TheGreydiamonds Blog

The short story about Christian Jacksons Discord server

Information

I do not want to hurt anyone with this article nor am I trying to make any seem bad. I tried to present all facts as neutral as for me possible

If you ask yourself now: “Who is Christian Jackson?”, here is the short answer: A YouTuber who makes vlogs about the event industry. For everyone else, this is the story about his Discord-fanserver. Link to his channel.

The beginning

On 21.03.2020 at about 21:00 I clicked the “Create new server” button in Discord. This is where it all began, me and a few others immediately “advertised” it in the YouTube livestream, after a while people started coming onto the server. From the beginning we had several language channels (German, English and later also Dutch) and wanted to build an open community. At that time the server was called “Christian Jackson Fanserver”. We created channels for different systems, like MA and similar.

The great master has appeared

…or something like that. Some afternoon Christian Jackson came on the server. But he wasn’t very active, Discord was “too complex” for him. In the time we created more channels so that everything had its own area and remained clear. Many people actually found the format quite good, new people joined the team and everything went very well. There were first conferences about the server and the bot was developed further. We lost the database of the bot once, well, mistakes happen.

The calm before the storm

On 31.05.2020 we briefly put the server into a “maintenance mode”, you could only see a few channels. At that time we sorted the server a bit and not much happened. The server was down for about five minutes.

On the first of June 2020, was the doomsday. I woke up with over 50 messages in Discord, which is not good. Without knowing it better, I open Discord, which was actually a bad decision. Christian (from now on CJ) had sent this message into one of the channels:

Thanks for the info and ping. I don’t visit discord except maybe once a month so I’m not usually aware of these issues. I do not have the time to moderate or check in on these sort of things usually and it was my mistake to let this all happen. 

Upon reviewing what you wrote, you’ve exactly detailed what I DID NOT want to happen here. Thank you for the thoughtful and detailed message. 

This is truly my mistake for letting this operate without supervision. I don’t know anything about discord, is there a way to completely pause the server and cease all channels until this is fixed?

And he had also left a message in the team channel:

Please make the following changes to the Discord server as soon as practicable.

Delete all bots and automation.

Delete all roles except for moderator and members. No special roles.

Delete all emotes.

No rules page that members have to agree to. Makes no sense. Anyone should be able to visit and be able to post or view the server immediately. 

Delete "Official" from the name of the server.

Any future changes must be emailed to me for approval christian@christian-jackson.com

Delete ALL channels except for the ones in the list below.  

Channels:

Lighting Design
Lighting Programming
Lighting General
Audio
Video
Other Tech
Off Topic Green Room - NSFW 18+
Off Topic Green Room - SFW All Ages
English Voice Chat
German Voice Chat
Mod/team 

Lastly, what was the comment from Josh | UK regarding explaining ways to exploit MA2 when the server was started?

Thanks.

One of the moderators just started without talking to us first. My first reaction was to take away his privileges as “damage control.” We were all very pissed off. Well, he just came out of nowhere and demanded changes after he told us that he didn’t want anything to do with the server guidance. Of course, we didn’t really like that. At this point it was almost too late because of the already mentioned moderator. We wrote a two pages long “letter” to him that we didn’t like that. After a few days we received a somewhat of a very short answer. It sounded something like this: “You have had bad luck. Your problem.” It wasn’t meant that way, but it was understood that way.

Now what?

The server is reduced to a few channels and one admin of our team has left and the moderator from before has been “dismissed”. On the picture below you can also see the admin and team areas. On 6.6.2020 I left the team finally. On 11.6.2020 there was a long discussion about the whole topic in the “off-topic-sfw-all-ages”-Channel.

The current state.

Nobody knows what will happen next. I will try to keep this article up-to-date. We created a new discord server, called GLS (General Lighting Server), come and check it out. Link

Just for this to be complete, I will append the letter we sent to Christian. You can read his answer here: http://christian-jackson.com/emails

