Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Discussion related to board management, suggestions for improvement, and formal announcements.

The Piazza and Discord: do we need/deserve our own server?

Yes
10
50%
No
4
20%
Undecided
6
30%
 
Total votes: 20

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Gravesguardian
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Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 4:02 pm

Yep, just like the title asks: Is there enough interest? Would we have enough active chatters to make the server worth creating?

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): In order to give Gravesguardian, and the other couple of people who asked for this, a fair chance to convince people the pros of Discord outweigh the cons, I have extended the one-day-only Super Secret Discord server Birthday Chat from ending at the end of Saturday to ending at the end of Monday.

That's one more day for you all to grab people, show them to chatroom, and ask them to vote in this topic. After that runs out, you are going to have to explain what Discord is (rather than just show people).

As usual, should your PC, or any of your party members be captured or killed, the Impiazzable Mission Force will disavow any knowlege of your actions. This Discord server will self-destruct in 24 hours. Good luck!


*Edit: we only need 10 Yes votes to get the full-time Discord server, so pop in, check it out and see if you agree that it can be of great use to our entire community.
Last edited by Gravesguardian on Mon May 28, 2018 1:51 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Havard » Sun May 27, 2018 4:23 pm

Its an interesting prospect. Its been alot of fun trying it out today, but would it draw people away from the forum?

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 4:30 pm

Havard wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:23 pm
Its an interesting prospect. Its been alot of fun trying it out today, but would it draw people away from the forum?

-Havard
Actually I don't think it would draw folks away from the forums. If anything it would give people a way to get quicker replies to things they're working on so that they can then submit more "well-crafted" submissions

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by RobJN » Sun May 27, 2018 4:35 pm

It was a refreshing change, and I enjoyed participating.

I could see it supplementing the Piazza: perhaps running a weekly chat-based game, or doing weekly/monthly "seminars" or one-shot workshops?*

Not sure how voice-chat would work for a game-- it seems like people would be talking all over each other. Hopefully, someone with such gaming experience can chime in?


* Perhaps Editorial board meetings for Threshold and Wildspace?

Full disclosure: I used to host chats on one of the larger AOL forums, so this was something of a nostalgia kick for me, as well.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 4:39 pm

RobJN wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:35 pm
It was a refreshing change, and I enjoyed participating.

I could see it supplementing the Piazza: perhaps running a weekly chat-based game, or doing weekly/monthly "seminars" or one-shot workshops?*

Not sure how voice-chat would work for a game-- it seems like people would be talking all over each other. Hopefully, someone with such gaming experience can chime in?


* Perhaps Editorial board meetings for Threshold and Wildspace?
I like those ideas. Maybe during whatever workshops/seminar/gaming session is going on, the "audience" should be requested to type their chat, leaving voice for the hosts/guests

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Thorf » Sun May 27, 2018 4:52 pm

I would say yes but with caveats.

I don't think we need a place with permanent ongoing chat — I wouldn't be able to keep up anyway.

On the other hand, if things were threaded, it could work as a place to thrash out topics quickly where the message board format is too slow. That would work especially well for specific purposes such as Rob suggested.

Weekly would perhaps be too much, though I'm not sure. But in any case regular scheduled meet ups — preferably with a topic or a number of topics decided a little in advance — could be really fun.

The important thing to consider is whether the format is appropriate for the topic. For example, if it's something that would be nice to refer back to later, it would be better on The Piazza. On the other hand if it's an exchange of opinions and just chatting about stuff, that would work well — and if something useful or interesting does come up, it can always be posted as a thread here later.

Consider that The Piazza to be more than just this site — it's a community. Framed like that, it makes a lot of sense for community-building and cohesion.

Things we could chat about:

- Book club type chats about a specific book
- Invite authors for a seminar
- Chats themed on each world — talking about why we like each world

And of course there's always the possibility to run actual games, though that might best be done on a private Discord server anyway.

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by RobJN » Sun May 27, 2018 4:59 pm

Now I hear Thorf's voice in my head when I read his posts ;)
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Thorf » Sun May 27, 2018 5:00 pm

RobJN wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:59 pm
Now I hear Thorf's voice in my head when I read his posts ;)
That's actually my favourite thing about this. :D

Hearing how you all sound is very refreshing after all these years.

