Enable mailing list capabilities of Discourse

Hi folks.

According to its docu and forums, discourse can behave as a mailing list. It can be setup to:

  • Enable auto subscribing to every message in a category
  • Enable replies from email
  • Enable starting new topics in a category by mailing a category specific email address
  • Enable unregistered users to send messages to threads by e-mail

Over at OK Brasil we are reformulating our communications. We’re considering Discourse, but have agreed that without all these features enabled Discourse is mostly useless.

Any plans to enable them soon?



+1 to e-mail integration.

This can help (From here):

The relevant email address for community requests is in the Open Knowledge Ops Manual

Edit: for reference, our sysadmins are Nigel and Matt and they’re very friendly. I always feel a bit awkward emailing anonymous addresses.

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I really worry that discussion will happen here and people who thought they would be included via the mailing lists will be left out.

I urge us to take the plan where we use email with this forum and deprecate the email lists by mailing sending out notices that everyone should join the forum instead. One discussion place is better than fragemented, and the forum is the best tool.


I agree, it would be great if discussions on discourse and on mailing lists are duplicated. Discourse is much better to follow but many people are only used to mailing lists.
This can be a way to combine both tools.
In France we are also considering switching our communication to Discourse, hesitating on using our own forum or this one.

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I agree also for the reasons posted and also it could increase usage of the forums for those who prefer using them over the mailing-lists.

What is the status of this?

I’m just commenting quickly. First, email integration is already on, at least to some extent - e.g. i get automatic emails about categories and posts.

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I tried replying by email, no success - got a bounce.

About spam, there might already be some way to mitigate it, since that feature is deployed and it’s a universal problem.

Moderating incoming unregistered messages would be the best, but I’m not sure they have implemented that.

@nigelb @matt any thoughts or insights here?

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Last I heard was they’d only do it after the migration to OKI servers. It seems that migration should have taken place today, so hopefully this will come soon…

Has anyone tried replying via email since the migration?

I still only get

To respond, visit http://discuss.okfn.org/t/enable-mailing-list-capabilities-of-discourse/219/12 in your browser.

and when I try to reply the email the address is no-reply@discuss.okfn.org.

The folks at MSL figured it out and that thread is here.

Thanks for the link, here is the part of the docs: Set up Reply via Email Support ✉ - admins - Discourse Meta

It looks like the basic requirement is a POP3 email account, which then gets configured in Discourse settings → Email tab.

This is something we can take a look now that the migration is complete and things are fine. I’m going through the documentation linked from here to see what we can do.

And sooo…? :wink:

Nothing yet. It’s on my list, but it’s a really long list :slight_smile:

Hello, @nigelb! How is your list going? :blush:

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+1 to email integration!

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