Discord For Dummies book cover

Discord For Dummies

By: Tee Morris Published: 05-19-2020

Connect with the newest and most vibrant online community  

Though it was originally a virtual meeting place primarily for gamers, Discord’s userbase has quintupled in size in just two years and branched to include discussions on a multitude of topics. Discord For Dummies shows readers how to connect with the massive Discord audience, both within and well beyond the gaming niche.  

Celebrated writer, broadcaster, gamer, and technologist Tee Morris teaches readers how to set up a profile, establish channels, and join other conversations. Along the way, he’ll show you how to grow your audience and utilize Discord in your business. You’ll also learn to: 

·         Play by the rules of Discord, both written and unwritten 

·         Build a Discord studio 

·         Create a community 

·         Acquire must-have accessories 

With an audience of over 250,000,000 active users, you can’t afford to ignore the Discord community. Discord For Dummies is perfect for businesses seeking a larger audience, established media looking for a presence in private chat, and groups looking to organize their communication. 

Articles From Discord For Dummies

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Discord For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Cheat Sheet / Updated 02-23-2022

The idea behind the Cheat Sheet is to give you a quick shortcut on what you may want to jump into, research further, or implement straight away when getting started on Discord. The Cheat Sheet is also a quick reminder of details you may want within reach like “What can I integrate with my Discord?” or “What were those tips on interviewing guests?” Your Cheat Sheet is a flash card for what you need at a glance.

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Top 10 Essentials for Discord

Step by Step / Updated 04-29-2020

When starting off with a platform as robust, as multi-layered, and as versatile as Discord, you quickly realize that just downloading Discord is the first step. You might notice other Discord servers have a better sound, sharper video, and a better handle on the capabilities beyond text communication. That’s because those servers have made investments in ways other than time and attention. The individuals and teams behind those servers invest in hardware that improves the Discord experience they offer. If you want to take a look at making your Discord experience a step or two beyond the basics, here are some suggestions of items and accessories that can improve your Discord experience.

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What Is Discord Server?

