How are you implementing Discord?

Curious as to if and how visual artists are using Discord.

Right now my community feels a little one on one: I post, a patron responds to post, I respond to patron. There is no interaction between patrons other than those who already know each other outside of Patreon and their interactions remain outside of Patreon. Other than just a big group chat goin’ on the time, what are some ways to use this to enhance and grow my community?

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My discord is fairly new but it has been fairly successful i think. The people on the server seem to think so at least! It is not patreon only, but there are patron only channels. Here is what my channel lineup looks like

So it is an open discord with the exception of the patreon channels which are of course, for patrons only. I use the patreon discord bot but its finicky and of course if a person joins and doesnt have discord connected to patreon, you have to manually add them to the proper roles. I also have automated feeds that update when i post on those various places and they cross post it automatically to my discord. That way people can get art updates right to their discord instead of having to be on the various gallery sites to get it. I also post artwork i’ve received from others and artists i want to advertise for in the guest art channel. I also have a couple bot channels for people to interact with a few i have on the server. (Tatsumaki, being the main one.)

So far, things seems to be pretty awesome. I’ve had to ban a couple trolls but that’s just part of having an open server for fans. We chat about all manner of things in the general chats. We move between channels depending on what’s being talked about. Otherwise it’s very chill and people like interacting with me and the rest of the server.

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Sounds like it is really great for building a sense of community around your art.

What do you mean when you say you have automated feeds? I should go set one up and see if I can figure some of these things out.

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It really is!

As for the automated feeds, you can use sites like https://ifttt.com/ to create applets that allow you to cross post content from one thing to another. When you go into your server settings, there is a section called “webhooks” and has a link to more info about it. You can use those with IFTTT to create automatic re-posting content feeds. You can set it up however you like on discord. Weather you want it in its own channel (i turn off all user posting abilities so it really just is a feed) or you can integrate it into other channels, have people openly able to comment on them, etc. It’s really all up to you. The applets are fairly easy to setup though sometimes it takes some fiddling. (IFTTT is free BUT it can take up to 30 minutes before something will re-post. Since I’m not worried about time sensitive stuff because i post commission openings in their own channel manually, it works just fine for me and my wallet.)

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Hrm, looks like I can’t connect my sfw and nsfw Patreon to the same server. Is that right?

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Hmmmm I haven’t tried connecting two patreon projects to the same discord but i don’t see why that wouldn’t be possible. Possibly a question for @ellie

It would be odd if it wasn’t allowed but it could be a limitation. (It’s not like you can’t just use the bot for the larger project, the one with more people, and then just send the link out to the other patreon and manually change their roles. You will likely have to link the discord to people anyways because not everyone will connect their discord to their patreon. Especially since it seems to automatically add you to servers you have a reward for without actually inviting you first and many people don’t like that, myself included.)

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Yeah, I thought I could make two bots, but when I went to hook up the second Patreon, the first bot was gone and replaced with the new one. The NSFW Patreon has more reward tiers and therefore more roles to assign, but the primary Patreon has more people and more likely to keep having more people. Decisions, decisions. Thanks again, @Temrin . You’ve been super helpful to me! <3

@ellie do you know if two Patreon accounts can hook up to one Discord server? This would make it easier for me managing two accounts (might even be of benefit to two different creators who are collaborating on a project). Also, have you heard any talk of being able to have two (or more) Patreon projects combined within a single account anytime in the future? I’m trying to best manage two Patreons most efficiently without having worlds collide: my primary Patreon has folks who want to know nothing of the secondary (nsfw) Patreon, but I’d like for my nsfw patrons to also get the primary Patreon rewards. I hope that makes sense.

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Aaaaah yeah. That actually makes sense. Hmmm. Hopefully you can get further assistance from the Patreon staff. :slight_smile:

Also, no problem! I’m happy to help :smiley:

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One of my biggest ongoing challenges is giving my community -both Patrons and not- an awesome place to connect with one another. Currently I use a private facebook group, which is the best solution I’ve found.

I’m not sure why Patreon chose to go with Discord, over Slack or another integration. I suppose Discord is very popular among the gaming/twitch crowd?

I’ve tried setting up my own Discord and got lost in the complexities within a short space of time.

Currently I’m debating whether or not to create my own forum on my website, which would keep everything under my umbrella, and also not be one more app for my community to install.

Saying all that, I’d much rather have the community chatting and connecting directly on Patreon. I don’t know if it’s in the pipeline, but a truly in-house community forum function would be amazeballs.

Anyways, for now I’m just leaving the facebook group, as most -though not all- of my patrons do use facebook, whereas a very small percentage already use Discord/Slack/insert random chat room name here.

Let me know how it goes, I’d be interested to re-look at Discord in the future if I can make sense of it!

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It is definitely something that is different for each creator. some places are just better for your audience than others. Discord was likely chosen for a multitude of reasons, one being its popularity and probably another being that it looks to be easier to create a bot for the system than a lot of other places. (Not to mention that the server structures and abilities are quite broad so servers can be used for a lot of different types of content.)

