Orbit Blog — Slack vs Discord vs Discourse: The best tool for your community

Article comparing Slack, Discord, and Discourse. I use Slack and Discourse extensively, but have not tried Discord yet.

In the article, Discourse is recommended for “Collaboration Communities”:

Communities focused on collaboration usually want to foster deeper participation from existing community members, lower the bar for new folks to get involved, solve problems as a group, and publicly share the solutions.

This seems to be aligned with our vision for TMPDIR.

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Since I wrote, this I have been participating in several Discord communities – it does some things better than slack:

  • single account for all communities
  • clearer/nicer UI
  • seems more powerful in organizing rooms, etc

and some things worse:

  • threaded conversations in Slack seem better.

Lately, I’ve had to go back to Microchip for more support, and they use a support/ticket system built on top of salesforce:


It appears Salesforce is a popular platform:

And have invented a few technologies around it – including a proprietary programming language called Apex.

Overall, I find the *.force.com user experience pretty bad compared to Discourse. It is painfully slow – even with the new fiber connection here. This seems to be a case where Microchip is optimizing for their internal sales/CRM process, rather than for their users and the community.

how do discourse and discord compare ?

I think Discord is more like slack in that in lends itself more to less formal synchronous chat. However, all these can be used asynchronously, so they do overlap.

I feel synchronous communication (chat) can be good for improving relationships.

I really like the summary emails Discourse sends out – to me, Discourse is still the best platform for concise, useful reference information. Slack and Discord are better for information chat, brainstorming, etc.

I’ve still not used Matrix much yet.

Here is an interesting discussion on this topic:

Another interesting article comparing Discord to Discourse:

Discord is great as your short term memory , and Discourse is great as your long term memory . You can use either tool for all of those things, but it’s not ideal. We think you need both! If you’ve decided to use Discord and Discourse together, and you understand the role each tool plays, you’ll find they play quite well together!

I’m impressed with the generous and open minded spirit of the Discourse team. They are focused on building a great product, and don’t feel they need to slam the competition to succeed. Discourse is so far ahead of any other community/forum product I’ve used that it will be a long time until anyone else even begins to catch up. They must be working with exceptional clarity about what they are building.

Every time I see a large established company trying to get on the “community” train by setting up a clunky forum based on proprietary software, I sigh – those days are past. Community tools need to be low friction and optimized for the community they are serving, not for mining CRM data for big company’s $ales department.

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Another discussion about Slack vs Github discussions: