Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

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Matt
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Matt »

I've never used Discord as anything more than multimedia IRC/a poorly implemented AIM replacement and I've never had problems with the UI that weren't just the browser tab slowing down and crashing.

Trying to do anything long-form that needs to be quickly searchable, though? I literally can't imagine why people would think to do that, except for the occasional time they might forget to write something down properly because they didn't think they'd be referring to it in the future.

In my view, searching for anything posted to Discord from more than day or two ago should be considered an exceptional bonus - "oh good it's still there, better copypaste this somewhere safe!"
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by luciusDXL »

I have found that most people don't want to use forums anymore for whatever reason. When starting up TFE (The Force Engine), I had the website, forums, and GitHub. Very few were interested in the forums and someone asked about a Discord server and once I set it up... that is what everyone uses. I ask people to post bugs on the forum or GitHub otherwise they may be lost and never addressed - which they do (I think people, in general, can easily see the forums are superior for this purpose). But for pretty much everything else they prefer Discord. I'm not entirely sure why forums "went out of style" so thoroughly, they are still my personal preference.

As a chat program Discord is fine. As a way of doing group calls with or without video, it's fine. As a forum replacement, it's pretty bad but insanely popular.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Caligari87 »

Instant gratification plays into it a lot.

Credit where it's due, Discord is pretty slick at what it does if I'm being completely honest. It takes the typical clunky old chatroom experience and polishes it up quite nicely. It has lots of cool features that make real-time interaction very satisfying and fun.

Problem is that it's too fun. It's become the dominant mode of communication for communities because people want immediate feedback. They want to pop into the server for their favorite game and ask "How do I kill the cyberdemon?" because having someone immediately reply "shoot it until it dies!" is way more engaging and faux-social and dopamine-driven than reading a wiki, or doing a google search, or (god forbid!) posting on a board or comment section somewhere and needing to wait. Like, you can't even see if someone is online and replying!? How can you possibly know if anyone's going to help!!?

So because it becomes the dominant social channel, it also automatically becomes the one-stop-shop for everything else. Why leave discord if someone can repost the instructions for the medikit tool or the doorbuster on-demand? That's just silly!

The sad part is, if done properly it could be viable. There's platforms like Guilded.gg, where of course the dominant feature is a real-time text and voice and video chat for communities, but they also integrate things like wiki pages and calendars and forums(!) directly into the client service so it can actually be a one-stop-shop for everything a community needs.

Unfortunately, it seems Discord cornered the market first. I have hopes that maybe someday we'll see a true "next-generation" communication platform which brings all these disparate communication and documentation concepts together under one roof with the possibility of self-hosting an open-source instance, but it's probably a while down the road.

8-)
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Enjay »

Interesting. Your "pretty slick at what it does" is my "impenetrable mess of links and options that never do what I expect them to". ;)

But I do know that the best pro tip for the cyberdemon is to shoot it until it dies. :biggrin:
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by sinisterseed »

Can't really disagree with the points made thus far. Discord does have its issues and I've similarly experienced most of them, but I think Caligari hit the nail on its head with his point about instant gratification.

I can't deny that that is definitely one of the main sources of its appeal, and just sitting down and have a chat with some friends or in a server is nice - which is what it was made for at its core, it's a social platform after all. But for anything else more serious, such as development stuff, where you have to keep a close track of things, that's where it just completely crashes. I've seen attempts at using rooms for bug reports specifically, for instance, and I've no idea how the staff isn't overwhelmed due to how everything turns into an impenetrable wall of screenshots and text, even if you pin said content, but that's just as bad, it's just more focused now.

And the social aspect has its drawbacks, obviously. Sure beats some other platforms, but joining a server where there's thousands or tens of thousands of members and dozens are active simultaneously, often in multiple rooms? That's a nice sensory overload right there, which in turn may even lead to stress as you start developing a desire for "having to stay up to date with everything" over time. Not enough stress in your daily life? Here's some more, for absolutely free, because of that post or comment you missed in the thousands of lines of text that came through since you left (and that, some 20mins ago). Trying to catch up with anything you missed in more than one day is an utterly futile endeavor.

