Matrix Community Closure

A forum is okay, I guess. Have been on many forums in the early 00’s.

Is matrix dead now?

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Unfortunately, yes.
I think the forum is a great idea. I wish they kept the Techlore Chat room open tho.

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R.I.P Techlore matrix :frowning:

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Thanks for posting this here! I saw the announcement but of course couldn’t check what the full situation was because the space closed.

So does the main reason basically boil down to it being too much to moderate the Matrix space? As in the Discord server took work but was worth it because of the accessibility to many people, but the extra work of managing the Matrix space as not worth it due to either insufficient manpower or users?

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I definitely prefer a structured forum to a single infinite instant messaging thread. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but for any serious discussion which should be available to others in the following days and years, structured forums are, in my opinion, much better. It is sad to see the Matrix space go, but I can totally understand the reasoning behind this decision. Wish you all the best with the Discourse forum.

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There are lots of issues to be honest, I’m going to come forward with a few of my issues with Matrix. I hope it’s met as constructive criticism for the platform:

  • Yes, moderation is considerably harder.

    • Moderation bots on Matrix are much less advanced.
    • We dealt with constant issues & bugs…it was almost a weekly issue where permissions would randomly reset in a room and users would have incorrect access to something. We’ve actually had members gain access to some of our private rooms in the past…
    • Matrix private signup options makes massive raids much easier to accomplish.
    • Matrix is just generally slow…when we dealt with massive issues like image spamming, it would flood our clients and make it incredibly challenging for us to efficiently deal with.
    • Spaces IMO are still not integrated in a polished way, which makes moderating each individual room more challenging.
    • Setting up nice-to-haves like Mod Mail is nowhere near as clean on Matrix vs other platforms. We have a lot of nifty moderation tools available on other platforms :slight_smile:
  • Community Differences:

    • We are trying to spread privacy to the masses. Much of the Matrix community are people already 95% through their privacy journey and looking to get 100%. While this is fantastic for them - it adds little value, and was actually often harmful to newer users. Many new users were mocked/ignored/ridiculed for asking more basic questions; while we tried our absolute hardest to moderate this issue & make it better, nothing seemed to solve the problem. Ultimately, the community that’s on Matrix is going to be in a very different place. All things considered, it is not the community we’re looking to dedicate our resources to at the moment given our smaller team, our Matrix community just didn’t align well with our current values & goals.
    • Because of the outlined community differences above, clashes with Discord/Matrix users was also frequent. I have no issue saying I believe bridging the two communities made our Discord community more like Matrix, which in my eyes is not a good thing.(Again, for the outlined reasons above)
  • Usability Issues:

    • I don’t know how to word this nicely, so I’ll just say it: Matrix is not a polished platform for massive communities like ours. Certain homeservers will make the experience almost unusable, spaces are severely lacking, keeping track of conversations & threads are considerably worse than platforms like Discord. And there are a lot of cool community features missing from Matrix. I recently tested Revolt to see if it was a good alternative for us, and while I found Revolt to be better than Matrix, it still wasn’t good enough to give me the confidence in being good enough for 10K users someday. So even better platforms still didn’t quite meet the standards I have. We have standards for things!
  • Use-Case Differences:

    • The core reason we started discussing the Matrix removal was Jonah originally came to me with the idea of having a forum to avoid the never-ending discussions over the same stuff all day. Instant communication has genuine use-cases, but it’s a terrible solution for things like more technical discussions & thorough advice to be able to live longer and be easily referenced by other people. Discord actually suffers this same exact issue, and we’re very aware of that, but Discord is more commonly used for chit-chat, whereas Matrix was commonly dedicated to thorough technical discussion. We also had to decide if we wanted to manage a Forum, Matrix, & Discord, or just two platforms. Given the other points in this post, we chose to keep Discord & the Forum for now.
    • What really sealed the deal on dropping Matrix is we were not offering anything unique to the Matrix world! There are several other privacy rooms just like ours, run by equally great moderators, and given the small number of Matrix users who actually cared about our stuff (more on this below) - it just didn’t make sense to have our own community and not just push people to other equally great communities.
  • Privacy & Security

    • Without opening a can of worms, let’s just say I take massive issue with Matrix’s lack of 2FA, its metadata issues, inability to easily remove old messages, and inability to even delete rooms as massive issues with the platform! Discord isn’t fully innocent either, of course. We’re actually very proud to say this forum you’re on offers some amazing privacy/security perks that aren’t found on platforms like Discord or Matrix.
  • Selfish Stuff:

    • We are a team with goals, and we ultimately do want our community to well…be engaged with stuff we do! You all support us both directly and indirectly in everything we do, even if it’s just acknowledging our projects here and there :slight_smile: So when we realized much of our Matrix engagement had nothing to do with our stuff, it did make us go…'Hm, we’ll just keep the community open for them to mingle" - this is why we stopped sending PSAs for our projects/videos/etc. on Matrix, since frankly it was generally met with hostility and/or a wave of users who didn’t even know what Techlore was. I mention this because I do want to come forward with there being some value for us as well in these communities, and we got little to none of that value on Matrix.
    • If it wasn’t clear already, we are incredibly swamped. I’m the only full-time person at Techlore, and only two other team-members dedicate time to these communities. They’re run entirely for free, and I commonly look at them as volunteer service - since I believe there should be access to a community I wish I had myself earlier on my journey. I just don’t think our Matrix community is something that would’ve helped me much, nor is it something I can justify keeping open anymore given all the issues we’ve had to deal with.

