Collaborate Better with Discussions

Product Updates GroupNews BlogEdition 004

More than mere comments, discussions make it simple to work with your whole team.


We've recently beefed up GroupNews stories with a wildly improved discussion section that your entire group can take part in. Got questions about the news you just read, or want to follow up and add some more context? No need to jump over to Slack, Teams, or Email. Kick off a discussion directly in the story instead. With user mentions, threaded replies, and the ability to attach files to your messages, you can get everything you need in one place.

More than Comments

You may be thinking "this is just blog post comments, right?"

Well, no. 

Traditional comment sections don't promote discussion. Their simplistic design encourages people to drop self-serving or even inflammatory drive-by comments on a post. Even when there are tools intended to mitigate bad behavior, like up/down voting individual comments, they don't work like they should. Bias and network effects can undermine them, pushing inaccurate or outdated comments to the top of the pile.

We designed GroupNews discussions to be a friendlier, more useful tool than that. Borrowing cues from messaging apps that many people know and love, we tuned discussions to encourage actual discourse. Here's how:

Anatomy of a GroupNews Discussion

One Discussion Per Story

By default, every story published on GroupNews has a discussion section. That way, it's always contextual and always relevant to the story.

Only Group Members Can Participate

Discussions are open to anyone in your Group who can view the story. Even when you publish news with worldwide visibility, only members of your Group can take part in the discussions. This way, no discussion message can be posted anonymously.


In your discussion messages, you can tag any members of your group to get their attention. As you may know from other applications, type @ followed by the first few letters of their name. You'll be able to select the group member you're looking for from the list that pops up, creating a mention. When you post your message, the people you tag will get notified.

Chronological Messages

Messages get displayed in the order in which they were posted. This way, you can always follow the entire discussion history. That means it's easy to come back later and find where you left off when the discussion continues.

Reply Threads

Every message in a story's discussion can be the jumping-off point for a reply thread. Use reply threads to ask follow-up questions and dig deeper into a message that someone posted. To keep things straightforward and easy to follow, we keep replies limited to one level deep. That means that you can only start reply threads to messages in the main discussion, not from a pre-existing reply thread.

File Attachments

Need to share a document or image with your group? No problem. You can attach all sorts of files directly to your discussion messages. When writing a message, either click the attachment button to select one or more files from your computer, or simply drag and drop the files directly into the new message composer. Your files will be displayed along with your message, and they'll even be scanned for viruses when you upload them, so you can be confident you're keeping your fellow group members safe.

Use them only where you need them

We think discussions are pretty great for keeping everyone on your team engaged and involved with your news. That said, if you are publishing content where a discussion isn't necessary, of course you can turn it off. While discussions are enabled by default on all new content you and your Group authors post, you can disable them so for an individual story in the story editor. Or, if you prefer, you can toggle them off by default for all the stories in a channel. The choice is yours.

If you're already in a GroupNews Group, and haven't yet tried out the new discussion section, give it a spin. If you're new to GroupNews, try it out today to see whether it works for you and your group. Either way, we'd love to hear what you think!

Photo by Volodymyr Hryshchenko on Unsplash