Overview of team tags and team groups in the Edgeryders forum

Hi Team IT again,

Is there an overview of all available team tags somewhere? I was under the assumption every team has a team tag so you are able to easily address all of them together (also if you don’t know by heart who’s in which team), but if I type ‘@reef-’ above not many teams are showing up. Can you clarify:

  • which team tags exist
  • whether every team gets a team tag or not

Hello Nic, I assume you are talking about this forum and not Nextcloud. Since I find this discussion informative and not needing to be kept private, I am taking the liberty of transforming it into a public IT topic.

Tags vs. groups

In Discourse, tags are keywords attached to topics. They are prefixed by the # sign, for example reef-it . You add them to topics to make them more findable. In The Reef, we have a convention that teams assign a tag of the form reef-TEAMNAME to discussions that members of that team should be aware of. TEAMNAME is a single word: for example reef-finance, not reef-finance-and-legals.

Groups are “boxes” to which you can assign users. They are prefixed by the @ sign, for example @reef-it. You use them to send notifications (in a normal topic) or messages to the users in the group, without having to remembers the names of all group members. In The Reef, we have the convention that teams associate all their members to a group called reef-TEAMNAME, again with TEAMNAME a single word.

To find all groups, click on the hamburger menu next to your avatar and select Groups (direct link). You will find all groups used in Edgeryders, not just those of The Reef. To select the latter, type “reef” into the search box top right.

Adding tags is possible for any logged in user (see below). To add groups you need to be have content manager powers. If you want to add a group, let me know and I will give you the necessary access, or just let me or @manuelpueyo know what you want and we will do it for you.

Introduction to tags in The Reef

  • We started using tags them as a way to easily access the growing body of work of teams.
  • We prefix with reef- because we are hosted by the Edgeryders forum, whose users are, for the most part, not involved in The Reef, and we do not want to disturb their work, nor for our own workspace to be cluttered by theirs. For example, the tag finance existed before we started. So, we are calling our own tag reef-finance instead.
  • To assign a tag to a topic, simply type the tag in the rightmost box under the title of the topic (the leftmost one contains the category, or subforum). If you have editing rights on a topic (for example because you are its author) you can also assign tags after you have created it.

  • You can assign more than one tag to the same topic. And you should, for example when a discussion concerns more than one team.
  • Creating a new topic works the same way as assigning an existing one. For example, if you type reef-kitchen into the tags box and there is no such tag, Discourse creates one and assigns it to your topic.

Finding Reef-related tags

The best way find tags is via the Tags view.

  1. Click on the hamburger menu next to your avatar, then select Tags
  2. At the top of the tag page, select Sort by name by clicking on the word “name”. This gives you an alphabetically ordered list of all tags used in Edgeryders. Scroll to the list of tags begining in reef-.
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Correct. I Was taking about the forum. Thanks for the clarification.

FYI, I editted my previous post on TCM to be in line with the info above. See: bullet 5 under ’ As an individual Reefling’. If I misinterpreted anything, let me know how I can correct my mistake.

@alberto, I feel like I either must have misinterpreted something or some groups are not functioning in PMs. I can’t seem to address a PM to many groups that do exist according to the group overview. I tested:

  • reef-logistics
  • reef-finance
  • reef-comms

I’m assuming this is not intentional.

This is because whoever created those groups set their permissions so that only certain categories of forum users can message them. This is Logistics:


The reasoning here is to keep private messaging to a minimum for reasons of transparency and shared learning. I already complained against the “secrecy reflex” that drives people, even in The Reef, to make forum participation private by default. I believe this to be a mistake, and to deprive future cohousing builders of access to our hard-earned knowledge.

You can still mention those teams in a public topic, like this: @reef-logistics, and they will receive a notification of the mention in their mail.

That said, if you have a need to access direct messages to these groups, maybe the easiest is to make you a moderator.

I get your reasoning. From a conflict management perspective I do think we really need every Reefling to have the option to direct message any team.

Transparancy will always plead in favor of posting on the forum. A feeling of safety, lowering the threshold to speak up & share ideas will plead for having the option of PM’ing teams. I think there’s a beautiful compromise here.

Let’s create the option to PM a team while also making it very clear that everyone’s go-to should always be: post on the forum. (Like you have been doing, thanks for safeguarding transparency.) This means that if you direct message someone with a question / idea / whatever that ideally would have been posted on the forum, you should expect to get a reply along the lines of “Thanks for reach out. I think your question / idea / … has value for more than just us and really deserves a place on the forum. For this reason I want to make our conversation public. Do you see any sound reasons why I shouldn’t?” This ‘rule’ should just be made very clear to each team coordinator so that they can keep an eye on whether this is being upheld within their team.

As I’m speaking from a conflict management perspective, I would stress the importance to always ask consent before making a conversation public. You don’t necessarily know someone’s motivation for sending a PM instead of posting. Doing this without first getting consent can rub people the wrong way and discourage them from reaching out to you again. And more so: asking this question could give you very relevant info that can help improve people’s forum participation, but also tell us something about Reeflings’ confidence and feelings of (un)safety around posting publically.

I can further clarify if you want and give some examples, but in that case maybe this can just be a quick irl conversation.

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For the first part: done, now everyone can PM every team (hopefully I covered them all).

For the second part: I already insist on posting publicly. I will continue to do so as energy allows. In my experience with other groups, this is going to be a constant point of friction, but OK, for now it is not so bad that we can’t live with it.


thank you all for this super interesing post. let’s keep the posting as open as possible so that we avoid silos and let’s allow private conversations as well but only when strictly necesssary


I agree. This emphasis on posting publicly is important and it’s a message that should be recurring and brought by as many Reeflings as possible, not just Alberto. I will be keeping this in mind more myself too.

It’s natural for people who are finding their way, still unsure about our working methods or just insecure about how their question / idea might be received, to feel safer sending a PM rather than make a post. This way they feel less vulnerable, less exposed. Especially if they’re feeling like they should already know the info they are requesting. I’m happy we’re not ignoring this barrier to getting involved.

I really believe opening up the option for PMs to each team, can lower the threshold to ask questions. Once asked and confirmed as suited for the forum, they can (should!) be made public. This can show people their questions and ideas really have value and deserve a place on the forum, to not doubt themselves in the future. Hopefully questions and ideas people kept to themselves before, will this way be more easy to bring out into the open. And, if a couple of months down the line this turns out to not be the case and to actively hinder us, then let’s adress this as a group, draw conclusions together and readjust accordingly.