Communications Platform: Discord Trial


Communications Platform: Discord Trial

Hello all,

In this post, I’ll discuss our communications platform as a community and the future.

First, a little background…

I’ve focused a lot on member experience for years now. What is it like as a new member joining and familiarizing themselves with our community? Many new accounts are created by interested people, who never really engage with anyone. One major element of that is getting members onto our chat program Telegram. Some have said that once they engage online and chat, you quickly get a sense of the active community we have. So I began to map out what a new member is faced with and realized there was a deficiency.

So now onto the trial of Discord that has been going on...

As with any major decision, I’m focused on the objectives of our communication platform and what we value as a community. The objective being to provide an easy means of communicating and engaging with the community.

For Telegram, that often means heading to the app store and downloading a new app. Or getting it running on a website. You might eventually find yourself in DB general chat in the middle of a conversation, or not, with some chat history about, whatever the topic of the day is. You get a bunch of emails from the site with a bunch of names and links. You might eventually find your way to more focused conversations about fiction, or graphics. Once you’re in a Clan you get invited to a Clan chat that’s a subset of the larger chat but generally focused on the same thing.

So I looked to Discord, another relatively newer chat application that has really taken off for online communities. In some research Blade did for me nearly every other Star Wars community online is using Discord and we are the only one on Telegram. That isn’t to say we need to be like everyone else but joining a new Discord server is effortless, getting a new application running is possible but a barrier. When you join, you are dropped into a welcome chat. Authentication assigns you roles and access to a range of channels comes with it immediately. The whole community is just there.

So looking at the experiences of the two, we started a trial. What work does it take and what would the member experience be like in Discord versus Telegram. So I’ll list the gaps that have come to mind in feedback to date where Discord falls short of Telegram.

  • Stickers are not handled the same way, could create server sticker packs for everyone on the server and personal sticker packs require a paid account
  • Large image uploads without boosting the server
  • Forwarding messages to save them is harder
  • Reply functionality isn’t as slick, need to click into a message to directly reply

Overall I think there are some things to be understood in how Discord, as a chat application has some quality of life features missing. Ones that all have their own similar way they work inside Discord that require some time to get used to.

Where Telegram falls short of Discord currently are leaning in a harder to overcome direction than just getting used to the specific UI.

  • Welcome channel to greet people, not in the middle of the general chat topic of the day
  • Easily bookmarked lobby with rules, announcements, and links for the entire community
  • Authentication and roles assignment to create a curated list of channels and content for participation in the community
  • Each Clan has a dedicated category for a range of channels and topics organized together in one place specific to their Clan. Right now Clans are already going to Discord to get this and abandoning Telegram, for reference every single Clan already has a Discord server

There are also many externalities that could be listed about benefits, but while those are great and all, I am really focused on what makes it a great move for the community with an eye towards growing the community and bringing in new members. As seen, I have made some large moves to get RP running, and there are many people out there active in Star Wars RP-related communities. None of them are on Telegram. All of them are on either Discord or just online forums.

Everything above is meant as an official update to the membership on where I’m at in a decision-making process about a move. I’ve already received feedback from the leaders of all of the Clans that support a move. I do not take a move lightly and the disruption will certainly have a short-term negative impact on our membership experience. However, I hope it positions us alongside the rest of the Star Wars and gaming communities to provide a better experience long term.

With everything in mind above, I’ve told the SCL to make preparations, along with the rest of the Dark Council for an official move by October 1st. This may change depending on any technical setup issues we encounter with the bots or channels.


I don't hate Discord.


Already looking forward to deleting Telegram off my phone!

I hear you, Locke. Getting down to only two chat apps (discord and messenger/sms) is something I greatly look forward to. :D

TG is a superior chatting app, by far more cozy and personal than Discord. However, I do agree that TG is a very high barrier to entry, and after crossing that barrier, retention spikes up massively.

So, in that sense I do think the move makes sense.

I'll still be mostly on Telegram, so if folks wanna talk, heyo.

As someone who was extremely skeptical of this. After the few weeks in the trial. Seeing how the functionality works and how seemless it is for new joins. I am so ready to make the move.

Yuss. Can't wait!

Right, let's get stuff boxed up.

It's time to move.

The transparency and thorough consideration of feedback from all corners of the club during this test is worth highlighting and commending. No matter your feelings on Discord I think we can agree the decision has been careful and deliberate.

