Matt_O

VHL DebateTable: Discord vs Forums

Discord or Forums?  

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As the VHL takes a step into the modern era, many great things have happened to the league. A recent influx of new members are making serious contributions to the VHL landscape. The rapid growth of the league has also made room for many issues to take a front seat; such as whether we should add more expansion teams, or just make teams have a third line. Today, we will be tackling a different issue, one that (probably) drove one of our best members, @BOOMCHENKO™ (boom), away from the league. Today we will be talking about whether the use of discord is positive for the league and the community, and how it effects the forums.

 

Why is Discord viewed as bad?

Perhaps saying that Discord has killed forums is a reach. But it certainly has made the forums a place to gain TPE and not do much else. If you look into the All time VHL moments thread, you can see all the random stuff over the years that became so iconic in VHL lore, from the Oregon Trail games, to @Phil getting banned. Old members don't like the lack of genuine conversation on the forums, and  @flyersfan1453said this in an article (link)

 

"I feel that there is a sizable contingent of the member base that only posts on the site for TPE and nothing else. Discord is probably a leading culprit of this as well, but no one posts on the forum anymore to just talk. Just look through the Best VHL Moments threads and see how many of them from long time members are just about weird things that were posted on the site. With Discord, you lose that, because if you're not there in the moment, then it's gone forever."

 

This article he wrote brought discussion among the higher ups in the VHL community, and many of the older members agree with what he has to say. The biggest fault for Discord seems to be the fact that if you aren't there when the conversation is happening, you can't reignite the conversation. It gets buried under 900+ messages of people commanding the bot to show their player stats, while on the forums you can easily have a conversation lasting multiple days, and restart it whenever you want. 

 

"Discord is great for people to chat about random stuff, but are pretty much impossible to keep track of any sort of discussions. It's very much a "You had to be there" conversation, which is fun, but being able to go back and see a full conversation is always fun, and leaves room to enter a conversation hours later"

- @Quik

 

"It honestly feels joe like people will only post on the forum if they have a chance to get TPE from it and that, to me, just feels wrong. The VHL has always been about the community and I personally don’t feel that community nearly as strong on Discord with 100 people talking over each other as I do on the forum with specifically structured topics holding relevant conversations."

- @Beketov

 

The Positives of Discord

While Discord has become a place of controversy, it has to be acknowledged that it does have its benefits. One of the largest benefits is that it certainly makes newcomers feel more welcome, and their questions get answered faster.

 

"It connects the teams and the players more and helps us get to know each other more and helps us all get along more"

- @Connor mcdavid

 

"I find Discord's better for certain subjects, mostly discussion about the league and the squad."

- @cody73

 

Another advantage of the Discord is that it is way more convenient, especially compared to team locker rooms. Discord can be accessed any time, no matter where you are. @Bucky___lastard said it best:

 

"Discord is far more convenient, and I think there would be more engagement if the LR was at the top of the page rather than buried at the very bottom. You have to go looking for the LR, which makes it out of sight, out of mind"

 

"I prefer Discord to forums due to the ease."

- @fonziGG

 

The biggest positive of Discord is without a doubt that it helps retain members; our number of active members are definitely higher because of Discord. The use of bots is also very cool, despite people abusing it and asking the bot to show their player stats every five minutes. The positives of Discord come down to this; it is very easily accessible, and it helps retain more members. From what I have heard from members, that is how the majority of the public feels as well.

 

The Verdict

 

From the responses I got, the majority of people preferred the forums over Discord, due to its record of events. On Discord conversations get buried by hundreds of messages, while on the forums you can easily pick up a conversation the day afterwards. It seemed that people think that Discord has damaged the forums, as people only post on the forums to get TPE, and not to have fun talks and other stuff. Perhaps @Nykonax and his mafia games will help the forums. 

