Hello everyone, my name is Dame and I’ve been contributing to IPFS social and content for the past year. I now chair the Communications Working Group. Below you will find a strategy that I have created to help migrate the community away from using the Filecoin Slack. I’d be grateful for any feedback and comments that are made before February 14.
Status: DRAFT – open for comment through February 14, 2024
IPFS contributors and the community currently rely heavily upon the Filecoin Slack due to its legacy usage by Protocol Labs. With the IPFS project continuing to mature, there is an increasing need for it to begin shifting to its own communication platforms in order to avoid confusion and brand overlap. Going forward, we would like to propose a new normal for how the community should primarily coordinate and communicate.
There are two elements to the situation: 1) Chat and 2) Forums.
IPFS chat consists of 3 different platforms (Discord, Filecoin Slack, and Matrix) which have been used for both casual coordination and serious communication. The forum (hosted on Discourse) is currently underutilized due to the convenient nature of chat. That being said, convenience should not always be king or queen. For instance, chat is more ephemeral and harder to archive/search than a forum platform.
Results of Polis: https://pol.is/2v2dkpmjji
Using a tool called Polis, a recent discussion was conducted in the community to gauge sentiment about the status quo of IPFS chat.
A majority agreed that the status quo is not fine. When it came to whether or not IPFS should establish its own Slack, there was a split within the community members who voted. Many felt that Slack was ill-suited to IPFS due to its cost/corporate-ness and that bridging between chat applications creates confusion.
The one thing the community almost universally agreed upon was the statement, “aside from chat, a worldwide asynchronous community needs a forum-like structure for long form discussion”. Additionally, many agreed with the statement “forums are great for discussions, and more permanent posts. Chat is great for more immediate and real-time comms, both have a place.”
With the above in mind, we propose that the IPFS Forums (hosted on Discourse) become the de facto meeting place for communicating, coordinating, and collaborating on all things IPFS. To supplement this primary meeting place, we encourage the community to begin casually conversing on the IPFS Discord server when necessary, with bridging maintained with Matrix.
This transition will likely take some time due to ingrained habits, but we believe that it is for the best in the long term. Below you will find a rollout schedule for the shift:
Phase 1: February 15 - March 15 (4 Weeks)
- Make announcements through various communication channels about the shift
- Alert working group leads and ask them to begin transitioning their group immediately.
- Send reminders weekly in key slack channels
- Have people pin the forums/discord to their browsers and follow best practices outlined below
Phase 2: March 16 - 31 (2 Weeks)
- Assess usage to see what kind of progress has been made
- We have data/analytics about Forums and Discord usage we can tap into
- If more push is needed, begin responding to individual Slack messages asking them to move the conversation to Discord or Forums.
Phase 3: April 1 - 7 (1 Week)
- Turn off bridge
- If the bridge remains active, people will be able to remain using Filecoin Slack. We must eventually shut it off to complete the transition and cause people to need to use IPFS Forums + Discord.
- Archive the channels
- Remove Filecoin Slack links from the website.
Below you will find a series of suggestions for how to begin best shifting your practices to align with this new direction:
- Pin the IPFS Forum and Discord server to your browser tabs.
- Begin regularly checking these locations for new posts and direct messages.
- Only rely upon the Filecoin Slack when absolutely necessary during the 6 week rollout.
- Chat should only be used for ephemeral communications that don’t need to be archived or distributed to the wider community.
- The Forum should be used as the primary communication channel for almost everything. When in doubt, use the forum!