NonTechnical Questions About Making a Polyam Discord Server

under_moonlight

New member
Hi all!

Recently on TikTok a creator posted a video to help polyam people find each other through the comments. They posted each state and told people to comment below their state to help us find each other. My state was surprisingly popular, but nothing seemed to come of it past the commenting. A few of us pointed out we probably could start a Discord server/kik for us to communicate better and, with no one else stepping forward, I decided to take the lead.

Before I create this server though I figured I would get some insight from people who are on this site since a lot of you seem super knowledgeable! I am not a wing it kind of person, and I often put in a lot of research into these sort of things.

I have never made a Discord server before, so these questions are based primarily on servers I have been a member of, as well as some articles I've read on how to make a good server. These are less technical questions, and more about the community that you have built here and how it has lasted for so many years!

Specific Topic
A good server has a specific topic and is not to general. I want to be inclusive of the different lifestyles people lead, but do you think it would be too broad to include all ENM types? I personally practice Polyamory, but I know that ENM houses so much more under its umbrella. I'd feel awful not including people who could bring something to/benefit from the community just because they lead their life slightly different than me, but I also want to meet this specificity requirement. It will only be for people who live in my state, so that might make it specific enough already. I personally am leaning towards leaving it open to all ENM, but I just want to make sure their are no good arguments against that. Thoughts?

Additionally I will have to decide if I just want this to be a community where people can come together, or do I want this to include a space for dating as well? The dating may occur organically as people find the sever and participate, and I worry about the responsibility that adding an ingrained dating aspect would bring to moderating the server. On the other hand, having a place that is dedicated for dating in my state might help people more easily find partners. This one I am sorely stuck in the middle on, so advice would help.

Channels
A good server has meaningful channels that are organized in an easy to use format, and can be compared to what the sub forums act as on here. Some that I already have in mind include:

Information
#rules
#announcements
#resources

General
#introductions
#lobby
#off topic
#voice chat

This is as far as I have come at this point. I am trying to balance the amount of channels with how much I will be able to keep track of on my own until the community grows enough to start bringing on moderators.

Some other channel ideas included area specific channels (i.e. North, South, etc.), a meetup/events channel, NSFW channel, kink channel, age specific channel, a venting channel, and an advice channel.

Some of these seem like they may overlap, or that they can be identifiers/titles instead, and I'm just not sure how deep into the weeds to go with this. Are there other channels that might make sense? Are any of the above channels not worth the separate space?

Specifically for rules, I know to include basic civility/inclusivity rules, but I'm not sure about how specific to get with them.

Also, a few severs will require a vetting process to join, and I am leaning towards doing something similar, but I also don't want to deter people from joining. Some use a simple vetting process of just agreeing to the rules, but other servers get very intense, and some even require photo id.

This also brings up the idea of an age restriction for the forum, especially if it goes in the way of having a dating aspect, or a kink and/or NSFW channel. I would have loved to learn about this when I was younger, but I'm not sure how much I want the server to be responsible for guarding those under a legal adult age from things that they should not be exposed to so early on.

As for #resources, I very much plan on doing my own deep dive into this forum and other sources, but I also would not complain if anyone had resource(s) they think would be essential to include, or master lists of resources that they use. Completely unnecessary, I don't mind rooting around on my own, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to include. 😂

Roles
You can have roles for different members on a sever that include just regular members, moderators and/or staff, and bots. Bots are non-human entities that automate certain parts of the server so those would just be ones that I bring in based on need.

Members can have titles and such in a server, and as I mentioned above, some of the channels can be used as titles instead to identify members belonging to a specific group. Putting members into specific groups might help, but it can also cause tension if, so I am unsure of it's a path I want to take at first.

Moderators is the biggest thing I am concerned about. I don't mind putting a ton of work into creating something that I want to exist, but I have concerns with maintaining something that could have the potential to grow very large. Having help, and maybe eventually even having a succession plan in place, would make me feel much better, but I have no idea how to choose people for those roles. I mean would I focus in on how impartial they can be, how involved they are, how trustworthy they are? I imagine it's like hiring someone for a position, but any insight would help.

If you have any input on the information/questions above, or any other comments or suggestions I would appreciate it. I personally have found this site to be a great reliable source of information and differing opinions so feedback and suggestions are welcomed!

Also, obviously, if I put this in the wrong place, or this is not appropriate, let me know!

-Moon
 

Evie

Kaitiaki
Hi Moon,

The Fireplace is definitely a good place for this and I hope that someone who knows about Discord will show up and help you out :)

I'm sure you've found our guidelines if they are of any use to you.

