A rushed forum, my opinion and efforts prior to the launch of keebtalk

Thanks for putting out your reasoning for choosing Discourse. I had no idea that Jeff Atwood worked on discourse (THE MORE YOU KNOW). Is there any sort of channel for egineers/devops to get involved on the maintenance of the site?

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That’s my top priority right now. We talked with our current hosting provider about this pretty extensively last night and they even moved us over to a special server that was supposed to handle traffic spikes particularly well. I think it’s mostly that there is just a ton of interest in and demand for a project like this, so there are worse things than getting slammed. Crickets would have been way worse! :blush:


We’re still scrambling to put forms and such together for that kind of thing, but we’re definitely going to need a lot of community help in the coming weeks, and we very much welcome it. In the meantime, maybe the best way would be to reach out to info@keebtalk.com and let us know what you’d be interested in doing so it doesn’t slip through the cracks. As you might imagine, we’re all pretty inundated with messages in various communications channels right now. :slight_smile:


Has a Keeb Talk version of the Twitter fail whale been commissioned? :joy:



Thank you sincerely for the thought out response to my questions about your software choices. Your experience and statements here are exactly the kind of answers and information I needed to trust those decisions. And I hope that with your experience you can understand why I wanted to ask them.

This information, your experience, your expectations of the platform, and your history with the code were some of the crucial pieces I needed to have more confidence in this project. I tried not to make assumptions but it still happened.

A lot of my skepticism came from the idea that I thought you were using Discourse hosted by Discourse.org. Which would be very expensive. And based on the current setup, it did not seem like you were using the open source version. I am VERY VERY glad to hear this is not the case, and that there are competent parties who can maintain and extend the site. Because I am still confident that this platform in its vanilla form cannot maintain our community long term.

The keyboard community is full of engineers (including me!), and I know the first impulse of engineers is always to build everything super-custom and from scratch.

I in no way would have been a supporter of building something from scratch. I think that’s an awful idea. And would have fought anyone who did that just as hard as you see me opining here today.

I am still worried about the bandwith costs, image hosting costs, and IO of a site with live updates like this. And I strongly believe the funding of a site like this SHOULD NOT come from the people who run it. That is exactly how geekhack failed.Especially when a portion of your bank accounts are filled by the hobby itself. That is NOT to say that I think you have malicious intent. Just that if the costs get too high, you’ll need more money to fund it. I think it should be user funded primarily. With various other methods to pick up the slack.

I am still skeptical about the pace at which the team rushed into this, and I wish you had joined our group chat. If so I would not be making this post now.


If you are not planning on just letting Discourse be Discourse, extending it to better suit our community, optimizing your own hosting, and you are prepared to budget for thousands of users, not just a few hundred… I am more optimistic.

Follow up questions?

  • Why didnt you use a host that you could control and expand on your own with redundancies such as Amazon’s hosts or otherwise? I have a feeling you’ll need more control over CPUs, RAM, and Storage than simple monthly checklists from your hosting provider.

I just wanted to laud your choice of forum software. Discourse is a great choice especially for mobile. Thanks for choosing Discourse to launch a modern forum.

Btw for those who doesn’t know, there is a Discourse iOS app which allows you to connect to multiple Discourse forums.


Dont get me wrong. I love Discourse. But if we want people to migrate from geekhack to here, then I worry that the disparity between them will be a BIG BIG barrier. I also worry about its navigation UX. I simply didnt feel like it was the best choice for our community right this moment.

I was also worried about its sustanability on the back end but have a bit more confidence in that now. Hopefully they can switch hosts to something more controllable.

DigitalOcean would also be a great hosting choice


Moving to new UI/UX will always be met with lots of resistance, more so if it’s abrupt and not gradual. Given time though, familiarity will build up, patterns become familiar, and everything becomes part of habit again.

It just needs time, its new.


I think they’re trying to avoid having to run the forum software directly themselves, that’s why it’s under managed/shared forum hosting. Moving to your own instances would mean you’d have to manage not just the forum software, but the instances themselves (security, backup, mailers, etc). That would take up a lot of time.

I was initially against the endless feed style, but the category view is pretty damn forum-esque. Maybe make that the default view? @norbauer


you can set that as your default in your account preferences/settings.


I agree, which is why i didnt want to rush it. That was the whole point of the discord server to figure out what might be the best middle ground that would be modern and scalable, but not too different as to scare a majority of users from joining.

