I joined Discord back in November, 2020. I am active in two servers, lurk in two others, and joined one to play Among Us with friends.
I could be like many other bloggers, vloggers, streamers, and other content creators hosting a community there, but there is one big problem with hosting a community elsewhere. (And Discord may never self-host.)
External terms of service. Hosting my own community allows me to set my own.
Okay, so two. Data control.
I want to host my own forum not to start my own community, but to host temporarily in case Discord ever does something we may not like. They turned down being bought out by Microsoft to become an IPO … but investors’ values may not align with those of the community.
Maybe they elect to utilize features that impair the user experience. Maybe currently free features eventually go behind a paywall. Maybe they finally add ads in a not-so-subtle way to users who don’t pay for some kind of subscription or perk. Maybe users finally want encryption and Discord still won’t hand this to them, so users will want to flock elsewhere. Maybe there’s a change in the ToS users can’t contend with anymore. Maybe bigotry finally gets too much.
I am no “D-list” celebrity. I am not a content creator. I don’t want this kind of thing to be my full time job. If things go south with Discord, I just want to help the communities I partake in, until we can find a more permanent solution.
Whatever the reason, I paid to host myself, so I might as well use it. I just hope we don’t have to resort to this—that’s a lot of memories we’d all lose if we ever decide to migrate elsewhere, because we can’t transfer that day with us.