Discord vs discourse - rant

I hope I’ve got this right:

  • MPU talk is hosted on Discourse.
  • most other discussion sites (for instance, macstories) are hosted on Discord

I love using discourse.
I hate using discord.

Using Discourse feels like I’m taking a stroll down a gentle country lane chatting with my neighbors.
Using Discord feels like I’m in the middle of a mad max movie, and I can’t keep up with the plot.

The problem is I keep getting invited to discord groups and I don’t know how to use or navigate them.

It might just be that I’m old (53!), but it’s bugging me, because others seem to thrive inside discord. I’m cancelling my macstories membership because most of the good stuff seems to happen there. I keep coming back to mpu talk, coz it’s nice here.

Any advice? (Apart from buying a time machine)


I’m with you; the few times I tried a discord site I found it to be a relentless stream of information, which is one of many reasons I don’t use Twitter and similar SM services. Discourse is more like a public town square, Discord is more like shouting in a mob–the name fits. :slightly_smiling_face:


Don’t the names say it all? :wink:

I’m in the same boat, as far as forums go this is my “happy place”. I am a member of a few Discords but I don’t have the time or inclination to visit. I am sure I am missing out but, I too, am old (60) so maybe it’s just the kids these days! :smiley:

Also, @Clarke_Ching, nicest rant ever! :slight_smile:


In my opinion, it’s an apples to oranges comparison. Here’s why…

Discourse is attempting to compete with Discord…

…and vice versa!


The Muse podcast recently had on Logseq’s community manager to discuss this, among other things.

Spoiler: Logseq realized they were hurting their community by having a Discord server and not a forum. The chat starts off lively and light, but the repeated common questions wear down long-time members more quickly than a forum because chat users don’t search the chat and it’s harder for chat members to refer back to past discussions.

Using Discourse in particular for a forum also gets a lot of content search indexed due to the quality of the design. This helps head off a lot of common questions because the community’s answers show up in Google.

(They also liked that Discourse has features that scratch the wiki linking itch, naturally.)


Is it a pricing thing that people are using Discord instead of Discourse?

I’ll be honest, I was a little disappointed when I got an invitation to a Discord group from Sparky Labs. I was hoping he would continue with Discourse.


As someone who runs both, they are really different platforms; I have never really considered them as direct alternatives for each other.


I just don’t use Discord. When I have, I find that I don’t get any useful information out of it (unless I check in on it hourly), so I just don’t bother anymore.


same with me. The Obsidian (and other) Discord is a mess. Recently Eleanor Konik shared on the Obsidian Roundup that there is a new book club and is being orgazised via discord. I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out how to join but gave up at the end


Discord is like being in a room with everyone talking at once.


I completely agree. I posted similar thoughts awhile back! Random but I hate Discord


Could you explain the differences, if it’s not too much bother?

I ask because I don’t get it, and I’m wondering if there is something wrong with me! My heart sinks when I see someone is running a course, say, and they set up a discord (or slack, or Facebook community) because some people thrive in those groups but I just get lost and bewildered.

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Yes, Yes, Yes!!!

Discourse provides asynchronous civil conversation, Discord is discordant at best and a PITA at worst and is impossible to follow a thread or an interesting conversation. Plus it’s real time and I don’t live on my phone/laptop/ipad.imac so I miss out on a lot.



Discourse has organized conversations that are easy to follow. Discord always feels like I’ve walked into the party too late and I have no idea what’s going on or how to find my friends I’m supposed to be meeting.

I do wonder if it’s an age thing though. At 55, I fondly remember forums (and before that, message boards) before Facebook took over and everyone started a “group” instead. I feel like there’s a movement away from those groups now, with the younger folks opting for Discord or Slack or Circle, while the older ones are finding a renewed interest in forums.


hey , you have to be at my age (67) to remember BBS (bulletin board service) via 1200 baud dial up modem :money_mouth_face:


There are tons of forums still though…like this one.


I’ve been only a couple of discords, and I never engaged with them, never felt included, always felt out of the loop. Now I just don’t join.


Discord is best for real-time communication that’s mostly synchronous. It most definitely has its place within some communities. Discourse is more like a traditional asynchronous discussion forum; it’s a completely different thing and really almost. the only thing that the two platforms have in common is that their names are similar.

Discourse is better for sharing ideas and knowledge.
Discord is better for having conversations.


Web forums such as Discourse are OK, but they’re still a pale modern echo of proper text Usenet groups, downloaded and read on a decent Newsreader like Nature intended.

I can’t remember the name of the first one I used in the early 90s (probably something provided by Demon Internet), but for a long time I used Gnus on Emacs. Happy days!

The DejaVu came along and spoilt everything - people got the strange idea that you could read Usenet on the web, and it’s been downhill ever since. Bah.

I miss the old misc.writing…


I don’t believe this is fundamentally an age issue; it’s a quality of conversation issue or a purpose of the medium issue (per @ACautionaryTale).

There is a tendency to adopt what has been called chronological snobbism; something newer must be better than what came before, or in reverse, the old traditional ways of doing things were always better. Both are wrong as measures of right and wrong or of value. The quality of something is determined by its intrinsic value or value to those engaging with it.