Community building: Discourse vs. Discord

TerminusDB is in an early stage of community building and that is a great time to set things up in a way that works best for the community. I am initator and facilitator of Humane Tech Community and active in a whole bunch of other communities.

One thing that is, I think, very important is to have a good separation of the place where you chat/communicate and the place where you inform/discuss things the community, i.e. in Terminus’ case the separation between Discord and Discourse.

Developer teams in general like to hang out most on IRC, Discord, Gitter, etc. because it provides a very direct means of communication. Community members and others can jump in and ask quick questions and you help them along… fine. Team communication and 1-on-1 real-time chatter is what chat tools are best for.

BUT… if you say something useful on Discord that is valuable for a wider audience, then it gets tricky. Most of this information will get lost! It sinks away in the wall of text that is the chat flow, never to be seen by other community members. This is where forum discussion should be had instead!

On the forum you create a long-time valuable knowledgebase. It is where you communicate asynchronously. Being too much in Discord is an anti-pattern to be avoided, can lead to a disgruntled community and very-slow-growth of it.

Just saying, as I really don’t know what applies to Terminus :blush:


Thanks for this comment @aschrijver (and your contribution to the forum) - it is a really important point and one that we have been actively considering in the community. There are a lot of conversations on the community Discord ( that would be of more general interest but get lost with the flow of commentary.

I am going to start extracting stuff from there and putting up here as we want to have a reference point and knowledge base for people to check! Hopefully, this forum can offer another type of conversation.

We love Discord - and will be continuing to launch stuff in the community - but we definitely don’t want anybody to be disgruntled!

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Totally agree, we encourage people to ask questions (and answer questions) here as the knowledge can help more poeple in the long run. However, in Discord we can have a more cosy feeling that we like to hang out with each other (mostly chat about tech, and other funny stuff) I would like to see people using both. I believe they serve different purpose for the community.


Hey @aschrijver really like the way that is structured (and colour coded)! Must take a deeper look and see if we can learn some lessons.

Thanks, yes these Discourse forums are crammed full of features and you can adapt so much. There are a bunch of plugins and ready-made themes too that you should check out (glossary, header menu, chat sync, git sync, discourse topic as blog comment section, etc.). Also structure-wise you can do a lot… look for instance at SocialHub where all the various AP software teams have their own group and forum sections.

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