So I'd say it has its purpose if you use it well, and for what it was mainly designed for, but if you don't and try turning it into something else, you're in for a rough time. For anything demanding more, or long-term attention, forums will always be superior, and have the benefit of being able to consume the content at your own pace too.
Last edited by sinisterseed on Sat Jun 18, 2022 5:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by nova++ »

sinisterseed wrote: And the social aspect has its drawbacks, obviously. Sure beats some other platforms, but joining a server where there's thousands or tens of thousands of members and dozens are active simultaneously, often in multiple rooms? That's a nice sensory overload right there, which in turn may even lead to stress as you start developing a desire of "having to stay up with everything" in time. Not enough stress in your life? Here's some more, for absolutely free, because of that post or comment you missed in the thousands of lines of text that came through since you left (some 20mins ago). Trying to catch up with anything you missed in more than one day is an utterly futile endeavor.
Yeah... I don't know how people can handle that. It's extremely distressing for me and I can just barely manage the two low-activity servers I'm in as it is...
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Gez »

You've gotta let go of your OCD tendencies and forget all about the very idea of "catching up". Inane banter platforms like IRC or Discord are not made for that.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Caligari87 »

The sensory overload is real. At one point I had 40+ servers I was in. I was active in most of them, and an admin / moderator in about a dozen. About this time last year I completely burned out. I was anxious and distressed and depressed and overwhelmed and frustrated and ANGRY all the time. So angry. Like deeply physically simmering RAGE constantly, when I wasn't having a panic attack.

I ended up taking several months logged out from all social media, very very slowly filtering back in with my "exposure" much reduced on all fronts. For Discord, I reduced my servers from 40 to 20 to 15, and now to 10, of which more than half are muted and hidden, and only 1 I have any kind of administrative role (ZDoom), and soft trusted moderator roles in 2 of the others.

But it's still hard. I still find myself compulsively opening discord and chasing every unread message. If there's no activity in the 3-ish servers I keep unmuted, I start scrolling through the muted ones manually like a crackhead trawling for a crumb of smack, looking for any tidbits I may have missed. I know it's addictive and unhealthy, and yet I can't quite disconnect completely because I still have deep friends and duty connections there.

It's insidious.

I truly feel Social Media in its modern incarnation is absolutely a blight on society and someday we're going to look at Web 2.0 the same way we look at lead pipes and arsenic insulation. And yet, for some reason we can't function without it.

8-)
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by sinisterseed »

Same here fam, that's the main reason why I avoid joining too many servers in the first place, because in the way social media is designed in the first place, it wants our attention all the time. Got bored? Sure, join a few servers, subscribe to a dozen channels, like or follow hundreds of pages with relevant interests to you personally and turn into a zombie immediately afterwards, as our natural impulse pushes us into wanting to read everything, just to please our subconscious that "Yes, I've seen all the relevant stuff, now leave me be." Then, inevitably experience exactly what you went through - constant anger, frustration, and inevitable depression (damn, that sounds too catchy). And it gets way worse from that point on, as another thing it teaches is comparing lives, something I've been conditioned to do since the way I was born. It's... tiring, to put it very nicely, to get overwhelmed by feelings of self-contempt that way, too. Even the cool and wholesome stuff gets depressing that way, because it acts as a reminder about what you're missing, not having.

It's toxic and highly addicting, and we damn sure enjoy it either way most of the time, since no matter how lonely we may be, we crave at least a minimal level of interaction, regardless of how it might come to us. This is why I'm limiting my number of servers to as low as possible. I think I'm in like, maybe 4 currently, and I intend to keep it that way for both my sanity and peace. There was a time when I would have wanted to mod one, too - on a similar note, I used to be a forum administrator back in high school after all, and I must confess it actually did teach me some things about running things and keeping them under control, and finding ways to attract new members, besides having some actual responsibilities and learning how to work as a team. People thinking moderation is an easy task and all you have to do is "policing users" are wholly missing the point... But these days are long gone, I work three shifts and come back home very tired on some days, the last thing I need after coming home is doing *more* work, 'cept this time it's volunteer. I miss having that kind of free time, but then, I never was good at managing my time anyway, so I'd find a way to waste it anyhow.

