Well… that didn’t take too long. A few days ago, I announced that we were officially shutting down the Bit Phoenix Forum due to inactivity and a lack of new content being added to it.
I mentioned in that post that I wanted to look into creating a subreddit to replace the forum. I didn’t go into detail as to why but… someone decided to create it and I’ve been running it for a few days now. So here’s why I wanted to create one:W
Forums are pretty much antiquated
Discourse, the software that powered our forums, is an extremely wonderful piece of software. Its user interface is fluent, modern, easy to use and understand, and there are tons of plugins and extensions you can add to it to give additional functionality.
With that said, however, the traditional web forum of yester-year – the kind we were trying to host – is pretty much dead. I personally believe that Discourse is much better used as something similar to Stack Overflow and related discussion platforms – it is perfect for things like that.
I really like the way thefakevip put it when I announced our forum’s shutdown on YouTube a few days ago.
Personally, I think that forums, as good as the Discorse software is, are just plain antiquated at this point. People expect a good mobile experience for one and don’t like to use mobile websites a lot of times.thefakevip, April 26th, 2019 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgUWAWUe2Xc)
He is far from wrong. I even find myself interacting with the community more on my phone than I do on my computer. Sometimes, I want to chat about Peacenet while drinking my coffee in the kitchen, or have a discussion about god knows what from the comfort of my bed. It’s a lot easier to do that when I can simply open up Discord or Reddit and bam, I’m there.
While Discourse does support features like OpenID Connect or OAuth2 for single-sign-on, and does allow you to add it as an icon on your phone’s home screen, it’s still a separate platform from everything else you use on a daily basis – and that gets annoying.
You don’t… host… a subreddit.
Unlike Discourse or other forum software solutions, you don’t download a copy of Reddit, configure it to run on your server, get it up and running, stick a domain name on it, and maintain the server. You just don’t. Reddit is what we call a service, not a piece of downloadable software.
And quite frankly, I’m tired of maintaining a forum on the server-side. There are just so many chores that come with it… such as…
- Keeping the server up-to-date.
- Making regular backups of the database and uploads in case of an emergency.
- Making sure the server can actually handle how many people are logged in and viewing at once.
- Making sure you don’t run out of RAM or disk space.
- Making sure your SSL certificates don’t expire.
- Making sure the domain name doesn’t expire.
- Using Linux over ssh on a network connection that frequently cuts out for a few seconds thus disconnecting you in the MIDDLE OF DOING SOMETHING ARGH. (okay that might just be a me thing, but still.)
Whereas creating a subreddit is as simple as…
- Create a Reddit account.
- Be active for a month and get enough good karma so you can prove you’re not a spammer. (Or have a kind stranger decide they’ll create it for you and give you moderator.)
And joining the Bit Phoenix subreddit is as simple as…
- Create a Reddit account.
And it’s actually being used.
That’s right! It’s a lot easier to join the subreddit, and it actually gets used. I post frequently with funny things that I see happening in the community, Peacenet bugs that make me laugh, ideas I have for the game, new features, and more.
You can make your own posts too – request new features for Peacenet, post bug reports, share ideas, or post, really, anything you think would be interesting or entertaining to the community as long as it’s related to us in a way.
And all you have to do is click “Join.” So do it! 🙂