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

Perhaps the trickiest thing to do right off the bat is define Discord. On the surface, it looks and sounds like Skype on steroids, but it’s a robust, stable communications platform available as a browser application, a stand-alone desktop application, and a mobile app for both smartphones and tablets. Discord offers the following features: Text chat Audio and video chat (group and private) Private text messaging News feeds Link and media sharing Streaming and screen sharing Discord provides gamers, streamers, and many other creative individuals and organizations an all-encompassing platform for topic-specific chat streams, private audio channels and open public chats, interviews for podcasts and streams, and much more. One of many reasons this platform is so closely associated with gaming is due in part to its founder, Jason Citron. Citron was the founder of OpenFeint, a social gaming platform for mobile games, and Hammer & Chisel, a game development studio. Being a gamer himself, Citron noted problems with available options providing real-time game comms. His development team introduced Discord in May 2015 to Reddit communities, where it gained popularity with eSports gamers and Twitch.tv hosts and took off from there. Within its first year, Discord was hailed by PC Gamer as the best VoIP service available, praising its ease of use and its stability. Oh, and Discord costs now what it did when it was introduced: free. Discord stands apart from other game comms solutions — and for many professionals reliant on using the Internet for communications — for its stability, audio quality, video quality, and ease of use. It may seem a little intimidating when you first launch it, but setup and use are incredibly easy. Welcome to a look inside my brain when I first started streaming — creating content live online through a service like Twitch, Mixer, or YouTube—and I was asked, “So what’s your Discord server?” Are you kidding? I have to know this thing called Discord if I want to know Twitch? No, Discord is not necessarily a necessity for streaming, but if you want to build a community, if you want to extend your reach as a content creator, and if you want to level up your online communications game, yes, you will need Discord. Awesome. So, What Exactly Is VoIP? All right, maybe learning something new won’t be so bad if you have a good reason for picking up yet another platform. That is a sound reason to get behind taking time to traverse the learning curve, so where do you begin with Discord? Or where do you begin your serious look at why you need yet one more platform added to your growing palette of applications? So let’s step back a bit and talk about what is at the heart of Discord: audio chat. Discord is one of many apps taking advantage of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), a method commonly used for the delivery of media communications (audio, video, and data files) through online connections using audio and video codecs (formats used for compressing a lot of data into order to make it manageable for exchange). Think of how the JPEG format takes a huge image file and makes it only a few megabytes. Codecs are similar to that. Instead of data being transmitted over circuit-switched network, digital data is transmitted over a packet-switched network: the Internet. Perhaps the biggest name of early VoIP that changed the way the world communicated was Skype, offering free calls anywhere internationally by using closed networks for private user bases. The Danish software first reached the public in the summer of 2003. Provided you have broadband Internet, Skype offers up audio and video calls of better quality than standard telephone connections. Along with VoIP, a handy chat function is included for the exchange of data files. Here’s where things start to get a little dicey with VoIP. While the audio and video quality of these calls was unparalleled, a lot of factors would come into play, beginning with the quality of the broadband Internet. Not all broadband is created equal, and in rural areas and developing nations, dial-up was still the way to connect in 2003 and later. Even if broadband is up and running on both the sending and receiving ends of a VoIP call, sending files during a call could disrupt or outright end a call on account of the size of the files being exchanged, the upload/download limitations of the broadband connection, and the amount of traffic on both parties’ end. Then there’s security. Each point of a VoIP connection creates a potential vulnerability, as firewalls, if not configured properly, can block incoming and outgoing calls. Additionally, distributed denial-of-service attacks can easily take down VoIP systems, rendering them busy. And these are just two of many vulnerabilities that VoIP can bring to a professional or home network. Free global communication is a very cool thing, but it also comes with a lot of compromising possibilities. So while an improvement over your usual hard-wired telephone calls, VoIP is hardly perfect. So, What Exactly Is In-Game Chat? Now as VoIP has its checkered reputation, it did introduce the idea of open communications within online games. The concept of built-in chat options, a feature that is usually expected in team-oriented games, be they MMOs (massively multiplayer online games), FPS (first person shooters), RPGs (role playing games), or some other flavor of video game with communications between team members, completely changed how we play on our chosen platforms. In-game chat was introduced in 2006 with Nintendo’s Metroid Prime Hunters, offering gamers real-time audio through the Nintendo DS’s built-in microphone. In-game chat was also offered that year with Nintendo’s Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl. Today, in-game chat is everywhere. Bungie’s Destiny offers Fireteam Chat to keep Guardians connected when you lead a raid team into the Garden of Salvation. Epic Games’ juggernaut Fortnite also comes with native chat, allowing you to tell that 10-year-old who just fragged you the best place to store their Legendary pump shotgun. Even cutthroat pirates can make new friends through in-game chat in Rare Studios’ Sea of Thieves, pictured here. Then you have Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. Consoles are offering their own audio channels to give their gamers a more social experience. Can’t game with your friends in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as you are enjoying an adrenaline rush from Dead by Daylight? No worries. Sign on to Xbox LIVE or PSN and enjoy some casual hangout time with your crew. So long as you are logged into your console’s respective network, you can chat with your friends, build your network to include others, and swap media ranging from screen captures to game play. And don’t worry about not having the right gear straight away. Consoles will offer you the basics (such as an earbud with a mic and an audio jack in your controller) so you can start chatting straight out of the box. In-game chat has become so prevalent, it is now a feature expected by gamers. It’s the ability to connect that appeals to players, as the gaming experience becomes something more social and more inclusive. From my own experience with in-game chat, it’s always fun to be able to work with fellow gamers in a tight scenario (be it PvP or PvE) and execute audibles. Feels good, man. However, the quality of the chat varies from game to game. Destiny’s native Fireteam Chat, for example, is barely better than the audio quality of a hard-wired telephone call. Another limitation of native in-game chat is that it is native to that game, so if you want to just hang out with your mates while gaming, you have to be in that particular game. Console chat tends to have better audio quality as opposed to native in-game chat, provided that the network you’re on is having a good hair day. If someone in your party is suffering from connection issues, their audio will be spotty at best, popping and locking harder than a Cirque du Soleil performer. Sometimes, incompatibility in gaming gear (microphones, headsets, and so on) may also complicate things. A common audio issue on PSN, for example, is a Network Address Translation (NAT) error, which can occur when network settings on an individual’s console are not set properly or a firewall is active. Troubleshooting can be something of a challenge and may not always be a one-solution-fits-all kind of thing. And if Xbox LIVE or PSN is offline? No soup for you. VoIP is free and able to connect you with friends everywhere in the world, but not without a fair share of problems ranging from spotty reception to security vulnerabilities. Meanwhile, game and console developers offer their own brands of in-game communications, but if the audio quality doesn’t make you suffer, connection issues will.

