The most heartbreaking thing about Slack is that all our discussions quickly disappear. This has been annoying me, a lot, and for a long time. I've had very productive idea exchanges with insightful people on Slack's #uncomplicate, #data-science, #anglican, and other channels related to the areas I've involved with. All these insights are only in our heads now; those that we do remember, at least.
However, this is not the only issue that I have with the current state. *Slack, and other attempts at starting alternatives, are just too noisy for me*. I need patience to filter out trivial exchanges on the main #clojure, or to monitor thousands random channels that pop in and out, and I still miss lots of discussions that might interest me, or even those where I can help with expert insight.
The major thing that bugs me even more is that, based on what most people tell me in person, they seem to have been given up on active participation in these noisy forums. They don't have time to sift through other people's chit-chat.
They enjoy, and are eager to participate, but need a less noisy, more focused place, where they know people with similar interests will be around, for an insightful discussion rather than just a general tech-related chat. We aren't always comfortable with exposing each thought to the whole Internet. We need a place where the keyboards are slower than our minds. And a place where it's worth spending a few moments reflecting on what we read. An old-fashioned bench by the lake rather than a noisy nightclub!
I am regularly surprised when people meet me in person, and tell me that they follow my work, and admire what I do. I'm surprised, because they'd never reached out to let me know that online. That's a lot of people I'm talking about. I'm always surprised at how well-known my (un-typical) work has become in the Clojure community. Having a place to foster personal connection can make real difference! We'll discover that there are much more people interested in the same niche area when there is a more relaxed, personalized place, when people don't have to worry about unwanted exposure.
That's why I decided to start a Discord server where (I hope) we'll be able to create such a place for all of us. I'll forward all discussions about Uncomplicate to that place, but I encourage other serious topics as well! Even for topics that are not directly related to Clojure!
All backers of my should get an automatic invite, but if you can't afford or just do not want to donate, ask me for a free invite!
Everyone can join for free, just like my open-source work for which I've started support is also completely free for everyone. Contact me with a few words introducing yourself and I'll send you a personal invite!