Suggestion Discord Chat suggestions/critique/opinions. (1 Viewer)

highwayman

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I originally was gonna post this on the Discord but do not seek the opinions of NON StP users or wish to infuriate entrenched Discord users who have learned to love STPs discord. They do not deserve to read this feedback & it probably does not concern them all though they can comment without ever joining STP. If they have not even taken the effort to join the forum then why should they access to STP chat? I am a member of STP & have been since 2006. I might seem biased & possibly a minority in this opinion but don't feel as if I am being unrealistic & or unreasonable to only expect to communicate with verifiable STP users from our established forum. If this our collective STP home that we all work to build, contribute & cultivate together wouldn't there be some uniformity between chat & forum use?

Obviously there is some sort of agreement between servers & I assume some Discord users may eventually become members of our forums there. It may actually be a great tool for STP recruitment if that is an intention. From what I see is that STP users are at times the minority at STP Discord. Perhaps my issues are with a torrent of unknown/non STP users that hijack & derail STP chat without even having a known footprint here. With no knowledge or experience or without even knowing why STP exists. The ability to morph usernames & have multiple Discord identities kinda gives a voice to anyone to say anything without any recourse in the forums or while having a known connection to their Discord accounts. This is not about any single user or statement; this is just my opinion as an STP user. Why it was decided that our Discord chat would become a public chat without needing an STP account or subsequent approval to keep the flavor of STP chat cohesive with the STP forums is above my paygrade. Why a majority of users would be approved or invited to Discord instead of being mandated to actually create an STP account is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps the requirement doesnt exist on the Discord side in order to be fully integrated with STP? As an example, if a user was playing Call of Duty would they intentionally log into a fortnite server to discuss COD? Yet visitors who do not know what STP is, access the Discord all the same.

As a long time forum member these are my 2 cents after experimenting with discord over the last week or so. Without users being held to the same rules & etiquettes as with prior versions of STP chat such as dont be a dick, dont troll, dont flame, no multiple accounts etc, it just doesn't completely feel like home. I also noticed that many former active chat users seem to be absent from this version as I was prior to my latest experiment. I can't speak for anyone but myself but wonder if others share any of my concerns/critiques. Most/many Discord users are unrecognizable beyond us few that intentionally chose their STP username as their Discord name. Avatars can be changed randomly & there is no bio that identifies ones STP username. Where we can adjust our username on STP once every 3 months we can change on discord multiple times daily. I assume that some users had Discord before they joined STP but for myself; I joined STP before Discord even existed! I have zero video games & or additional servers that could tempt me to join their dialogue as I wouldnt fit in there discussing games I do not play. I do recognize that the mobile/3rd party app is more user friendly to those on mobile devices and or traveling and as a platform has the ability to apparently function well. I recall how much Tapatalk sucked as an overall app and assume that it is the best available option as far as usability/integration & cost.

My suggestion based on the above statement is that having a public chat room for a private forum is not the way to go, IMO. Never were non registered users able to chat before? While Discord obviously works from a technical perspective & frees up maintenance; could it not be better adjusted to more closely resemble previous versions of STP chat? After learning that the demographic was so disproportionately young with many minors from Vagabonds & Runaways & or elsewhere/anywhere; I found myself questioning who these chat users were, why they were there & what they hoped to accomplish there. I had been wondering, Would I otherwise be engaging & conversing with this demographic of unknown users & the answer was no. I do not go to reddit. I do not use FB & as of now I currently do not currently use Discord. I would like to chat with STP users, many who I have known for years & some who are just getting to know this culture & get familiar with our cadre of users. Perhaps I expect some sort of dedicated room that requires permission based on forum participation. Perhaps that room would not have the amount of participation as the campfire or might be deemed too exclusive? With past chatrooms the only exclusivity factor was that a user was required to register as a forum user to chat if I remember. They may have had to do some basic things like fill out there profile, add an avatar & post an intro and get familiar to using the forums by searching for the answers to their multitude of redundant questions/posts among new users.

Just like someone's camp may technically be located on public land, private property, abandoned etc. If that spot is formally claimed, maintained & lived in; an unofficial yet understood & accepted covenant between current occupiers & would be occupiers/visitors clearly exists if only for a temporary time. IMO, Healthy boundaries that are clear & understood are good things that might be better standardized across all of STP.
 
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Durp

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What is discord and how can I join the stp chat?
Edit: i figured it out.
 
