On Discord and Community


I enjoy Discord as a supplement to a community but I absolutely hate it for anything else. Discord communities have the memory of a goldfish. It’s extremely frustrating to pump energy into it when it mostly goes into a black hole. twitter.com/ohseafarer/sta…

I love pumping energy into an online community. It spins up a flywheel and pulls in others. I’ll spend months doing Stack Overflow-style stints on forums or writing seed articles for Wikis. It’s great to help one person in one moment on a Discord, but it rarely goes further.

Being active, positive, and high value in a community live chat can be a big boon! It sets tone and reputation, and is an act of real community leadership. And there’s definitely a role for ephemeral communication in many communities.

Public web forums, wikis, and blogs record the history of a community and give everyone something to build on. It’s a better use of crowd wisdom and allows many people to have a lasting impact with reasonable effort.

I’d actually give Twitter a middling grade in this regard. Tweets last days due to streams and rec algos, but don’t really have the visibility to last longer. I see an old tweet when the author forcibly re-promotes it, or a villain takes it out of context to damage the author.

(Originally posted to Twitter on April 25, 2022. It received 4 likes.)