Hey Christian,
there are a lot of changes happening on the discord that affect you, but mostly us.
We, the team, people that came here by watching your videos, gathered here to help you, with creating, growing and interacting with the community, we really put in effort and time.
The discord grew and so did our responsibilities. We try to catch up to them and since there were no guidelines from your side, we had to do what we thought was best. There were no individuals who made changes, There was always a team behind it. A team of people who put in the dedication to create that community discord. Not just for you, but also themselves and everyone else in this community.
It was a project that really caught our full attention and passion. We tried to make space for every single member in the community, so everyone feels welcome. From the small kid who wants to get into the industry to older guys already working there and need to use the discord to troubleshoot on their own projects.
That of course created a conflict in those interests, but since we didn’t want to bother you, we tried to make it work for everyone, so no one gets left behind. We tried our best to get rid of the image of being a "fan-boy" server and remodel it to a place where your community can come and talk about your videos, lighting , the industry and mostly having fun together.
As this became a small mess with different interest and demands inside the community, we even held up meetings, spent some evenings trying to figure out ways to enhance the discord and make it a friendly space for users and also getting another platform ready for u to interact with, by building up a whole structure behind it, that we felt was supported by the members and you didn’t have to take care about and would one day be running by itself.
Since we know that there is other stuff you have to focus on and discord not being your main platform, we always tried to act in your best interest and welfare of the community, even if we never got any input or suggestion from your side, so maybe one day this will grow to another platform that helps the community growing.
With that being said, we created a concepts which suits most demands of the community and started to work on that for days. We wanted to get a clean channel and server structure, so that when you want to interact with it, you always have a room for that. We wanted to make it look professional, so it gets taken serious. We wanted to help you interact with your community so that’s why we added certain roles on the discord, like „clipper“ for those who take the time and clip all your stuff that you enjoy watching later on, or „comedian“ for those who put in the time and kept the discord alive.
As we removed those roles on certain demands, we quickly got response from those who earned themselves the role as they felt like they got left behind now.
As your community not only consist of older people in the industry but also younger people, we added rules, so we can fulfill our whole responsibility in taking care of our „smaller guests“.
As you, having a big community we also wanted to support smaller guys and created a self-advertising channel and other ways for people to show off their work, since this community is all about getting connections.
We think that makes clear, that there weren’t just some people who created some channels on some discord, but humans who really took their time and try to figure out the best way throughout all those different demands.
We know that we’ve created a lot of channels, but nevertheless always kept track of them, so we don’t create unused channels. There was always someone who used the channels we created for them, we gave people a platform.
You did surprise us with your sudden list of demands. And to be frank a lot of us felt it like a slap in the face, because as said before we always did what was best for you and the community. We think it is fair before bringing the hammer down like that we could have the opportunity to introduce ourselves and work something out. Without you being mad, annoyed or having to put loads of your time in this. We are a team already in place to support you in this matter, just without any guidance or input from you.
We also didn’t want to limit ourselves on just the discord but further on create events inside the community like competitions or other stuff and help you with all your needs while traveling around in the online world.
Not to forget that we are all humans inside that team and have a personal life on our own, doing stuff at home or working on our next gig, as we are all people from different ages, different knowledge bases and countries. ...some more the event technician type, others more the programmer guy. Those weren't strict plans for events that we wanted to roll out without asking you, but ideas we were ready to put in work and effort, if u felt like those were good ideas.
Since we didn't had a real way to always contact you at any time, without bothering you, we wanted to create a finished package of ideas, which you just can agree on or dismiss and we would have taken care of the rest.
We don't want to change your opinion on how the discord should be laid out.
Now, there is just one big problem for us and that's the loss of all our work that went into the project, our whole effort on creating a space for your community. Our technicians set up a bot for your discord, although you probably didn't liked him, he was a good tool for us to keep track of everything and another safety insurance incase some causes trouble. A lot of time went into programming all those lines for the bot to work correctly and someone even bought a UPS so the safety is given 24/7.
We don't want to blame you on all those lines that have been lost or the price people paid for things they bought. We don't want to blame you for not spending much time on the discord and seeing all the things we do, all those little fights in between the community or all those kinds of support we gave other members of your community, but we also feel like all the time, effort and passion that went into everything just went down the drain.
Kind regards, your discord team.

Taking a step back

After over half a year ago this story unravelled. When I wrote this story, I was upset and annoyed. But I was able to take a step back from all of this. And I have to say that without CJ or this server, I would never have met with many amazing new people. After all, it wasn’t as bad as it seemed. I think that everyone made mistakes, and yes, I also made a few. It is great to be able to take a look at this from some distance. I have moved on with my life, it was a – frankly speaking short but interesting span of my life.

9 Comments

  1. Christian Jackson

    This was entertaining to read. Good luck with your future ventures. Confused as to why you would post some of the messages I sent to you, but not others.

    • TheGreydiamond

      What other messages do you mean? Personally I see the team chat not as private channel.

  2. Linkster7

    Thanks for writing this

    • TheGreydiamond

      No problem

  3. Tyler Johnson

    Oh wow… Interesting what my small rant on the CJ discord server started 😀
    I mean I don’t really wanna get involved too much into the mess that is this drama but since I kinda started some of this I at least wanna say a few words:
    There’s a difference between making a discord server for Christians community and making a general production tech server and I feel like the main problem was that both parties had a different idea of what the server was supposed to be. While he probably thought you guys were just making a community server (which would be logical given the name…) where a few channels talking about CJ related stuff would’ve been fine, you guys probably wanted to make a more general tech server and kinda profit on CJs popularity to get a bunch of users. But at the end of the day the server still had his name in the servername and therefore he should have the right to decide what his community is supposed to look like. And I get that he didn’t give you guys too much input on this but again, can you blame him… The name said that it is a community for CJs youtube channel and not a general lighting server. I bet in the beginning it was just a few channels and it should’ve either stayed that way or you guys should’ve changed the name of the server. But yeah, what am I supposed to know… Also that you didn’t respond to any of his messages and stayed away from discord, didn’t give him ownership of the server and also responded very poorly to any criticism (FYI you remember how you guys all reacted to my rant… Everyone was like “ohh what he said is bullshit, we ain’t gonna change a thing” and as soon as Christian agreed with me everyone was like “Yeahh Christian is right” like WTF haha, same with the one after my initial rant) just shows that you guys can’t handle criticism very well which is kinda something you should have when running a server like this… Anyways I’m rambling again

