Love Thy Nerd
Love Nerds + Engage Culture + Build Community

How to Use Discord

In today’s digital age, communication and community-building have taken a leap forward, thanks to platforms like Discord. With its vibrant features and endless possibilities, Discord has become a popular hub for gamers, hobbyists, professionals, and friends to connect and collaborate. It’s like the best parts of classic chatrooms, Twitter, Twitch, and Facebook Groups all rolled into one. Hopefully you already know what Discord is, but if you’re new to this virtual wonderland, fear not! In this informative and light-hearted guide, we’ll show you how to navigate Discord’s magical realm, make new friends, and unleash your true potential.

Photo Credit: BBC

Embracing the Discord Universe

Picture Discord as a vast universe with numerous servers representing different communities. Upon entering, you can choose from a wide array of servers, each with its own theme, purpose, and rules. Be sure to select servers that align with your interests, whether it’s gaming, art, music, or even cat memes. Personally, I’m a member of Love Thy Nerd’s server, as well as servers for several friends’ gaming channels, servers of game developers, a server that utilizes bots to create A.I. generated art, and even a server dedicated to loving Mountain Dew. Discord can get as niche as you want it to.

Getting Started: Creating Your Account

To embark on your Discord journey, start by creating an account. Simply visit the Discord website or download the app, and follow the user-friendly signup process. Choose a memorable username, add a snazzy avatar, and you’re ready to rock! It’s a process you’ve been through about ten thousand times before, you’ll figure it out.

Navigating the Channels

Within each server, you’ll find a treasure trove of channels. These are like virtual rooms where conversations take place. Don’t be shy—explore the various channels, read the pinned messages, and dive into the ongoing discussions. Pro tip: Use the search function to find specific topics or keywords of interest! Channels can also be grouped by category. For instance, in the Love Thy Nerd server, you’ll see several general chat channels, but below that are categories for playing games online together, a space for Bible chat, specific spoiler discussions, a space for LTN Radio updates, and more – some of which are only visible if you have a specific “server role.” We’ll get into those in a minute.

Photo Credit: Radio Matt

Express Yourself: Emojis, GIFs, and More

Discord encourages users to express themselves creatively. From animated emojis and custom server emojis to GIFs and memes, the possibilities are endless. So go ahead, sprinkle some humor and personality into your conversations with a well-placed GIF or a cheeky emoji. Trust us, it’s contagious!

Voice and Video Chats: Breaking the Silence

Text channels are great, but Discord takes it up a notch with its voice and video chat capabilities. Want to discuss strategies with your gaming crew? Or perhaps, catch up with old friends? Simply join a voice channel and let the conversations flow. Video calls are perfect for those times when you want to see your friends’ reactions or showcase your latest masterpiece. In the LTN server, these rooms are used to play video games together online, hold meetings, host D&D events, participate in watch-alongs, and much more!

Server Roles: Becoming a VIP

As you become more involved in a server, you might have the opportunity to level up and take on special responsibilities. Server roles give you unique powers, such as moderating discussions, organizing events, volunteering, or sharing exclusive content. So keep an eye out for opportunities to become a VIP in your favorite communities! Think of roles like special access badges. Other ways LTN uses roles is opening up special sections of the Discord that aren’t normally visible. If you are a fan of the LTN Radio Morning Show, you can request that role and a category specifically for that show will open up for you, with channels where you can chat about the show, respond to polls, submit ideas, and more. Another is “Nerdy Wishes”, a gift exchange group that runs a few times a year, which you can join by request. LTN also uses roles to open up workspaces for writers, editors, podcasters, and other staff and volunteers.

Photo Credit: Pitchfork

Bots: Your Trusty Sidekicks

Bots are the unsung heroes of Discord. These nifty automated assistants can perform a wide range of tasks, from playing music and moderating chats to providing fun trivia quizzes or setting up event reminders. Explore the vast world of Discord bots and discover your personal favorites—they’ll make your Discord experience truly unforgettable!

Etiquette: Spreading Positivity

As with any community, Discord thrives on positivity and mutual respect. Be kind, courteous, and mindful of others. Remember to follow the server rules, avoid spamming, and engage in constructive discussions. Spread good vibes, lend a helping hand, and build lasting connections. After all, Discord is all about bringing people together! Unlike other wide-open forms of social media, you are choosing to join servers. Make sure you are joining with the goal to build it up, not tear down. Lurking is also an option, though less fun. Trolls will be met with a banhammer pretty swiftly in most cases.

Congratulations, brave Discord adventurer! Armed with this informative guide, you’re now ready to embark on an epic journey through the vast realms of Discord. Whether you’re a gamer, an artist, or simply seeking a vibrant online community, Discord offers an exciting platform for connection, collaboration, and endless fun. So dive in, explore, and unleash your true potential. The Discord universe eagerly awaits your arrival! Why not start by joining ours?

Station Manager of LTN Radio and co-host of the "Nerd History Podcast" & the "Two Words Podcast". Matt is a third-generation radio station manager who has done pretty much every job in the radio industry. Matt is the father of two boys and a little girl. It's probably the best thing about him.

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