Here, even as a polyamory focused board, we frequently get ENM people or people at the very beginning on their journeys into Polyamory that they don't have a fully formed set of ethics. And ethics are ultimately flexible depending on the individuals involved. In short, no matter what you call it, you'll attract pretty much anyone who has an interest in non monogamy.

As for your moderators, see who shows up and sticks around. Look at their general interactions with everyone else. You'll make those friendly acquaintances who can help you maintain the intended purpose and tone of your server.

All the best,
Evie
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
The most active discord servers I'm on also have channels for things members might want to share that aren't directly related to the theme of the discord - so the kink discord ALSO has, like, food and workout and crafting and media-queue channels. It also has daily discussion topics posted by an admin in the main hangout channel, and weekly discussions in some of the "focus" opt-in channels (so, for instance on this server, there's an ethical non monogamy one, there's a rope one, etc. But as far as I can tell - I haven't been there that long - a lot of those sort of grew organically as people talked a lot about something in the main channel.

Oh, and everyone loves a meme channel and it keeps it out of the main discussion.

I'd 100% not hang out on a kink or poly server *without* an age restriction, FWIW.
 

kdt26417

Official Greeter
Staff member
Hello Moon,

Re: Specific Topic ... like you said it's already narrowed down to just people in your state, so I am inclined to say go ahead and include all ENM people.

Re: a Space for Dating ... you are already going back and forth on it so why not go with the simpler option? Dating spaces (and dating websites) are rarely all they're cracked to be; it's actually better if people can just get to know each other organically. I don't know, I guess I'm not 100% on that part of the vote. Your visitors may expect a dedicated dating space ... and if there isn't one, they may post their dating ads all over the place.

Re: Channels ... would these be permanent, or would you be able to adjust them later on? I'm thinking you might what to adjust which channels you do and don't have as the needs of your server arise. Beyond that, the channels you already listed here sound good.

Re: Posting Rules ... I would start out with something very short and general ... then adjust/add to it as specific situations arise which highlight the need for a new rule.

Re: Vetting Process to Join ... in my perspective, the main purpose for this is to filter out the spammers. What's the best way to accomplish that? maybe a captcha test, or something along those lines.

Re: Age Restriction ... you could make that a part of your posted rules. 18 and over, or something to that effect. This would mostly be to keep yourself out of trouble, as anyone can lie about their age.

Re: Resources ... I don't know what the main topic of your server will be, but let's assume for the moment that it will be a poly server. In that case, here are some of the resources I would consider:
Re: Roles ... I think you need three roles initially, namely "member," "moderator," and "administrator." Other roles will arise naturally and I would assign new titles as I went along. On moderators, my opinion is that a mod should leave a light footprint. That's strictly my opinion, and there are definitely those who would disagree.

I hope the above input helps.
Sincerely,
Kevin T.
 

Ariakas

Bosun
The challenge with discord is you automatically exclude people who dont have a technical lein. Which in turn excludes some age groups. I am part of a local discord and we discussed this today.

One thing the group has done very well is kept it civil and non-dating. By excluding that as a primary "thing" it removes the creepers.
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
I mean that's true of any platform, there are always people going to be uncomfortable with new things. Hell, I'm still mourning LiveJournal and some of the subject-specific email lists I used to be on; their replacements on FB just aren't as good and Discord fills a different niche.
 

under_moonlight

New member
Thank you all so much for your insight so far! I scheduled time for myself tonight and this weekend to sit down review all the information I've collected so far. I set myself a goal of actually making the server no matter what by Saturday night (not having it open to anyone yet, just actually making it). I find if I don't set myself specific goals like this I never take the plunge and end up stuck at the research phase 😅

I will share progress once it's made and ask further questions if they come up! If anyone else thinks of anything else still feel free to post about it here!

Thanks again,
Moon!
 

Ariakas

Bosun
I mean that's true of any platform, there are always people going to be uncomfortable with new things. Hell, I'm still mourning LiveJournal and some of the subject-specific email lists I used to be on; their replacements on FB just aren't as good and Discord fills a different niche.
True, I could never get into live journal but lots of early folks here did, and it was good for catching up with poly friends when they werent posting :) I did have my own wordpress blog, which later morphed into tech... so similar conceptish. :)

I don't find FB groups useful for things that aren't meetup related. *shrugs*. I think so many people are scared of the security settings (and they should be) that any time you want to be discrete someday, some setting somewhere, could out you. Thats a healthy concern haha..
 

icesong

Moderator
Staff member
Ha, totally fair, I do have the privilege of being basically out of the closet (it might be awkward were Knight's coworkers to figure it out, but not anything worse than that.)
 
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