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How to Set Up Your Discord Server Account

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

Your first to-do item with this new platform is to set yourself up on Discord first. Again, it does not cost a thing for you to do this, apart from time. There are a lot of flavors of Discord. You can use the communications app: Through a browser As a stand-alone desktop application On your smartphone or tablet 1. Launch your browser of choice, and go to DiscordApp.com. Discord offers you two options: Download for Your OS or Open Discord in Your Browser. 2. Select the Open Discord in Your Browser option. 3. Enter a username for yourself. Create a name for yourself that people in Discord will know you by. If you are a content creator or a gamer, or if you’re developing an online persona, it is best to think ahead of how you want to be known. For example, on PSN, Instagram, and Twitch, I use the moniker TheTeeMonster. So, when I set up my Discord, I entered TheTeeMonster as my username. Consistency is key, so aim for the same username from platform to platform. 4. Click the arrow button to the right, and verify that you’re not an automated program or bot. 5. Verify your account by email or by phone. Choose your preferred method of verification and follow the steps to assure Discord that yes, you are in fact a real person. 6. When you’re asked to set up your server or jump into Discord, click the Get Started option. When you join Discord, you create what is called a server. This is your own private corner of Discord, and you decide how public your chat will be. 7. In the Create Your Server dialog box, come up with a name for your server and a serve name, and select the server region closest to your location. This is where you give your server a name people can remember it by. The content creator IAmTeeBot called his server The System. Aura’s Discord server is called The Pit, named after his love for his pitbull Layla. Then you have James Werk’s Discord, named aptly enough The Werkshop. If you don’t like what you initially name your server, don’t worry. You can always change it later in the Settings section of your server. 8. Claim the server as your own with a valid email and password. You will be sent an email asking you to claim the server, making you its moderator — the one in charge of the whole operation. You are given the option of downloading the desktop app. You will always have the option of downloading the app later. When you claim your server via email confirmation, you are live on Discord! 9. Return to the Discord browser window, go to the top left of the app, where you see your server name, click the arrow to get the drop-down menu, and select the Server Settings option. A few options are listed here, and we will cover them all eventually. Right now, we’re focusing on just the Server Settings option. 10. In the Server Overview section, you can upload an icon for your server. To do so, click the default icon (the initials of your server name in a blue circle) or click the Upload Image button, and find on your computer an image or logo representative of you or your organization. Select it and then click the Open button to upload it. The server’s unique icon or avatar allows users to recognize your server at a glance. You will want to have an avatar for your server as well as one for yourself. Discord recommends an image at least 512 x 512 pixels for an avatar. 11. Change server regions or rename your server if you find yourself in need of a rebrand. Scroll to the bottom of Server Settings, click the Save Changes button, and then press the Esc key to return to Discord. On starting off your server, Discord is very much the blankest of canvases. I mean, it is quiet. Very quiet. Like when you’re wandering through the Nostromo in the opening shots of Alien — that kind of quiet! Discord gets that and doesn’t want you to feel put off, so when you first arrive, it automatically highlights things to do, such as Set a Status. You might also see an exclamation point floating around the user interface. On clicking the exclamation point, tips are revealed on neat stuff you can do straight out of the box. These tips also appear whenever Discord changes features and functions, so keep an eye out for those. Just above your server icon, you should see the Discord icon (if it reminds you of a gaming console controller, you would be correct), your shortcut to the Home section. Single-clicking that icon immediately takes you to the Activity section, the area of Home always featured on your arrival to Discord. The Home feature offers four options: Activity Library Nitro Friends We’re going to do a deep dive into all of these options, but not straight away. Let’s find a pace crawling before we challenge gravity and start walking. What we need to do first is fill in blanks in your profile and explore some of the control functions that Discord offers you as the moderator of your server.

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How to Set up Your Discord Profile and Parameters