 

For my opinion, I'll take the forums over Discord. While Discord is very convenient and easy, I like the forums because multiple people can have a conversation that is understandable, and not jumbled around. It is easy to backtrack things on the forums, while on Discord they just get buried. For me, one example of this happened the day I am writing this. People were talking about the political compass and I was about to take a test to see where I land, only to find that the conversation happened two hours ago and was no longer relevant. If that conversation happened on the forums, it would be fine for me to respond to it two hours afterwards. What do you think about Discord and the forums? Let me know your opinion, and what issue I should tackle next!

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3 minutes ago, Matt_O said:

On Discord conversations get buried by hundreds of messages, while on the forums you can easily pick up a conversation the day afterwards.

 

Important point: Discord is far better than forums in terms of actual conversation, i.e. talking back and forth with a one person or a small group of people at a time. What can be exchanged on Discord in a few minutes might take hours or days to develop on the forum, and I'd say that, in the right atmosphere, it's far easier to get to know somebody on Discord than it is here. 

 

The points made about the forums are valid, though--I'm in favor of Discord, but I'd support any effort to revive forum activity somewhat. Talk shouldn't be all off-site, and for members who aren't online all the time and would like to stay caught up with the latest, I'd imagine that forum activity is better.

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Both are useful tools don't get me wrong. I think a lot of what people are forgetting is there is probably a lot less spam being posted on the forums. Discord does have it's faults but it is also a great way to get a hold of people. Both are useful and both have their value, they are both capable of being effective and living side by side. 

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I am more of a forum guy, while yeah I do love Discord, I just unfortunately do not have the time to hang out on discord with Work/Family/Other commitments. On the forum I can quickly pop on during work and contribute to some conversations which I cannot do with Discord (while at work).

They both work well and both are assets to the community.

For the bot problem, just make a separate channel for bot commands (stats) and disable it everywhere else (if Discord can do that)

Edited by Greg_Di

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I stand by my comment. Discord's definitely better for engaging conversations, but the forum's great for stuff you miss and when you want to add in your 2 cents to a discussion, much like this thread. 

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1 hour ago, Matt_O said:

It honestly feels joe like people will only post on the forum if they have a chance to get TPE from it

That moment when neither the writer nor editor realizes there’s a weird auto-correct in your quote and you’re stuck trying to figure out what it was supposed to be.

 

1 hour ago, Matt_O said:

I think there would be more engagement if the LR was at the top of the page rather than buried at the very bottom. You have to go looking for the LR, which makes it out of sight, out of mind"

They were for a time actually but when we switched them to clubs instead of direct forums we lost the ability to place them; the bottom is the only place clubs can go. I’ve never quite understood this argument in any case though. Where a forum is placed in the main board means nothing to me because I don’t individually click into forums and sub forums pretty much ever. I just click “view new content” and scroll through that. Do people not use that feature?

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5 minutes ago, Beketov said:

That moment when neither the writer nor editor realizes there’s a weird auto-correct in your quote and you’re stuck trying to figure out what it was supposed to be.

 

They were for a time actually but when we switched them to clubs instead of direct forums we lost the ability to place them; the bottom is the only place clubs can go. I’ve never quite understood this argument in any case though. Where a forum is placed in the main board means nothing to me because I don’t individually click into forums and sub forums pretty much ever. I just click “view new content” and scroll through that. Do people not use that feature?

I thought I was going crazy and had to read it a few times to see I wasn't.

 

 

 

I click into specific sub forums from main page: Announcements, S66 games, VSN, VHL Articles and Media Spots. I've never used the view new content feature and barely noticed it was there when I joined the site. I don't partly because of the empty welfare and practice facility posts to scroll past (and other teams press conferences). 

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19 minutes ago, cody73 said:

I stand by my comment. Discord's definitely better for engaging conversations, but the forum's great for stuff you miss and when you want to add in your 2 cents to a discussion, much like this thread. 

