Social Media - Instant Messaging (Telegram, Matrix, Threema)

  • Hi Cassius thanks for including me in this thread. As you've noted, there are countless chat technologies, each with its good points and bad points. Much depends on what we're trying to accomplish, how many people need to use the system, what security properties we want it to have, etc. If it's simply a backup system for administrators to use for coordination purposes during forum outages, something like Signal seems fine to me. If it's to be used for more frequent communication among a wider array of forum participants, perhaps even as a replacement for the forum, then I'm not convinced that *any* of the systems you've mentioned would fit the bill (see…/the-republic-of-letters/ for related musings). Over time I've become less enamored of what we used to jokingly call "interruptive messaging" (IM). A forum interface strikes me as a healthy balance between immediacy and reflection, plus it's easy to use and doesn't force people to install a new app. Then again, some people only have a smartphone and perhaps the web forum doesn't work so well on a phone. There are tradeoffs on all sides...

  • Hi Cassius,

    Thank you for including me on the thread.

    My technical knowledge is perhaps not high enough for me to really chip in, but I like Kalosyni's idea of compiling email addresses for everyone who would like to be included in the emergency network, simply because everyone could easily take part without having to learn another platform and would be something everyone would have access to. I do have Signal on my cell phone, as many people do, and I think that would be a relatively practical option, too.

    Proton Mail offers free encrypted email accounts that I would think would be accessible to everyone, so that could be an option, too.

  • Based on recent discussions I think we are probably moving to the idea that the best option is a mix of approaches, with one of them being having an opt-in email list so they of the forum does happen to go down for an extended period that we have a way to reach out to regulars with an explanation and ETA for fixing any problems that do arise. Thankfully there has not proved to be a pressing need for this, but over time it makes sense to harden the backup systems.

    For the moment the most likely event would be a technical mishap with our host that keeps the forum offline for a period, and for that we now have in place as a first line place people can check for updates.