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

Discord respects how important identity is. When communicating online, you want to make a good first impression, and you want your Discord to feel warm, inviting, and (more important) lived in. But when sharing information and data, you want to know exactly what you’re sharing and how you’re sharing it. It’s as if in the age being social with our social media, we are grappling with this weird sense of paranoia. (Thanks, Facebook and Cambridge Analytica!) Discord gets this, which is why Discord has its User Settings set up the way it does. 1. Go to the bottom-left corner of Discord, and click the gear wheel. 2. Click the Edit button in the My Account section. 3. Move your cursor to the default Discord icon, located on the left side of the window, and click the words “Change Avatar,” when they appear. User Settings is your comprehensive panel for everything pertaining to your personal account. Here, we are changing your avatar to give you a specific look. You can change your avatar for yourself at any time. 4. Find an image that’s appropriate for yourself, and click the Choose button. Formats you can use for avatars include JPG, PNG, and GIF. The minimum size for an avatar is 128 by 128 pixels. Although you are able to change your username, there is a four-digit identifying number off to the right that is not an editable option. This unique ID number is part of your Discord identification. You see it pop up with your own and other Discord users when tagging them in posts. That is perfectly normal. 5. When you have made all the changes you wish to make, click the Save button to return to the User Settings section. 6. Click the Privacy and Safety option to review the default settings, and make adjustments where you wish. The Privacy and Settings option is one way that Discord works to keep you and your server safe and secure. Safe Direct Messaging gives you the ability to disable any virus scans on attachments and URLs sent to you confidentially, or grants Discord the right to scan anything coming to you from an individual. Server Privacy Defaults allows you to accept or deny private messages, and Who Can Add You as a Friend puts limitations on who can add you as a friend. (You can be a member of a server and not necessarily be someone’s friend on Discord.) Finally, there is How We Use Your Data, offering transparency for all the data exchanged here. All this is Discord working with you to make sure you know how much you are sharing and with whom you are sharing. 7. Single-click the Connections option. The various apps that seamlessly integrate with Discord include: Twitch YouTube net Steam Reddit Facebook Twitter Spotify Xbox LIVE If you have any live accounts with these services, connect them here with your Discord. 8. Click the Billing option to manage credit cards authorized for in-app purchases, such as Discord Nitro and exclusive games. Click Add Payment Method and then authorize a debit or credit card (if so desired) for your Discord account. This is not necessary for hosting a server. Discord is still free, but for games and Nitro features, charges will apply. 9. Click the X at the top right or press the Esc key to return to Discord. Authorized Apps pertains to integrated software that automates specific functions in your server. This software, commonly known as bots, can be managed from here. After you have some bots working hard in your server, you can revisit this feature. Discord’s User Settings are all about being social while staying secure. We can still purchase services, introduce ourselves to new people from various parts of the world, and still keep an eye on the data we share. It’s okay to open up when online, but it’s a good thing to remain safe. Another way Discord works to keep you safe is with Two-Factor Authentication, an option offered under My Account. While not mandatory, Two-Factor Authentication asks the user for a second passcode when logging into Discord, adding to your account a second layer of protection from any malicious hackers.

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How to Set up Your Discord Application

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

Under the App Settings section of your User Account settings, you get into the nuts and bolts of how everything works here. What are you using for audio and video inputs? How do you want Discord to look? How do you want to be notified on new interactions and when? You set up all this here. There is a lot to customize in Discord, and this is all part of the experience in making this platform feel like a place you want to spend a lot of time on with friends. So why not make it your own? Go to the bottom-left corner of Discord, click the User Settings gear wheel, and single-click to Voice & Video in the App Settings section. At the top of the window are the input and output settings for your audio. Check the quality of your incoming signal by clicking the Let’s Check button. When looking for the best audio signal, you want to make sure your signal is bouncing within the green of the readout, or the Volume Unit (VU) meter. If you are too loud, the signal will be loud and distorted, or overmodulated. Just underneath the VU meter, you should notice that Voice Activity is selected, meaning that audio communications is enabled. Leave Push to Talk unselected. Push to Talk is where you have to use a keyboard shortcut to communicate with others in your chat, like a traditional Citizens Band (CB) radio. Push to Talk is handy if you are hosting interviews or roundtable discussions, but your location is seeing a lot of traffic. Another use is if you are recording an interview or panel discussion, but only in an engineer capacity. Push to Talk silences your audio but allows you to interject if you need to inform the party of any technical issues. Video Settings allows you to choose what your video input device will be. Select a camera from the Camera drop-down menu. The Preview window gives you a quick look to assure the signal is good. Underneath Video Settings, Advanced options will help you troubleshoot any problems your audio may encounter. Click the Notifications options on the left side of your screen to specify how you wish to be notified when new messages arrive. If you prefer not to receive notifications on your desktop, make sure the Enable Desktop Notifications option is turned off. These preferences pertain to your Discord app on a global level. You have the ability to control notifications for specific servers and specific channels. Choose an approximate time from the drop-down menu for when you will be away. AFK stands for away from keyboard and is commonly used when users are no longer at their desk or laptops but still online. Text-to-Speech Notifications, when enabled, will read out all or specific notifications. If necessary, enable Text-to-Speech for Notifications. Scroll down to Sounds to see all the alerts currently enabled. They include Message Deafen Undeafen Mute Unmute Voice Disconnected PPT Activate PPT Deactivate User Join User Leave User Moved Outgoing Ring Incoming Ring Stream Started Stream Stopped Viewer Join Viewer Leave You can enable notifications and then use these options to decide which notifications you will hear an audible alert. You can control which activity will notify you with an audible alert. Click the Activity Feed and search for games that you play in the Search for Games bar. The latest news and links for games you follow appear in your Activity Feed, accessed from the Home option. Click Text and Images to review how you want media to appear in Discord posts, and make adjustments if desired. How media is displayed can be customized from channel to channel on your server. Click Appearance to customize the look and feel of your Discord. Appearance not only allows you to adjust Discord on an aesthetic level, but also grants accessibility for any users needing assistance on visuals. Play around with the options here to see what works best for you. For my developers reading Discord, this is where you — yes, you — can really customize the platform. Under Appearance’s Advanced section, you’ll find Developer Mode, which will help in integration of bots and custom commands with Discord’s application programming interface (API). Discord’s last two User Settings, Streamer Mode and Language, are quickly covered here. If you want to work in a different language, select your preferred language under the Language option. Then, at the bottom of the list of options for our User Account options, there is the Change Log option. This option is occasionally offered to you upon launching the Discord app, but it’s easily accessed here. The Change Log is a list of updates and quick fixes to the platform, as well as a look at the continuing efforts from the Discord development team to improve the platform, be it through a new feature, a chance for you to volunteer for a Beta group to test something new, or an opportunity to catch the Discord team at a live appearance. If change is coming to your server, the Change Log where you can read up on it.

