Comment on What's your opinion about Discord?

MerchantsOfMisery@lemmy.ml:

I guess I'm in the minority on this but... feature wise, I think it's fantastic. It's got nearly everything I could ask for, and I love how easy it is to stream and watch videos with groups of people. I often steam Seinfeld and other TV shows/movies in a leftist Discord community that I'm in and it's just so nice to be able to do it so easily, without having to walk non tech-savvy users through lengthy troubleshooting in order for things to work. Pretty much any issue I've encountered when it comes to streaming/watching content was resolved within a few minutes of Googling.

Privacy wise, I wish there was an open-source alternative to Discord that a) has the same features and b) is user-friendly enough to actually shift Discord users to it. Unfortunately, pitching open-source alternatives to Discord is very difficult because they just aren't as easy for most users to use and because it's pretty hard to shift a large amount of users from one program they're very familiar with to one that they're not familiar with.

I think tech-savvy people are generally more inclined to shift to open-source software, particularly in the early stages, because they're not nearly as bothered by the tinkering/troubleshooting involved. I think it's similar to why so few people use Linux compared to Windows. But what a lot of tech savvy people just can't wrap their heads around is the simple fact that for the overwhelming majority of users, they don't have the time/patience/interest to switch to new alternatives to programs/systems they've been using for years and are comfortable using.

When I was younger, I was all about the tinkering/troubleshooting to delve into the world of open source software. As I get older, I just want my shit to work consistently and for troubleshooting to include a large user base so that the odds of there being a solution is high. Communications software like Discord is especially challenging when it comes to pitching an open-source alternative, because without major advantages that most users can appreciate enough to make the leap, the open source alternative's population will remain quite low because most users are wiling to sacrifice privacy for convenience/familiarity.

No doubt, this post will irk some people but... what can I say? Open source software has to revolve around convenience because that's what most users value above all else. Pitching an app like Signal to friends/family was a breeze because of how relatively seamless the process of installing/using it as a primary app for texting via SMS and Signal messages. But pitching an app like an open source Discord alternative, it has unique challenges that I really think developers need to pay attention to.

Right now, I think an unfortunate amount of open source devs are of the mindset as Principal Skinner:

"Am I so out of touch??"

"No, it's the users who are wrong."

Sort:hotnewtop