Shutting down PerfPlanet Community

Hello! Question for y’all / quick update on this Discourse site:

We haven’t seen much activity for the last few months, and given the cost ($100/mo) we’re thinking about shutting it down.

:question: Should we keep this Discourse site up and running?

If so, would you be willing to chip in $10/mo to help pay for it?

If we can get 10 people (myself included) to donate $10/mo then we’ll be able to keep this site up and provide an open space for folks to share performance knowledge.

I’ve setup a quick donation page using PayPal on my personal site:

Worst case, we’ll make this a read-only static site to preserve the discussions we’ve had so far.

:pray: Thanks all!

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I think it is OK to shut it down. I think everyone was hungry for a web alternative but also the web is weird and so much going on. I think what is important is that we communicate to the broader community the experience we had. Take some lessons and share them.

Everyone wants some more permanance than the free Slack group tier but also something seems odd in the current timeline for this web perf knowledge sharing.

Just rambling. I think you did an awesome job setting this up and maintaining but every good thing may turn out to be a limited time thing or an experiment.

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:pray: Thanks, Morgan.

After chatting in the Web Performance Slack workspace, I think we all agree it’s time to shut down PerfPlanet Community.

Before I spin things down, here are some initial thoughts/learnings…

Lessons Learned

  • Motivation: Everybody’s already in Slack. Why use Discourse? Asking people to join “yet another website” is a big ask, especially during the Great Social Dispersion™ (see “Everyone wants the archive” below).
  • Chat > Forums: People want to talk. When it comes to community, I think people value quick responses more than long-form async discussions.
  • Private > Public: Openness is an ideal; privacy is practical. Community grows in safe closed spaces. (Information, on the other hand, should be shared openly.)
  • Distilled Information > Raw Data: Not every chat needs to be saved. Most important information finds its way outside of Slack anyways (often in more digestible forms). Blogs, presentations, tutorials—these and other media do the job of knowledge preservation.

“Everyone wants the archive.”

I originally pitched Discourse as an addition to Slack, “as a tool… a way to backup and preserve threads that would otherwise be lost.”

Before we launched, I tested Discourse’s Chat Integration for “Transcript Posting”. It was relatively easy to setup and worked like a charm.

However, due to privacy concerns, we agreed that it was best to drop the feature. We couldn’t find a way for users in Slack to opt in/out of their messages being shared publicly on Discourse, so we decided to launch without the integration.

I think this was our Achilles’ heel: the biggest value prop of Discourse (to me) was archiving Slack messages. Without that feature, it was just another forum—“yet another website”.

Still, I believed it was worth trying. And I’m glad we did!

We launched PerfPlanet Community with the hope that maybe, just maybe, it might become a public space for sharing webperf knowledge.

Alas, that didn’t happen, and the day has come to finally shut it down.

Thank You!

:pray: Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who joined. Thank you for contributing to the discussions, for being so gracious with your time, and for just being great people. You’re what makes this community great.

Special shoutout to @rviscomi for his support and inspiration to try this in the first place, and to @stoyan for giving us a home on

:v: Thanks again everyone. We’ll see you online!