Chief Delphi for teams?

So I had a (crazy) idea the other day about team communication - How hard would it be to setup a version of Chief Delphi on a team website for internal team communication? Chief Delphi does a lot that makes it an excellent communication platform. Topics are easily visible and (kindof) easy to search for. They are organized by category, can be pinned to the top (i think?), can be made into wikis, can have useful features like polls, and, most importantly, links, pictures, documents and ultimately ideas are easily shared. The biggest advantage this would give over something like slack is it is not hard to understand how to use. For slack, there is a lot to learn there is a learning curve and it is not easy to get some mentors and freshmen comfortable using it. Lots of team members are already comfortable with chief delphi, so it would be awesome if the team communication platform looked the same.

The way this would have to work would be through a login from a team’s website, which would give access to the team’s “chief delphi.” It would also be cool to be able to auto email team members like chief delphi does.

Any thoughts on how hard this would be to get working? is it even possible?

So you want a discourse site for your team?


This is the platform that CD currently uses.


Sounds like it. Didn’t know that is what it is. Problem is I know nothing about websites and how they are set up. Would we just need to install it onto our servers?

Take a read through there, maybe reach out to the company and ask what it would take to set up a site for your team. They would know better than almost anyone here.


Best answer so far.

However, having run forums in the past for low-three-digit communities, I have to ask what a forum is going to do for you that a team GroupMe/Slack/Discord combined with a file sharing platform won’t. We made a lot of accounts on those communities and it was still difficult to get traction.


Our team has been using a self hosted forum since 2013. Works pretty good. I’d recommend it.

The software we are using however is a bit dated so I’ve been advocating we upgrade to discourse this off season.

Our team had a forum (not using Discourse, but something sort of similar) that was very active from 2007 to 2009 or so. Then it kind of went away…something about the students who knew how to run it, graduating.

That was before the current crop of online collaboration tools were around.

I wonder if it would be possible to get all the students on (any) team to use something like this today? :slight_smile:

Don’t want to derail the thread too much, but I’ve never understood what are you paying for in Discourse. Is it only for hosting? Because the software itself is open source.

That’s how I read it, plus a bit of support.

Reading down the page also discusses discounts (50% non profit, 85% educational), and a cloud option ($99 one time + $5/month for the cloud), and a link to directions for hosting on your own server at no cost.


I’m repeating the best advice that was given to me:
Find a platform that fits your team’s needs and budget.
You can usually explore each platform for a limited period of time free of charge.

We use slack pretty extensively.


A more affordable option may to buy a Docker-compatible linux VPS (KVM, or newer OpenVZ version) or dedicated server, then self-host Discourse yourself. There is no charge from Discourse, you only have to pay for the server and maybe a domain name if you choose. Some good providers I’ve personally used are,, and I’ll be willing to help setup if you need assistance.

We already have a website, so I am trying to figure out how that is hosted and setup (I would guess it is on school servers). Could we add discourse as a part of an already setup website? Current thoughts are to have a login on the website and one of the headers of the website to link to the discourse… don’t know how feasible that is.

edit: it is a wordpress account. Is adding discourse feasible?

If it’s hosted on Wordpress’s servers, I don’t believe there is a way to also host Discourse. There are plugins to integrate Wordpress with Discourse but they don’t actually host Discourse, they only link a Wordpress page to a Discourse instance.

Similar to Discourse, Wordpress can be self-hosted. You could have both run on a linux server. Or keep your Wordpress hosting, and buy another server for Discourse.

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Although this seems interesting, I’m curious as to how well this really fits the needs of the problem you’re trying to solve. As far a slack goes, it’s a messaging platform for communication and it does that pretty well. I couldn’t really see discourse being used unless you had a significant number of people on your team simply being used as a resource pool; it’s more difficult to have back-and-forth conversations and is more for answering questions(which may be what you need, I don’t know). I’m interested to see how this goes and what you end up using it for.

Yeah we are trying to solve three problems: slack is not easy to learn and mentors tend to not use it. The mentors use email because they are used to it and they can easily go back (search for) and read conversations. This leads to super long email chains (normally >20, sometimes >50 emails) where things are hidden in each reply and conversations go in multiple different directions. Categories, splitting topics, wikis, pinned topics etc can help solve this problem. Finally, we want a way that makes it easier to share pictures, videos, and documents (especially in the context of designs).

Where I think discourse might shine is in this idea: for projects all links and pictures of all of the referenced designs can be added to a single topic and people can give feedback and ideas or ask questions. These topics can also serve as records for the project in the future. I really don’t know if discourse will be the solution, but we will probably try it.

Maybe this is just me, but what is hard to learn about slack? I understand that moving to a new platform can be difficult(as @Billfred mentioned) , but I don’t see anything about Slack that is particularly hard to understand/use. I might lean towards Discord as our Slack use has skyrocketed in the past year and we’ve gone from having about 6k messages in the three years before that to posting over 20k messages in the past year alone(the free version of slack only keeps the 10k most recent messages). But, again, I almost think it would be more trouble to set up a hosted machine to run the server and all and then, on top of that, get people to use it.

I agree. My team switched to Slack about 1.5 years ago, and I don’t think any mentors had serious problems. Obviously it is a change and takes some effort at the start, but it is not difficult at all.

Some suggestions:

  • use lots of “channels”. Basically this keeps the topics separate. Not much different than Discourse’s threads, although Slack channels are typically more long term.
  • Slack is quite good with displaying pictures, links etc. I would not recommend it for long term storage, just because it is not designed for it.

BTW Slack is pretty generous with the free version for non-profits, so teams should ask.


2702 has an effective archive of just about every design decision going back to 2013, all searchable, everything is there. Instant messaging is very useful for some things, but it can’t be used in any wiki-like capacity

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