Community communication channels

Hi there,
The idea of this topic is to start discussing how can we improve our communication processes inside (and from outside) the community. Currently we have a number of tools: Slack, Discuss, Confluence, Github issues, Trello boards, Miro boards, Google docs, just to name a few. However, usage has never been formalized. Many times it’s confusing, specially for new users, where to make a comment or ask a question.

To start with something, let me summarize the most used tools and their characteristics:

  • Slack: Quick, near real time chat. Short and ephemeral conversations. Good to get urgent attention. Organized in channels. Allows personal private conversations. Notifications might be annoying and interrupting.
  • Discuss: Forum conversation. Mid term persistence. Organized in topics and subtopics. Posts usually live a few weeks, or up to a few months.
  • Confluence: Wiki like. Oriented to documents and pages. Long term persistence. Organized in spaces.
  • Github issues: Can track status, until arriving to a completion. Can be linked to code change.
  • Trello or Github projects: Organize issues in a Kanban-like board
  • Miro boards: Free and collaborative, unstructured. Ideal for brainstormings
  • Google docs: Document editor

This is a small list of typical communication needs:

  • Report a bug
  • Report a security issue
  • Share a finding with others
  • Make a simple technical question
  • Share a tip
  • Propose a new feature or enhancement
  • Ask for help for operations
  • Ask for help for installation
  • Ask for help for course authoring
  • etc.

And, a list of most frequent personas:

  • Learner
  • Course author
  • Course staff
  • System administrator
  • Open edX developer

Please feel free to enrich and improve these lists. Later on we can try to map personas to communication needs, and then to communication channels and develop a clear charter so anyone can know where to go.


Hello, I’ve only had interactions with slack and discuss so based on my personal experience I’d say following

  • Report a bug // Something like could be setup ?
  • Report a security issue // Like edx is using, we can also put up something like
  • Share a finding with others // Discuss / Slack
  • Make a simple technical question// Discuss
  • Share a tip// Discuss /Slack
  • Propose a new feature or enhancement// Discuss/ Slack
  • Ask for help for operations // Discuss Devops channel
  • Ask for help for installation // Discuss Devops channel
  • Ask for help for course authoring // Discuss Course authoring channel

As for the personas we already have separated docs.

@andres Thanks for leading this effort! And definitely +1 to regrouping/refactoring tools, to have a clearer unique choice for each type of communication need. :+1:

@andres great overview. Thank you.

Seeking and giving advice are central to effective collaboration.

SLACK and DISCUSS should be the main areas of interaction between (new) users. Ask, report, share, get in touch, update people, activity tracking

CONFLUENCE and GITHUB: are the areas for people who already have more ideas about Open edX. A technical place

TRELLO and MIRO Board and Google docs are the areas for working groups

and this aggregator can be interesting: the dashboard aggregates community data from across the Open edX project.