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How to Join a Discord Server

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

The best way to learn is to watch others do what you want to do. To understand how all these connections work you need to take a look at other communities to see how they run things. No two Discord servers are alike, and you will want to learn from others so that you know how this platform works. So how do we join Discord servers? No cover at the door: Joining open servers Underneath your Server’s avatar are two icons: Add a Server and Server Discovery. We will use both to help you out in your first steps in building a community. 1. Click the magnifying glass below the plus sign in the top-left corner of the Discord app. This icon is your Server Discovery tool. A directory of servers appears below a search bar, prompting you to search various topics. The Server Discovery Directory, shown here, is your guide to open communities that welcome new users to their servers. 2. Scroll down to review the featured communities, or click the Next button at the bottom of the directory to review another offering of Discord servers. 3. When you have found a community you wish to join, click that server. Whether you click the server or the View button, you will be ushered to a holding area that usually features the rules of a server. It will be in your best interest to read this page carefully before clicking the Join Server button located at the bottom right of Discord. 4. When you’re ready, click the Join Server button. When a server is joined, an avatar for that server appears on the left side of your Discord. You can begin chatting, provided that the room allows chatting. 5. Return to the Server Discovery tool, and this time, enter a favorite video game in the Search bar, located above the featured servers. At present, Discord’s search directory is limited to gaming topics. In the case of nongaming interests, you will find discussions on individual servers. 6. Repeat steps 2 and 4 to join a server that interests you. Now that you have joined servers, you should notice those servers in your left sidebar. To visit the servers, simply click the server’s avatar, and you find yourself there, ready to chat. The various topics with the hash-tag symbol are called channels, where engagement happens. Here, you discuss whatever the channel’s topic features. By Invitation Only: Joining Private Servers This is how you can jump into popular, public servers, but there are plenty other servers — like your own — you can enjoy, provided that you have an invitation. I am going to use my server (TheTeeMonster’s Not-So-Secret-Lair) as the example of what to do when you get an invite to a server. When you receive an invite, a URL will be provided. The link can be sent via email, text, or chat. 1. When you receive the link, click the link to launch Discord and join the new server, or copy the link to your Clipboard by pressing Ctrl+C (Windows) or Apple key+C (macOS). The invitation URL for my server is https://discord.gg/62dvzyk. 2. If you copied the URL, click the Add Server button, located above the Server Discovery button. 3. Select the Join a Server option. 4. Enter the URL in the provided field (shown here) and then click the Join button. You have joined a server via invitation. Simple as that. But if you spend some time at this server and find the discussions are not to your liking, follow these steps: 1. Find the server you wish to leave in the left-hand sidebar of your Discord. Right-click it to access the Options menu. 2. Choose the Leave Server option from the drop-down menu. 3. Confirm this decision by clicking the Leave Server button. Now that you have set up your own server, refined your profile, and joined servers, it’s time to make connections and begin tapping into what Discord can do. There are discussions happening right now, and it’s time to make your voice heard. You might make a few new friends as you continue this adventure in Discord.