Those are the reasons on my end for supporting this decision. There will be some tears, but I think it’s ultimately for the best. I hope all Matrix users find a new home in one of the other communities Jonah mentioned :slight_smile:

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Thanks for the detailed notes! I think all of your points are fair and it’s on Matrix to continue to improve.

Also, +1 for a reply that you could definitely not give in Matrix. lol

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I just got online to Element and saw that you had closed. How sad is that though. I really enjoyed that server.

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I feel as if an old friend has just gone away, I will always miss the matrix rooms and I loved the year and a half of shitposting I go in.

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This is kind of sad :frowning: I liked talking in the Matrix rooms and getting advice from the very smart people lol

  • We are trying to spread privacy to the masses. Much of the Matrix community are people already 95% through their privacy journey and looking to get 100%. While this is fantastic for them - it adds little value, and was actually often harmful to newer users. Many new users were mocked/ignored/ridiculed for asking more basic questions; while we tried our absolute hardest to moderate this issue & make it better, nothing seemed to solve the problem. Ultimately, the community that’s on Matrix is going to be in a very different place. All things considered, it is not the community we’re looking to dedicate our resources to at the moment given our smaller team, our Matrix community just didn’t align well with our current values & goals.

I really disagree with this statement, while there do exist users who mocked newer users, there also exists many users that properly gives answer to said newer user. What you’re doing effectively means eliminating those that do understand and has reached 95%, leaving only “noobs” that understands less (basically a blind person teaching another blind person how to see).

    • Because of the outlined community differences above, clashes with Discord/Matrix users was also frequent. I have no issue saying I believe bridging the two communities made our Discord community more like Matrix, which in my eyes is not a good thing.(Again, for the outlined reasons above)

Clashes WILL happen, whether it’s discord v matrix, discord v discord, or matrix v matrix. And I do think that those clashes are an important part of the discussion, While a community that does not fight each other and always agree with another looks healthy on the outside, it breeds an echo chamber and really does not help information exchanges.

This is still found on Discord & now here on the Forum, and those Matrix users are still in other Matrix spaces not managed by us if people insist on specific individuals/communities on Matrix :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: Probably a better way of outlining my original point from my first post is the general percentage/demographic of advanced vs new users was wildly different between platforms, to the point where I would argue our Matrix community was actually overwhelming to a true ‘noob’. It’s throwing a brand new runner into a competitive national race and then wondering why they quit the next day. The inability to be able to meet people where they are is a serious issue we dealt with, and is a common reason why the ‘#main’ matrix room was a meme for people who just wanted more “normal” privacy/security discussions that didn’t involve complex topics irrelevant to most individual’s situations.

What you’re doing effectively means eliminating those that do understand and has reached 95%, leaving only “noobs” that understands less (basically a blind person teaching another blind person how to see)

Again, no. The goal is to transition those discussions to more controlled platforms like here so we can avoid the clashing, while still keeping the ‘talent’ so-to-speak. I do not believe unnecessary bickering over Discord vs Matrix users is in any way helpful to things, actually. It’s very possible to exchange quality information in an understanding, productive, & thoughtful way - and I hope to prove that to you via this community.

Edit: If anything, I hope to demonstrate how we can cater to both advanced and new users under the same roof, something that no other platform we’ve used could accommodate. While our focus is ‘the masses’ - you’re right in there needing be teachers to help them along. But I don’t believe the other platforms we use (including Discord) facilitate this relationship as strongly as this forum will be able to.

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I think this is a great point. A Discourse-based modern “forum” is the best way to build a strong public community.

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I’ve been bouncing around Matrix (using element) for a few weeks using a couple of different accounts, and I’m super OK with this move. IMHO a dedicated forum is pretty cool and can always be scaled out with a variety of techlore content.

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Thank you, was looking for some explanations.

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I feel like Matrix needs to do a lot of improvements so masses can adopt to it and switch from something like Slack or Discord to it

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Do you mean UX improvements?

Can the discord server at least be bridged with revolt.chat

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Refer to here in my post

It would have been fair to close Discord community along with Matrix community. Matrix has its flaws, but that to me is not sufficient reason to prefer it over Discord. Matrix will fail if people just keep using Discord/Whatsapp. It always comes down convenience and practical business decisions, doesn’t it? You cannot criticize schools or governments for choosing invasive software, if even the enthusiasts refuse to be the pioneers who give alternatives a chance. Not a chance for a few months, but fair chance in form of actual support through years it takes to develop a polished application.
The forum link in the description is why I started to use Matrix, and because it was installed on phone, became the app I use to talk with people close to me.
This would not have happened without the Matrix Techlore community, instead I would have further increased my dependence on discord.
The problem is not the closure of Matrix community, but the disparity in treatment awarded to Discord and Matrix users. You have shown Discord users, that Discord is indeed the right choice. The reasons you have outlined for closing Matrix specifically are good, but not good enough for you.

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