Useful discussions should be open
Suppose, you want to create an online group, where there is a scope for useful discussions. Useful discussions can include discussions about science, literature, art, poetry, programming, economics, books etc. Discussions that other like-minded might find interesting. Here is an opinionated request - create a sub-reddit for your discussions.
Generally, people prefer to create a Discord Server or a Slack Workspace. Because these tools really have a nice interface, that help make discussions easier. But the problem is that the discussions are behind an authenticated wall. You will need to sign in to the particular Discord Server or the Slack Workspace to read the messages. And because they are behind authentication, search engines can’t index them. That means, when someone searches in a search engine, the useful discussions won’t appear in the search results.
In these online groups, many useful discussions happen. Many curious questions get answered by fellow members of the group. Now if someone else faces such a similar question, he/she would enter the query in a search engine. But the useful answers in Discord and Slack won’t appear in the results. But since reddit is a website of high priority ranking, the discussions and useful answers in any of the sub-reddits will appear. And hence like-minded people get to learn a lot from the discussion threads on the reddit post.
You can argue that search exists in Slack and Discord too. But are you aware of the Discord Servers and Slack Workspaces related to your interest? No, right! Open discussions can benefit to people who you don’t even know exist. This is not a new thing. Think of the impact that queries and discussions on open forums like Stackoverflow or StackExchange have made.
Other nice things about Reddit
It is open(the point of this whole blog!)
The discussions have “thread” feature. It means in a bunch of messages, there is a nice way of replying to a the message you want to.
For Programmers, Reddit API is simple and easy to use. For example,
https://reddit.com/SUB_REDDITNAME.jsongives the results of the sub-reddit in JSON format.
It introduces Reddit to more number of people. According to me, Reddit is the best social media platform, one can have. The reason is, that the posts are community centric rather than user centric like many other platforms.
“If Facebook is people you know sharing things you don’t care about, Reddit is things you care about shared by people you don’t know.” - Tim Squirrel, Ph.D.
What are the other alternatives? Well google groups is another good alternative. I personally used google groups for a book reading club. But the problem is google groups is not given much priority in ranking by search engines as large number of people don’t visit the site.
There are some really amazing groups, which put out their work and discussions in public. I am sure that it has helped numerous people like me, when they search on the web to learn something. So, if you have any useful information in any form, keep it open. Let the spiders crawl useful stuff!