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 5:01 pm

I think Admins would be the best for setting the topic (whether weekly, monthly or whatever works best) w/ input from the forum community on what topics they might like to talk/hear about.

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by RobJN » Sun May 27, 2018 5:09 pm

Thorf wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:00 pm
RobJN wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:59 pm
Now I hear Thorf's voice in my head when I read his posts ;)
That's actually my favourite thing about this. :D

Hearing how you all sound is very refreshing after all these years.
Anything Big Mac writes, I just "hear" it as Obi Wan :D
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Big Mac » Sun May 27, 2018 5:42 pm

RobJN wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:35 pm
I could see it supplementing the Piazza: perhaps running a weekly chat-based game, or doing weekly/monthly "seminars" or one-shot workshops?*

Not sure how voice-chat would work for a game-- it seems like people would be talking all over each other. Hopefully, someone with such gaming experience can chime in?


* Perhaps Editorial board meetings for Threshold and Wildspace?
You can actually have more than one voice channel on a Discord server (as well as more than one text channel).

Sooooooo. Innnn theory, there could be a restricted pair of channels for Threshold Magazine (one text one voice) with someone on the admin of the Discord server controlling visibility/access to a "Threshold group". And the same for Wildspace.

Once that was set up, it could be handed over and the Threshold (or Wildspace) team could do whatever they wanted with it.

Intervention would only be required if a new person joined Discord or in the unlikely event that they wanted to kick someone off of their team.
RobJN wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:35 pm
Full disclosure: I used to host chats on one of the larger AOL forums, so this was something of a nostalgia kick for me, as well.
Well, we never intended to do this for more than a day, so perhaps I will come to you for some advice...

...assuming we keep the server open. :)
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by RobJN » Sun May 27, 2018 5:46 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:42 pm
RobJN wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 4:35 pm
Full disclosure: I used to host chats on one of the larger AOL forums, so this was something of a nostalgia kick for me, as well.
Well, we never intended to do this for more than a day, so perhaps I will come to you for some advice...

...assuming we keep the server open. :)
Happy to help, lend insight, etc. I've got seven-ish(?) years of online community management experience at your (& Ashtagon's) disposal.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 5:47 pm

Here's to hoping we get enough interest

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Tim Baker » Sun May 27, 2018 10:15 pm

I'd be supportive of a Discord server if we came up with some ideas for how we'd use it to its best potential without torpedoing the forums. While Discord chat is persistent, it's very difficult to find old topics. It works poorly as a reference, and it's harder to engage in discussions over multiple time-zones and work schedules. There are a lot of positives, too. It's great to do Q&A's or to quickly go back-and-forth with a handful of people on as single topic. So we should give some thought to how we'd want to support that while keeping the forums healthy.

If there isn't enough interest in a full-time Discord server of our own, I thought I'd provide another option. There's a Discord server called RPG Chat that's been going on for about a year now (and was a Slack server for about a year prior to that). There are channels for dozens of different games, and they allow votes to create new channels. The community has been friendly and helpful and (from what I've seen) drama-free. It's not the same as hosting our community on Discord, but if folks enjoyed the experience, and a Piazza Discord server doesn't work out, it would potentially give us a spot to go chat in real-time. https://discord.gg/BPmJSRe
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Sun May 27, 2018 10:19 pm

so far I think the general consensus is that the Discord server would be useful for tossing ideas back and forth to help flesh them out and then they can get posted to The Piazza forum for a more permanent save.

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Tim Baker » Sun May 27, 2018 10:51 pm

Gravesguardian wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:19 pm
so far I think the general consensus is that the Discord server would be useful for tossing ideas back and forth to help flesh them out and then they can get posted to The Piazza forum for a more permanent save.
That sounds like a reasonable approach. I'm not sure what mechanism we can use to ensure that's happening. Perhaps, if the Discord server moves forward, we'd need to have some volunteers monitor it to see if topics are truly migrating back to the forum. Maybe someone has a better (and more automated/scalable) solution.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 28, 2018 12:56 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:15 pm
I'd be supportive of a Discord server if we came up with some ideas for how we'd use it to its best potential without torpedoing the forums. While Discord chat is persistent, it's very difficult to find old topics. It works poorly as a reference, and it's harder to engage in discussions over multiple time-zones and work schedules. There are a lot of positives, too. It's great to do Q&A's or to quickly go back-and-forth with a handful of people on as single topic. So we should give some thought to how we'd want to support that while keeping the forums healthy.
This is the same sort of debate that occured when Ashtagon wanted to set up The Piazza as a multiple campaign setting community and some people were concerned that mixing fans of different settings could cause fights.

