Last May, @Sandaoguo wrote an op-ed on the old forum about the use of both forums and Discord, how to ensure the proper place for each, and how to foster healthy discussion on each. That op-ed in large part informed our decision to move to Discourse as our new forum provider, a decision which (in my opinion) has been rather successful.
In that op-ed, Glen highlighted limiting the number of Discord channels as a key strategy to avoid conversations becoming too spread out, unmanageable, bureaucratic, etc. It also actively discourages use of the forum to create a Discord channel for everything. Why create a forum topic to discuss an issue in depth, or with greater structure using the superior organizational tools of Discourse, when you can simply ask for a new Discord channel?
Despite raising this point, we’ve never gotten around to implementing a slimming of our Discord channels, and it’s badly needed. While we can come up with arbitrary reasons to separate out channels, each additional channel further subdivides discussion and bloats bureaucracy without actually moving things forward. As a result, I want to recenter the discussion on streamlining our Discord, and am putting forward a new suggested outline.
#welcome - contains core gov/forum information
#announcements - for gov/forum announcements
#lampshade-lounge - same purpose as now, “general chat”, except now more topics will likely end up in lampshade-lounge due to eliminating several channels
#spam - off-topic conversation
#rl-politics - current events, real life politics, etc.
#government - fully public government discussion, accessible to all server members
#legislator-lounge - government discussion for only government members
#executive-planning - Citizens only channel to plan government activities (includes MoC, MoE, MoFA ambassador updates, etc.). No Ministry really needs its own channels, just put it all in one, that’ll actually increase engagement and communication with ongoing projects
#cabinet - private, Cabinet-only channel. Sensitive FA or opsec issues and internal Cabinet process can go here
#world-assembly - for both WA discussion and the OWL voting process to happen
#spsf-barracks - for SPSF chatter, banter, training, planning, and coordination - all SPSF access
#spsf-officers - for SPSF higher-level planning/opsec - officers and up can access
#legislator-committee - private, LegComm-only channel.
#crs - private, CRS-only channel. (CRS members: is this something that is used?)
This is what I propose as an initial outline. I’m happy to answer questions about why anything was included or excluded. In my mind, only absolutely-necessary channels should be included, and everything else should be axed. Honestly, I could be persuaded to eliminate some channels that I included (e.g. #rl-politics, #spsf-officers, and #crs) in the interests of further streamlining. But I’m interested to hear what others think
Note: this post is as a community member, not a mod. These are my ideas, not me saying “this is going to happen to restructure the Discord”.