Due to the current situation with the global COVID-19 pandemic, there are more and more collaborations happening online instead. You can now see Wikimedia-related discussion groups in Slack, Discord, Telegram, Facebook, and many more. Besides being scattered and inaccessible to people who don’t have accounts in those platforms (for privacy reasons for example), these platforms use proprietary and closed-source software, are outside Wikimedia infrastructure and some harvest our personal data for profit.
IRC on freenode.net is a good alternative but it lacks basic functionalities of a modern chat platform. So we created Wikimedia Chat, a Mattermost instance hosted in Wikimedia Cloud. Compared to IRC, you have:
- Ability to scrollback and read messages when you were offline
- Ability to search in history of discussions
- Receiving email upon notification
- Push notification and email notification
- You don’t need to get a cloak to hide your IP from others
- Proper support for sharing media
- Interface is translated to more than a dozen languages.
- Two factor authentication
- A proper mobile app support
- Ability to add custom emojis (yes, it’s extremely important)
- Profile pictures
- Ability to ping everyone with @here or @channel
- much much more.
You can use Wikimedia Chat by going to https://chat.wmcloud.org and anyone can make an account.
This is done and is being maintained by a group of volunteers. If you’re willing to join the team (either technical or enforcing CoC, kicking out spammers, other daily work), let us know.
Hope that would be useful for you, if you encounter any technical issues, file a bug in Phabricator.