Create automatic feed of Diff posts

Discourse, the software that powers this Forum, has an RSS Polling plugin. This plugin creates new posts automatically based on an RSS feed (i.e. a blog), and this makes it easy to promote conversations about the topics posted.

As part of the #forum-community-review, we could try this plugin by connecting it to the Movement Strategy tag on the Diff blog.

These automatic posts can be published with a specific tag i.e. “ms-diff-rss”, which in turn allows users to watch or mute these automatic topics if they wish.


I’d love to see this (re)use of Diff. It could even be a part of our publishing strategy on Diff to include a call-to-action to discuss topics published there here on the forum.

One thing we have in place with Diff (that we didn’t have before!) are some basic web metrics. It might be something worth looking at in the near future to see how publishing on Diff and feeding into the forum effects readership of Movement Strategy posts.

Our categorization on Diff of what is “Movement Strategy” is rather subjective. It’s basically me making an attempt to put every post in at least one of the six default categories. If we find that the “Movement Strategy” category on Diff is too broad, we can setup specific tags to populate here.


Defining what is and what is not related to Movement Strategy is trickier than one might think. :slight_smile: What is slightly easier is to check whether a topic is related to any of the ten Movement Strategy recommendations. And if not, then chances are that the topic is not MS-related even if it sounds strategic.

Having a tag for each recommendation would be great because every recommendation has a category in this forum. This means that we could set 10 separate feeds, and each one would bring Diff articles to the corresponding category automatically. Should we try this?

About the other points you make, needless to say they sound very interesting. :slight_smile: Also, I don’t know how far you want to explore integration, but if and when we pass the #forum-community-review , one possibility would be to try the WP Discourse plugin, which would show the forum comments on the WP articles tagged with Movement Strategy recommendations (I think it can be restricted to certain tags only, but I haven’t used it in a couple of years).


This would definitely be cool. I’m unsure if there’s enough Movement Strategy articles on Diff to warrant this (unless it’s really easy to integrate), but this has the potential to facilitate productive discussion about Movement Strategy-related Diff articles that is more difficult on Diff’s platform.

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Maybe we could just put all Diff blog posts here? People would be able to read it in one more place, expanding Diff’s reach! The question remains – how does it work with the Movement Strategy?

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I have a question/concern about the suggestion. What about articles that talk about more than one recommendation and are tagged to more than one category as a result? Or even articles talking about the entire movement strategy process in general? Are we going to end up with duplicate threads in different categories?

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यह बहुत ही अच्छा विचार है।

आंदोलन रणनीति के बारे में ब्लॉग्स की श्रृंखला तैयार की जा सकती है।

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I’m for giving it a try. I’d need some help making sure these articles are tagged properly on the Diff site. Like someone I can ping when publishing something to make sure it’s in the right tag and perhaps someone coming behind me and tagging articles if I miss one. :slight_smile:

Good question. The blog posts can have multiple tags, no problem. Not sure how that’d work on the Discourse side.

We’ll send you a hardcover edition of The 10 Recommendations for your study. :joy: More seriously, we can figure out something.

Also, what’s the worst that can happen? That a “non-MS” post makes it here? That an “MS post” is miscategorized? We can delete or categorized as needed here.

We can choose one category or put them in #general . Not the end of the world.

Discourse will only produce one post per RSS feed entry, which makes sense.

Hi @CKoerner_WMF, what do you think about the possibility of republishing entire blog posts from Diff to here? That way, forum members can read them in whichever language they prefer.

Technically, Discourse can import the full text of the blog post automatically or it can display only an excerpt. We would need to test whether the full-text import and the automatic translation play well together. I don’t see why wouldn’t they, but testing is better.

Another factor to take into account is that automatic translation seems to have a character limit, and it doesn’t work for lengthy pieces of text. Some blog posts might be too long. In this case, we could consider manually cutting the blog post into different consecutive posts in the same topic.

@CKoerner_WMF One easy way to get this started could be to import every single Diff post (simple) to the #general:off-topic category, and then moderators could move on-topic diff posts to their corresponding category on the forum. This would have zero overhead for you…

This sounds like a great idea! Except maybe rather than “every single Diff post” :joy: , maybe we can start with those in the calendar year 2022 with Movement Strategy tags or topics (if there’s a way to filter/sort by that). How does that sound, @CKoerner_WMF? What are the next steps and how can I support you?

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Sorry, I meant, every single new Diff post, as thy are published. :slight_smile: Past blog posts wouldn’t be copied.

I have enabled this feature, see #diff-import. Given that today Hubs are being discussed at the Summit and given that there have been a couple of Hubs related poss on Diff lately, it felt it was a good occasion to try.

By default, new posts go to #general:off-topic, a muted category. Most users won’t even notice. All posts are assigned to the @system user and the #diff-import tag (this can be changed). From there, moderators can manually change the author of the entry and they can move it to a different category.

What do you think?

EDIT: from the 10 most recent entries that were automatically imported, I have moved three to Hubs and one to Evaluate, Iterate… Two of them had authors with a Forum account, and I could reassign the posts (this is good because they will get the extra trust level cents if people like their posts). Two of them didn’t, and we’ll reac.h out to them. Maybe a criterion to move posts manually is that their author have an account here, to ensure that if the posts get replies (which is the point of moving them here, generate more discussions) their authors are aware.


Actually, this is not possible. If the author of the post is changed, the plugin will revert automatically to user @system the next time the RSS feed is refreshed. Thank you @TCappelletto_WMF for noticing! I have reported the problem upstream, and they say they welcome a patch…

In any case, the initial request is implemented. I’m setting this topic to close after one week without comments. When that happens, the votes will be liberated.

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