CrowdSec on Discord!

It’s finally happening. We’re opening our own Discord server as a replacement for our Gitter. We’ll be keeping our Discourse. As it turns out those two – Discord and Discourse (or Disco2 as we call them internally) – supplement each other really well.

Also, the new Discord fills an important role for us – or for me as Head of community in particular. I’ll talk about that in a bit.

Discord/Discourse. Why both?

First, let me explain what the intended use of both of them is and why they actually supplement each other really well.

Discourse is the old-school forum or message board as we all know them. It’s really good as a place where users can ask technical questions on whatever problem they may have with CrowdSec, get a reply and move on with their lives. Also, it’s searchable so one can find the answer to any issue even quite a long time back. It could be considered as a sort of long-term memory.

Discord, on the other hand, is also quite good as a place to ask technical questions but given that so much else is going on, it can be hard to find valuable information that goes a long time back.

Discord is also quite good at – and this part is important – as a place to hang out and be social. Basically, we want the CrowdSec crowd on Discord to be your favorite crowd to hang out with as we fully understand that there’s a lot to a successful community; one is the feeling of ‘togetherness’ – especially when we, as CrowdSec users, are actually doing something grand here: We’re fighting the bad guys on the internet together. And we want every CrowdSec user to feel like part of that.

The importance of a strong community

As a community-focused open-source software project that relies on contributions and user involvement, it’s important for us to have somewhere to interact, where community members can feel at home, where they can be heard, where they can get to know other community members and organize whatever projects they’re working on together.

Also, it’s important for me to have a good way to talk to our users and to get to know them, their needs, what they like and what they don’t. This will be important as the community grows and Discord has an unlimited number of channels and subjects to talk in.

So, compared to Discourse, Discord is a great supplement and can be seen as short-term memory. So using these terms, it would be great to integrate these two so that for instance relevant questions and chats from Discord can be stored on Discourse for easy retrieval later and to make it possible to govern both platforms a bit like one. This is possible and we plan to do this at a later time.

Joining the Discord

When you join our Discord, you’ll see a list of various types of channels, categorized into sections such as Lounge, Support, and Development.

On the top, you’ll see Events (where events will be listed),  #welcome where you’re welcome to introduce yourself, and finally #role-assignments where you can assign yourself certain categories to signal to other users what you are here for, what background you have and what your level of experience with CrowdSec is. In that way it will be easy for newcomers to identify those that are more experienced, or if people are for instance developers, operations, devops. All this is voluntary, of course.

Underneath that there’s the Server Stats section. Even though it’s technically channels, they’re not used for that. Instead, you are invited to watch the stats as our community grows. If this community grows at the same rate as the general CrowdSec community, we’ll be 1000 users in no time!

Next, there’s the Lounge section. This is where you hang out with your fellow Alpacas and chat about everything and nothing. There’s both text- and voice channels as well as a Talks channel we plan to use for events.

Below that there’s the Support section. This is where you ask for help or come up with suggestions for new functionality. The support section is divided into channels that make sense (at least to me when I made them). It might change over time as we get a better understanding of how users will use these channels.

Last but not least there’s the Development section where developers and testers of certain features or functionality can discuss these. The section is divided into #devs-general where development, in general, is discussed, #devs-go where issues related to the general development in Go is discussed as well as #devs-scenarios, #devs-bouncers and #devs-datasources where development of scenarios, bouncers and data sources is discussed. Like any other section this may change over time.

If, during the beginning of these exciting times on Discord, you see errors in permissions or something else – or you have suggestions to bots or channels or things we can use the Discord server for then please let me know. I’m Jack_Fryer in the Discord server.

Have fun on Discord!

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