Create an easier Facebook / Signal interface to forum

Discourse is great forum software, but it requires many steps which make it difficult to engage most people who live in LaSalle.

One of our goals in the various games that make up Arcology (SourceCred, LLC members, discourse, meetup) is to have at least 50 monthly active members, those who find the project engaging or valuable enough to interact with it once a month, in order to be able to write bylaws and create a housing product that meets a wide cross section of needs and brings in a diverse skill set of contributors.

Namely, Discourse requires:

  • requires email verification
  • requires an email address / checking gmail
  • requires downloading multiple apps (gmail, fig) or having / using a computer
  • requires internet access or a data plan

Most people who have all of these facilities don’t need any help in becoming homeowners, and have less of a need to engage with Detroit Arcology.

Based on a text-based property tax lookup service and the Facebook group for Detroit Land Bank Owners and Contractors, many more Detroiters use text on their phones or already have Facebook accounts.

This task proposes for a software developer to use the Discourse API to allow creating identities tied to phone numbers and Facebook accounts, simplifying the verification process and bridging messages between discourse, a closed Facebook group, and a Signal summary that’s sent out say once a month with a list of all active discussions.

The Signal summary could contain links to a mobile web interface that passes a unique nonce to identify the user who wants to post, to avoid using and keeping another password.