~/Simon's Blog ❯

That's a little much Discord you have there

One thing that is an immediate turn-off for me is communities as most often seen on Discord: Hundreds of channels, strict rules about talking only in the correct ones, yet no real activity spread out to that many channels.

It's this phenomenon that started on Discord and has since spread to other platforms which have similar features to compartmentalize communities, and I'm sick of it.

If you're not familiar with what I'm talking about, or want more clarification, this screenshot does it well: A screenshot of the PaperMC discord server, showing a red box around a tab that says 'Browse Channels: 64'

As you can see, even projects like PaperMC have nearly 100 channels many of them not even being accessible anymore (archived). And this compartmentalization - putting everything into it's own little category - seems good at first for organization, but it hurts the community in the long run.

Conversations never move between channels. If a conversation starts in #General of some Open-Source project but it goes offtopic, upon being told to go to #Off-Topic the conversation usually just stops. With On/Off-Topic this is often fine, but especially Discord servers nowadays have many more channels than just off- and on-topic. This leads to many topics that you want to talk about being redirected to other channels, killing the conversation and stifling creativity and interaction in communities.

It has become so bad that I've started to call it "Discording", turning Discord into a verb to describe the practice of this super heavy categorization.

Additionally you will have tons of roles that try to manage all these channels, or on Discord you may have their First-Time-Setup features, to ask for a users' preferences. Although this is neat, often you still have a large amount of unnecessary channels added by default.

And then you still need admins which can look over this huge amount of channels, all at once, without messing up. This can not only get tiring, but is also harder than keeping the amount of channels low.

If there is one thing to take away from this short post, please keep your communities simple.

For the sake of your members but also your admins, it's easier to have a small amount of channels. Additionally, threading exists on many platforms now which allows users to split out into other topics without leaving the channel or breaking the conversation.

Thanks for reading! I wish you a good rest of the day, evening, night, or whatever other time you're reading this!

#community #discord #internet #social media