I agree. which is why I wanted to take my time. And do the right thing. Also there are plenty of containers you can spin up that take care of that for you at this point. Especially for someone w/ all that experience. i would expect that to be trivial for people who have worked with all of that before.

But that is a UX problem. If everyone wants to set their preferences. It should be the default.

This is an admirable goal, just like nonprofit ownership is. And I think that using Patreon could facilitate that well. I wouldn’t want to exclude someone from supporting the site just because they are a vendor either. I’m sure there’s a middle ground to be found.

Or we could put up some >>>deals<<< and not tell anybody about our money problems until it’s too late.

I do not share this concern. Keyboard users, deskthority users notwithstanding, are a hip and flexible bunch.

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This does feel incredibly hasty to me as well.

And, I don’t think anyone would argue the creators of this site truly do care about the community. That is basically a non-issue. Still I do find more than a few issues with the way this happened.

First off, regardless of intentions, there is always perception and assumptions you have to be careful of. Like it or not, this is a forum that also now has strong ties to Vendors. Input Club also sponsors Top Clack (last I heard), so there is money connections there as well, thus incentive or the appearance of incentive. Again, its just not like this is something that was started by just notable members. They are notable vendors and members.

Secondly, we all know there is bad blood between IC and MD. I’m not touching that with a 10 foot pole, and I’m not taking any sides. I flat out like everyone on both sides, dearly. Mistakes were made by all parties. But it makes this seem like it was vindictive and it’s hard not to assume that there is going to be pressure on people to move to this platform just to take people away from “Massdrop’s” platform. Again, not judging real intentions, but that is how it comes across with the timing. Perception can be a powerful thing. For example, I don’t go to the bar alone with another woman because I’m worried something inappropriate will happen, I don’t do it because I don’t even want anyone to assume there is any funny business going on. I don’t think the way this was put together has avoided some of the bad assumptions (that are almost certainly just assumptions) that it otherwise could have.

Thirdly, the community from talks we had with notable members, interested buyers, admins, mods, makers, vendors, creators, all seemed to take the stance to stick with the GH Admin/Mod team through this. I’ve never doubted their transparency as a team, and would have expected nothing less than a white flag and mass resignation if they got a feeling GH was going downhill. That simply didn’t happen, in fact the announcement thread was less dramatic than most GB threads which was fairly shocking in my opinion. Frankly Massdrop must earn trust as the new owners, but I’ll certainly give them a chance to earn it. I’ve had more than a few private PM’s with folks there about how important it is not to mess with GH, and I was never met with any contradiction to that sentiment.

Finally, the name. Keebtalk? Really? I literally thought this was a fake forum that would be filled with “GH is going down in flames” one-liners ripster style when someone linked the forum to me. The name is just really, really silly. That one alone is really hard for my craggly-old-self to stomach. I would throw down $$$ in a Kickstarter to change the name.

Again, I’ve no doubt everyone behind this means well. And I truly do love all parties involved, I could go on and on with stories like how I spent my news years alone drinking at a bar with a member of the Input Club this year, or how I stayed with a Massdrop employee for a week right after they got married. I’d send a member of Top Clack stuff to review constantly because I trusted his opinion (why he was one the first to get the C70 proto from me). Out of all my friends in the town I grew up in, a GeekHack mod is currently the only person that has visited me at my old home in NC and my new home in UT. So I’m personally invested in the people behind this community, and this community as a whole, and only want what is best for it. Is this bad for the community? Naw, I woudln’t argue that at all. Do I think this would have been 10x more successful if done at a more tactful time? Yup. In the end this probably just isn’t the place for me, and that’s totally fine.

Remember The Community is the people, not where you talk to the people. Everyone should just enjoy the people in the format that best suits them. As a community member, don’t give the platforms more power than they deserve, or let them cause factions to form in the community.


Hahaha, ok, you’re talking about docker now. That becomes an entirely new problem which would probably require its own dedicated engineer :smiley:

Some more time spent determining a solution might have been warranted, but a lot of times, this leads to longer time to deliver (hard to reach consensus). So a small group just jumping right in and recalibrating along the way more often works.

I agree, it might help if the layout/interactions were a bit more familiar/conventional.

Yeah I meant making it the default for all users who come to the site, I’ve already done it for myself.

If you want to quote the whole post ala old style, there is a chat ballon at the top left of the editor screen. Clicking it will quote the whole post.

Also, that’s how it work son reddit. You can highlight to replay. Maybe just w/ RES?

ALSO ALSO… click the lil down caret (lil v thing) on a quote. and watch what happens. it’s cool.

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