I am firmly of the belief that forums work better than social media, for long term conversations.

Brainstorming is much easier in a chat environment though. You are right.
Tim Baker wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:15 pm
If there isn't enough interest in a full-time Discord server of our own, I thought I'd provide another option. There's a Discord server called RPG Chat that's been going on for about a year now (and was a Slack server for about a year prior to that). There are channels for dozens of different games, and they allow votes to create new channels. The community has been friendly and helpful and (from what I've seen) drama-free. It's not the same as hosting our community on Discord, but if folks enjoyed the experience, and a Piazza Discord server doesn't work out, it would potentially give us a spot to go chat in real-time. https://discord.gg/BPmJSRe
I can't see myself or the other admins recommending not having a Discord server, but asking for someone else to give us a chatroom in their Discord server.

It's more of a "is there enough demand for this?" decision, rather than a "how much work would this cause?" decision. :)
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 28, 2018 12:57 am

Tim Baker wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:51 pm
Gravesguardian wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:19 pm
so far I think the general consensus is that the Discord server would be useful for tossing ideas back and forth to help flesh them out and then they can get posted to The Piazza forum for a more permanent save.
That sounds like a reasonable approach. I'm not sure what mechanism we can use to ensure that's happening. Perhaps, if the Discord server moves forward, we'd need to have some volunteers monitor it to see if topics are truly migrating back to the forum. Maybe someone has a better (and more automated/scalable) solution.
Someone mentioned Discord having stats. I didn't realise it could do that.

I do monitor Facebook stats for The Piazza (and like to see the likes go up) but it's a bit of a waste of time I could be spending talking to people on the forums.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Tim Baker » Mon May 28, 2018 1:15 am

Big Mac wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 12:56 am
Tim Baker wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 10:15 pm
If there isn't enough interest in a full-time Discord server of our own, I thought I'd provide another option. There's a Discord server called RPG Chat that's been going on for about a year now (and was a Slack server for about a year prior to that). There are channels for dozens of different games, and they allow votes to create new channels. The community has been friendly and helpful and (from what I've seen) drama-free. It's not the same as hosting our community on Discord, but if folks enjoyed the experience, and a Piazza Discord server doesn't work out, it would potentially give us a spot to go chat in real-time. https://discord.gg/BPmJSRe
I can't see myself or the other admins recommending not having a Discord server, but asking for someone else to give us a chatroom in their Discord server.

It's more of a "is there enough demand for this?" decision, rather than a "how much work would this cause?" decision. :)
The RPG Chat server that I mentioned has a bot that allows users to create private channels whenever they want. As long as your channel doesn't need to be visible to the general population of the server, it's always an available option. Public channels are voted on (15 votes gets a channel created, which isn't hard to achieve, so there are lots of channels available).

I'm not trying to sway the decision by sharing this information, but wanted to let folks know what options are available, regardless of the outcome here.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 28, 2018 1:48 am

MODERATOR NOTE (by Big Mac): In order to give Gravesguardian, and the other couple of people who asked for this, a fair chance to convince people the pros of Discord outweigh the cons, I have extended the one-day-only Super Secret Discord server Birthday Chat from ending at the end of Saturday to ending at the end of Monday.

That's one more day for you all to grab people, show them to chatroom, and ask them to vote in this topic. After that runs out, you are going to have to explain what Discord is (rather than just show people).

