Migration of the StakeWise Forum to Discord


Discord has recently introduced a new feature called Forum Channels. Essentially, this feature recreates traditional forum software like Discourse and puts it right into the Discord software. This allows Discord communities to have both real-time chat channels and a place for focussed, threaded long-form discussions - all accessible from one place.

We are proposing that we consider migrating our Discourse-based forum.stakewise.io over to our Discord.

This proposal is a collaboration of the Discord moderator team, namely @brianchilders, @dreth, and myself, @cryptochrome. It was first presented to the team and is now being posted to the forum to involve the community, gather feedback, and kick off a discussion.


By merging our forum with Discord, we bring everything and everyone together on the same platform, in the same place.

Avoiding Community- and Discussion Fragmentation

Bringing the forum into Discord would solve the issue of fragmented discussions, where part of the same topic is discussed in real-time on Discord, and other parts of the same topic are on the forum.

Preventing context-switching

It would also mean that people no longer have to switch back and forth between different platforms to read up on or participate in discussions. When people are told on Discord that they should switch to the forum to share a particular idea, for example, some of them might think twice because it’s an additional effort. This also ties right into the topic of fragmented discussions.

One “source of truth”

Merging the forum with Discord means we have everything that is ever discussed in one place, where it is full-text indexed, where it can be searched and found in one location.

Managed and hosted infrastructure

It’s one less piece of infrastructure that the team needs to take care of. No more software updates, no more weird crashes and issues. Fully managed, for free (cost and time savings).

How does the Discord Forum feature work?

Essentially, it’s just a new channel type named forum channels. Forum channels will be visible in Discord’s channel list and host threaded discussions. Here is an example screenshot:

Notable Features

Multiple Forums

We can have as many forums (forum channels) as we like. They act like subforums on traditional forum software. Each “subforum” has its own topic and hosts threaded discussions pertaining to that topic.

Threaded Discussions

Just like on a traditional forum, each discussion has its own thread, which in turn contains all the messages belonging to the discussion. Each forum channel’s overview page lists all available threads in any chosen order (by recent activity or chronologically).

Recent threads a user participates in are shown in the channel list underneath the corresponding forum channel. This is a per-user view to avoid clutter. Users not participating in any thread only see the forum channels and a hint about how many new posts are in a forum since their last visit. It looks like this:

The amount of time threads remain visible in the channel list can be configured by admins (anywhere from 1 hour to 7 days).


Each forum channel can have its own set of configurable tags that can be made available to users to choose from. It allows users to further categorize their posts into “subtopics”. Tagging can be optional or mandatory. For example, we can configure one forum where users have to select a tag (or multiple tags) when they post, and have another subforum where tagging remains optional (or turned off entirely).

Pinned posts

Admins/moderators can pin posts to the top of a forum.

Reactions / Voting

We can set up a default reaction that is applied to any post in a forum. This can be used, for example, to provide upvoting/downvoting functionality or simply encourage users to hit “like” on a post.

Reactions can also be used to create voting/poll functionality, where a post in a thread can have thumbs-up and thumbs-down emote reactions to count votes.

Private and public forums

Since forum channels are just another channel type in Discord, we have full control over who gets access and what people are allowed to do. We can set up private forums for the team, we can set up public read only forums (good for static content, documentation, FAQs etc.) and we can also set up forums that are open for any server member to participate in.


Due to the fact that forum channels are just another channel type in Discord, we can utilize Discord bots to expand on the features. For example, if we want to replicate Discourse’s anonymous polling/voting feature, we could accomplish that with a bot. The possibilities here are only limited by our imagination.

Share Links

Every thread/post on a Discord forum has its own link that can be used to share a discussion, post or thread on other platforms. Since our Discord is open and not gated, these links will basically work everywhere and for anyone who has a browser. This allows us to share important threads on Twitter or Medium, for example.


Each forum channel has its own search, so people can search and find stuff. The global search of Discord works across chat channels and forum channels.

Migration from Discourse

Unfortunately, there is no way to pull in the existing Discourse content, unless we develop our own software for that. Because of that, I am proposing that we do this:

  1. Recreate the Discourse forum structure (subforums/categories) on Discord

We would create one forum channel on Discord for every subforum/category we have on Discourse, to fully recreate the existing forum structure.

  1. Create Discord forum posts for existing Discourse forum threads

This is a bit labor-intensive, but it’s doable, and I would volunteer to take on this task: For every existing Discourse forum thread, I would create a post in the corresponding Discord forum channel and that contains basic information about the original thread (author, maybe a small excerpt of the original post) and a link to the original thread on Discourse.

That way people can look up old information on the Discourse forum and can continue those discussions on Discord.

