Hello. I am an admin on the Creepypasta Wiki. About four months ago now, we adopted the Discussions feature and are continuing to have issues with it.
99% of the users who post in our Discussions come from the Fandom app rather than the wiki itself. We are fine with this, to be clear, but it does cause some issues. The issues stem from two main problems with the feature: the lack of a direct interface with the wiki itself, and the fact that there are limited options for getting people's attention in Discussions.
To start with, the default link to the Discussions rules is not very conspicuous, and even less so when using the app where it's under a tab that you have to open. In addition, since there is still no pin/sticky feature, we can't pin a rules post. We have reason to believe the majority of our Discussions community never even see the rules.
In addition, we are having trouble getting the attention of specific problem users. Our standard way of notifying users that they have broken rules on the wiki is to leave messages on their talk page, but as far as we know there is no way that users are notified of talk pages messages on the app.
We have tried locking offending posts with notices that the post is in violation and that continuing to break the rules will result in a temp ban, but the only way for that to work is if the poster sees that this has been done.
We have recently created a special disciplinary thread specifically for pinging users with notices when they have broken the rules, but this may yield limited results as well.
Many of the users in our Discussions seem oblivious to the fact that there is even a wiki beyond the Discussions app. We recently had one user ask if there was a place he could read a lot of creepypasta, a database for creepypasta stories all in one place. Again, we're the Creepypasta Wiki.
Another thing I've discovered through test banning myself is that when users are banned, they aren't notified that they are banned when they try to post in Discussions. They just get a notification saying their post couldn't be saved, and they probably think the issue is a system error then.
I'd like to close by suggesting that the following changes be made to Discussions:
1. The ability for DMs and admins to pin posts.
2. Greater visibility for the rules page.
3. More interface between Discussions and the wiki itself, particularly on the Fandom App where there is currently next to none.
4. Automatically notify app users if someone has messaged their talk page/message wall, or at least make the push notification for it visible in Discussions as well as the wiki.
Or, alternatively, create an analogue to message walls specifically for Discussions, since Discussions users already have parallel profile pages anyway.
5. A mass notification specific to Discussions. We are aware of the Announcements feature, but since on our wiki at least the main wiki community and the Discussions community are completely bifurcated, I believe we would benefit more from a Discussions-specific mass notice system.
6. A clearer message telling banned users that the reason they can't post is because they are banned, so that they don't just assume the problem is a system error.
7. Allow threads to be bumped by recent posts. I realize this can be abused, but it could prevent users from asking the same questions over and over as well as create a more vibrant community in Discussions since popular posts wouldn't disappear as quickly.
With the announcement that the old wiki forums will be removed by January 2019 at the latest, Discussions are currently being promoted by staff as the best alternative. From our perspective, Discussions are not a viable place to conduct serious wiki business for several reasons:
1. First, like I said, our Discussions community is not our own wiki community but instead a group of users brought in by the Fandom App. These users are totally disconnected from the goings-on and culture of our wiki and we have enough trouble just policing the activities of this ever-growing pool of outsiders.
2. Two of our most important forum boards are Writers' Workshop and Writers' Showcase.
Writers' Workshop allows wiki users to post story drafts for critique from their peers, while Writers' Showcase serves as a place for users to promote their finished stories. In both cases such functions would not thrive on Discussions due to the sheer volume of daily posting there: posts in those categories would be immediately buried, as well as the fact that Discussions posts do not show up in the RA feed, which is essential to getting the attention of fellow wiki writers.
3. The tag/category system is infrequently and inconsistently used in our Discussions, and we would have to spend tremendous amounts of sysop energy to force people to use them correctly if we were to rely on the system to provide anything close to the kind of feed segregation that having separate forum boards provides. Furthermore, you have to scroll up to the filter selection to even be able to sort posts based on category, since there is no category link on a post itself.
We will instead be opting to use DPL forums for our former forum functions, and allowing our Discussions to remain its own self-segregated community.