Hey Skillquest folks. My name is Ben Noble. I’m excited to be writing my first article here. For context, I started a Pokemon GO-related Discord server called POGO Raiders back in July 2020. In late 2020, I was accepted into the Discord Partnership program. At the time of this article, we have over 190,000 members on the server. In this article, I will be briefly discussing three Discord principles that I believe had a heavy impact on our server’s success.

1. Keep it simple and concise

Imagine you join a Discord server you have a bit of interest in. Just enough interest to join it. Immediately you are greeted with a wall of text. You’ll probably either leave, or try and find the “accept” button to skip over (provided you have enough experience on Discord to know to look for that). 

So many servers I see give their members too much information at the start. I know there is a lot you want your members to be informed about, but you have to lay out a natural process for them to learn it. For example, utilize an FAQ channel at the end of that process. It’s also a great spot for you and your team to get copy-and-pastes to quickly answer confused members.

Lastly, find the balance in channels that are actually valuable to your community. Don’t create too many channels. A large list of channels is intimidating to new members and could easily deter new members. Some servers also utilize a role menu where you can subscribe to certain sections of the server. For example, I run an eSports club where members can select which games they are interested in. The games they are not interested in will not appear, otherwise their sidebar would have upwards of 30 channels they’d never visit. Your members will appreciate that. 

2. Understand the trust involved in pings

Is there anything worse than receiving an @everyone ping in a server you don’t have an interest in? You did have an interest in it at some point, otherwise you wouldn’t be in it. Your response is probably to mute or leave that server.

Trust is lost so easily. If you use @everyone for the simplest updates, all members below that interest level have just muted you. Now, when the large update comes out and you want to announce it, you can’t reach the folks that you need. 

A great server is able to segment their member base by multiple types of pings. The benefit of this is that when the time is right for a particular group, you can get their attention (and get them involved again) without getting muted. 

For example, in my server when there is a new “boss” released, I’m able to ping the people that have said they’re interested in that boss. If there is a server update, I can notify that group. For large server updates, I might consider using @everyone. 

Ultimately, your goal is to bring people back to your server when the time is right for them which is exactly how you should be utilizing your pings.

3. Know your “Why”

Simply put, why should someone join your server? Why not the other servers like yours? What separates your server from all the others?

In college, my major was Entrepreneurship. One of the concepts we focused on a lot was called competitive advantage. This theory helps explain the concepts above. Every organization that is competitive has to somehow make their experience or product different and better than organizations offering the same solutions and experience.

A mentor once told me to focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses. I think that relates directly to your server. What do you do well, and how can you expand on that? For example, people found our custom-programmed bot to function better than the other Pokémon raiding servers, so we developed it further and made it the center of the server and our marketing.

If you don’t know precisely why people love your server over others, ask them. Humans are emotional creatures. Their feelings will reveal specifically what is working and not working well. Ask them what annoys them, or what they really enjoy. Dig as deep as you can. You can always ask “Why is that?” over and over again. Your competitive advantage will be obvious after your third or fourth interview.

Thank you

Skillquest community, thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts. I want to remind you all this is strictly my opinion. I have no studies nor evidence to back it up other than my server’s success. If you have any questions, feel free to DM me on Discord at Ben Noble#0999. I don’t respond to friend requests unfortunately because I get too many daily, so join my server (discord.gg/POGORaiders), and then DM me through there. Thanks, all!