If you’re a member of a FOSS community and thinking of using something like Slack… pause!
On behalf of FOSS fans everywhere: please seriously consider using [Matrix], the Open federated standard system. It’s perfect for this sort of community, with bridges to Slack and IRC and many other systems. In the last two years Matrix has leapt ahead of other contenders like XMPP and is becoming the Open system of choice adopted by organisations from Mozilla to universities and governments.
It’s a great platform for integrating the chat side, and even the presentation side through Jitsi, of online events. The matrix devs do it and wrote a blog post describing how: https://matrix.org/docs/guides/running-online-events
Before any of us risks pushing another FOSS community into the proprietary silo trap, let’s pause and consider how we all would in fact be paying for it if it’s “free as in beer”. I’ve been watching this space since five years ago when the FOSS alternatives were weak, and now I’m really excited to see that, with the overwhelming global need for such a thing, Matrix has grown strong and is accelerating rapidly.
I would strongly encourage the ASF membership to deploy their own Matrix server ASAP as it’s the perfect fit for this sort of organization. I run a personal Matrix server and benefit from modern multi-device single-app access to all my IRC messaging (via a public bridge), all my WhatsApp messaging (via a private bridge), some private notes like diaries, as well as federated native Matrix messaging.
I can give more detailed advice and put you in touch with specific contacts.
- https://matrix.org — for an introduction to Matrix
- https://matrix.org/docs/guides/running-online-events — see above
- https://element.io/blog/welcome-to-element/ — for an introduction to the top company/brand of Matrix services and apps (a bit like how Redhat is to Linux)
- https://sifted.eu/articles/element-germany-deal/ — news about big government deployments of Matrix
- https://element.io/communities — glossy page about how great Matrix/Element is for communities