    Tl;dr It’s good that CJ finally took matters in his own hands and hopefully will clean up the mess you guys made. I’m sure mistakes were made on both sides but yeah…

    Soo yeah have fun with your new “GLS” server or whatever it’s called. I doubt that it’ll be any better than the CJ one and will turn into a big hot mess someday (#pcdimmer-help, #control4-help, #crestron-help; I doubt that anyone will use these channels and therefore they’re simply useless… But your choice, not mine) but I could be wrong. I’ll continue observing this from a distance and we’ll see what happens. Good luck to Christian tho, hope ya can turn the CJ Community server around 🙂

    • Hans

      And the award for “Person who takes this situation far to serious and personal” goes to this dude. It is fair that Christian want’s control over the server that uses his name. But you are making this whole thing look like a staged crime or something, the guys who started it just wanted to make a cool place to hang and talk about a common intrest, they tried there best and most of us enjoyed the server anyway because of the people in it. I understands Christians decision to take control in own hands, but that doesn’t mean you have to make someone look bad for what they have done and make fun of there idea of there ideal discord server

      • Tyler Johnson

        Damn bro, who hurt you 😀 You say that I’m taking this far too seriously and personal but at the same time you get soo butt hurt over a comment I made… bit hypocritical isn’t it? I’m gonna make the broad assumption that you’re actually one of the owners that felt a little personally attacked. I’m actually kinda curious how I’m making it look like a staged crime, my whole point was that the name was totally misleading but yeah… Sure you may have wanted to “make a cool place to hang and talk about a common intrest” and it probably was like that in the beginning but as time progressed things went from “a cool place to hang” to “a total mess” (I mean it’s kinda happening again with the channels I mentioned earlier) with a lot of unused channels that no one barely used. I mean do you really need a billion different channels for help regarding different lighting control solutions… I don’t think so. But yeah, again I wasn’t really making fun of them for their “idea of there ideal discord server”, I was just saying that if they would’ve wanted to build a server like they want they should’ve either not put CJs name in the server name or make it to CJs liking… But yeah you’re probably gonna give me another award for “Person who takes a reply far to serious and personal”, I don’t really care tbh. If you feel like sending me another heart filled message I suggest that you email me instead of filling this comment section. My email is: tylerjohnson.lighting@gmail.com (This also applies to everyone else who would like to tell me that I’m taking things far to seriously).

        Soo yeah, I hope you have a wonderful day
        Yours Sincerely,
        Tyler

        • TheGreydiamond

          The user ‘Hans’ has no association with the old team, old members of the team or the new team.

  4. Croft

    Well based on his first several demands, Christian clearly does not know anything at all about how discord servers work, as he said. Bots are the backbones of all servers who want to be bigger than a few dozen people, to get rid of them in a fan community is to doom it to chaos because the administration team will not always be online to ensure people stay safe. Bots protect servers against DDOS attacks, spammers, raids, and lots of other things. Getting rid of them takes away that protection. As someone who has a substantial community, Christian is an elevated target for trolls and agents of chaos.
    Special roles allow a server to be highly customizable and please all of its users, allowing them to see or not see what channels they like. Don’t overdo them, but there could be some for say what system you use or are interested in for lights. Getting rid of them forces the server to be overly simplistic and risks overrunning various channels that people wish to talk in. It’s a very narrow minded way to set up the server, and it will not work for a larger community.
    Getting rid of the rules page completely removes the ability of the admins to moderate the server. There are no rules, therefore there is no basis to discipline someone who is acting out. Should the rules be short, sweet, and to the point? Abso-freakin-lutely. Should the members have to agree to them in order to access the server? Probably not. It’s not a good way to run servers. So while they need a rules channel, it should absolutely be as concise as possible. I’m not sure here what Christian is saying, so I’m gonna say that because I don’t know what the situation in this area was, I can’t say he was necessarily in the wrong here. It depends on what he meant.

    However, his first two demands were decidedly unrealistic and demonstrate a blinding lack of knowledge of how discord servers are run, and as a current administrator of several servers, some of which have a few thousand people, I am quite astounded at his lack of interest in the wellbeing of the server and his community. By forcing your admins to run everything by you, and taking away their best tools, you hamstring your administrative team and make it much harder to actually keep peace. It’s like trying to run a light show without any playbacks. Possible, but not a good idea, nor the best way to run things. The admin team needs independence, and by hamstringing your community, you are setting everyone up for failure.
    Just like if you’re the tour LD you should generally listen to the house LD, if you know nothing about discord, you need to let the admins do their job. You do what you do best, which is lights, and let them do what they do best.

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