Our weekly (Sunday @3:30pm) video chats have now moved over to Discord and this platform is working quite well now that we’ve got the configuration of our server fine-tuned.
Discord has a lot of features and we realize that it can be daunting for a first-timer so we’ve put together this short tutorial to help you find your way around and join us for the chats.
First of all, you can run Discord in your web browser, as a Windows or Macintosh standalone application or on your smartphone. The standalone PC/Mac app has the most features but any version should work well for you.
We won’t cover creating a Discord user account. The application should walk you through that but reach out to us if you’re having difficulties and we’ll do our best to help.
Once you get logged in, you’ll find that there are two main views in Discord. The Direct Messages (or Home) view is where you go to participate in private Direct Message conversations with other users. It’s not tied to a server at all and you can enter this view, which is usually the default view you start with, by clicking on the Discord icon in the upper left portion of your screen. This is what the Direct Message view looks like:
The second view you’ll be interested in is the Server view. It’s the one you see when you click on one of the servers. To find us, click on the Ottawa Bears server which looks like this:
If you don’t see the Ottawa Bears server, you can add it by clicking the round “+” icon at the bottom of the server list, then click Join a Server and paste (don’t browse to it even though it looks like a web address) this invitation link: https://discord.gg/G6T5yye
In the server view you’ll be able to join a text-only chat channel which is indicated by a hash mark (#) to the left of it. The default channel where you start is #bear-chat. Feel free to say hi and/or respond to other users’ posts. You can upload photos, link to web pages, include emojis and like/react to other posts. There may be multiple text channels on various topics. Keep the conversations in them relevant to the topic please.
There are also Voice channels where you can use your mic and webcam to see and hear other users. This is where the weekly video chat will take place; we typically meet in the Bear Talk voice channel. You’ll see a list of users that are currently chatting below the channel name. Click on the channel to join in and then click on the camera/video icon to enable your webcam so we can all see you.
The server view looks something like this:
You can click on the Settings (gear) icon to access Discord application settings. In there you can adjust your audio/video settings and enable noise reduction and other useful settings.
Want to learn more about Discord? This short YouTube video has some good info. It’s not specific to our server and the appearance of the app might not match exactly what you’ll see on our server but it’s a good place to start.
Note that voice and text channels can be used anytime, 24/7, not just on Sunday afternoons. So if you meet someone on the server, you can invite them to join you in the voice channel for a voice or video chat anytime. This is a great way to stay in touch with your fellow bears.
One last thing… Discord works best if you stay logged in, and you can do that with the Discord smartphone app. That way others can reach out to you whenever you’re there. A server with a bunch of bears logged in and chatting is way more fun than an empty one.
See you online!