The Skype chatroom has been very active, but we realize it's not necessarily ideal. For example, the barrier to enter and leave is very rigid: As you need to contact one of the people listed in the topic first to be manually added to the group, you can't drop in and out freely. You're also required to have a Skype account in order to take part. Members have reported Skype crashing due to the amount of backlogged messages in the chat when starting up the client, or find the notifications bothersome, and have left as a result. (Skype allows you to mute notifications of a certain group chat, but the option is... hidden, so many don't know it exists.)Many people already use Skype, and it is available for several operating systems, including mobile. While this limits access to members who (are willing to) use Skype, this may be less of a hassle compared to any other channel that members usually do not use. This way, members already on Skype can join the conversation anytime rather than opening a tab, app or client solely for Amassment's group chat.
We've stated that the Where and When of community chats are subject to change depending on community input and activity. Right now, we are looking to give Discord a try - you may have seen it being promoted in gaming communities recently, and it was created with group chats in mind. Discord and its mobile app are completely free, do not feature ads, and use less resources than Skype. See here for a list of features.
We've noticed that several members have posted their Discord info in the restarted Connections! topic, and in the last few days, some of our members have signed up for Discord. As members seem to be open to giving it a try, we're opening this up for discussion.
Below is an outline the pros and cons of moving the community chatroom to Discord with our needs in mind (compared to staying on Skype).
- no account or client required (browser support) = more open than Skype
- minimal CPU usage
- multiple channels (separate chatrooms) possible; also allows Amassment's teams to discuss and brainstorm certain things quickly
- setting nicknames for individual servers (groups) is possible = no more "who is this and that" as on Skype, or Skype arbitrarily switching between account and display name if you don't have the person in your friend list
- user groups
- customizing notification settings for the server and individual channels
- option to hold voice chats in separate channels if Amassment members are interested
- for many members, this is an additional client/browser tab to keep track of, especially since it wouldn't be replacing Skype for their other contacts
- if members aren't using Discord for anything else and would only sign on specifically for the community chatroom, there's concern that they won't spontaneously join in on conversations
- those not currently in the Skype chat (or those who left due to Skype issues) but wanting to be part of the community chatroom
- those already in the Skype chat, namely whether they'd be willing to give Discord a try