Welcome to BBS, our new discussion boards

Boing Boing’s had plain old blog comments since 2007. It’s time for something bigger and better. So welcome to BBS, our new discussion boards!

The boards run on Discourse, a completely new forum system created by Jeff Atwood, of Stack Exchange fame, and a small, dedicated team. Completely open-source (and under heavy development), it’s a perfect hybrid of forums and comments.

Like the old system, this’ll be a place to discuss items at BB and to expand upon what we’ve posted. We’ll be highlighting the best comments on Boing Boing, too.

As a forum, however, Discourse lets you create your own threads, link to your own work, and demolish serious culture without any help from us at all.

Boing Boing is also honored to be one of a few sites to participate in Discourse’s official development program, which means we get to be guinea pigs–and get to play with the latest features first.

Unlike our current system, it’s easy to control your own data and manage your account.

Your account is unique to Boing Boing, though when you register, Discourse will globally reserve your username for any other sites that later use their hosting service. If you have an existing BB account and more than 50 comments or so, your username has been reserved. Sign up with the same email you used to sign up for Boing Boing with, and it’s yours. If you have any troubles getting set up with your old username, get in touch and we’ll sort it out.

We’re currently formulating an update to our guidelines and our other policies to account for the changes. In the meantime, please continue to abide by the existing community guidelines.

BBS is under construction, so it’ll probably change in appearance (and in other respects) fairly rapidly. Suggestions are welcome – post them there!


Hi Rob! Good job with this. It’s looking really good.

Suggestion: Sometimes I like to browse BB while lying in bed with my bride. A night-theme feature would be nice. It’s not a deal breaker though.


Awesome! I love it. How did you bring the best comments to the post pages? Custom API work or is this something discourse can do with some embed code?

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OK, now I’m confused. Just a few hours ago, our avatars were round. Now they are square. What gives?

Sunday is octagon day, BTW


I think it was a good decision to take the commenting away from the post and just show the best comments underneath. It takes alot heaviness from BoingBoing articles and still allows the discussion, with better tools though.

(Why use Gravatar for the avatars? I still had a Wordpress account, but it’s annoying to have to manage your avatar somewhere else than in the profile settings.)

It’s convenient, and Discourse is planning to add native avatars as well for those who don’t use it.

Oh, no. Not again.

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Plus gravitar seems to be yet another one of those genius websites that just can’t get that one’s IP address does not always determine what language they want their page in. Every click means having to re-select the language. Puah!

One downside to a system which requires clicking and pageloading away from the original blog post is that for those of us in parts of the world where a fast internet connection isn’t going to happen, reading the full comments section like I have done for years now is probably going to go away from my life. Every jump is a tear shed in the third world. :confused:


Well, OK then. What day is rhomboid? Can we get cat and dog shapes for caturday and sundog, repsectively!

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Discourse is a JavaScript app, so it actually sends very little down over the wire.

Once you have the Discourse JavaScript “app” cached in your browser, it is far more efficient than traditional HTML/CSS server based application, because it’s only sipping down little chunks of JSON from the server to update the page, rather than reloading the entire shebang of a page every time you click.


Here’s my schedule for avatar shapes

:white_circle: :white_square: :monkey: :bathtub: :wedding: :thumbsup: :fries: :cat2: :dog2:

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ERR has a brilliant suggestion. Night theme would be great (but not necessary).

I like it. The one problem I have is that most of the BoingBoing post disappears when you try to comment. If you click on “Read the Rest”, you can’t post.

The workaround appears to be opening the post up in a different window so that you can refer back to it while your commenting.

Still, other than that, I like it.

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Originally, @ERR, we’d planned on making it old-timey green on black, perhaps even with a monospace font. Eventually it might be an option. And at the very least we can made a CSS-swap bookmarklet.


Sweet @beschizza that would remind me of my cisco switch days. I like the @ feature as well. Pretty nifty.

Your week is a tad longer than mine.

That thumb’s up should be a hammer. Even the ancients knew that Thursday is Thor’s day.

As forum platforms go, Discourse is a nice piece of software. I’m just never thrilled with using forums as comment systems, even though the distinction is fuzzy.