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Matt Derrick

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My suggestion based on the above statement is that having a public chat room for a private forum is not the way to go, IMO.
okay, well, let's just start off by clearing this up. StP has never been and never will be a private forum. it's a public forum where anyone can register an account and participate. the chat/discord server is just as public as the website.

moving on, so you don't like that chat, fair enough. but i have to say that you're in the minority. chat use has gone waaaay up since moving to the discord service; just because you don't understand how to use it doesn't make it bad. the old chat was tied to the website and didn't work very well for most mobile users. using a dedicated app like discord makes live chat with our users much more accessible. 65% of StP's website traffic is from mobile devices, and giving our users a way to easily communicate (whether they are currently traveling or not) via a mobile device makes sense to me, and I think it makes sense for the community as a whole.

now before i address your concerns, i would like to point out that the discord server is still in a very experimental state and subject to change. also, i would like to point out that i am only one person, and frankly, I'm burned out. I've been doing this website stuff for nigh on 20 years and I'm fucking tired and I don't have the motivation to do it anymore. that doesn't mean i don't like participating here, or working on stp-related projects that interest me (youtube, travel writing, creating an StP hq), i'm just burned out on having to do all the tech stuff here that brings new features and whatnot.

now, on top of that, it takes virtually no effort to complain about shit here, and jesus fuck ass, do people in this community like to complain. i'm not pointing fingers at anyone in particular, to anyone reading this, you're probably great, and we love having you here. but if just half of one percent of you took the fucking time to DO SOMETHING like add information to the resources section or atlas, volunteer your time, or actually contribute something to the community other than your opinions, StP would be 10x the community it is today. the fact is that overall, the underground traveler community as it stands today is extremely fucking lazy and really couldn't be bothered to lift a finger to help itself. so it's basically my job to carry everyone on my shoulders to the point where I'm seriously questioning why I bother. the fact that i do so for free (and worse, at a serious financial cost to myself) makes it that much harder to bear.

to beat the metaphor to death, StP is a pirate ship in the middle of a storm with myself at the wheel while the rest of the passengers get drunk and have a good time below decks. the only assistance im getting is from the moderators, who are basically the only ones looking to make sure we don't run aground on the rocks of flaming/trolling threads run amok (for which i am grateful) that would literally turn this place into another 4chan. i mean, christ, have you seen the 'traveler' groups on facebook? what a shit show...

pirate metaphors aside, everyone has bitched and moaned about something on StP the entire time it's been afloat. I remember when users bemoaned the fact that god forbid there were social media sharing buttons on StP. god, people thought i was a straight up asshole for even having that on the site (it's included in the software). but eventually, people either left or got used to it, and eventually came to accept it's usefulness (and no one is forcing you to press that button). just a tiny example, but my point is that just because it's new and strange to you doesn't meant it's bad.

getting back on topic, my point here is that changes to the discord are going to be very, very slow, because there is literally no one to help me. in fact, it's barely been setup up at all in the first place, because i have a job, and a life outside of StP (sometimes) and there's just shit IRL (i.e. doctor appointments, dentist appointments, the fact that i should be at the gym right now instead of writing this) that is more important than your opinions of what a chat room should and shouldn't be.

so it's hard for me to take these complaints seriously when i know no one is going to fix them except for me. which is basically like saying, 'here's another problem/thing i don't like to add to your pile of shit you need to do'; which I've managed to knock down from several hundred tasks (yes, there's literally a list, that's the only way i can keep track of what needs to be done) to maybe around 40 or so, with the vague hope that maybe someday i'll be able to dig myself out of that hole and walk away from the technical side of StP before people pile on another load of tasks that no one will or wants to take care of themselves. and let's be real here, if i walked away today (which has been tempting), StP would just cease to be. No one is going to step up to the plate and take the wheel. Plenty have claimed they would (or at least help steer the ship) none have followed through. In almost 20 years, not one person. So I'm at a battle of wills between doing this out of obligation and doing this because i love the positive aspects of the community (and the people in it), and i'm not sure how much longer the latter is going hold out against the former.

now, i've done waaaaaay more bitching and moaning than i ever intended to in this response, that just kinda ended up flowing out of me, but i need you to know where I'm coming from.

is the chat 100% ideal for everyone in every situation? nope. and it never will be, that's life. can we make it better? i'm sure we can. but StP has always been against 'gate keeping' so I don't think closing off the discord to only users with registered StP accounts is the way to go.

