Moving from Slack to Discord

Turning the Page on the Grakn Labs Community

Daniel Crowe
Feb 14, 2020 · 4 min read

:: Grakn is a database technology that serves as the knowledge base foundation to intelligent systems. Grakn allows intelligent systems to interpret complex datasets as a single body of knowledge that can be logically reasoned over. Learn more @ ::

In the lead up to Grakn Cosmos 2020 we took a look at our community, where had we come from, what did we want to see in the future, and what was needed from the platforms we incorporated.

Slack has been our home for the last 3+ years. It served its purpose. Allowed the team to engage with the community in a more direct way and provided a platform that new community members could join and collaborate with others. The only problem was that, as other organisations have noted, the free version used for our community just doesn’t provide the scale and flexibility that is required for a global network of pioneers, builders and innovators.

So with that said, we’ve decided to take our collective talents to Discord. Below I’ll try and layout why we think this is going to be a vast improvement in our ability to collaborate, grow and catalyse.

What do we see in Discord?

Proximity to the Community 

Our team is no longer split between an internal Slack workspace and our community workspace — we can do away with our annoying but helpful bots and all play in the same sandbox. This means faster response times on questions and increased awareness of what’s happening in real time.

Clarity and Security

Discord’s unique ID system keeps things on the level. As we grow, our community members can be reassured that they are talking with who they think they are talking to.

We’ll talk about roles in a moment but it’s important that our community is able to reach out to our team without having to guess who is who. With everyone on the Grakn Labs team getting the [Grakn Labs] role, our community can easily reach out to someone on the team with confidence.

We Talkin’ about Scale

When we grow, Discord grows with us. No more message limitations; a fully queryable message history.

Moderation and Appreciation

This is where things get exciting. In Slack, we were collective moderators, relying on a first to respond method of addressing questions, issues and support. With Discord you’re able to tag specific groups directly in your message:

@moderators for anything broadly related to Grakn Labs Discord server and platform or community issues@engineers for any questions relating to the use of Grakn and Graql — a more specific #channel breakdown is at the bottom this post :)

The ability to create and distribute [ roles ] in Discord is magical — seriously, we love it. With that said, we will be creating two new roles — the first group will be announced shortly — if you want to nominate yourself join the server and ping [ @daniel ]:

@organisers — those who can work with our team to build and empower local communities around the world — leading events on the ground.@maintainers — do you enjoy helping others sort through challenges, excel at complicated modelling or semantic decision making in Graql? This is your chance to represent and assist our team in supporting others' journeys through Knowledge Engineering.@warriors — announced at Grakn Cosmos 2020, this is the core group of community members that will lead us into the next decade, you represent a direct extension of the Grakn Labs team.

Channel Breakdown

#hello — Your first stop in the Grakn Server — you can announce yourself, or let Discord do it for you :)#announcements - Releases, team announcements and anything else we think our entire community should know — note: this is a read only channel.#troubleshoot - General Grakn troubleshooting questions and call outs — see an issue? Validate it with the group here before submitting an issue to github.#graql - syntax challenges giving you a headache? Don’t go at it alone, drop in questions, ask to see if anyone has tried it before, suggest it to the team — this is where the writing is on the wall.#workbase - Grakn’s visualiser: a place to share screenshots, questions on usage and workings within.#biograkn - An internal project that seeks to facilitate a deeper interaction with biomedical data — this is where the rubber meets the enzyme.#kglib - Grakn Lab’s ML research and project library — together we can change the game in bridging Knowledge Graphs and learners.#nlp - Interested in NLP or NLU? This is the place for you, join others working in the space, finding ways to use Grakn for more powerful natural language applications.Events Category - Here you’ll find all the local community conversations in your city, as well as our Grakn Cosmos channel [ #cosmos ]. From the Bay Area to Mumbai, there’s a local community for everyone — if you don’t see your city, tell the @moderators and we’ll get one up and running!

Let’s Continue to Grow, Together

Through Discord, we want to empower you to help us shape how the server is structured and maintain the community values we all share.

Come join us on Discord — we’re not telling you to do it, but like, you really should…

…like right now.

Do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it


Creators of TypeDB and TypeQL