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How to Connect with Friends on Discord

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

The Beatles were right when it comes to the importance of friends. They do help you get by, but you have to connect with them first in Discord. Friends are people on Discord who directly connect with you. They do not necessarily have to be on your Discord server. Making that connection usually happens through an invitation. So, if people can connect with your server and communicate freely with you on the various topics, why would you even need to have friends distinguished in Discord? Friends in Discord (see the following figure) can be regarded as something like “Gold” or “Tier 2” status on your server. Friends can be given special privileges ranging from open direct messaging to being able to see what servers you have in common. It may seem that the distinctions may be insignificant at first, but there is something to having an inner circle of contacts, especially when your community starts to grow. Finding friends online can be a pretty easy process once you know where to look and how to look. 1. In the Discord browser window, click Home and select the Friends option. 2. Select the Add Friend option on the far right and click it. For new users, the Add Friend option is highlighted. Experienced users also have this option highlighted, in green, but it will not be as prominent as for those brand-new to Discord. You can send a friend request to anyone on Discord, provided you have the user’s name and unique four-digit ID number. When adding friends, remembering the number can be something of a hassle. However, you can easily send a friend request to someone by clicking their username or avatar to pull up their Profile. By clicking the Send Friend Request button, you can easily reach out to make a connection with someone. 3. To copy your own username and four-digit ID number, move your cursor to the lower left of Discord and click your username at the bottom of the app. By clicking your own username, both your name and your Discord ID number are copied so you can use it in other locations, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media platforms. When a friend request arrives, the Home icon at the top left of Discord alerts you. 4. Click it, go to the Friends option, and then click the Pending option. Any friend requests waiting for your approval appear here. They will remain pending until you accept or reject the request. 5. Select the check sign to accept the friend request or the X icon to ignore it. And just like that, you are making friends on Discord. Now, remember, these are members of the inner circle of your server. It is a good idea to make sure those you are bringing on to your Friends list are people you know and people you trust. When you get to know folks in your community, it’s not a bad idea to grow your Friends list and bring more people into that inner circle. It’s good to have folks in your corner that you can count on and keep close when managing a community becomes tough to handle. Thing is, be it your inner circle or your (growing) community, you will want to give people topics to talk about. These topics are called channels in Discord.

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How to Invite People to Your Discord Server