As usual, should your PC, or any of your party members be captured or killed, the Impiazzable Mission Force will disavow any knowlege of your actions. This Discord server will self-destruct in 24 hours. Good luck!
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Coronoides » Mon May 28, 2018 4:22 am

There has been some thoughtful discussion about how a Discord could compliment the forums. I agree it sounds useful. However, good discussions depend on there being sufficient users to make the effort worthwhile. I am very unlikely to make much use of a discord for several reasons. If a large proportion of our community have any similar issues you’ll just end up with a tiny clique. So look at the community and see what proportion of our members have these issues (it might be very few).
1) time poor. I’m writing on my phone this as I walk between building of my workplace.
2) unable to participate in scheduled events due to time zone differences
3) very specialised interests. Mostly, I’m interested in Council of Wryms and hard core math heavy game mechanics analysis. Let’s face it these are not popular topics. My interest and input in discord events is likely to be minimal.
4) use of forum will not translate well. For example mostly I take pieces of large writing projects I’m doing for my own table and post them in case a few people find them useful and maybe I’ll get some feedback. This kind of use doesn’t translate to Discord.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m putting a downer on things; that’s not my intent. I’m just saying have a look to see if enough of the community will use a Discord to make the effort of set up and maintenance worthwhile. There might be enough likely users, if so do it.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Gravesguardian » Mon May 28, 2018 4:37 am

Coronoides wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 4:22 am
There has been some thoughtful discussion about how a Discord could compliment the forums. I agree it sounds useful. However, good discussions depend on there being sufficient users to make the effort worthwhile. I am very unlikely to make much use of a discord for several reasons. If a large proportion of our community have any similar issues you’ll just end up with a tiny clique. So look at the community and see what proportion of our members have these issues (it might be very few).
1) time poor. I’m writing on my phone this as I walk between building of my workplace.
2) unable to participate in scheduled events due to time zone differences
3) very specialised interests. Mostly, I’m interested in Council of Wryms and hard core math heavy game mechanics analysis. Let’s face it these are not popular topics. My interest and input in discord events is likely to be minimal.
4) use of forum will not translate well. For example mostly I take pieces of large writing project I’m doing for my own table and post them in case a few people find them useful and maybe I’ll get some feedback. This kind of use doesn’t translate to Discord.

Sorry if it sounds like I’m putting a downer on things; that’s not my intent. I’m just saying have a look to see if enough of the community will use a Discord to make the effort of set up and maintenance worthwhile. There might be enough likely users, if so do it.
That's why I placed the poll to help give a better idea of how many people would be interested and what kind of uses/ideas for the Discord server appeal to them. Not everyone that's been using it are in the same time zone; but, some ideas have gotten tossed back and forth. Such as how Tim Baker might incorporate parts of Council of Wyrms into the 13th Age setting that he talked about. Over using Dragon Mountain or even Thunder Rift in that setting. Also, Ashtagon was discussing the setting Diesel that they're working on; which I hadn't even heard about 'til I saw it discussed on Discord.
One use for Discord would be, as you mentioned, posting your ideas/project pieces, and hopefully getting back quicker feedback and replies.

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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Ashtagon » Mon May 28, 2018 8:43 am

I think it might be better to make discord a regular scheduled thing, rather than a 24/7 thing. That way, people are more likely to gather together in large enough numbers to actually have a conversation.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by zontoxira » Mon May 28, 2018 11:37 am

Ashtagon wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:43 am
I think it might be better to make discord a regular scheduled thing, rather than a 24/7 thing. That way, people are more likely to gather together in large enough numbers to actually have a conversation.
I agree with Ashtagon, once or twice per week would suffice; treat it like a gathering of friends at the local pub.. or piazza.
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Re: Does The Piazza need/deserve it's own fulltime Discord server?

Post by Big Mac » Mon May 28, 2018 12:38 pm

Ashtagon wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 8:43 am
I think it might be better to make discord a regular scheduled thing, rather than a 24/7 thing. That way, people are more likely to gather together in large enough numbers to actually have a conversation.
I would agree with that.
zontoxira wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 11:37 am
I agree with Ashtagon, once or twice per week would suffice; treat it like a gathering of friends at the local pub.. or piazza.
The Birthday Chat is already a "once a year" thing. Jumping from that to twice per week might be a bit too frequent.

I've heard of other places that do a "once a month" meetup.

Perhaps, if people decide they want to have a permanent Discord server, for The Piazza, we could have a second discussion, to discuss how frequently people would like to meet up.

Having said that, if it was there, and people wanted to go run a game there once a week on Tuesday, it could be possible for them to go do that, and for other people to meet up for a chat at a different time (or even at the same time, in a second channel).
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
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