I tried setting up Phabricator as intranet for my community choir / choir community. Phabricator's strengths in this respect are wiki, tasks, Herald rules/notifications and group management (even without nested groups). Also ease of upgrading. Weaknesses include a lack of generic (non-task, non-question, non-support-queue) non-realtime team interaction, i.e. posts and comments.
What we have right now for announcements is a Wordpress blog with member section. People regularly have announcements to make, some more important (artistic director announces concert details), some less important (somebody hosts a party or asks for a favour), some targeted towards a certain group (tenor sectional time/location). In general, we can't expect people to log in and pull the information on a timely basis, so everything gets pushed out via email. There's some Wordpress functionality that sends a notification to a set of members but people often get it wrong, because it's a separate step from blog post creation, and because the target group selection is super confusing. Comments generally get lost, although they are possible and sometimes used.
What I would like to see is a replacement that handles this in a better way. I tried Phame and found the following aspects lacking:
- It doesn't appear as possible Herald rule and doesn't offer auto-subscription (T9051), so I can't automatically send emails to people when a post is created, updated or gets commented on.
- Unlike Maniphest tasks, there's the Publish/Unpublish functionality that complicates things. For internal announcements, this doesn't seem necessary (and would be covered by email notifications when the content changes).
- No comments on the regular post view (not the live view). This is unfortunate because the comment system in Maniphest (and elsewehere) works really well and would work way better than Facebook comments, which I don't really want anyway but even if I did, the Facebook comments setting seems to get reset to "no comments" right away (excusable because of Prototype status).
- There's no way to make the text content (full or abridged) appear in a Dashboard panel, or even the number of comments.
So I'm thinking maybe Phame is not the right concept for this use case, because it's more outward-facing (we really don't need the "live blog on an externally accessible domain" functionality) and what I'm really looking for is a stripped-down copy of Maniphest, with added display options for panels, to avoid overwhelming my users with task options and terms that don't really apply for generic internal communication. Is this use case something you'd be open to supporting?
An alternative to this kind of approach would be a Facebook-style timeline (as Dashboard panel) where users can post and comment inline. That would likely change the style of posts (less content, more comments and links to other resources such as wiki), and come with a different set of challenges to set up (groups/visibility?). I think the former fits in better with Phabricator's existing framework though, and is also closer to a replacement for our current status quo.