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Rosalie

Discord versus Cbox?

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Rosalieart/Capricci/Stella Polaris Female NJ
Roleplay Admin Roleplay Admin Roleplayer Writing Wrangler Code Engineer

So we recently got a discord! After... a lot of back and forth. I'm still not sure if I/we like it. XD; We added it on to our staff chat, just a couple channels that members could see/use, which we moved to discord from slack because it keeps all the messages ever sent as searchable, while slack has a limit -- i miss a lot of things about slack, but discord's search feature and convenience since most people use it already are more valuable. But, well, our concern is and remains that discords suck the activity out of a lot of forums, moving it away from the actual site and sometimes breeding cliques -- and they're hard to moderate, if things happen in DMs and we only have screencaps or hearsay, rather than on-site PMs which are logged and I can go pull up if there's any issue with abuse or smth. Plus, it's another account members might have to make or another thing to clog their server list. We still have the cbox, and have for years and years, and to my pleasure the member base seems to still prefer it!

 

But it begs the questions -- what do you prefer on your sites? Would you use discord more if there were better ways to integrate it like a cbox? What do you think about the trend of discord on sites, and how essential it seems to be becoming for some? 

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She/Her
Roleplay Admin Roleplay Admin Roleplayer Theme Tinkerer

I was an extremely reluctant convert to Discord, at first. One of my mods was actually the one to take the plunge and create it, so I'm not even the owner of the discord channel. xD We started to use it only because the cbox was blocked on the mod's work PC. (Not the forum, just the cbox. It was weird.)

I've grown to love it, mostly because the mobile functionality is amazing compared to cbox's god awful mobile integration, and it functions as a private chat service as well, which cbox doesn't offer. We have some bots (namely Welcomer bot) that help out a lot as well. But I was really reluctant for the reasons you described. Moving chat off site and into DMs on what's supposed to be a writing forum, I was really leery that activity would start to move off site (both in terms of chatting and plotting in the plot sections).

And it did, but the impact was actually fairly minimal? We had issues very early on with 'secret' groups and separate servers players were creating that was leading to a lot of confusion and hurt feelings about other players feeling left out or that those secret groups and private servers were forming their own cliques. We fixed it by offering both public and private subplot channels dedicated to their plots and we've had no issues since then - and all staff have access in case something is going on that involves moderation. 

People are going to move into a chat service anyway, like Discord, Slack, Hangouts, Skype, whatever replaced AIM, whether you offer them a place to do it or not. At least with a site discord we (as staff) can have at least some eyes on the general conversation. People who prefer instant communication over plotters and PMs are still going to go into DMs or into their preferred chat of choice (mine was Hangouts, before Discord was a thing) but at least offering them a site discord to use 1.) still keeps activity somewhat connected to the site, and 2.) gives players a space for the instant IM chatting.

The whole 'external' bit is definitely a problem - we still keep our cbox on the site and will likely never get rid of it completely because the forum integration is the one thing cbox can still lord over Discord with ease, I hate Titan - and the guest options leave a lot to be desired. But Discord is the closest chat service I've seen in a long time that offers both a chat service and a community hub-like feel. If it fixed the external integration issues and allowed guest options in a cbox-like manner? I could see cbox fading from forums completely.

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Kit she/her Australia
Roleplay Admin Roleplayer Graphics Maker Theme Tinkerer Code Engineer

Discord, easy.

Mobile friendly - so I actually look at the damn thing XD I never looked at my cbox when I was out and about.

Guests can still freely post and browse whatever channel you allow by using the widgetbot. 

Then all the other bits and bobs that discord offers. Different channels, the bots, integrations, I can even adjust people's voice volume individually.

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Dae she/her United States
Roleplay Admin

I like Discord way better. It took me a bit to get used to it because I'm very against change, but now that I'm used to it I love it way more.

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Jess She/Her Massachusetts
Roleplay Admin Roleplay Admin Roleplayer Writing Wrangler Graphics Maker

I was hesitant to move our site to Discord, so honestly, we use both? We don't permit IC chatting, to prevent people from falling into the trap of quickfire RP scenarios that ultimately drive attention and desire away from posting. Our discord server is also private. I didn't really like the idea of having guests pop in, even to an isolated channel. Maybe I'm just weird that way, but it felt invasive to me! So, the cbox is on the site and free for anyone to post in. Once a potential member's first character has been accepted, they receive an invite to the site discord! 

Discord is super easy and mobile-friendly, and the ability to categorize different channels is pretty amazing. We even have one channel with a bot installed (Talos) that allows members to run word wars to sprint out posts. 🙂 We used to use Skype for large group calls, but it's honestly nice not to have my phone buzz in the middle of the night like "HFTA IS CALLING! WAKE UP!" haha. Now, we can just pop into the voice channel when we feel like talking/hanging out, or stick to text if we need the quiet. 

It's really all up to you and how your board functions. Everyone has different needs.

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Thistle She, Her, Hers Australia
Roleplay Admin Roleplayer Writing Wrangler Theme Tinkerer Code Engineer

Discord, all the way. Our forums were never active in the OOC areas, so I didn't see any harm in changing from the Cbox when our premium ran out, to the Discord. Honestly, it really cemented the OOC community! We have a handful of public channels, but also a large collection of private channels that can only be accessed by being an active member of the RP forum, so people feel comfortable chatting in there about what a bitch work was today, or posting photos of their pets and stuff. I love it!

I also attached a MyBB addon/bot, that feeds new posts and threads to selected Discord channels, and people can join the @Content Alert group if they want to be tagged when a new post goes up! The post tells them: what character posted, the thread rating, the title, the location and a link. The G rated threads include part of the opening paragraph, while the M rated threads are just the first letter (I couldn't get it to work with 0 letters lol).

So yeah, Discord all the way for me 😄

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Poe She, Her Eastern US
Code Engineer Roleplayer Theme Tinkerer Roleplay Admin

I prefer Discord. On all of the sites I have been on there has been some form of outside chat platform used. For a long time it was a mixture of AIM/Skype/Hangouts on the forums that I was apart of. Discord is just a wonderful mix of c-box and skype, which I think makes it much better for RPs in general. I like that I don't have to join a bunch of different chat services to contact people about plots. I think that having channels also sets it apart from other chat services in a big way, because it allows you to monitor your community a little better. You can designate specific areas for things. For example on my forum we have a questions channel so that your questions won't get lost in the general chat, so a staff member can answer once they have time.

Overall, discord is great for my site and for me personally.

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Catherine she/her
Roleplayer Roleplay Admin Writing Wrangler

I'm a moderator of one Discord RP server, the administrator of another, and planning on making one more in the future, so of course I favor it. There's something far more versatile and intimate about using it as opposed to a cbox. That being said, I'm a part of a site that uses cboxes actively, so it's not like I'm against the idea of using them, either. (Granted, they're ICCs.) But the fact that cboxes require active maintenance and cannot be directly tied to each other the way that channels can leads to them being inconvenient. In addition, people get more chatty on Discord than they do in a cbox.

For a forum that's not as much about creating a tight-knit community and wants to look more active on the forum, Discord might not be the best fit, but otherwise I think it's a good choice over cbox.

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