The latter. If the check-in is just “wasn’t able to prioritize Snowdrift stuff this week”, that’s something. We hope it’s more often reporting real progress, thoughts etc.
My goal is not about Discourse engagement. It’s about accountability and the team staying connected and making progress. If a different medium worked instead of Discourse, that could be okay. But I think Discourse happens to be the best tool for this for many reasons.
I’m okay with trying that. If it works better, great. But I’d worry just that one person not showing up would kill the momentum. Each person shouldn’t actually be waiting on others if there’s no need for a particular order.
On the formality, I hope that as Discourse gets used more, people won’t think of posting as a big deal as much, each post being one in a large mix of posts.
In the end, this sort of thing is just a big part of keeping solidarity in a distributed team and community.