A few weeks ago, you may have heard about the blaze that engulfed the roof and spire of the Notre Dame Cathedral, a French landmark that really needs no introduction or further description. Most people just know what the Notre Dame is without being told. It is hugely symbolic of Parisian identity and although it was built in far different scenario of medieval feudalism than our modern experience, the Cathedral gives Parisians, the French, and Westerners at large a sense of belonging and identity. It is quite amazing then, that the French who are majority non-religious, hold such high regard and attachment to a symbol and icon of Catholicism and Christianity. It is then a sad thought to think that the majority of Diploers, who are now interacting with each other solely on discord, an instant [gratification] chat format, have lost their sense of belonging and identity that is provided by our self-hosted community.
French President Macron likened the Cathedral to “the place where we have lived all of our great moments, the epicenter of our lives”. Similar to the great cathedral, Diplo’s 11 year recorded history of all our laughs, arguments, agreements and disagreements are all embodied, codified and preserved in our self-hosted community forum. Nevertheless, things will always go to shit, and if we as Diploers do not keep our home maintained, we won’t have a community to hand off, let alone values to impart, to the future generation of Diplo shitlords. Diplo would continue to exist as a soulless husk, a community with no awareness of its past, and hence, no guiding compass to travel to its future.
It is in our nature to try and create structures and institutions that will outlast us in a fruitless egoic attempt to live forever. It's our natural leaning to want to preserve something against the force of nature that will end up destroying everything we’ve built, surely even the pyramids of Egypt will not outlive the infinite test of time it will endure. We must be honest with ourselves and question whether it's even worth it to try and keep the site and forum alive as they are naturally predisposed for failure. Why bother rebuilding a site that nobody uses when a discord server is so much more convenient and cost efficient.
It is only with that risk of failure that we can truly challenge ourselves to succeed. If everything were easy, if rebuilding the site and forums were easy, if writing content that people would read were easy, if building the Notre Dame was easy, we wouldn’t value these things as much as we do. Discord too won’t last. When the next technological advancement comes in the realm of community building, there will be no way to transfer our community’s history, achievements, memes, shitposts, banter off to the next frontier.
Only 10 years ago, online message boards were the bleeding edge of online communication. Then came reddit, then skype and teamspeak, and now discord. How can a community retain its identity with these constant shocks to the community building system? The only answer that retains a community’s identity is that which builds integrations and connections between past and future, a solution for all times. My view going forward is that, like the Notre Dame, we should build a community for all times, not just for the time we currently find ourselves living in.
So I say, lets not build a hut of straw and reeds. We should build a Notre Dame.
Edited by Abdel