Forum upgrade?


February 21, 2022, 10:51 PM

Has the team behind the forum side of the website ever discussed moving things to a more modern platform like Discord?  For one professional society I am in, an unofficial discord server has taken the place of the website forum (now almost entirely abandoned).  Since moving to discord, that society has seen a drastic increase in post frequency and member collaborations.  Somehow posting to discord comes across as more informal discussions compared to a forum and I guess its why it has become so popular.  Mahalo My Dude is the only “bike” discord server I’m on, though its not a perfect example.  You could almost perfectly replicate all forum boards in the hierarchy of channels and channel categories built into a discord server.  Plus its all free.

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Renegade Rick
Webmaster
Administrator

February 22, 2022, 05:58 AM

Hi Illirem,

Thanks for the feedback. I agree that this forum is little used for discussion today. It's current primary purpose is to create a place for content creation that is then surfaced to our news and trail conditions pages and syndicated out to Facebook.

I'm sure Discord works well for your group, and could work for CORP too. But I don't think the issue is not having options. I think the issue is that there are too many options and that the communications landscape is fragmented.

Because of this fragmentation I think it's hard to gain critical mass in any one area and that's the crux of it all. Some use Facebook, some don't/won't, some use Twitter, Reddit, Slack, and so on. Any conversation that happens in any of these systems is only available to users of these systems and does not meet the objective of widespread open communication. Instead, it contributes to the fragmentation.

I'm pretty sure we aren't looking for another place to put our content. We want one place to keep it so everyone can access it. Today's answer is the web and this website which is usable by anyone.

I have dreams of this website being a cross platform hub. A news post happens on this site. It's syndicated out to the socials. Any replies are harvested, reposted on the web and then re-syndicated back out to the socials. It would be a way that anyone could interact on the platform of their choice, uniting the community instead of fragmenting it. And it would be a huge effort.

Until that happens, Discord, and everything else is just another place to keep up to date, while our website remains a common core accessible to anyone.

Please share more on these ideas. I'd like to hear about why Discord is the one platform to rule them all, or why my thinking is faulty on the matter. If nothing else, it will get our post count up.

;D

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February 22, 2022, 09:10 AM

Hi Rick,

Your thoughtful input is appreciated!

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Until that happens, Discord, and everything else is just another place to keep up to date, while our website remains a common core accessible to anyone.

For me, this is a critical benefit. Over the past few years I have witnessed many organizations move to proprietary platforms, whether "open" or not, to the detriment of some of their constituents.  For me, and perhaps others, it is not worth participating, if I/we have to  relinquish privacy and becoming a platform's product. In the past and for the future, organizations that move to social network platforms, as their primary communication methodology, cease to be of value to me. Please retain the existing, web-based forum, as the central, primary online communication method. Thanks for all the good work.

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March 17, 2022, 03:29 PM

The big challenge in this is that while it is very difficult to distribute information to many platforms, it is equally difficult to receive information on many platforms. Personally I use Discord every single day and think it's a great platform so I would love to see this forum on that because it would completely remove a place on the internet i need to go to to get information, but I realize that benefit does not exist for people who don't already use the platform. It's not really a problem that has a solution.
I will say that your vision of syncing across platforms is very realistic for discord - they have very strong support for bot accounts that could perform that interfacing. The maintenance of that system would be a consideration though as they do have a history of changing things arounds occasionally. https://discord.com/developers/docs/reference

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Renegade Rick
Webmaster
Administrator

March 24, 2022, 06:06 AM

Thanks for sharing, Corkr900. Offering a link to the API is helpful, and I've also heard a product we have some history with offers a post to Discord function now.

Not saying anything will happen, but information creates possibility. Keep on riding and thanks again for sharing!

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