Exactly. Discord does nothing in the way of productivity, and can't go nearly as in-depth as a forum discussion. But--aside from being where I've gotten to know many teammates, players I've managed, and other members of the league in general, Discord was also where I had a great many aspects of the league explained to me, and it's where I actually became interested in the league. I likely wouldn't be here right now if last season's Discord locker room in Houston weren't as great as it was, and I certainly wouldn't be here if it didn't exist in the first place. Being able to ask questions and having them answered instantly, or within a few minutes, is far superior to displaying it on the forum, hoping someone happens to read my post, and getting an answer at some point in the future.

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1 minute ago, GustavMattias said:

Exactly. Discord does nothing in the way of productivity, and can't go nearly as in-depth as a forum discussion. But--aside from being where I've gotten to know many teammates, players I've managed, and other members of the league in general, Discord was also where I had a great many aspects of the league explained to me, and it's where I actually became interested in the league. I likely wouldn't be here right now if last season's Discord locker room in Houston weren't as great as it was, and I certainly wouldn't be here if it didn't exist in the first place. Being able to ask questions and having them answered instantly, or within a few minutes, is far superior to displaying it on the forum, hoping someone happens to read my post, and getting an answer at some point in the future.


This all 100% true and I agree that Discord has made the VHL way more fun. 

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FWIW I don’t think any of even us old farts thing Discord is useless. It’s more so just an annoyance that basically all non-TPE related talk has switched to it which makes the forum itself feel pretty dead by comparison.

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33 minutes ago, Rayzor_7 said:

I've never used the view new content feature and barely noticed it was there when I joined the site. I don't partly because of the empty welfare and practice facility posts to scroll past (and other teams press conferences). 

I think a lack of using it and more people moving to almost exclusively discord actually makes this problem worse. With people only posting when it gets them TPE (more or less) that’s all the content you’re likely to see. You’ll never really discover anything though without using it or diving into different sub-forums. If people were posting more the split between interesting and not-interesting content would definitely be more balanced.

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I'm a newer member which puts me a position to prefer discord, which I do. I do like the atmosphere of the forums though with all of the different things instead of general chat being flooded. Although I will say discord is definitely a very important thing to keep new members.

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9 hours ago, Beaviss said:

Discord = party and bullshiting

Forums = official and business 

The problem is that kind of mindset means anyone without the time to be on 24/7 gets basically only official stuff and posts only for TPE.

 

I’ve always looked at the VHL as a community, not a game. That community feel doesn’t really exist on discord for me with everything jumbled together and conversations getting buried. The structure of the forum for me allows the community to thrive moreso than just to chat which is all I think discord should be, a fancy chat box. I think though that a lot of people look at the league more as a game than a community though. To them I guess it would make sense to have a place to play and a place to shoot the shit; I just fail to understand why they need to be separated.

 

I do understand why people like one more than the other and both have their uses. I guess I just don’t understand why it’s become the norm to assume nothing can be posted if it’s not for TPE which seems to be the general assumption.

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13 hours ago, Beketov said:

FWIW I don’t think any of even us old farts thing Discord is useless. It’s more so just an annoyance that basically all non-TPE related talk has switched to it which makes the forum itself feel pretty dead by comparison.

 

Agree, also at work i find it easier to read up on stuff on the forums, then on discord.

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The Blues and Raptors winning showcase this exact problem beautifully I would say. These are two teams winning their first ever championships, it should be huge. Back in the day each would have probably had 10 pages of discussion with basically live play by play. Instead what do we have? 2 posts, total. 1 of those being @CoachReilly complaining about a lack of Raptors posts.

 

I get that it was in the discord but the game literally started at 10pm for me last night, I was long asleep before it was done. I could go scroll through the discord and see what was discussed (in a rambling and non-organized fashion) but there’s really no point adding to that conversation now because it’s over. Good topics on the forum used to last for days or weeks with 50+ different people all talking about the same thing. Now we have 2 major sporting events happen in the same week and we get absolutely no lasting discussion on the matter.