  1. Put Discourse into read-only mode, refer users to Discord

When we are ready, we would put Discourse into read-only mode and display a banner text there that lets forum users know that the forum has moved to Discord

  1. Keep Discourse running

We keep Discourse running in read-only mode for a set amount of time (to be discussed) to not lose the old but valuable content. It also allows us to go back, if for some reasons that’s something we want to do.

  1. New threads are opened on Discord exclusively

Just mentioning this for the sake of completeness. From day X on, Discord is the new forum.

Post-Merge (pun intended)

Once we have merged the forums into Discord, there are additional things we can do.

Some Ideas

Convert some existing chat channels into forum channels

Some of the chat channels we have don’t receive a lot of traffic, but often have the character of long-form, focused discussions around a specific topic. Here are some of the channels that we think could benefit from being converted into forum channels:

  • Suggestions
  • Operators
  • Support

Create read-only forum channels to host static content

This can be used for anything like FAQs, documentation, etc.

2nd Order Effects Discussion

There are some caveats to implementation of the Discord forum feature.

  1. It forces Telegram users to use Discord. Whatever reasons why a person or organization chose to use Telegram over Discord are now being ignored. A potential way to address this effect would be to survey Telegram users to understand why they don’t use Discord.
  2. It forces people to use a phone number instead of email to sign up to participate in discussion. Throwaway email addresses are easy to generate. Phone numbers, while can be done, are much harder to cycle through. Keep in mind, Telegram does require phone numbers to join. Also, it is expected that it would be a small group of people that would balk at providing a phone number instead of email for authentication. Additionally, in using a phone number vs. a throw-away email it helps reduce the potential of spam messages (e.g. we have had 2-3 spam messages show up in Discourse Forums as well).
  3. It forces people who use neither Telegram / Discord - and only the forums to use Discord. We should pull the roster from Discourse and see how many non similar handles we find against Discord and highlight the count.
  4. Discourse allows for achievements in participating. The achievement program that a person unlocked in Discourse would not carry over to Discord. However, we can create a similar system on Discord.
  5. As people are authenticated with Discord, it restricts anonymous users (“lurkers”) from just “browsing the forum”. However, if you access Discord through a browser, you can read servers without having to create an account.
  6. It will potentially reduce StakeWise SEO. As the forum content is now “behind a wall”, search crawlers can no longer index the content on forums. This is very theoretical, though, as forums typically don’t have much impact on SEO in terms of ranking for specific keywords (to convert users/customers). It is, however, still an issue in terms of searchability. The forum content will just not be on search engines anymore - until Discord decides to open it up.
  7. Channel Clutter: If a user participates in many different threads, all those threads will show up in their channel list, making it potentially very long and cluttered. As of now, forum threads visible in the channel list cannot be collapsed. We can counter this issue by choosing a very short time period for how long active threads should remain visible in the channel list (can be as low as 1h). I am also confident that Discord will improve the UX for this over time. Note: This is a per-user view. Every user will have only their own active threads showing in their own Discord client’s channel list.
  8. There is a potential risk that Discord could abandon the forum feature in the future. We would be subject to what is generally known as vendor lock-in. Personally, I think the risk is minimal, see my response below.

More Information on Discord’s new forum feature:

Want to play around with the new forum feature?

If you want to test out the feature yourself before you make a decision or leave your thoughts, you can do so on our Discord. We have created a forum channel named “forum-playground” where you can test everything and explore the feature. Here is a link to the first post in the forum-playground

Thank you for reading. Now it’s your turn, fellow StakeWisers. Please let us know your thoughts and ideas.


I will be the first to wholly support this idea. The key underlying reason is that it makes the lives of everyone dealing with community coordination easier - whether it’s SWAT, discussion of DAO matters, new people catching up on the developments in our protocol, or anything else really.

Also important to note that the Discourse forum occasionally crashes under a heavy load, which is something we’d be able to avoid by migrating to Discord.

So for me, it’s a resounding yes, thanks in part to a lot of preliminary analysis of issues / 2nd-order effects that such changes could bring that the moderators spelled out. Amazing stuff guys!


I started writing a more lengthy response, but my brain is currently too fuzzy from lack of sleep to make any sense. To summarize what I was trying to write, I’m generally in favor of a move to Discord’s forums channels but question their long-term commitment to the format.


This is actually a really good point. I will update the 2nd order effects part of the post accordingly. Here are my thoughts on that:

  • Discord had deemed the new forum feature as an experiment for well over a year. It was initially only available to very large communities (100k members up). They kept fine-tuning it and eventually added it to more and more server. Now they have officially launched it as a general feature for everyone and removed the “experiment” status. I think they are committed to it. They use it on their own servers.

  • Discord doesn’t have a real track record of abandoning features. The only big thing they ever removed was their integrated game store (where they tried to compete with Steam etc.).

  • But in the end, we can’t know for certain and it is definitely a risk, albeit a small one IMO.

