We've had staff discussions about the possibility of using a chat service for members of Furry Network - we feel this would help bring the community together. While members wouldn't be required to use it, this would give the opportunity for members to talk, share submissions, and have a good time in a live setting. We'd like feedback about if this is wanted by the community as well as the chat system we would use.
Here are the options that we've looked at so far:
- This system is extremely easy to setup and use.
- We can have both voice and text channels.
- A large portion of the community likely already has this program.
- It's easy to create channels with permissions (especially regarding SFW/NSFW material).
- Discord is currently revising NSFW guidelines; it's still unclear exactly how this will be enforced, and we'll want to keep an eye on the policies. However, it appears to be moving towards allowing NSFW content.
I've looked around, and it seems like a good number of other furry websites have a Discord server setup; they've opted to take the risks. If we did go this way, we would also have that risk; I worry about what we would do if the Discord server were shut down. The current shift of policy is definitely making this less of a risk, though, and we'll want to watch how it works. Even with that risk, it may be the best option for now.
- The servers are simple to create; they're a little more difficult than Discord, but they're still reasonable.
- The service does not prohibit NSFW material.
- Many members of the community likely already have this program.
- Channels can be created with specific permissions; it's not as easy as Discord, but it's reasonable. This way, we can have separate SFW/NSFW channels.
- Joining a server can be a little difficult at times, especially for people who have never done it before.
- The program is more oriented towards work environments.
- There is no voice chat.
I personally think Slack would be a reasonable program, as well; we wouldn't risk having the server shut down, but it would be a little more difficult for people to use.
- We pretty much have free reign over how it's setup.
- Reliable servers exist within the fandom that we could use.
- Most people don't use IRCs these days.
- Servers can be difficult to setup.
- New users may have difficulties using the system, especially if they've never used an IRC client before.
I would personally only go with an IRC server as a last resort unless we had a huge demand for this.
What do you think? Are there any other programs that you would consider for a community chat system? Please let us know!
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