Moving to Discord


  1. Slack is reasonably not developing community-focused features because they are a business tool. Discord has been pivoting to building for communities and has been doing an excellent job with it. Moderation tools and training, community discovery, and more will help us create a safer and more engaging space.

  2. Discord has a great set of free features for communities, namely: complete chat history. Unfortunately, ephemerality isn't as valuable as I once thought. New users join us, only to be greeted by channels of nothing. One of the most requested features I hear from new users is upgrading our Slack so that they can see what's been happing. Welcoming someone with basically zero context and zero ability to gain that context is not an enjoyable experience and dramatically impacts our retention. We also have an extensive collection of smart people here who have given excellent advice over the years, and it's a disservice to everyone to lose that.

  3. Engagement in this community has been declining steadily over the last year-plus. The way we work is changing; managing our mental resources has changed. Slack's pace and message limit are not conducive to many, even most, conversations.

There are more points to make, but that covers the core reasoning. I wholeheartedly believe this move will help new users and existing users alike, especially by giving us the history and context we're missing out on and providing more clarity around where to look & what to do. In addition, many larger communities exist on Discord (a lot of them developer-focused) and have already vetted it as a fantastic community chat tool.

What will we lose?

Change will always come with compromises and losses in addition to improvements. We'll lose some of the structure and comfort we've established here over five years.

We'll lose members in the transition, possibly many. Some will not want to install Discord for daily use or can't because of work machine restrictions. I respect that decision and its limitation. For those of you who don't know, though: Discord has a great web client; if you'd like to check it out before installing.

We'll also lose our extensive (and delightfully absurd) emoji collection. Discord limits us to 250 if we have a fully boosted server. Worry not; I'll archive the current emojis in a GitHub repo for nostalgia's sake and to help you bring joy to other Slack groups.

What will happen to our Slack?

It will still be around, but I'll put it into a &quo;maintenance&quo; mode. Invites won't be processed, we'll remove channels to prevent fragmentation, and we'll lock down permissions heavily. The admin team will remain available, but most of our focus will be on Discord. Anyone who would like to stay in Slack and use it, given those changes, will be more than welcome.

I'm excited to nudge Denver Devs into its next chapter, and I'm so very thankful you've all been a part of it. Feel free to react to this post, comment in the threads, or dd-community. Also, reach out to me directly if you'd like or to another admin to express any thoughts or concerns you may have.

Denver Devs

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