good post about how nerd communities' mass-adoption of the closed and proprietary Discord platform will inevitably lead to the long-term loss of (or loss of access to) mountains of special-interest group knowledge and community history

"TLDR; It is not a very future-proof way of knowledge-building & archiving at all."

see also:

the more i zoom out of Discord's trash interface / decrease its font size the more useable (or at least tolerable?) it becomes 

today we have very high-res screens that can show a lot of information. i usually like to use it and minimize scrolling.

this feels contrary to a visual design zeitgeist that abhors compact presentation in favor of large blocks of color ("beautiful" apps? lol get out of here) and decreased information density

anyway, gonna try installing Better Discord again

tried Better Discord. the featureset is underwhelming. the only useful tweak for me was it can shrink the serverlist-icon sidebar on the left down by like 400%, so all the big circles become tiny little circles. does nothin' for legibility but lets you fit a lot more onscreen, which i prefer.

that's good but i honestly expected more breadth and depth from something called Better Discord

ah so i spoke without considering Better Discord's support for theming and plugins, of which there appear to be quite a few

now i'm feelin' it more

@gatewave should probably be paired with a discussion about the closed and proprietary wiki platform that too many communities have built their knowledge bases on

@fraggle yeah, good point and analogous to some degree.

unless i misunderstand though, at least their text and images are on the open web, and thus scraped by search engines and

@gatewave sure. in fact, i'd say that a big part of their advertising revenue comes from click throughs from search engines.

If you're ever curious why search results show two different Doom Wikis, it's because we made a big mistake way back in 2005 in adopting what is now called "Fandom".

They're more than happy to make money off your community's unpaid work and they absolutely are not interested in stopping if you decide to move elsewhere

@fraggle yeah, i'm familiar with that history :(

when seeking doom wiki info i always look for hissy! ensures i'm on the right one.

@gatewave gee, it's almost like using a product marketed at The Online Gamerz as a means by which to centralize one's social groups Is Bad, Actually. :thinkingmarx:

@gatewave this 1000%. it is really troubling that so many communities now are built on a foundation of proprietary quicksand. similar deal with Slack. these platforms tend to be harder to search for things in than the average forum, so there's more of a sense of collective amnesia. open source seems to be stepping up with things like but hosting is a huge challenge and that's what the discords of the world are selling people with the convenience of.

@povoq Something I find fascinating about Discord is that it has set up a weird kind of proprietary decentralization. Instead of having de facto hubs for content, you have relatively smaller communities around streamers or individual games where the information is stratified and isolated even across people in the fandom.

@hhardy01 @gatewave I use Discord as an artist. Posting images, GIFs, videos, all inline with the text. This is the power of Discord to me.

@gatewave i think you have to be able to write css yourself for that sort of thing

@zoe oh right, it does have a custom CSS field. good point. i should look around for how folks use that.

@gatewave for the record there are addons that are css specific

@gatewave There is something called Ripcord you might like? Discord implementation in C++ that takes a lot less memory and seems to work a lot better

@Canageek that sounds very relevant to my interests. thank you.

it'll be surprising if they so easily re-implemented the entire featureset...

@gatewave Voice chat works, text chat works, spoiler warnings don't work, that is as far as I've gotten. Oh and DMs wor

@Canageek dang, using such may lead to account bans

(humorously (?), the only thing of value i'd lose in such a scenario is the list of servers i'm on)

@gatewave I've been using it for a while without issue? But then again, I rarely use discord, so I might just not have attracted enough attention?

I mean, if I get banned I'll just make a new account, natch?

@gatewave I just shake my head watching people argue for web forums over Discord, when it was the move to web forums from Usenet, mailing lists, and bundles of text files on FTP sites that really pioneered the destruction of information as the various phpbb installs got pwned or just suddenly disappeared. The way to make sure stuff sticks around these days is to have it in a form that's easily archived.

@gatewave All my posts from in the early '00s are gone (fortunately), but my Usenet posts from 1989 are still around.

@freakazoid @gatewave In the grand scheme of things though there are more web forums that have stuck around.

It’s almost like the communities need an historian to gather the data and archive it.

But I do wonder about some of the uses of discord in some communities. The lack of permanent organization means especially in Q&A situations that folks are doomed to answer repetitive questions.

@subi @gatewave We definitely need historians and archivists, and I'm really glad people are realizing that.

Another issue is that people often don't realize they're assigning irrevocable rights to these platforms, so for example when people have tried to take their game or fan wikis elsewhere Wikia or Fandom have simply restored the content and given someone else moderation authority,

@gatewave @subi Which means that if you ever try to leave you end up competing with a platform that's using your own contributions to draw the community away from you. Which frankly is an inexcusable fuckup on the part of the people who are getting surprised by it as far as I'm concerned.

@subi @freakazoid @gatewave I'm a mod on a Blender 3D discord server. Pinning is the only real option for repetitive questions and those are limited. 99% of the users are lazy and don't even search google. I think it's harkening to a closed web. Everyone opens an APP not a website anymore. They don't even use computers. Most of them use Discord on their phones while using Blender 3D on their computers. It rages me when they post photos of their screen with their camera phone.

@freakazoid @gatewave What do you guys think about videos being used to replace what used to be written up game walkthrough/cooking/tech solution walkthroughs etc?

For example now if you look up a tech problem or even how to do something in a game you might have to suffer through a ten minute video with no markers or table of content of chatter to maybe see it.

Also the search engines and databases can’t really catalogue vid so you’re relying on the title alone.

@subi @gatewave If the videos were being uploaded to that would be one thing, but I think the primary reason things are being done as videos is to play the YouTube lottery. I don't think searchability is that much of an issue, since most of the time you're not going to be searching for something buried deep in the text. That most search is done across the entire Web on one search engine and they are under constant attack by people trying to reduce the quality of results is a problem.

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