For reasons that are still true, when we first discussed getting Discourse adopted by Mozilla we had planned to offer a “multi-site”, multiple instances of Discourse with an SSO offering and ideally some portal that allowed for searching across instances/managing categories across instances.
One issue with one Discourse is the lack of per category moderation. This represents a real loss of autonomy and functionality for communities if they were to migrate from a stand-alone discussion forum to Mozilla infra.
Another issue is that the more categories that are on an instance that are not relevant to many of the users on that instance the more degraded the search and suggestion features become, the more unusable the category listing pages become.
Would our communities be better served by independent or loosely connected Discourse instances than by a single Discourse instance?
I understand that one of the reasons multi-site was abandoned was that making the built-in search work across instances was prohibitive. I would suggest that we actually do not want to replace the built in search to search across instances, that users would be better served by only searching in the current instance with highly related categories. We would want to introduce an easy way to get back to the main page to switch instances and possibly have a global search, though the users that do work across many instances could rely on Google in the mean time.
Are there other features or functionality supporting staying on one instance that we should take into consideration?