A lot of people these days seem to be more interested in instant messaging services than forums. The forums i am on are slowly dieing ( :sob: ) in favor of things people can more easily access on the go from their phone or tablet, where as forums are less friendly to mobile devices than apps are it seems. Which, is totally fair. I use discord and telegram to communicate while on mobile much more than trying to log into forums and posting there on my free time. It is just not cohesive with being on the go or looking at a small screen and these days, rushing around seems to be the norm.

All in all, i’ve seen a lot of different ways people have setup their discords to be extremely useful to their community, but it is certainly not for all audiences. It all comes down to them. I’ve found polls are really useful to see where people prefer to read updates. There were a decent amount of people that still prefer email mailing lists when i asked my audience, which is where i started (and i still use a mailing list to this day.) I also have a lot of traction on Facebook as well. It looks like you’ve found your “Sweet spot” and that’s awesome! If you have any questions about Discord or how some of us are using it, feel free to ask! I’m happy to delve in. :slight_smile:

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Discord? I haven‘t used it yet.

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I agree that some sort of improved community directly on Patreon would be ideal, but I think the integration with Discord is the next best thing. I had a not so easy time setting it up myself. The average person probably could have it figured out in under 10 minutes, but it took me the better part of a day. I can see how it could be effective if a lot of creators were using it and therefore more patrons already on it. It would be an easy click between creator servers to see which one is active or take part in multiple discussions.

I absolutely get what you’re saying about not wanting yet another app for your community to have to download. It’s also yet another thing for us to manage. My main concern about forums is they are one more place to go, whereas people on FB tend to check it at least once a day and will get a notification if your group has activity. Your FB group seems to work really well for you. I rarely go to forums anymore and am more likely to participate in a conversation if whatever app or site I’m already in gives me a notification of activity. I actually have a reminder set to check this forum once a week or I’d forget all about it.

So far my Discord hasn’t really taken off. I’ve had two patrons, one Patreon follower, and a Facebook friend join in. For me that’s pretty successful though. Haha! I’m going to share a link to it on my other social media and see if that pulls anyone else in.

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I can’t tell if what I’m about to post is a recommendation or a warning.

I have 4 communities, each with different user bases. As I’m developing NSFW software versus creative content, this is half support/half updates/half engineering discussion/quarter random.

  • Message Boards (users discourse, maintained via ~$20/month Digital Ocean droplet)
    • Tends to be popular with people who want drive by info without having to ever create an account anywhere, so I mostly use it to post tutorials and other sort of “evergreen”-ish information. Tutorials, link lists, things like that. Also, it’s the most anonymous way for people to contact me outside of patreon, as they can create an account that no one can ever see, and private message me through that.
  • Slack (Free unless you need archives, in which case $6/user/month or something)
    • This is popular with engineers and other tech people, as its used in a lot of companies so people are familiar with the interface. I also keep it invite only since I do most of my development discussion there and don’t want random moderation issues, but almost invite almost anyone, they just have to ask.
  • Discord (Free)
    • This is where most of our users show up. A lot of them already have Discord accounts due to being gamers or on other discords, so it just ended up being a no-brainer for us. We end up using this for tech support mostly. Join link is kept public so anyone can join.
  • Telegram (Free)
    • A must if you’re going to interact with furries. For my usage, tends to be kinda random, and I call it “unofficial”, because the hurdles to join are rather high (have to give a phone number to create an account). Join link is kept public so anyone can join.

I’m super lucky in that my moderation load at the moment is almost nil, but if that ever changes on any of these, I’ve got a problem.

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I use Slack with some artist friends and was glad to see the Discord interface is similar. I’m glad that you can assign moderation tasks to users. I basically gave all patrons the ability to kick anyone out and a couple of higher level patrons have more power. I haven’t had any issues at all so far (knock on wood), but I also have a strong tendency to attract people who can be a bit disconcerting. I’m hoping with the power I’ve given patrons Discord will sort of moderate itself.

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I hear you on that. There have been a few people i’ve had to kick so far but it’s been less than i expected with the amount of people in there. A few people came in disregarding rules and whatnot. I was around to manage it and a few people reported/screenshotted some stuff that i missed. No one but me so far has powers to kick someone but I’m also quick to answer because i have it on my phone as well. I plan to have a few people in the future to hep mod but I’m not sure I’d give a patreon group that power. I’d rather appoint people I’m sure will be less likely to abuse it. You are braver than I!

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Well, they just have the power to kick a user out, not ban. One of my higher level patrons who is a close friend has that ability. I actually had a guy make some interesting comments to me yesterday in DM, but I find it more gratifying to ignore people like that than to kick them out as I know they’re in it for the response. Speaking of, is there a way to make it so only friends can DM you? I don’t much care about the stuff people send me, like I said I just ignore it, but I’d like to be able to pass the info along to others so they don’t have to put up with anything.

Oh! Yes in the server settings you can turn a setting on that prevents non friends from privately messaging you just because you have a server in common. I have all that situated so server people can’t DM me without first adding as friends and whatnot. The discord website should have some deeper information in that stuff I think. (I’m on my phone at the moment so I can’t check.)

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this is a great thread, lots of good info here. I haven’t even used discord yet but already I see a lot of good uses for it. Wish me luck!

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Let us know if you think of any new use for Discord. Best of luck! :slight_smile: