Forum facilities & 'Trust Levels'

What you have access to…

… Depends on your ‘trust level’ Which is progressed automatically by the forum’s software.

Folk start as a new user. After 10 minutes of browsing you become a basic user. Next is member and then regular

New users can create a few basic posts and can browse & like (:heart:) or flag existing ones

basic users have the limitations removed…

A basic use can send 121 PM/DMs, add more than 1 image more than 2 hyperlinks, create more than 3 topics & 10 replies, edit their own & wiki posts, flag posts & mute other users

Members & Regulars

Can create private group chats, edit & like limits are extended, flagging is more ‘powerful’. Regulars can also join the ‘Lounge’ chat & create wikis,


Is based on number of days you visit the site (15 for member, more than ½ the last 100days for regular)
and the number of likes given & received (member 1 of each, regular 20 given & 30 received)
and time spent, topics & posts visited
(M: 60min, 20 & 100 and
R: seen 25% of activity in last 100 days)

There’s also “Leader” - It is manually assigned, the only active one is Mrs5k. The rest are absent and or unknown

Your level is on your profile
Who has what level is on:

I’m not aware of a way for any of us to see who is a new user - it would be useful for welcoming folk and might reduce the drop-off rate

Full details of trust levels Understanding Discourse Trust Levels



There are huge gaps between levels. I’m not sure ‘trust’ is an issue we need to concern ourselves with in the sense of user engagement, tech literacy and online decorum. Though I see the point. All these points and badges and privileges are just a million miles away from why many people are here. Everyone is just trying to get help, support and dare I say it make new friends!


These are the terms or vocabulary set by the software’s authors

discourse is a packaged solution who’s source code is in the public domain (on GitHub)
The software is available for free

If hosting is required that is what is charged for

it’s a very flexible chameleon type package.

I believe that if we had some community representation combined with software administration we could accentuate opportunities to make it a better fit than it currently is


@RedFraggle I completely agree with the points you are making. I just began to read through the numbers and percentages, badges and structure and trust levels listed above and my brain very quicly glazed over. What any of that has to do with our purpose here is beyond me.


Some messages to consider are that out of the box software can/ should be considered for tailoring to fit local needs . Especially one as extensible as discourse

That requires needs analysis through community engagement - particularly because chronic care peer community needs were not in the heads of the original authors and we the community know their variety and priorities better than any other group.

There will be second generation tools that will be built with different paradigms. I’m trying to find territory into which to plant that seed.
I’ve found it within the NHS but not yet with the stroke support charities (or other comic care communities) but I haven’t given up hope - I am still prodding and asking.

I’ve found it in a few venture capital startups too. I haven’t had the discussion yet with discourse themselves but I’m also hoping… I have reached out.

@RedFraggle when you say…

Do you mean in number of subscribed individuals? If so this has been my concern all along. Or do you mean in criteria to qualify?

Criteria to qualify is anti-spam and anti-bot techniques. Only give capabilities to people who have shown commitment to the community. Measure the time post takes to create to detect automated post entry, measure the time between likes, flags, posts to detect automated actions etc. a lot of thought was put into the surveillance machinery.

The badges and gamification are to generate dopamine and serotonin hits thus stickiness and addiction. Facebook implements some, LinkedIn has added it in recent years, redit and discord have similar as do Mighty Networks etc.
We already have a binding force which is much stronger in our case. It is the loss of function of our emotions & arms and legs and cognition - I suspect Facebook would love to have it too, adding it really would get Zuckerberg in trouble though!!

The sign up drop-off rate between levels is an opportunity.
29,000 sign ups and less than 300 members is prima facie (or even ‘Res ipsa loquitur’) that an improvement would give value to more people! I am willing to bet it can be done at low cost possibly even no cost.

But it has to be done by engagement of the stroke association staff involved - something I’m still hoping for :slight_smile:


1 Like

Yes - no. of users by level. Likely enthusiasm wains but I would guess that has nothing to do with the ‘game’ element and more to do with not finding relevant, timely content or getting fazed with the structure of the forum. I know I had this issue and I’m motivated and tech savvy! The whole desired effects of playing games or winning stickers is really not the point of a stroke forum imho unless people actually want to ‘play a game’ in which case a space can be carved out for that. Not sure there is much of a reason for us to bat the ball back and forth here. It’s a bigger conversation with more people.


Takes people to discuss; a larger audience reading can consider their opinion. I agree the need for a wider ‘voice of the community’

Gamification: I’m simply saying the package that was chosen included it by default and those defaults haven’t been tailored - nor at this stage am I saying they should be. I think the general ignorance of their implications should be removed so discussion can be informed. Some fora turn them off, others load extension plugins. The thresholds are all tolerable too.

I’ve proposed several times in several places we’re not an audience envisaged by the designers - there’s something of Conway’s law here but that’s a little deep for our average reader

A deficiency is that TL4 is only manually assigned. It was set up originally with the previous forum’s main active users and has not been maintained. There is a disconnect between who was and who is actually leading (known, fluent in the tech and/ or social…) the community. Ann (mrs5k) is the only moderator - is the sole burden on her fair? I don’t think I’m breaking a confidence to say she’s told me more guidelines would be helpful, admin could be visible with an escalation system seen to have oversight.

Drop off rates: are for multiple factors.
there is an opportunity to discuss and experiment w/ action that might improve. Some drop off is legacy of importing to a new forum, some because the cycle of need has run its course, some because the barrier to receiving value is too high for them.

those reasons are leaving people who want need support unsupported.

Improvement is worth attempting n’est pas?