I can see Discord working for the club. There's a number of things however that I dislike about it, especially as a primary mobile user. My biggest concern is high chat traffic groups taking a hit and alienating some of the current membership. I do see it being easier for newer joins to join and perhaps stay as a number of the joins the past year or so have hailed from discord. At the same time, I don't know if it'll change the rate of retaining for as mentioned in this report, joining a discord server is easy as breathing and they can be dropped like a hat or lost in the hay just as easy. But we won't know until we use it for a time.

Hey all, you can join the Discord server here:

Looking forward to this move.

While I'm overall okay with the move, I am on the wary side. The issues with Telegram as a platform are indeed solved by Discord however, as noted, Discord has it's own downfalls that are only particularly solved through payment. Even then, there's multiple boosts required to actually gain (for example) the ability to send large files. Which means that there's going to become a section of the member base who are paying for the experience of sending images and videos. With concern to new members, I'm not entirely sure of the difference it would make overall. More people do have Discord, however when it comes to joining, if the likely occasion occurs where the new person doesn't have discord, it is going to be the exact same barrier if not worse. To a new user of Discord, it's a lot more daunting than TG which is a fairly typical chat-app.

I do wish the system luck though. If done properly it could be interesting with the potential bots bring into the picture, especially with roleplaying being a new and upcoming thing. It is also a lot friendly for Voice and Video chats, so I certainly see the potential alongside it.

I cannot agree with this move more.

We’ve had a member who lost their phone and could not access TG unless they started everything new. We had new members who just did not trust TG, especially since some said it had an association with ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And we had a prominent and active CSP member leave because he devoted a lot of resources to a Discord and people weren’t moving over.

Discord is easy, user friendly, and allows all of our communities to join one platform. I already have half my nerd group stuff on their. And the fact that almost no one else uses TG and it’s the opposite of user friendly doesn’t help.

When I move to Discord I will gladly leave TG behind.

I appreciate the open communication. Well done, Evant!

while I do approve discord, I like telegram too mostly cause the discord app on the phone hurts my eyes and telegrams don't. but I am with this club



The lack of different skins/themes is the one thing I really have against Discord.

/slap Evant

<3 Brimstone.

I am excited for DISCORD

Hello, as someone that's been on the receiving end of Discord's fuckery, I should like to voice some concerns. For example, the shocking level of ease that people seem to be hacked on the platform. Granted, the server system is superior to Telegram's, on many a level, but on a mechanical, or roleplaying level, the word-cap on posts might constrain longer posts, especially when some of us might not be able to afford, or be willing to purchase, Discord NITRO. Server boosting also requires financial investment, which some (although I don't discount that some people will be willing).

However, I also have some personal grievances with the platform, varying from an almost total lack of user-friendliness (that I've experienced), an unreliable nature, and a horrifically unstable glitchiness that's persisted [for me] for as long as I've known the platform. I understand that my misgivings will not change this decision, but I nevertheless vehemently contest this motion and make to have my justified (if somewhat biased) notes put to the record.

Though TG is not a perfect system, I can honestly say that it hasn't locked me out of the entire platform for two-and-a-half months for totally no reason, before returning to its 'normal' level of awfulness. I make no move to hide the fact I have a number of reasons to dislike Discord and I realise that my bias will colour my point of view. Again, the server system on Discord is vastly more versatile, but the platform itself (in my honest experience) has been fickle and totally undependable.

This is not a change that I support on any level. Sincerely, Max

I hope everyone takes the time to hear from both sides of the aisle. This is a hard decision and one I am confident that Evant and the DC are not making lightly. I've seen the effort put into preparing the Discord community and know there is a strong and passionate group driving it to be successful.

I understand there are features loved by members - stickers especially come to mind - that allow us to have a personalized experience.

Ultimately, where I encourage everyone to view the move from is, as Evant puts it, the new member. For some of us being a new member was 26 years ago. If you wonder what the experience as been of new members look for anyone below JM4 and ask them and see if their experience gives you new perspective.

We should never change and do things like we always have! Nah, just kidding. Great decision to test this out and look towards the future. Kudos.

Back to Undernet!

I must say that I used to be a great fan of Telegram until technical issues made me unable to join it (and which can't be fixed until like April 2022 in an optimistic scenanario). However, I've been using Discord for last two or three years for other purposes and I've fallen in love with it. Though I am aware of its weak sides, even it's free version is more than enough for me to conduct my activities, which include teaching other people via live transmissions and posting pictures.

