Michel Bauwens: Civilized Discourse Construction Kit

Advanced Cyber/IO, Architecture, Civil Society, Data, Design, Governance, Innovation, Knowledge, P2P / Panarchy, Software, Worth A Look
Michel Bauwens
Michel Bauwens

People are raving about this as a possible alternative command and control system for the public to use.

Civilized Discourse Construction Kit

Jeff Atwood

Coding Horror, February 5, 2013


After spending four solid years thinking of discussion as the established corrupt empire, and Stack Exchange as the scrappy rebel alliance, I began to wonder – what would it feel like to change sides? What if I became a champion of random, arbitrary discussion, of the very kind that I'd spent four years designing against and constantly lecturing users on the evil of?

I already built an X-Wing; could I build a better Tie Fighter?

Today we announce the launch of Discourse, a next-generation, 100% open source discussion platform built for the next decade of the Internet.


logo discourseThe goal of the company we formed, Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc., is exactly that – to raise the standard of civilized discourse on the Internet through seeding it with better discussion software:

  • 100% open source and free to the world, now and forever.
  • Feels great to use. It's fun.
  • Designed for hi-resolution tablets and advanced web browsers.
  • Built in moderation and governance systems that let discussion communities protect themselves from trolls, spammers, and bad actors – even without official moderators.

Our amazingly talented team has been working on Discourse for almost a year now, and although like any open source software it's never entirely done, we believe it is already a generation ahead of any other forum software we've used.

I greatly admire what WordPress did for the web; to say that we want to be the WordPress of forums is not a stretch at all. We're also serious about this eventually being a viable open-source business, in the mold of WordPress. And we're not the only people who believe in the mission: I'm proud to announce that we have initial venture capital funding from First Round, Greylock, and SV Angel. We're embarking on a five year mission to improve the fabric of the Internet, and we're just getting started. Let a million discussions bloom!

So now, when someone says to me …

You're so right! We need a place for community around our thing. What software should we use?

I can reply without hesitation.

And hopefully, so can you.

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