TL:DR - We’re inviting all community members (that want to) to join our new community Discord channel (https://discord.gg/3Exux7Y) while we build Status Desktop. Some core contributors have temporarily migrated to Discord as Status Desktop does not yet have the collaboration requirements for shipping products. You’re welcome to join us there until Status Desktop is ready. We’re all also still on Status Desktop, so if you’re happy to keep chatting to us there, you’ll find us there too.
It’s well-known in the Status community that we’ve been drinking our own champagne (aka dogfooding our very own Status app by using it as the instant messenger of choice for community members and core contributors to communicate with one another day to day). We made this change in September 2018 because we want to live by our principles and forego using Slack, even when it meant not always the most convenient working outcome for us.
Fast forward to late 2019 - we’ve been hearing from core contributors in two consecutive engagement surveys about a creeping feeling of isolation, and difficulties in engaging and collaborating with one another, stemming from features that are still missing in Status Desktop (things like image sharing, @ mentions).
We took a long hard look at how we were set up and decided that while we believe in what we’re making, Status Desktop just isn’t configured as a real-time collaboration tool, and that we needed something more to effectively close feedback loops and share ideas with one another during day to day work.
Enter Discord - chosen because it’s the closest agreeable product we could find that’s open source, but has rich collaboration functionality. Since October 2019, core contributors have been using Discord alongside Status Desktop to communicate with one another about work in progress.
We bridged all the key channels between Discord and Status meaning that, effectively, anyone (core contributors and community) could use either one happily according to their preference, without any fragmentation of communication.
We kept the distribution list for Discord deliberately limited to core contributors - with community members already chatting with us in Status, it didn’t make sense at the time to divert them away and lose users there. Especially with bridging in place to make sure communication wasn’t compromised.
As time went on, we got questions from people in the community noticing the Discord <> Status bridge - would we be opening up Discord to everyone? A vote was cast and it was decided that people want Discord to be open to everyone.
This has its pros and cons. On the plus side - giving everyone access to a Discord server for Status will help more people communicate with us in a way that suits them, and with v1 launch on the horizon and an influx of community members and questions anticipated (from users, devs, partners, etc.), we wanted to reduce the barrier to connectivity between the Status team and new community members.
On the downside - we may lose users from the Status app (which has been a great way for us to collect feedback on how the app is working, plus we just love seeing people there who’ve found us through sharing the same ideals on privacy and security!)
From 1 December 2019, we’ll open up access to a Status Discord server to everyone. It will be separate from the Discord server where core contributors currently gather (there are still some channels that contain sensitive info that we can’t put out into the open, e.g. personally identifiable info, partnerships activity not yet finalised). There will be one channel in the new Discord server, which will be bridged into the main #status channel on Status app.
What we hope to do with this community Discord is just add another way for people to reach us, whilst also reaffirming that Status app is still the main place where we will continue to build and connect with the community.
As time progresses, v1 gets launched, and then later we turn our focus towards improvement of Status Desktop, the eventual aim will always be to consolidate our day-to-day work, and community chat, on Status (Discord will eventually be phased away when Status offers sufficient functionality to facilitate rich collaboration).