Coming back on topic, I also don't like joining servers just to keep the member count high. I never understood lurkers who join places just to lurk everywhere, that's not helping anyone and certainly not themselves. It's also extremely jading to always see the same few people around all the time, of the 1000 members, perhaps 20 being regulars, and the rest, lurkers 24/7. Small ones with some activity but nothing extreme is what I'm looking for, that way digesting the contents is not just much more manageable, but I can interact to some extent, too.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Scripten »

sinisterseed wrote:Coming back on topic, I also don't like joining servers just to keep the member count high. I never understood lurkers who join places just to lurk everywhere, that's not helping anyone and certainly not themselves. It's also extremely jading to always see the same few people around all the time, of the 1000 members, perhaps 20 being regulars, and the rest, lurkers 24/7. Small ones with some activity but nothing extreme is what I'm looking for, that way digesting the contents is not just much more manageable, but I can interact to some extent, too.
Speaking as a lurker, most of the reason I lurk is because I just don't have a lot to say and I don't like to talk unless there's a point to it. I do like having updates to things I care about, though, and Discord can often be the only source for such updates. On a more personal note, I've also recently discovered that I have ADHD and that leads to various Discord-unfriendly tendencies, such as feeling anxious about coming back to places you've forgotten about for months and rejection sensitivity when certain things are not responded to (all personal issues, but they do make Discord more difficult).

But I do get your points! Unfortunately one of those tough situations where there probably isn't a good solution.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by 22alpha22 »

Caligari87 wrote:They want to pop into the server for their favorite game and ask "How do I kill the cyberdemon?" because having someone immediately reply "shoot it until it dies!" is way more engaging and faux-social and dopamine-driven than reading a wiki, or doing a google search, or (god forbid!) posting on a board or comment section somewhere and needing to wait. Like, you can't even see if someone is online and replying!? How can you possibly know if anyone's going to help!!?
You really nailed it here. I've never used discord, I really don't want an application that has essentially unlimited access to my machine or so I've heard, however I've been more and more tempted to try lately. I visit various niche gaming forums for games that I mod for, ZDoom forums obviously included, usually to ask questions related to something that I'm having trouble with and it gets rather frustrating waiting days wondering if anyone is even going to reply let alone offer any useful help.

I'm a rather patient person, I have to be, things in life have never come quickly or easily to me, but knowing I can probably get the answers I need or least someone to respond in mere minutes or less is very, very tempting I must say.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Rachael »

22alpha22 wrote: You really nailed it here. I've never used discord, I really don't want an application that has essentially unlimited access to my machine or so I've heard, however I've been more and more tempted to try lately. I visit various niche gaming forums for games that I mod for, ZDoom forums obviously included, usually to ask questions related to something that I'm having trouble with and it gets rather frustrating waiting days wondering if anyone is even going to reply let alone offer any useful help.
Installing Discord is actually optional to using it.

Point your browser here: https://discord.com/app/

All you need to do is create an account, and you can create a burner email if you're paranoid enough, but I've never gotten spam at the one I use.

If you use it as a browser app full time I would recommend using one of the Chromium-based ones (Chrome, Brave, Edge, Opera, et al) since they have the option to run the site as an app which is very convenient (Basically, as a browser window without any widgets, still imposes all the restrictions of a regular browser), plus it is developed on Chromium anyhow.
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Matt »

What's the advantage to running it as an app?
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Caligari87 »

Slightly better OS integration mainly. For example minimizing to the system tray to stay running in the background for notifications, or autostarting on boot. It also seems to run sliiiightly better, likely due to running on stripped-down browser engine that only does what they need. I think a few features need the standalone client but I can't think what they are off the top of my head.

Interface-wise though it's otherwise mostly identical.

8-)
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Re: Discord - how on Earth do you do it?

Post by Graf Zahl »

I consider the higher security of running it in a browser far more important.

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