Discerning Discords: The Bonfire
As many veterans will tell you, one of the keys to success to both streaming and also content creation on any platform. In any media. Is interaction. Although you may take the most stunning of photos, create the most flawlessly edited YouTube video or stream the streams that legends are made of. It would be best if you still had an audience to help you grow and eventually to help your influence spread. One of the best ways to do this is to network, socialise and talk to fellow creators/streamers/designers. Swap ideas. Arrange collaborations. And even get feedback on your work if you are looking for hints and tips on how to improve.
Bearing this in mind I thought we would begin the ‘Discerning Discords’ posts in which I join, investigate and bring to you some of the most positive and helpful communities there are on Discord. Whether you are big or small, new or established, you may find a discord that you have not come across yourself but is right up your alley.
During the Discerning Discords posts, we will not only be hearing from the leader(s) of the Discords, but I will also be going through some unbiased personal experience and opinions too. On that note, let us jump straight into our first Discord.
What is The Bonfire, and who runs it?
To answer this, I have spoken to FluxFer, one of the three leaders and founder of The Bonfire Discord.
FluxFer: The Bonfire is a community of streamers, gamers & artists. Our mission is to have positive people who want to grow, share their passion, feel the support and be involved in the community. This team is there for you to have fun, meet people in the streaming, gaming or art world, make friends, discuss, share your life, be part of charity events/streams, watch movies, live streams or anime together and of course, to enjoy. We believe teamwork and connections are essential for a healthy life.
Noob: And when was the discord founded?
FluxFer: The Bonfire was established on September 03rd 2019
Noob: If you don't mind me asking, who runs and maintains The Bonfire?
FluxFer: The leaders are me, AFullMetalWolf and Heyitsfabster.
I'm the first owner and The Bonfire Twitch Team creator, but we decided to always make decisions between the three of us, so the leader of The Bonfire are us three.
We all have different strengths that we are aware of, so we usually decide who takes care of what depending on the event and situation, so we never make decisions solo before talking about it as a team. Once we grow more, we will have more people with more specific roles and keep evolving.
Noob: Having been invited to and become a member of The Bonfire since its creation in September of 2019, I can honestly say that the team structure works well. The leaders and moderators are very engaging, very active and like with a short series of questions I asked FluxFer, always willing to help and accommodate; however, they can.
The balance of the leaders is also quite impressive when it comes to the games they play and the amount of time they have spent on Twitch. FluxFer is a long time streaming veteran and Twitch partner, who has been on Twitch since July 2017. Heyitsfabster is an affiliate veteran who has been on Twitch since January 2017. And AFullMetalWolf is also a veteran affiliate who has been on Twitch since May 2016.
How many people are in the Discord?
There are currently 272 members of The Bonfire with roughly 87% (236) of those members actively engaging in chat and organized events.
Does The Bonfire impose any rules or restrictions?
Like all well-organized Discords, you will find that there are a handful of rules, readily available within the # main-welcome section of the Discord. They range from no spam and self-promotion outside of designated areas, to no racism or discrimination of any type.
In the words of the leaders themselves “It is important for us to be respectful to one another.” Which is an ethos strongly upheld by all members of the community.
What are The Bonfire’s short term goals?
FluxFer: Our goal for 2020 is to get more and more people! To spread the word. We want to get sponsors and organize more events. But importantly, we want to find that balance, so everyone enjoys the community and has fun.
Noob: With regards to the events, the Discord leaders have already begun working on a variety of weekly family gaming nights. Playful inter Discord competitions to help bring both Discords together and help support members meet even more people they might not otherwise have an opportunity to meet. And have also begun organizing even more charity events.
What are The Bonfire’s long term goals?
FluxFer: Our long term plan would still be to keep growing and to have:
A dedicated ESport team.
To keep growing and improving our Charity Team.
To recruit more people into our Minecraft Server.
Have sponsors and free games for everyone.
To establish a streaming training centre.
Noob: As with many other larger Discords, you will often find with regards to the sponsors that they do have both gaming themed sponsors (such as Noiz and Gaming Gauntlets). As well as equipment (Corsair Components) and even energy drinks (Nova Energy). The company names are just a few examples, but you get the idea.
With regards to the Charity Team, I was actually lucky enough to partake in the first-ever charity stream event last month (January 2020) where we were fundraising for the fire-ravaged wildlife of Australia via the Australian World Wildlife Federation. Between thirteen members of the team, we were able to raise AUS $1,842.00 in a week. All donations were collected and processed using the Tiltify.com website, on which an official team has been set up.
One of the fun parts about the charity fundraising apart from the helping out itself - was the speed and professional look in which overlays, advertising panels and tweets were created and distributed to the members.
What are my thoughts on The Bonfire?
Since it’s creation, The Bonfire has seen steady and continuous growth in which many like-minded people have been brought together. Admittedly as with all Discords, there has been the occasional toxic element or self-promoter that spams links to their channel as opposed to genuinely networking and socialising, but these problems are typically dealt with quickly, effectively and quietly.
Although The Bonfire has a wide variety of the usual Discord regular sections such as giveaways, voice chat and art sections. There are quite a few unique little entries too such as a # thank-you area to literally go in and thank people for raids, hosts or hanging out in their stream. This is a lovely idea as it shows you noticed the person or people and is a sign of appreciation. There is also a # venting-room where you can once again literally go in and vent whether you have had a bad day or want to get something off of your chest. The # venting-room is a nonjudgmental, safe space where many people have come in, let it all out and then had other members of the community go the extra mile to help them understand and process events. One of the Discord’s other firmly held beliefs alongside equality is that mental health matters. Something that all too quickly can be overlooked or ignored.
Overall there is a very warm and welcoming feeling to The Bonfire. The majority of members are enthusiastic when talking to newcomers and established members alike. And it is refreshing to see a Discord take an approach where organic development and growth is encouraged as opposed to allowing ’lurk 4 lurk’ and ‘follow 4 follow’ mentalities to dominate.
I would highly recommend The Bonfire to both new and established streamers alike. With a mix of Mixer, Twitch and YouTube creators in the Discord, there is more than likely people already about the Discord you may already know. If not, jump in, say hello in # general-chat or pop something about yourself into # introductions, and see what happens. I can quite confidently guarantee a low chance of chat biting.
How can I check out the discord for myself?
You can join the Discord if you like what you have read, using the link here.
Or if you would like to ask any additional queries about the Discord, directly to the leaders, you can find their Twitch channel links below. Pop in, introduce yourself and then interrogate away!