Why doesn't Discourse have a Slack or Reddit

It might be perceived as a rhetorical question. I’m a big fan of Discourse myself and use it to run Dgraph community. But, I’m actually curious about this.

Now that we’re shutting down our Slack, we got an offer to keep running it, but managed by community. We’re not sure if it’s a good idea. Similarly, someone (in the past) created a sub-reddit for Dgraph.

But, I don’t see any Slack or any subreddit for Discourse. Discourse has a much bigger community than Dgraph, I’m curious how come the community did not create these alternative venues? Surely, being creators of Discourse isn’t a sufficient reason for their (Reddit, Slack, etc.) non-existence (we run it too).


I think when they have their own community discussion software product, they’d use it instead of 3rd party solutions. AFAIK they use mattermost for internal team discussion.


Just to clarify, not talking about internal solutions.

My point about 3rd party venues is that, those are almost inevitable. We did not create the subreddit that exists for Dgraph. Therefore, I’m curious, why doesn’t one exist for Discourse – surely someone should have already created it by now (outside Discourse team, of course).

The motive for this question is to understand if there are some aspects of community building that the Discourse founding team applied in “guiding” every one to one place, i.e. this forum. Avoiding community fragmentation somehow.

I’m making a wild guess here but I’d suspect that to be the case. Plus, the entire engineering team is active here to quickly fix the issues. That could be the reason why there are no 3rd party venues … At least popular ones.


Discourse has discourse for the things you mention. I don’t see much value in splitting the conversation among platforms. Having everybody here is kinda cool. And even as a contractor, using discourse makes me better at understanding the product each day which is the best thing one could ask for.


I feel you here. And I have seen how much those 3rd party communities can be catastrophic for some products.

I believe here the same logic applies when we are talking with prospective customers who are worried about competition between their official forums and those other options: by owning both the product and the community fully, you have a lot of leverage of other communities.

  • You can give your real customers perks on the forum, like titles, badges, exclusive access to categories, etc.

  • People want correct answers to their questions, and having a direct line to the people creating the product is invaluable.

  • You can reduce friction by integrating login between Discourse and your product login.

  • You can post announcements first in the forum.

Reddit is a great link aggregation and news website that I use myself a lot, but if your engineers are replying only on Discourse why would people go ask for help in a subreddit?

As for a Slack, why would I spend time replying to the same question over and over in chat, if I can reply once in Discourse, have the question be indexed on the internet, easy ways to merge duplicates, refer old discussions in new features, etc.


I would say the reason this fragmentation never happened is cause from day 0 we actively discouraged it.

Sure, random person could create a subreddit for Discourse but we (Discourse co workers) would never visit it so the motivation from the community to fork the community is super low.

Same goes for chat, over the years there was an attempt or two by the community to make a fast lane chat place, but as Discourse co workers never really visited it. It fizzled.

The combination of allowing for healthy discussion here plus simply … being here and showing progress here, meant that no new venues were required.


We do the same … and we’ve started to use https://signal.org.

Thanks Sam! That’s exactly the perspective I needed.

Happy Birthday, btw! :gift:


Also…honestly? Anyone using or running Discourse obviously values The Universal Rules of Civilized Discourse, and I agree with @pfaffman here that…

Discourse is designed to support Civilized Discussion. Reddit is the opposite of that. If you want Reddit, you should use Reddit.

The Discourse community wants something else, and meta provides it. :white_check_mark: