I am an email and IRC recidivist. I have to admit that ever since I joined the Plone community forum which uses Discourse, I have been more engaged with that community than I would have otherwise. I can choose which topics interest me, forget the rest, and explore things that might interest me at some point in the future. It also has a wealth of information easily searchable and accessible.
I noticed that my wireless carrier uses Discourse as well, and I've found it exceptionally helpful to solve my phone problems quickly, compared to the phone manufacturer's craptastic help experience.
I haven't tried Zulip yet, but I just signed up to compare it to Discourse.
I don't know what challenges might be for self-hosting. Perhaps those who have experience with self-hosting either Discourse or Zulip could share?
On 4/21/18 at 11:51 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org (Brett Cannon) pronounced:
I know this is no shock to Donald, but I agree with what he brings up below. One of motivators for trying out python.zulipchat.com is to see if it's real-time nature on top of topic-based discussion could act as a cross-section for email and IRC.
For me, either something like Zulip or Discourse takes care of a lot of the issues raised. They provide modern tooling, allow for a central place to communicate, and allow for sectioning things into streams/sections to prevent overwhelming e.g. a single mailing list.