after a migration happens (though it will likely become inaccessible).
Does my community have to be part of an app, to use Discussions?
No, any community can use Discussions. Discussions works on desktop and mobile web browsers, and users can be directed to Discussions via local navigation links and via a footer that appears on article pages.
How can I get Discussions for my community?
Send in a request via Special:Contact!
Is wikitext supported?
No. Discussions is not built on MediaWiki. We would like to know more about how you use wiki markup, templates, etc. in forums now to help us understand what needs those are meeting. Give us details and examples!
Will there be "sticky" function in the future, to pin posts at the top of the post list (or a category view)?
We have no immediate plans to add a "sticky" function. We'll be examining the types of content that admins post and want to "sticky" in Discussions, so please send us examples of such posts. It’s important to acknowledge that on traditional forums, many readers will skip over sticky threads. Posts are often stickied at the top and rarely unstickied, resulting in a large stack of posts to scroll through before you even see newer content.
For now, please note that the Guidelines function exists to make users aware of the rules, and is prominently linked for all users who post or reply for the first time. Admins and moderators can link to guidelines at any time in posts/replies and on their web and app profile pages. Admins can also make a Discussions category for News/Announcements (or similar).
Can I embed a Discussions feed on a wiki page?
This option is coming very soon!
How can I change the look of the web version of Discussions?
The colors and theme are connected to the Theme Designer settings. Also, the design and layout of the Discussions feature are still evolving. Tell us more about the specific elements you would like to change.
Why is there so much unused space in the web version?
Discussions was developed to be highly optimized for mobile use, so in terms of design, we started there. It's much easier to start small and then get bigger, rather than start big and the be forced to take things away. The web layout will continue to evolve.
Why does the global navigation look different than on the wiki?
Later in September, the global navigation design will update to match the rest of the site.
Can anonymous users post or upvote in Discussions?
No, only logged-in users can participate in Discussions, but they are readable to everyone. Discussions is a community-building tool. In the community apps we have seen many thousands of new accounts created for the purpose of using Discussions, so it's clear that the motivation is strong enough. Discussions is not affected by the "require all contributors to log in" setting on Special:WikiFeatures.
Can I search Discussions content?
Not at this time. Discussions will be integrated into the overall search function in the future.
What makes a post show up on "Trending"?
Trending posts are simply recent posts that are getting upvotes and/or replies.
Can I put a post in multiple categories? Can I create subcategories? Can I use Topics like on the current Forum?
We will be adding a "Tags" option that will work much like the Topics option in the Forum today, using wiki article names. Multiple tags on a post will be possible. This will build specific connections between posts and wiki articles. Categories will continue to be the top level of organization, with only one category per post.
Can my community ask to turn off Discussions if we try it and don't like it?
The answer can vary depending on the situation. If Discussions is causing problems or not meeting your community's needs or expectations, we want to hear more. Development of Discussions is ongoing and we may have an update coming soon that will address the concerns. Please note that Discussions is intended to become a standard feature on Wikia, and any community that has the current Forum feature will eventually have Discussions since the content will be migrated over.
Will this be used to replace Article/Blog comments or Message Walls?
Eventually, we expect to retire all of the current "thread" features in favor of this newer Discussions platform. The current focus is on the "forum" and "community conversation" uses, and we don't have specific details or timelines for Comments or Message Wall. However, you can expect to see Discussions-based comment functions added to Fandom stories and articles in the near future!
How will Discussions activity be monitored? Will there be a separate Recent Activity module for Discussions?
Regular users have the ability to "report" problematic content (spam, vandalism, violations of community guidelines) to moderators and admins, so we encourage you to think about whether there is a need for moderators and admins to review every single post and reply. While this is important for fact-based articles, it may not be necessary for discussion threads. It's possible to see a full chronological list of an individual user's Discussions posts and replies.
With that said, we know there is interest in a complete chronological activity feed and welcome your continued feedback as the structure of Discussions evolves.
How can users access Discussions from a wiki (since it is not built on MediaWiki)?
Admins can set up links in local navigation and elsewhere, which is encouraged. Additionally, there will most likely be a standard navigation link eventually, similar to how we treat Forum and Chat today. The mobile site's navigation gets a link automatically added.
The footer module at the bottom of article pages also showcases trending Discussions. Right now, this will be how most readers and editors find Discussions. You can expect to see an activity feed added to the Community Page soon, and we are building an embeddable widget for use by editors and admins on main pages and other wiki pages.
Is it possible to "follow" a discussion?
Not at this time, but we plan to add that functionality in the future.
Can I set up my profile page in the Community Apps using the desktop site? Can I view users' app profile text on the desktop site?
At this time, the profile content in apps and on the wiki profile page remains separate. We will be exploring ways to access one profile from the other, in the future.
Do user opinions even matter?
Yes! A huge part of how this feature will develop is hearing what communities want from it. While it may not be possible to fulfill every specific request, the themes and trends of feedback will help to guide the direction of Discussions. It's equally important to realize that there can be multiple ways to meet needs and address problems.