A few months ago, OpenNTF started testing the waters of moving our Slack community over to Discord. The immediate impetus for this was the message-history limitation of our Slack account: on the free tier, we were losing old messages, but upgrading a community of our size to a paid tier would be cost-prohibitive.

Once we started looking into using Discord, we found that it offered much more for us than just avoiding history loss. Discord quickly proved itself a much-better match for our community, with better community controls, better voice/video chat with screen sharing, and just generally a more community-focused approach.


Since it's gone so smoothly in a "soft launch", we think it's ready to invite everyone more openly. To join our Discord community, visit:


That should get you in to the server - once you agree to the community guidelines, it'll open up access to all of the public channels.

Using Discord

In general, Discord acts a lot like Slack does, but it has some tricks of its own. If you haven't used Discord before, the tutorial that they provide should provide a good introduction: https://support.discord.com/hc/en-us/articles/360045138571-Beginner-s-Guide-to-Discord

We plan to use Discord for more than just a drop-in Slack replacement, too. We did a small trial run of having a "developer watercooler" chat in one of the voice channels earlier, and we're thinking of doing that sort of thing from time to time. We're also very open to ideas anyone may have for how we can make use of this new tool.

Finally, there's a bit of room here for some community participation beyond just chatting. To add server capabilities, Discord uses a "Boost" system, where individual community members can chip in to supporting the server. We boosted the server to the first level, giving us a notch better audio and streaming quality, but we'd like to get to the next tier. If you end up liking your experience there, consider Boosting the server.

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