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

You might have a server set up on solid foundation, but things are quiet because no one on Discord, or anywhere else for that matter, knows your server is live. This is where you start sending out invitations and begin to build your online community. Although it is great to open your world to everyone, and big communities always offer up a lot of fun for you and your fellow chatters, opening your server up to everyone and anyone can sometimes attract trolls. Trolls are those who join servers for the single purpose to be jerks. Oh, sure, you have people who love to get snarky on a server (right, |Drafty|?), but trolls are people that go for the jugular, mock others maliciously, and spam channels with off-topic links, images, and media. Keep in mind that the more places you put out your server’s URL, the greater the chances you will attract the wrong kind of community members. Your community growth begins with an invitation, the proverbial key to your online kingdom. After we create our invitation, we will go into the best places to share your invitation with the world. 1. At the top-left of the Discord browser window, find your server name, click open the drop-down menu, and select the Invite People option. Remember, this is the drop-down menu pertaining to your server. If you need to adjust something specific to your server or any server you belong to, it will be here. In the Invite Friends to [Your Server’s Name] window, you will see a URL generated pertaining to your server. To the right, you will see a Copy button. Just underneath the generated URL for your server will be the disclaimer Your Link Expires in 1 Day. By default, any URLs currently generated have a lifespan of 24 hours. 2. In the figure, at the bottom-right corner of the Invite Friends to [Your Server’s Name] window, is a gear wheel. Click the gear wheel to review the Server Invite Link Settings available. These options offer expiration times and membership limitations for any invites you generate. This is to have control over how much new traffic your server sees. 3. Click the Expire After drop-down menu, and select the Never option. 4. Click the Max Number of Uses drop-down menu, and select the No Limit option. The URL you are creating that grants access to your server now has no expiration date. 5. Click the Generate a New Link button. You now have a permalink, a static URL with no termination date, offering anyone who has it access to your server. 6. Click the Copy button and start sharing you server’s invitation. But now you’re looking at this permalink, and maybe a thought flashes across your brain: Okay, now what? Well, this where the building of your community all begins. Pretty exciting! Suddenly the Internet feels a bit bigger. You have to let people know where your server is, but where is your audience? How different are the audiences from social media platform to social media platform? Where is the best place to showcase your invite on the platform of choice? Streaming platforms Twitch is where I first heard of Discord. If you are unfamiliar with Twitch, this is a platform that offers streaming as a way to connect with the world. Streaming is sharing in real-time content that a host or a group of hosts are creating, many times on the fly and completely off the top of their heads. Originally, Twitch — the first of many streaming platforms — was a way for channel hosts to share their gaming experience with viewers. From its humble beginnings, streaming now covers a variety of topics. There are many new platforms offering audio and video streaming, but four remain the popular, go-to providers: Twitch YouTube Mixer Facebook Discord is where you continue your stream after the stream is over and done with. Your audience can swing by, suggest a new game, or just hang out to get to know you behind the-scenes and between-the-streams. So how does streaming help get the word out on your Discord? Content creators have a lot of helpers to get them through a stream. One such helper is Nightbot, a virtual assistant that helps your stream run smoothly and efficiently. Nightbot helps show hosts create unique commands or messages that you will want to post repeatedly. 1. Go to Nightbot, and authenticate your streaming account with Nightbot. 2. Once you have authenticated Nightbot, go to the menu on the left side of your browser window, and click the Commands option and then the Custom option. At the time of this writing, Nightbot does not support Facebook. YouTube is supported, but Nightbot only becomes active when the stream is live. 3. Click the blue Add Command button to create your first command for your stream. For your first command, we will create a Discord invite post. This is where you will paste your server’s permalink and make it easy for you to let people know you have a digital hangout for your stream. 4. In the Add Command window, starting with the Command option, type !discord in the field. Many commands in Twitch begin with an exclamation point immediately followed by a keyword. No spaces. No numbers. Keep keywords for commands simple. 5. Within the Message window, compose the following: Feel free to come in for the fun — [paste your permalink here] 6. Select all of the message you just created, and copy (Copy+C for Windows, Command 7. In the Userlevel drop-down menu, make sure Everyone is selected. If you want to create commands available to everyone in Chat, available to Subscribers only, or available only to you, set permissions here for commands. 8. Set Cooldown to 5 seconds by moving the slider all the way to the left. Cooldown is where you set a clock for when the command can be used again. 9. Make your Alias the same name as the command, or leave this blank. Alias is used when embedding this command in another command. 10. Click the blue Submit button to add this command to your list of custom commands. 11. Return to Nightbot’s left menu and choose Timers from the options listed. 12. In the Add Command window, starting with the Command option, type !discord in the field. It is okay for you to use the same command keyword for timed commands as well as for manual commands. 13. Within the Message window, paste the message you composed for the !discord command or simply reconstruct the message from Step 5. 14. Set the Timer slider to 20 minutes. 15. Click the blue Submit button to add this command to your list of custom commands. With this custom command, you can now type !discord into your Chat window and drop the permalink to your server to everyone watching. As the command is open for anyone to use, you can then say to your Chat Can I get someone to drop the link to our Discord in Chat? to cue those watching to drop your command in Chat. You also have set up a timed command where every 20 minutes, the Discord link will appear in Chat. This is a handy method of publicity that takes some pressure off you to remember to throw that command in Chat or ask your mods to do so. Before making any of the commands live, be they manual or timed, double-check the permalink to make sure it works and takes you to your server. Never hurts to confirm that your URL is working properly. When setting the timer on the automated commands, make sure you have time between each posting. With multiple timed messages scheduled close to one another, you run the risk of spamming your own channel. Remain aware of what you are saying and when you are saying it. Take advantage of enabling and disabling timers. With Nightbot, inviting people to your Discord server becomes pretty easy. So easy, in fact, it is something you don’t have to worry about. Your moderators (those individuals who are watching over your Chat while you focus on creating content) and regulars to your stream will drop a manual command for the open invite while Nightbot will, based on your set parameters, remind those watching you have a Discord. For more on streaming, specifically streaming on Twitch, feel free to take a look at Twitch For Dummies.

