Discord Servers For Our Meetup Groups

Discord Servers For Our Meetup Groups

category: meet-ups

Hello members of our three local PHP user groups.

The last time I talked about doing an in-person meetup was in Feb 2019 talking to Vic at Aurora's shockingly empty Nina D'Aversa bakery and restaurant. 

Then last summer a new corporate host contacted me about hosting meetups. This was the first such offer since the lockdowns, and I absolutely wanted to do it. 

Who even thinks of reading provincial laws and regulations before doing a meet-up? But these are "unprecedented times". So  it came to be that I read through "the Ontario guide to how to do a meet-up in these unprecedented times".  Basically, it seemed to boil down to the corporate host and I assuming open ended liability if someone claimed to catch The Thing at the meet-up. To mitigate liability, I am, what? Take out my trusty yellow Milwaukee measuring tape to ensure everyone is at least six feet apart, lest someone be five feet 11-1/2 inches from someone? I would rather be figuring out regex. 

I have remembrances of things past.

Remember when... Chefs Plate ordered stacks of pizza, laid out an array of soft drinks and beverages, and we sat on couches? 

Remember when... we were crammed around the wooden table at SoapBox?

Remember when... we clustered around the IoT beer barrel at Bounteous?

Pizza boxes laid out with beverages, cloistering elbow-to-elbow in side conversations during presentations, telling bad jokes in the elevator with first-timers, and of course that inaugural York Region PHP meet-up at the Stouffville train station. 

Good times, my friend!

Offering food is now a logistical PITA, and not worth it. 

Cramming into the Lauft conference room is now a big no-no.

Seeing everyone politely smile at a presenter's bad joke is a thing-of-the-past as we are now supposed to deign body language through coverings. 

In person meet-ups seem like a long ways off. 

The online meet-ups are great for presentations, but presentations are but one aspect of the meet-ups. I am not meeting anyone through our groups anymore, and this trend needs to turn around. 

Which is why I have set up a Discord Server for each of our three groups. The recent membership list wash has left our groups with a small cadre, which is very good for connecting through Discord:

* GTA PHP went from over 2,000 members to 50 members! Is that incredible!
* Laravel Toronto is now 29 members
* York Region PHP is now 22 members

I am sending out Discord invites via meetup.com messages. Look for these messages. And let's connect.

It will be obvious that I am a Discord noob. For example: I have never used a voice channel. The Stage channel feature looks interesting. 

I have it set up that our active channels are visible to a membership role only. This is so only members of our meetup.com group can be members of our Discord Server. I have to manually check that Discord invitees belong to the meetup.com group, and then assign the Discord membership role to the invitee. 

I am excited to see you on Discord!
-Bob