Humble Request: Allowing groups on this forum

:heart: I have a suggestion with very positive ramifications. I’ve been using this forum, and maintaining a Discourse instance, for some time. This forum is heavily trafficked and kept very simple – everything is defined by categories and tags.

There is a lost opportunity to use groups. Don’t get me wrong, groups exist on the forum. Currently the only visible group is @moderators , but @staff and others such as trust_levels are hidden in the mist.

Discourse is built on the assumption that you will deploy groups in tandem with categories, since

  • categories are extremely limited… a depth of two max. Hence this pile up we see within the apps category.

  • Groups allow admins, group owners and users to fine-tune access to your Categories.

    • Who can join the group, see the group, see members of the group, @mention the group, message within the group.
    • Groups can function with Trust Levels, allowing people in particular groups to reach one another. Or, allowing a user of a particular group to be assigned a particular level of trust, etc.
    • Groups can define how much someone’s participation will, or will not, allow contact based on Group association.
    • Groups are portable, able to be used across multiple categories with ease.

Mentioning #apps does not do anything as far as literal #apps category is concerned. It is a simple link, but an @apps group would allow a group of people to communicate just through this mention. Users could opt-in or opt-out of groups, such as @bookmarks in order to communicate about that app category.

You could create and define useful groups like:
@help. Mentioning a help group could be a way to seek noob advice without getting lost as easily in the shuffle. Perhaps new users are added to this group upon registration.
@beta-tester could be a way to connect a group of users you would like to test new features.
Perhaps @app-developers could contact each other for advice with a much greater degree of flexibility.

You could allow users at a particular trust level to create their own groups.

Adding groups would be a useful addition to the pre-existing forum, which saves your community time and allows greater flexibility within the forum. I think it would have a very positive impact on our community. :heart:

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