This is the problem with “vendor lockin”. With something like Discouse, which is open source and very popular, the risk is much smaller. And even if Discourse would end development, there are plenty of other forum platforms that can import Discourse data. I am not sure we would have that kind of fallback if Discord would ever shut down the forum feature. The potential risk there is that we would lose all forum data forever.


I have a few concerns.

  1. I have never seen or used a working forum on Discord for any project I follow. While many projects I follow have a Discourse forum. So unfortunately there is no real experience to relate to, at least not for me. It’s like stepping into a dark room.

  2. The discourse forum has been a good place to keep a record of discussions and decisions. It’s also relatively easy to find back important threads.

  3. The culture on Discord is a chat culture. How would that not spill over to a forum in the exact same interface?

  4. Seems to me, that our forum needs to be kept online anyway as an archive to keep a record of past discussions/decisions. There doesn’t seem to be an option to import the existing forum data into Discord. For a proper migration to another forum, that would be one requirement in my book.

  5. Vendor lock in is a serious issue. Discord wouldn’t be the first company to introduce fees further down the line, or sell out to Microsoft or some other big tech monopolist. These services can’t continue to run for free forever. An open source self hosted forum is far safer in this regard.

  6. Is there an export function from Discord forum, so that when they do pull a bait and switch, we can migrate away again?

  7. Personally I don’t use Discord much, because I find it messy, and impossible to find information. You want something you have to ask and hope someone who knows the answer will have the time to answer.

  8. Indexing of a forum by search engines while maybe not extremely important for SEO, is still useful when looking for concrete info.

I’d summarize that I’d first like to see the Discord forums prove themselves, before jumping in fully and turning off the old forums. So we can get a feel for it, and see how it works in practice.


Having one only place is a very valid point, even if I’m not a fan of Discord UI that I find a bit messy (and hard to drive only by keyboard but it’s probably a confidential concern :wink: ).

Two notes to :

  • I would always advocate the use of open source software over proprietary one. It’s not a hardcore position though and
  • Discord seems to have become the media of choice for crypto communities. This must be taken into account.

In any case, thanks @cryptochrome for the idea !


Hey there… all valid concerns. I am trying to address some of them:

The feature is super new. We have set up a “Forum Playground” channel on our Discord where you can explore the feature and get to know it. Think of it as a beta test. You are invited to test it as much as you like.

Discord has a very powerful search feature, with many search operators to choose from. They expanded and enhanced it for the new forum feature, so each forum channel has its own little search field on top. Everything is fully indexed and searchable.

Check out the Forum Playground channel on our Discord. They have expanded the UI and it’s more or less the same as with traditional forum software. You get a list of all threads in a subforum, and each thread has its own discussion area.

Discord has so far resisted acquisition offers made from Microsoft and Sony. They were offered billions, but decided to grow the platform themselves instead. If they wanted to exit, they could have already done so and become rich in the process.

Discord is using a freemium model already, so they are making money. They have the paid “Nitro” subscription that enables additional features. Since they are not a public company, we don’t know whether it makes them enough.

Unfortunately, there isn’t. Not yet, at least. So this is a very good point and I don’t have an answer for that. It’s one of the drawbacks and we addressed it in the 2nd order effects section of the original post.

Absolutely and spot on. And I think that is exactly what Discord is trying to solve with the new forum feature, amongst other things. But in the end, Discord is a communication platform, not a documentation platform. That being said, with the new forum feature, it’s much easier to post static information that sticks around and doesn’t scroll away like in the real-time chat channels.

Give it a try on our Forum Playground on the Discord. Would be interesting to hear your thoughts after you played around with it.

1 Like

Thanks for the clarifications. I saw the “Forum Playground” already.

I guess that is indeed what it boils down to.

I support the move if Discord proves to have decent forum functionality. I think it will lower the barrier for a lot of people to contribute to proposal discussions. So I can only see that a forum on Discord, where most Stakewise people are, will be more used and more dynamic.


I’m in support of a move of the forum into Discord. I tried it outand fully agree with @jonathanstrange. The only bigger disadvantage I see with Discord is that it doesn’t offer a quote function which will make it more difficult to make targeted arguments for or against certain points, thus potentially making the governance discussions a little more chaotic/ uncoordinated.


Hey Georg… Discord does have a quote function :slight_smile: You have two options:

  1. Copy and paste the text you want to quote, mark the text you pasted and select the Quote button in the toolbar that appears. As a shortcut, you can begin any text with three >>> brackets, which will do the same.

  2. Click the reply button on any message you want to quote. This will create a link back to the message you are referring to in your reply. It shows a snippet of that message above your own message. Others can click on that and it will jump to the message you quoted.


Here is an example.

1 Like

After a bit of real world experience on the Discord forum, I feel it is nowhere near the forum in terms of overview, and ease of use. Maybe it’s just what I am used to, but I can’t say that I am enthusiastic about migrating the forums to Discord at this time.

1 Like