Discord/Discourse platform review

I have forgotten whether this is Discourse or Discord, but whichever it is I’m interested in what you think of it after 8-10 months of use and how you feel about it as community tool.

I still follow some of what Ton does, and watch a bit of what’s happening around Mastodon and the micropub thing and the universe of chat/collab/messaging. There seems to be a lot of overlap with things like Discourse, but I’m unable to place them in any sort of associative/relative mapping.

  • Public/Private
  • Encrypted/Open
  • Document library/No library
  • Annotation/No annotation
  • Editing/No editing

I’m still in a few fb social media groups that have tried to move off fb onto something else and failed. Members just don’t want to go. Someone’s always bitching about some little thing on whatever the “new” platform is - it’s too hard, too slow, too ugly, too whatever.

So I’m just curious how your general experience has gone with this.

Hi Terry.

There are two threads here I think: (1) the Discourse platform vs. other platforms, (2) the attempt to form a community.

In terms of Discourse as a platform I think it’s a winner. It’s not cheap but it’s well thought out and has a nice set of features. I don’t think I would have gone with anything else if I had my time again.

The attempt to form a community was, as I later discovered, misguided on its face. In the first place it’s all about me and my stuff — there is really no room for anyone else — and in the second place it’s me telling people what they need. Complete disaster and waste of time except in teaching me one way not to do this.

I’m moving all of my content across to a public Roam site (https://system.theartofnavigation.co.uk) where I am “working with the garage door up” from now on. Once that is complete I will be decommissioning this site and rethinking the whole proposition. That might be another Discourse site later (for example I am considering the notion of restarting as the “Software Founders Forum” with a different set of rules and purpose).


That’s about as good a summary as I’ve read regarding the inherent conflict between “leading” and spurring “community.”

Yeah there’s a real tension here between a community I imagine that could add so much value to the kinds of people that I work with and how it appears to them. I have fallen for the classic ‘build what you think they need’ rather than ‘discover what they want (and give them that to buy permission to give them what they need)’ fallacy.