Future Building

Discord, the Internet’s Third Place

Liked How Discord (somewhat accidentally) invented the future of the internet by David Pierce (Protocol)

Discord’s founders just wanted to create a way to talk to their gamer friends. They created something much bigger.

I’ve started using Discord during the pandemic and it’s been an incredible tool to stay in touch with friends. We set up a text channel where we’d regularly hang out on weekend mornings when we used to hit the coffee shop together, then added weekly video hangouts on the nights we used to meet up in person. We started using video chat to accompany DnD on Roll20, since we tend to play theater of the mind and character focused games. And now we’re using a Discord video channel to do NaNoWriMo together this month. It has become our virtual Third Place to get together in real time.

Funny how I didn’t make that connection earlier this year thinking about what online public spaces look like. On top of hanging out with my friends, I also attended a Discord conference, with each track bring held in a different channel. I’m also using it for one to one connections like old school AIM. If this is the future of the internet, so far it’s working out pretty well for me.

By Tracy Durnell

Writer and designer in the Seattle area. Freelance sustainability consultant. Reach me at She/her.

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