Community Building February 10, 2020

Slack vs Facebook Group vs Something else

Alistair Tweedie @alistairtweedie

My users are requesting a Home for the designremotely.co community. I'm looking for feedback from Hackers who are running Slacks and/or Facebook Groups or a community on another platform I've not considered.

What are the pro and cons of doing something like this?

I'm exploring the idea that access to the community would be a paid feature.

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    I think Discord might be a good option. Big streamers have channels for free users and subscribers so there's definitely some way to make it more exclusive if that's what you're looking for.

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      And its not just for streamers or video game personalities. There are large programming communities, motorcycle communities, etc. Its basically a consumer facing Slack (Slack is best suited for internal use within a company).

      This was a good podcast on the topic: https://syntax.fm/show/217/hasty-treat-building-a-community-slack-discord-spectrum-discourse-forums

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        Thank you @juandrex1987 and @DevMunchies I'll need to check Discord out!

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    From my perspective:

    • I avoid FB at all costs (ethics and all that)
    • I quite like Slack, but the content limit annoys me. It's not necessarily a problem though, it depends what your plan is.
    • Discourse is a great option for long term commitment, there are ways to make it paid by connecting to other tools.
    • I came across https://circle.so/, could be interesting, too early to tell.
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      Thanks @rosiesherry Yeh, the more I look into FB the more I just nah no way. A lot of people saying that Groups are saturated now and visibility on peoples Home Feed is poor now

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    I’d recommend my own product TribePulse.com if you’re looking to build a private community. While not the intended use case, the features that promote thoughtful discussion are highly conducive to community building!

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      Thanks @yang I'll check it out!

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    I'd recommend setting up a Discourse server, its really good forum software.

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      I had a quick look at this. I'm also a member of a couple of Discource communities so pretty familiar. Problem is that it gets pricey after the 2 week trial. Pricey for me at the moment anyway.

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        It's possible to self host for around $5/month, it's pretty simple to do especially with docker. But I agree, the discourse provided one is prohibitively expensive.

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    A couple of impressive community platforms I've come across recently are Palapa and Mighty Networks.

    You might want to check them out!

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      Interesting! I've not seen these before! They look good!

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    Like already mentioned by others, I'd avoid Facebook—too distracting, not to mention privacy concerns.

    I'd imagine almost every single remote designer to be familiar with Slack, and have it installed on their devices. For that reason, I think Slack would be your best bet. You can set up paid Slack communities with InviteRobot or LaunchPass.

    There are 2 main issues with Slack, I think:

    • 10K history limit that @rosiesherry already mentioned
    • You have to remind members to use Shift+Enter for multiline messages, and to use threads. Otherwise it tends to get chaotic.

    I'd also recommend spectrum.chat, but if you're looking to make that a paid feature, especially if it's subscription-based, I don't think that's possible.

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      Hey @Merott, I love the idea of using InviteRobot or LaunchPass with Slack. It's exactly what the ideal would be for me. The more I think about it the 10k history limit for Slack though and the fact it get's pricy quickly is putting me off. I'm also a member to about 10 Slacks already and I always feel I miss a lot of discussion. Slack moves quickly :s

      Spectrum.chat looks awesome! I'll sign up and experiment with it to see if I can get it to do what I'm looking for! Thanks!

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    Have you considered https://www.discourse.org/ ?

    Not everyone uses Facebook. In fact more and more people are deleting their Facebook accounts.

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    Why not just incorporate a forum into your existing website?

    -Slack is cool, but it will definitely cost $$ eventually
    -FB, ugh, not so much...you might alienate the non-social media types.

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      Yeh. Fair point. I think building this and maintenance might take up too much of my time though.

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        Completely understandable. They do have some cool bolt-on PHP forums if you decide to explore that option anytime in the future.

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