That said, one of our discord admins (Pokebert) had a great suggestion that I think might meet you halfway. First, we absolutely need to define the rules and purpose of the discord and it's relation to the StP website more clearly. I think doing that will make it clear to new users what we're trying to achieve and how to plug into the StP community/website from the discord.

Second, Pokebert suggested that we create a 'verified users' role ('roles' in discord are basically like user groups, you can use them to define permissions) so that folks in the chat know who is an StP member. In order to get that role, you'd have to sync your StP account with your discord account, at which point you couldn't change your username from the one you have on StP (and I think your avatar as well? i need to double check that) so StP users could be easily defined visually in the discord. Verified users could also have their own private text/audio channel (not accessible to non-verified members) if folks think that's something that would get used.

I feel like that would solve the majority of the complaints you had in your post while keeping the chat fairly open, but I could be wrong, let me know.

If folks find that acceptable, i'll throw it onto the pile of tasks i've yet to slog through.
 

Matt Derrick

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i want to assure folks that im not gonna fly off the handle every time someone makes a suggestion, just please, keep it civil and lighthearted, if possible. the tone of the OP is really kinda what let to my rant, not the complaint itself. i'm always open to suggestions, in fact the more you make the better i can make StP. when no one suggests anything, nothing ever changes, and eventually StP becomes less useful in my opinion, so let me know what you want to see happen here.
 
OP
highwayman

highwayman

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Hey I appreciate the response. While my lengthy critique may have been received by you as a complaint; that was not its intention. My time is just as valuable to me as anyone who helps out around here & contributes. If I simply wanted to bitch I could have done so in far fewer words. If users do not want to use discord, they can chose that. I view my experiment as that of a beta tester/consultant & from being a community member I was able to gain these opinions. Through such past dialogues with users is how STP has got to where it is today. Growing anything takes work, vision & fortitude that many here including myself are grateful for you & all others who make this site what it is. As with anything it takes a village. I trust that all of the mods, admins, contributing users & long time users devout as much time, energy & resources to the success of our online community here at STP as they are able. I also trust that if given the opportunity to be further involved & lighten any individual load that this community has & will always come to the aid of preserving STP.

While much of the effort is attributable to the tireless work that @Matt Derrick does & has done if all of the parts were not here contributing what they can then this community might not resemble a community at all This village should not be a burden on its founder but more a labor of love for those that are here. This was not a complaint as much as my opinion where some users seem to agree. Sure it is not a consensus but if users fear that there opinions are deemed to be adversarial in nature instead of for the betterment of the whole; than perhaps they will not make any suggestions.

I personally do not measure the success rate of anything based on quantity over quality. Apologetically I do not know who @Pokebert is in relation to STP or IRL beyond Discord but assume that they face some of those same leadership challenges as all of us mods, admins & users do.I stand by my opinions & think that To effectively Steward a community entity while managing affairs on behalf of its historical past, its membership while staying true to the original mission statement of founders is no easy task. I believe through delegating & trusting others to be agents for overall positive change can & will be successful. It is not important to me whom gets credit for individual suggestion & feedback providing that the site continues to exist & improve. I have seen, weathered & adjusted to many evolution's here on STP; this chat is no different. If I know anything is that STP is a living, breathing machine that is constantly morphing & improving. Perhaps it is the best available permanent option for STP & @Matt Derrick , perhaps with everything else it just needs a little tinkering & adjustment. Hopefully my critique is helpful in some way.

I appreciate that some of my might suggestions resonate with you & others here @Matt Derrick and completely understand if everything doesn't. As a one time mod, I know how mods too are willingly keeping the ship afloat, mediating conflict while you are solely at the helm charting STPs course & adjusting her technical rigging. Do know that my participation and suggestions are aimed at being helpful to that mission. My goal is not to add stress to your stressful life situation. I do intend on contributing where & how I can. This previous suggestion was an example of my commitment & love for STP. My tone was intended to be honest & without emotion; just a clear & professional opinion from an invested longterm user.
 
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highwayman

highwayman

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The other thing Matt mentions about about triaging & prioritizing the pile of tasks of what is important is obviously far out of my purview. Your workload must be intense enough and who knows where this falls in the grand scheme of the workload pile. While I was never actually asked for my opinion I thought if I felt as such then perhaps others might share my sentiment is all.
 

Anagor

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DO SOMETHING like add information to the resources section or atlas, volunteer your time, or actually contribute something to the community
Well, that motivated me to add an item to the atlas. Don't know if it's really helpful and it's about Camden, London and not US ... but I thought perhaps ...