I really hope this change will benefit our community as well.

I see a few yes’s and a few concerns and no’s for this discord change over, personally I love discord, it has opened up my MInecraft community, everyone knows discord, and with discord being brought out by either mirco soft or Sony at one point this will be fantastic to have and they will interlink these with games and have the chats appear in game and more. To have a fully operating discord with all the cool features nitro boozy is needed, but it’s in some ways it isn’t as I have a server of 60 or more people and we not had no problems, we upload rules, we have self roles for the user to choose the correct chats they want to see and we add custom roles a-lining with their ranks on minecraft, it is my hope that one day I will be finishing my Star Wars side of the server So my clan Odan can come on to it and it will be officially linked to the brotherhood as a gaming platform, and with the aid of discord this will be possible one day.

My the force be with you all

I too am incredibly worried about how Discord's UI will end up drowning out newer members in high traffic chats. The only way I see member retention working is gradual introduction to larger club chats and not throwing (from all evidence) a bunch of introverts into the deep end.

I don't think discord is ready on the chat front for us, and I am merely voicing my concerns. I'll work within the system set as necessary but I won't let my clan's new joins get lost because of it.

Even then, there's multiple boosts required to actually gain (for example) the ability to send large files. Which means that there's going to become a section of the member base who are paying for the experience of sending images and videos.

Any large files can be sent as links with no caps. The only reason that there are file size caps in the first place is because Discord would be hosting those files. Additionally, as far as a section of the member base who are paying for the experience of sending images and videos: If you're worried about haves and have nots as far as that goes, server boosts that allow the users to send larger files are available for everyone on the sever, not just those who are paying. If, instead, the concern is that a section of the member base are paying for the resources to send those files? Uh, news flash: a "section" of the member base is paying for all of us to have this experience in the DB through footing the bill for the server costs. Hosting the DB's files is no more a zero cost enterprise than Discord hosting files.

But yeah, if you want to send a larger file to folks via Discord, Google Drive and other free file platforms are always there and can always be linked to. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Honestly discord is superior when it comes to the workability with features. If you want to pop on the voice chat, you can do that in the same application rather than going into to telegram to tell people "im getting on discord" and switch to a different application (discord). If a new member is having difficulties with the site or something specific, you can enable streaming straight to the discord so that you can watch and talk about it all at the same time. Telegram is fine as a substitute for texting SMS, but for a gaming/fiction/etc type of clan or group work? It's really not that great considering so many times people go off of telegram to discord to use it's features.

I too am incredibly worried about how Discord's UI will end up drowning out newer members in high traffic chats. The only way I see member retention working is a gradual introduction to larger club chats and not throwing (from all evidence) a bunch of introverts into the deep end.

The great thing about discord is members can all choose what they want to see or not. Simply mute channels or entire categories of channels they don't want to see. Once they authenticate they are automatically placed in the appropriate clan channel so there are no new joins getting lost in DB chats. The system works much better than people having to join every server to figure out where they fit in. They are able to converse with members in clan rooms, not just their own to make friends and enjoy the club as a whole. Not just a clan server and matchmaking, and if that isn't their thing, 2 clicks and a channel is muted.

It is worth pointing out that you have to click channels to see their contents anyway so....not that far from "opt in" as I see it. Unless everybody has a different UI than I do. >,>

It is worth pointing out that you have to click channels to see their contents anyway so....not that far from "opt in" as I see it. Unless everybody has a different UI than I do. >,>

You can have a feature opt-in with bots and other set ups that are fairly common in Discord. The opt-in or out would allow you to see the section or just completely remove it from your side bar.

It does seem like there are a lot of options with Discord, so I'm sure we will be able to find what works best for the club over time.

I will not download yet another messaging app on my phone for the DB. I do not like Discord that much and will only be on it if I am actually on my PC. Telegram has been a wonderful tool to message any and all DB members 24 hours a day from my phone. Discord is not as user friendly as TG is in my opinion. I will be staying on TG with Atty and others.

Discord has been a blast so far. Telegram's great for chatting, but I feel like Discord is the better platform for community building. This is something that a club like ours needs! Being able to so easily engage and joke around with members of all the other Clans has been a blast.

This was a really great move, and I encourage everyone to make the transition over to the app! Whether you're completely new to Discord or a Discord superstar with firm opinions on its efficacy and utility, come on over and join the fun with the rest of the club.

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