 

I thought up the debate series and presented it to the VSN as a way of getting people talking, @Matt_O ran with it and did a great job IMO but clearly starting with this one made one big mistake: it asked people to discuss something on the forum without offering TPE for it. I just don’t get how the VHL can be thriving more than it ever has while also getting basically 0 discussion. Discord may be great for quick answers but it’s terrible IMO for any conversation that you actually want to have continue and that as an overall hurts the community. The forum is the lifeblood of the league, it shouldn’t be used as just a means to acquire TPE.

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I really tried to get back into the Discord, but really never found a reason to join a conversation. At any given time, two or three people are going back and forth about something in the general chat/other rooms, making it hard for anyone else to jump in and start talking about someone else.

 

I think my biggest problem is that, with the Discord server, there are always going to be a small handful of names that are hyper active and dominate the discussion. Hate to throw my guy under the bus here, but these last few weeks, I would check the general chat and see a single name plastered across the chat logs, providing input on conversations whether it was relevant or not. Sometimes, comments would derail the conversation entirely, and end up being more of a nuisance/distraction than a contribution. Other times, these interruptions would halt the conversation at hand and give way to an entirely new one, dictated by the person who was interrupting to begin with. The VHL general server, as a whole, just became a wholly uninteresting place to try and interact with the league, and after being a part of it for a few seasons, I've decided that it really isn't something that I need to be a part of.

 

On the other hand, I feel like servers do wonders for team-centered environments. The Helsinki Titans discord server has been fantastic, but it gets an advantage by only including a small handful of people who are on the team. You get the chance to read every message, and interact regularly with guys that you don't usually see hanging around the general server. We can shoot the shit, talk about our sim results and plans going forward, whatever we feel like. For that smaller, more exclusive environment, I think Discord trumps the forums.

 

So overall, I guess, a site-wide Discord really doesn't give you much of a chance to interact with the majority of the league, ironically enough. It's so easy to get lost in the sea of people/hyperactivity that it really isn't worth your time to try and participate. On the flipside, when you're able to get away from the overpopulation of the league and just interact with your teammates, Discord is great.

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On 6/11/2019 at 4:40 PM, Beketov said:

That moment when neither the writer nor editor realizes there’s a weird auto-correct in your quote and you’re stuck trying to figure out what it was supposed to be.

 

They were for a time actually but when we switched them to clubs instead of direct forums we lost the ability to place them; the bottom is the only place clubs can go. I’ve never quite understood this argument in any case though. Where a forum is placed in the main board means nothing to me because I don’t individually click into forums and sub forums pretty much ever. I just click “view new content” and scroll through that. Do people not use that feature?

I've known about the "view new content" for years now and have used it a grand total of 0 times.

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27 minutes ago, Green said:

Exactly the opposite of me then d_a, for me it has been my go-to button for years :D 

Same. I haven’t manually looked through the forums since our first board. Why would you when there’s 1 button that will show you everything?

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7 hours ago, Green said:

Exactly the opposite of me then d_a, for me it has been my go-to button for years :D 

 

6 hours ago, Beketov said:

Same. I haven’t manually looked through the forums since our first board. Why would you when there’s 1 button that will show you everything?

 

I abuse the new content box on the mainpage but I should use that button more.

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Honestly, I think discord and the forum both have their uses. Discord is perfect for having conversation, as it allows for them to be held over a few minutes instead of a few hours. It is a perfect way to interact with your team, and increase activity. However, for more important discussions like this, the forum is perfect. It allows everyone to have their say in what they think is best, and for people to argue their opinions more effectively.

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47 minutes ago, Beaviss said:

 

 

I abuse the new content box on the mainpage but I should use that button more.

Definitely should. That box only shows like 5 things or something, it’s basically nothing.

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13 minutes ago, Beketov said:

Definitely should. That box only shows like 5 things or something, it’s basically nothing.

 

Thats why I miss somethings :P

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