When it comes to the discord chat my moarning is about a technical thing. The two factor authentication needed when you login from a different IP address. Due to my personal setup and a shitty phone that really annoyes me and that's why I use the chat rarely.
 

Matt Derrick

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Hey I appreciate the response. While my lengthy critique may have been received by you as a complaint; that was not its intention. My time is just as valuable to me as anyone who helps out around here & contributes. If I simply wanted to bitch I could have done so in far fewer words. If users do not want to use discord, they can chose that. I view my experiment as that of a beta tester/consultant & from being a community member I was able to gain these opinions. Through such past dialogues with users is how STP has got to where it is today. Growing anything takes work, vision & fortitude that many here including myself are grateful for you & all others who make this site what it is. As with anything it takes a village. I trust that all of the mods, admins, contributing users & long time users devout as much time, energy & resources to the success of our online community here at STP as they are able. I also trust that if given the opportunity to be further involved & lighten any individual load that this community has & will always come to the aid of preserving STP.

While much of the effort is attributable to the tireless work that @Matt Derrick does & has done if all of the parts were not here contributing what they can then this community might not resemble a community at all This village should not be a burden on its founder but more a labor of love for those that are here. This was not a complaint as much as my opinion where some users seem to agree. Sure it is not a consensus but if users fear that there opinions are deemed to be adversarial in nature instead of for the betterment of the whole; than perhaps they will not make any suggestions.

I personally do not measure the success rate of anything based on quantity over quality. Apologetically I do not know who @Pokebert is in relation to STP or IRL beyond Discord but assume that they face some of those same leadership challenges as all of us mods, admins & users do.I stand by my opinions & think that To effectively Steward a community entity while managing affairs on behalf of its historical past, its membership while staying true to the original mission statement of founders is no easy task. I believe through delegating & trusting others to be agents for overall positive change can & will be successful. It is not important to me whom gets credit for individual suggestion & feedback providing that the site continues to exist & improve. I have seen, weathered & adjusted to many evolution's here on STP; this chat is no different. If I know anything is that STP is a living, breathing machine that is constantly morphing & improving. Perhaps it is the best available permanent option for STP & @Matt Derrick , perhaps with everything else it just needs a little tinkering & adjustment. Hopefully my critique is helpful in some way.

I appreciate that some of my might suggestions resonate with you & others here @Matt Derrick and completely understand if everything doesn't. As a one time mod, I know how mods too are willingly keeping the ship afloat, mediating conflict while you are solely at the helm charting STPs course & adjusting her technical rigging. Do know that my participation and suggestions are aimed at being helpful to that mission. My goal is not to add stress to your stressful life situation. I do intend on contributing where & how I can. This previous suggestion was an example of my commitment & love for STP. My tone was intended to be honest & without emotion; just a clear & professional opinion from an invested longterm user.
I apologize for taking things out on you a bit. i am under a lot of stress at work and my living situation here in walla walla is pretty lonely and i don't really have a lot of social outlets. frankly i'm really starting to feel like i'm starting to crack a little here and im really not sure what to do about it.

this is making it very difficult to get anything done on StP and adding more things onto my workload isn't helping. that's not your fault, and you couldn't have known that, so im not blaming you. i don't know what else to say about it at the moment so im going to just leave it there for now.
 

Odin

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Dunno if it happens to anyone else... but clicking CHAT on the stp forums doesn't link to Discord anymore... and or there was the sidebar link to it that was working? but is
gone?
 

Matt Derrick

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Dunno if it happens to anyone else... but clicking CHAT on the stp forums doesn't link to Discord anymore... and or there was the sidebar link to it that was working? but is
gone?
is it too difficult to click chat, then join? seems pretty easy to me.

i took the sidebar widget listing discord users off cause it seemed kind of redundant. if people really want it back let me know.

@highwayman if you haven't noticed, i implemented a stp-verified user only chat room in the discord server.
 
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I can't get the discord chat link on sidebar to work, thanks for the loser room suggestions highway man but seems it kiled the link. Just says don't have permission in the chat bars but shows they are there ?
 

Myatezhnik

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This discord deal is just....ridiculously confusing to me.
I don’t get it.
Sticking to the site personally.
 

Odin

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Now the chat link on stp gets me the invite and I log in but alI I get is a black screen when Discord should load...

THis sheeeet...
 

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