Techlore communities started in 2018, back when I created a Discord server that quickly grew beyond my ability to manage. Now, in 2022, our Discord community has over 3,500 members, and our Matrix community has thousands more. Frankly, these communities are volunteer service for us; we make no money from them and actually operate them at a loss, given we have two team-members almost exclusively working on managing them. (And if you’re wondering, they’re under control now thanks to our team-members and wonderful mod team!)
So…why a forum?
We feel the forum adds a necessary use-case: the ability to easily track & reference information. Let’s say you have a privacy-related question on Discord or Matrix: you’ll receive an instant answer, but no one will be able to easily find this interaction even an hour after it took place. It’s not uncommon to see the same exact discussion happen several times on the same day, and the next day, etc. The ability to retain, reference, and engage with prior information is something very unique we hope to bring to you.
Your time & energy are valuable. Our goal is for you to focus on your life without needing to stress about privacy & security. We want to offer a community where simplicity is at the foundation of its roots. Both Discord & Matrix have limitations that prevent this from becoming a reality, and we wanted to offer a community where you can easily keep track of everything happening.
Moderating communities on Discord & Matrix is not easy! We have three team-members and several volunteer moderators dedicated to keeping them a healthy place - and it’s not always enough. This community gives us more granular control over the environment we want to create for users, which is one that is healthy, welcoming, and positive.
We are trying to establish more platforms that we control. While we have no evidence of platforms like Discord, YouTube, and Twitter working against our goals via shadow-banning, censorship, etc. - we always want to prepare for the worst. We want to be able to reach our community if things ever go wrong, and this forum is one of our first steps in our goal to minimize reliance on third-party platforms we have no control over.
TLDR: our goal is to minimize the need for constant engagement, to give users their time back, and give them access to a healthy privacy community with an emphasis on simplicity.
I want to give a warm thanks to @Jonah for making this forum community possible! Please enjoy yourselves, feel free to leave feedback (it is brand new and won’t be perfect!) - and don’t forget to keep it a safe place for everyone!
Forums are indeed great in many ways! Organized threads that are easier to moderate. More control over notifications. Building up momentum and a knowledge base, rather than continuesly rebuilding. Indexed by search engines. And many more benefits.
Ive never been part of a community on a forum before. But seeing this, I was excited to create an account and try to get involved! There arent many people I know in real life that are passionate about online privacy in the same way I have become since discovering this community. Techlore has been an incvredible resource in the first year of learning. So I just wanted to set up my account, say hi and mainly, to say thank you!
Happy to see you guys still supporting a FOSS project in the form of Discourse for the forum software! Also cool to see it separated from the obvious option which would have been Reddit. Many positives for this decision!