Before I begin, I am well aware that this feature is still a work-in-progress. These are just some helpful ideas that wikia may or may not have already thought of. :3
Discussions, if you've not heard, are a feature which is soon going to soon replace Forums. Check out the blog post:
Basically, this replacement is not very liked by people outside of Wikia. Since the blog is getting, like, really full and this is going to be a long post, I felt a separate blog post is sort of due. :3
Why Discussions is being Implemented
Well, apparently, there's a few reasons why Discussions is going to replace Forums, and honestly, the original post didn't do such a good job of explaining it, at least in my opinion. The main problem is, as quoted from a comment by @BertH (I don't know how to link Blog Post comments :P):
|“||It's clear that a primary point of anxiety is the retirement of the current Forum feature. Many have said that it's working "just fine" but the fact of the matter is -- it's not. There are some architectural decisions that were part of Forum that prohibit us from easily addressing the biggest issues: inaccessibility from Search and mobile compatibility. To truly address these we would need to rebuild it from the ground up. And so, we are -- as Discussions.||”|
The first reason - inaccessibility from search - is one I actually quite enjoy the concept of. I often have to hunt for a thread among the depths of Special:Forum. With this, I'll use the Wikia Search a lot more. So, at least Discussions have one thing going for it.
I honestly couldn't care less about Mobile compatibility, considering I'm essentially always on PC.
And, honestly - this isn't a problem at all. If you want to make a feature better, then that's fine, and if you want to replace a feature, that's fine too - under one condition. The community as stands will not take a feature that is worse than the feature it replaces. That is to say, if you implement discussions, it needs to be equal or greater than Forum.
How to Improve Discussions
Again, I refer to the top line: If these features are already planned by Wikia, I'm sorry to bring them up again :3
In trying to make the forums more mobile-friendly, I feel that a lot of the very PC-friendly features have sort of been removed. Here's my test page for features I use a lot:
Discussions, as it stands, is not an adequate replacement for Forums. Wikia, I sort of support your decision, but Discussions is not finished yet. As it stands, several features need to be added/removed/fixed:
Isolation from Host Wiki
This is my main problem with Discussions. There isn't a link anywhere to the actual Wiki you're using; this makes no sense!
This little Icon, which presently serves little-to-no purpose:
This could be a link to the original wiki.
I like this idea:
But why isn't it on every page?
A bit of context here, I come from the FNaF Wiki. On that wiki, we have to access the articles all the time, usually to get game quotes and images, but also for simple points of clarification about stuff (I won't go into more detail for time's sake, you get the point though).
The Wiki-Navigation would also be useful to have somewhere on the page (this thing, for those that don't know:)
If any of these things end up in the final product, I will be infinitely more grateful; that was one of my main cons to using this service.
Source Code not Working
I almost know for certain Wikia will fix this, and this has also already been brought up a lot already, so I won't dwell on this for too long.
Pretty much none of Wikia's source works here. I use this daily in threads and would appreciate it carrying over into Discussions.
But, again, I trust Wikia is already working on it.
I tried this and got a bit mad about how this new linking system works.
Basically, this sort of adds on to the "Source Code" section above; the links, for one, aren't working. However, direct links are, and in a way I personally don't agree with:
I like the idea of having links like this exist, but defaulting to this is not the right answer IMO. There should be some sort of code for doing this, like a "<thumbnail></thumbnail>" type thing (I don't even know if this is possible, that was just an example :P). I often have to link multiple threads at a time, I don't know... I just think this is a good idea for those that need to use it, but not for everyone to use at all times.
The ability to quote others' posts in Forum is, quite honestly, my favorite part of Forum. If I can't do that here, then it's just not the same. I'm sure many others would agree with me on this note that in a long discussion, an inability to quote specific responses is really going to take its toll.
I don't know how I forgot about this, but I really like the present notification system and if that could be re-implemented then I think we'd enjoy that a lot :3
Overall, my opinion
Discussions is not a bad idea. I think the community may be overreacting a little bit, because honestly from what I've seen, it's not that different from Forums. It's all just arranged differently. I'm sure everyone will eventually get used to it if this decision goes through.
That being said, if Wikia doesn't do something about Discussions' problems (Again, I know you're still working on it, so I won't say anything too drastic yet) then we may have a problem.
Either way, I'm getting pretty excited to see how this all plays out. Thanks for reading, everyone, and I hope you agree with much of what I said.
Again, I know it's a WIP, so please try to not comment too much about it.