Yes, that's right! The Self-Hosted podcast has launched a Discord server. I know what you're thinking, because many of you have already told me. Therefore I'm writing this post for two reasons:
1) Tell you where to find our Discord server (spoiler: it's here)
2) To explain the dichotomy of why a show about self-hosting decided to rely on a 3rd party, hosted chat solution.
Discord is an electron app that runs on all major platforms both desktop and mobile.
You can join our server here.
We're actively seeking applications for moderators and wiki admins. Please get in touch with @alexktz on Discord for more information.
Ok, now the fun begins...
Why is Self-Hosted using a 3rd party service for a chat platform?
We knew that this would be a contentious topic for our audience. Listeners of a show aimed at self-hosting were likely to have some reservations about us launching a Discord server which is a closed source, proprietary, commercial chat platform. So what gives?
We believed that the best way to serve the greater good was to swallow our pride and go where there are already hundreds of thriving communities with millions of users. Our logic is probably similar to the reason you use other imperfect solutions like Github or Telegram with their proprietary back-ends. It's where the users are.
Not only that but it's where newer users are more likely to be found. These are precisely the users that we, as a community, should be nurturing and bringing into the fold.
Yes, we are aware of Mattermost, RocketChat and the 973 other self-hostable chat services in existence. But consider that hosting of these services is not free (as in cost) and neither is it free (as in time). I'd rather spend the limited free time I do have creating the best possible content for you, the listener and not managing a server that could grow to who knows how many users.
When we took all of this into account Chris and I decided that pragmatism should win. That by enabling more users to use FOSS, discover FOSS and talk about FOSS it was worth the trade-off of using a proprietary platform. Some of you will not agree with us on this, we understand that. We hope you will join us and help us build the most kickass Self-Hosting community on the internet.
Until then, happy self-hosting!