Banner and welcome thread feedback

Currently, every Discourse page has a header with the introduction, “This is the SourceCred communities home to play the SourceCred game”, linking to this post. Can we please reconsider and reword this? It suggests that this is a community for, like, some guild in an MMO. SourceCred can be a lighthearted and energetic community—we don’t have to conduct Serious Business Only—but what we’re trying to create and foster is first and foremost not a game.

For instance, we don’t want new community members’ reaction to their first impression to be, “goal: accumulate points”, but rather, “goal: determine whether this community’s vision resonates with me, and if so consider contributing to it at a meaningful level”.

I’ll fix the unambiguous grammar error unilaterally, but will entertain discussion for the framing change.

Aside from the exact contents of the banner, it’s a bit jarring to have such a large intrusion on every single page. Barely half of my 1080p screen remains for actual content below the banner, and the banner is only useful on at most the first visit. (I had the same complaint when the banner was just a screenshot of a cred graph, for what it’s worth, but haven’t voiced it until now.) Content like this makes sense for the home page or landing page.

(Feel free to redirect me if this discussion belongs somewhere else; I got here by clicking the giant banner.)

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We’ve been talking about SourceCred as a game/protocol for a while now, so I’m surprised to see this reaction. TBH I’m not quite sure what to say because the best way for people to start to understand and contribute to SourceCred is to start playing. Then they can dogfood the protocol, contribute to Initiatives, and provide feedback. The system should be designed so that people earn points by making meaningful contributions. If that’s not the case then we’re failing, but the only way to know is to try it out - thus the Credsperiment.

The banner only stays up as long as you want it to. If you click the X at the top right of the banner to close it out, it goes away. The banner is only up for users who are new to the site.

I think the “SourceCred as a game” metaphor is helpful, but it’s also ‘just’ a metaphor, as compared to being what SourceCred is. I think @wchargin has a good point that as a new user, having the entire opening line be “This is the home to play the SourceCred game” could be misleading.

I’m also sympathetic to the complain that the banner takes up a lot of space (and I find the “scroll within a sub-box” kind of inelegant. However, the target audience for this is new users, not us power users; if it’s slightly annoying once but helps new users orient, I think it’s worth it.

Here’s a proposal on a different banner that I think could accomplish the same purpose, and help oriented new users a bit more on what SourceCred is and how to participate.

Welcome to the SourceCred forums! SourceCred is a reputation protocol for open collaboration; you can think of it as a game where you play by contributing value the the community, and are rewarded by earning [cred] and [grain].

If you’d like to play with us, this forum is a great place to get started! The forum is integrated with SourceCred itself, so every post, reply, and :heart: flows cred. You can learn more about how SourceCred works and how to participate by reading [resources here](…link to welcome thread and more resources?) and you can say hello and introduce yourself [here](…make an introductions category?).

Once you’ve read this banner, you can press the ‘X’ to hide it permanently.

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Apropos of this discussion; I re-wrote some of the prose in SourceCred in 5 minutes to put a bit more emphasis on the “cred” of SourceCred, and use the game as a metaphor rather than saying SourceCred is a game.

Thanks for the feedback. Updated the Welcome thread accordingly.

Awesome! I re-wrote some of your re-write to simplify the language and add more emphasis on how Grain works.

As a new user, I have some thoughts:

  • Already sick of the banner myself, and tbh I barely read it even with how short it is.
  • The link in the banner just leads to a placeholder, so it’s currently not very helpful to newbs.
  • I think the banner is worth keeping if it is actually helpful to new people.
  • I like the idea of orienting towards communicating values to newcomers, it sounds like a good way to maintain community identity.
  • The spirit of @decentralion‘s rough draft above is good, but it’s still way too wordy.

So, while I also agree with @wchargin that the banner is annoying and perhaps doesn’t set an authentic tone, I also agree with @burrrata that it’s important to direct new people into getting involved so they can start learning, and with @decentralion that it’s valuable to have a way to catch newcomers and introduce them to the community.

I think the banner as a concept is worth keeping, but I’d love to see a banner that was concise, useful, and goes away after your first few visits.

As a newcomer (to the SC discussion, and to using discourse), my eyes pretty immediately jumped over the banner in favor of all the other stuff on the platform that grabbed my attention more urgently. However I’ve found myself really lacking an introduction, and while I know SC intimately because I’ve spent the last two years hanging out with Dandelion, I wasn’t sure how to get started when it came to engaging with the community.

So when someone new shows up, how do you catch them? Help them decide if SourceCred is something they could care about? Empower them to make contributions? The banner could really help with that, but how do you make the banner something that is useful and easy to engage with?

I’d suggest keeping it SUPER simple, something like this:


New to SourceCred? Check out these three key posts to get started:

  • Post about community values
  • Guide on how to start contributing
  • Post about SC History

We’re excited you’re here!


That way, in all the visual chaos of Discourse, they have something to latch onto and somewhere to start. But specifically a place that helps them identify if SourceCred is where they want to be.

Of course we’d then need to make those documents, but I think that having some key posts like the examples above would be a good way to orient new folks. Then the banner becomes simply a tool to help people get to that subtle information, instead of holding all the responsibility of a first introduction.

(But yeah, it should go away after a while or only exist on the homepage.)

What do y’all think of a intro banner that sticks around in some form, but is more concise and leads to important links that would be helpful to newcomers?


Awesome. We could actually do this really easily with a banner plugin rather than a globally pinned banner topic. It’s on the list of Discourse upgrades. Will try a different splash screen/banner/thing and then we can decide if that’s better and/or decide to try another one :slight_smile: