I've long since given up on smashing my head into immovable brick walls and getting angry about the wrong things, so I won't spend any effort on it other than to say that discord forums are neither forums, nor remotely useful for any imaginable purpose, nor in any way a solution.
I could spend an hour yelling about it but there's no point. They're not worse than discord already was, they simply aren't any less discord. I think it is inarguable that nobody who worked on this is young enough or sufficiently interested in any hobbies to have used a forum.
It's pretty much the "created by aliens who had only been told what a forum was" scenario.
None of this matters because the actual problem is that you can't type "site:" followed by a discord server into Google, nor does internet archive store anything that happens on one. This wasn't going to fix that, it's just kind of astonishing how much worse than useless it is.
I don't believe that a company like this, in the modern atmosphere of tech, has any interest in making it possible for data to be exfiltrated out of their captive portals, so there was no point in hoping this would be any good.
Unfortunately, this is far more poignant than intended IMO, because I firmly believe that the single identity is *the specific reason* Discord has exploded in popularity. Simply put: You're already logged into it.
Make a wiki. Make a forum. Make a website with cgi-bin scripts. You can't make it anonymous, it'll be destroyed within days. And you'll get 1% as many signups as you would with a discord. Because we're all already signed in.
Federation won't help. SSO won't help. Everyone knows this. A tiny, tiny, *tiny* percentage of people will use your site as soon as they discover that they have to create an identity, no matter how smooth and short the process is. But they're already signed in to Discord.
In my opinion, 90% of Discord's valuation is that they managed to get everyone to create an account *that other people can then leverage.* You and I can take advantage of the account that someone created in order to access a totally different community, two years ago.
Everyone hates making accounts. Everyone hates email verifications, unique passwords, "that name is already in use." Discord solves that, and has created a new normal. Conventional websites will simply disappear forever, and soon, unless this is solved.
When something is free, there will be more of it. In every conceivable context, this is true: the thing that costs nothing will be more popular than the thing that costs a penny. The fact that *any* transaction has to occur makes people walk away.
Don't think about this in terms of "but it's just a few seconds to sign up" or "all you do is click the Log In With Google." That's three clicks. People have *tens of thousands* of free, zero-click things demanding their attention. Why waste three clicks on yours?
The moment you ask someone to commit *anything*, literally anything at all, you have just lost the entire "barely intrigued but might wander through and see what it's all about" crowd. Imagine a yard sale that makes you write your name down. You would skip it.
The atmosphere of 2022 is undeniable, there's no point lying to ourselves. We are all marketers. We treat each other as commodities, we try to scoop up as many people as we can, knowing that 99% will lose interest and wander off. We care about increasing that 1% to 1.2%.
We can sit around and yell about how bad that is, but unless you plan to stop - unless you're willing to say "no, I'm fine with only having 100 users when I could have 800," and really mean it - then why bullshit ourselves?
We are playing this game. We are trying to parlay our skills or knowledge into paychecks, and even when there's no money involved, virtually everyone has decided that getting as many pairs of eyes is valuable. So let's talk plainly, not hide behind ideologies we don't practice.
The reality is that when you make a *place* for people to gather, you are hoping for the largest number of people, because more users means a higher chance you get the whales, the people who make huge contributions that make your community interesting.
My Discord has some 600 people on it. In a given day I see maybe 30 of them talk, and maybe two of them post original content, which everyone else discusses. That's a 300:1 ratio - catching 300 people for every one that's adding new value.
Many of the other people I am happy to see each day, I appreciate their input to conversations, but mostly, they aren't *starting* them. The focus of my particular community means that we just don't have that many really fresh topics. So I *have* to gather people in aggregate.
The people who are going to a thrift store, coming home with something unusual and posting pictures in my Discord are keeping the rest around, and eventually those people will find things and post them. So it's in my interest to decrease "login friction."
It's also in my interest to decrease "monitoring friction." If my community was a forum, it would be a tab that people have to keep open in their browser and refresh. They could close it, for a myriad of reasons, and simply not think to reopen it.
Discord, by virtue of its objectively terrible and user-hostile design... benefits me, enormously. If someone wants to participate in Discord *in any way*, then my server is constantly open on their computer.
You can't close *just* my server, you have to close all of Discord. That'll cut you off from other servers, and IMs, and it's just weird to close things like this nowadays.
So that means that unless you take specific steps to leave my server, even if you ignore it for weeks there's always the chance you'll see an at-everyone, investigate, and get reinvested in the community.
Should I be proud that I'm leveraging this antipattern? Absolutely not. Can I deny that it has benefited me, and I would have a hard time giving it up? Same answer.
The fact of the matter is that *treating people as a bulk commodity,* handling them with a scoop and a scale, is what the internet is *for.* It's what Usenet was for. The purpose of these technologies is to create impractically large social circles, full stop.
If you wanted to handle people on a personal level, and only talk with those who were genuinely invested in knowing you and your group, then at best you'd be in group chats. The purpose of forums, chatrooms, and social media *is* to cast a wide net and catch strangers in it.
As much as we wish this wasn't true, Discord is extremely optimized for this purpose. It is meant to give people access to communities *in bulk,* and it works, because it contains zero login friction.
The fact that you can join a server in a single click, then leave in one more, without thinking about an "account" you left behind, or getting goddamn Happy Birthday emails a year later, is why Discord works.
You can look around and see this happening all over. The reason people use things like IG and tiktok as social networks isn't because they're good ways to communicate, but because *they're already logged in.* They get push notifs.
People are overwhelmed. They are incredibly busy already, and constantly assaulted by thousands of parties demanding their sole attention. Whatever *incidentally* worms its way into their life is what they end up using, through sheer momentum.
Forums, and websites in general, are from a time when people had perhaps *dozens* of things to do online. Or four things. You checked three or four websites daily and that was it. I remember that time, and it's over, and we have to acknowledge it.
I am as sad as all my peers at the fact that "web 1.0" is dead and nobody makes "geocities sites" anymore, but we are doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring the reality of human life in 2022.
Those things are not gone because of corporate interests. I went to dreamhost, got an account for next to nothing, wrote plain .htmls in notepad, and made a "Web 1.0" website. It's indexed in Google. Almost nobody goes there.
There has never been a moment when you couldn't make a "plain old website." The problem is that those just don't fit our way of life anymore. We need to grow up and figure out this problem before the web becomes useless for any information relevant past 2010.
That's what I meant by "getting mad for the wrong reasons" at the beginning of this thread. Discord isn't the problem, the problem is that *there is nothing else* offering zero login friction. We have not made anything that's better *and totally, absolutely free, in every sense.*
And "we" isn't open-source, it's not cute little communities of well-meaning people. It's a business, or something that runs like one. An organization that's playing hardball, aggressively trying to bait people into using their product by any means necessary.
Because that's what it takes to make something zero-friction. The millions of totally-free Discord servers are *bait.* That's Discord paying money out of their own pockets to make sure there's SOME reason for you to register an account. There's a Discord for everyone out there.
The reason you have a Discord account is because at some point, you came across *something* interesting enough that you caved and went through the signup process. Now you're In, forever, and on a long enough timeline you'll join more servers. Because it's free for you now.
On a long enough timeline, you'll join a server that you want to stick around for. You'll make friends there, and one day, you will become irritated that you can't *just send a little video file* because it's 5K over the limit. And you'll sign up for a premium account.
Your $10/mo. pays for tens of thousands of free servers, and in aggregate, all the people paying $10/mo. just so they can send a sticker once in a while pay for the service used by millions who don't.
It's sickening, but it's stark reality, and if someone doesn't produce a forum that works like this - because Discord *can't* and *won't*, and aren't the right people to do it anyway - they will disappear forever as a resource.
These Discord forums *will* take off. Because people are already logged in. And we will all be left staring at the millions of threads created in them, lost to time as soon as they were started, and wondering how our superior solution got left behind for this.

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More from @crdudeyoutube

Sep 18
Landed the score of the century yesterday. A beautiful pair of beat to shit, 80s-era pine shelves - only 21" wide and less than 6' tall. I swear I've never seen a storage unit like this sold new.
I can tell they're from the 80s from the smell and the weird shelf clips that I'm gonna have to replace. Not sure how that works but I know what I know, maybe I'm smelling a varnish that nobody uses anymore.
I strongly suspect they were homemade, and for $20 each that's a killer deal any way you slice it.
Read 10 tweets
Aug 25
since i can finally play astro's playhouse, i can finally review it: this is an attempt to return us to the era of computer software reminding us that our computers contain Components. we were overdue
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Aug 25
I have a new idea, a project I don't have time for but someone does: The USB Audio Direct-Attach Cable.

It's a cable with two USB-A ends. Plug it into two PCs. It appears as an audio class device on both - but there's no analog stage. Digital all the way through.
Each chip just takes the samples it receives from its host and throws them down the wire, where they get handed straight off to the other host. Zero conversion, zero loss, and if done right, very little latency.
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Jun 1
put words to a decades-old thought: the software era of 3D rendering was fascinating because it was largely... "artisanal." yes, there were *some* engines, but a lot of games, as far as I know, were either handrolled or used some unknown 3D library bought from who-knows-who
I remember the early days of 3D acceleration: my first Voodoo, and my first openGL card (radeon) were remarkable, they felt so unique, smooth, otherworldly. but i rapidly detected the absence of a je ne sais quoi. games suddenly felt very samey.
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every single queer person who sees this kind of thing feels the insincerity so deeply, because these aren't things anyone would ever say to another person, and the deafening subtext is "i don't think you should have your sense of self beaten out of you"
it's so unreal. no queer person has ever told another that they're "awesome the way they are," because that's an absurd thing to think. but it's impossible to put *the absence of hate* into words, and "i don't want you dead" doesn't look good on a store shelf
when someone *doesn't want you dead* they don't say that. that's not how communication works. you don't say that, you show it. it's not some goddamn affirmation, it's trust, and trust is earned through experience, not empty words. it cannot be bought with a slogan.
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May 30
Few weeks ago I went into goodwill and saw they had moved tons of shelves to create a bunch of empty space. Saw it at multiple stores. Knew exactly what was up, and I called it: they're loading up on dollar store junk, meaning they're shutting down retail and going all eBay. ImageImage
The last opportunity to find an unexpected deal at goodwill is behind us forever, at least in the PNW. Other regional operators may not do this, but as of now, Seattle goodwill's days are numbered. They probably will not make it to next February.
If you have any doubts that goodwill PNW has decided to no longer have a retail presence: this is literally an entire aisle of outlet timers, which serve no function in 2022. The only purpose of this is to hide the stock they're removing to sell online. Image
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