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Let People on Twitter Know How to Find Your Discord

Article / Updated 04-29-2020

A popular social media platform for gamers, content creators, and community managers is one of the original three: Twitter. Maybe you already have a presence on Twitter, or maybe you have a Twitter account and have stepped away from it for whatever reason. If you are on Discord, it is a good idea to be up on your tweeting skills. There are plenty of automated services that allow you to schedule tweets, even Twitter itself provided you sign up for a business account. Free applications like Hootsuite and TweetDeck offer you the ability to manage one or multiple Twitter accounts. Part of that management includes scheduling tweets. Let’s go on and schedule a tweet using TweetDeck, so you can see how easy this is. 1. Go to TweetDeck to see your default account. If you are not already logged into Twitter, you will need to log in. If you are already logged in, you will automatically be taken to it. 2. Select the New Tweet option located at the top of the menu located on the far left of the browser window, and click it to see the Compose New Tweet window. 3. In the Tweet field, compose the following: Wanna chat beyond 280 characters? Join me on Discord at [paste your permalink here] where tangents are welcome! Graphics tend to help a tweet’s visibility, so when putting together your tweet, consider adding in an appropriate image or animated GIF, just to catch a little extra attention. 4. Click the Schedule Tweet button, located just under the Add an Image option. You see a calendar appear. 5. Set the day and time you want the tweet to go live. To remove the scheduled time for a tweet, you can click the Remove button just underneath the calendar. That only removes scheduling options, not the tweet itself. 6. Click the Tweet at [Scheduled Date] button to schedule the tweet. 7. Repeat Steps 1–6 to schedule multiple tweets. This is one way of letting people on Twitter know how to find your Discord. It’s pretty easy and only takes a few minutes to schedule a tweet to appear daily. A legitimate concern with scheduling tweets though, especially multiple tweets that are all talking about the same thing, makes your Twitter account appear insincere. Automation in Twitter is nothing new, but it does come across cold and disconnected. So let’s look at some other options. 1. Go to Twitter to see your account. If you are not already logged into Twitter, you will need to log in. If you are already logged in, you will automatically taken to it. 2. Click the New Tweet field located at the top left of the browser, and compose the following: Wanna chat beyond 280 characters? Join me on Discord at [paste your permalink here] where tangents are welcome! 3. Click the Tweet button, posting your tweet. 4. Click the Profile in the menu along the left side of the browser window, and find your recent tweet at the top of your tweet stream. At the Profile option, you will find all your recent tweets, along with details about your account. 5. At the top-right corner of your tweet, click the arrow to see options for the tweet. 6. Select the Pin to Your Profile option. The Pin to Profile option takes one selected tweet and anchors it to the top of your Twitter account. Anyone visiting your profile will see the invite to Discord as the first tweet. Pinning a tweet concerning something important to you, like where people can join your Discord, is another terrific option in getting the word out about your server. The limitation of pinning a tweet is that you can only pin one tweet at a time. If you have a special event coming up or a personal victory you want to highlight, that invitation will be returned to the chronological stream of your Twitter feed. It’s no big deal to re-create a tweet, so long as you get the Discord link right. When using a pinned tweet as your open invitation to the world, just know how pinned tweets work. Remember that Profile option we were using to look at your Twitter feed? We can also try something there. 1. Go to Twitter to see your account. 2. Click the Profile option. You are given various options to edit your Profile, visible to anyone visiting Twitter. 3. Scroll down to the Website option and enter your Discord server’s URL. 4. Click the Save button in the top-right corner of the Edit Profile window. Your Discord server is now accessible through your profile. If you want to feature your Discord server, but you have a website (a blog, your Twitch stream, a shortened link to a product you’re promoting, and so on) you want to feature, as well, look into your Twitter bio. If there is room for a link, you can always put your server link in there, leaving the website option free for any other URL you wish to promote. The Twitter Profile is a terrific option for publicizing your Discord server as it is always prominently featured whenever people see your profile. If there is disadvantage to using your Twitter Profile to promote your server, it may be that people can follow you on Twitter without ever checking it. However, personal experience and case studies show that profiles do matter as they serve as your first impression. This is why it is important to have a good Profile picture, a solid Cover Photo (the image that appears at the very top of your Twitter feed), and a few of the details Twitter asks for covered. If you want to go a bit deeper into Twitter, check out Twitter For Dummies, 3rd Edition, written by Laura Fitton, Anum Hussain, and Brittany Leaning. Twitter offers a lot of options, but other platforms also offer potential for you to share your server. Our next platform offers you a creative way to get the word out across several platforms with a single post.

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