Introducing the new Orbs Community discussion board on Discourse

Nate Simantov
Nate Simantov


5 years ago


Hey everyone! In recent weeks, we’ve been mulling heavily over different ways to extend Orbs to the public and create an open environment for discussion and collaboration about the project. For this, we have to nurture a productive community of all participants in the Orbs Universe - delegators, developers, guardians, and validators.

Goals for this channel

Many considerations were taken into account, and ultimately there are three major community discussion goals we consider crucial:


Our belief that anyone who is interested should be able to see and discuss the future of Orbs is deeply ingrained into our ethos. We did not like the idea of a secluded forum in which only those ‘in the know’ actively partake. On the contrary; we wish to invite all lurkers to view the open conversations and jump in when they feel ready to contribute. The plurality of opinion is also important: As a community-run project, there is no one “official” point of view. Anyone should be able to contribute.


First and foremost, we wanted to provide space for cooperation, collaboration, and participation among any and all wishing to partake in the development of the Orbs open ecosystem and open source project. We want you to be able to easily propose changes to the system and, just as importantly, enable others to understand and endorse your vision of what the Orbs Network can become/enable.


Another crucial goal of the Orbs community-to-be would be fostering learning. We want to lay the foundation for a place that would not only provide educational materials but also facilitate the asking of questions. And of course, provide a reliable place for answers. Many of our community members are a well of knowledge, a resource we are surely missing out on if our communication is a one-way stream.


We want the discussion to be constructive and focus on how to participate in the Orbs ecosystem. We will do our best to fight spam, toxicity, and speculation that is in no way productive to using the project or making it better.

Moderated by the community

Orbs is a decentralized project. As such, it must be run by its community, not by a company or its core team. We see the position of the core team as the first members of this community, as leaders and as educators. Any constructive member of the community can become a moderator. If you want to help moderate this community, please start by participating. Ask questions, answer questions, help others. If you’re a developer, contribute to the codebase. When you feel you’ve established that you have the community’s best interest in mind, ask one of the existing moderators to add you as a moderator.

Of course, all are invited and encouraged to answer community posts. We will, as much as we can, employ a hands-off approach.

We’ve done our best to place this board on neutral territory. The board is hosted by a well-known third-party service, we’re not using our own servers to host the content nor do we have access to the hosting servers. We’ve tried our best to rely on social logins like Github and Google and disabled dedicated sign-up by email and password (nobody in the community should hold this data).

The success of the Orbs network ultimately depends on the app developers and businesses who will build on top of the platform, validators and guardians to put the technology into practice, other teams to join in developing the technology and delegators to be involved in the proof of stake ecosystem and keep the network safe. We hope this forum will become a productive environment for making this vision a reality.

Good topics for discussion

Here are examples of the types of post topics we expect to see on the board, that are best discussed in a public, open forum instead of in Slack or private correspondence:

  • I want to play around with an Orbs node. I’ve just installed Gamma, and have a few suggestions on how we can make it even a better tool.

  • I’m trying to develop a simple app on Orbs. I’m unable to deploy my contract. Can anyone help?

  • Hey! I just became a Guardian and want to get others on board and announce myself to potential delegators. Where should I begin?

  • How do I go about becoming a Validator?

  • I’m trying to delegate my ORBS tokens to a Guardian. I’m not sure that it worked, how can I check?

  • I wrote a blog post comparing the Orbs PoS model to this of Tezos. Let me know what you guys think!

Bad topics for discussion

We want to keep the discussion on point. We are aware that this industry, in general, attracts speculation over trade. We don’t see these discussions as constructive to the future of the project, which will depend on the long-term efforts of our whole community and not on short-term speculation.

Please avoid discussing token price, token trade, listing in exchanges and so forth. This is not the place for conversations on cryptocurrencies in general and whether the market will grow or shrink. Do not use the group for sharing investment or trading advice or your personal financial transactions.

Why Discourse though?

Most of you are probably thinking “Ok Nate, everything you are saying sounds great (and also you are very handsome). Why Discourse specifically though, instead of using Slack or a dedicated subreddit?” I will mention a few of the reasons for choosing the Discourse platform. Naturally, there are benefits and drawbacks to different apps and tools, and finding the right one for the community’s needs is a matter of optimization and compromise. We chose Discourse for three primary reasons which set it apart from other platforms:

  • Discoverability While Telegram and Slack are undoubtedly impressive apps that work quite smoothly and popular in the cryptosphere, they are awful for continuous conversation due to the fleeting nature of their messages. The ideal conversation hub for participants is one with a searchable archive, with threads that can be referred to easily. This requires structure.
  • Structure Speaking of structure, we very much like the way topics are displayed in Discourse. Reddit has no clear structure and support. It’s optimized for noisy communities where 5% of the content is interesting and sorting mechanisms must float it to the top. Moderation tools for Reddit are too complex. And unlike Reddit, which requires an unholy amount of subreddit design to meet the bare minimum of structure in conversation, Discourse appears to have all the features of the best subreddits already baked in.
  • Commitment to Open Source Discourse is a migration-friendly, open source project which fits our own philosophy. Aside from that, it allowed us to enable user logins from accounts they have personal control over (e.g Github login) so that we have no control over user data. We prefer it this way.

Hop on to the community!

So there you have it! We wanted to achieve the right balance between educational wikis and conversational Slack, and the middle ground we found was to open a searchable, open, public Discourse board as the bedrock for our budding community.

Now let’s build Orbs together!

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