Remove personal dependencies on slack

Thinking about posting this to #general as it came up as part of the recent 86’ing, and indicates a problematic dependency to me. How do ppl feel about it?

“A topic that came up a few times the past weeks and at the meeting: Currently many people only use slack to contact people they like at NB. I think it’d be great if we start pushing those relationships outside NB architecture which has no guarantees of uptime or existence. Slack isn’t critical infra, if it went down, we’d all migrate to the list or IRC immediately, it’s 100% replaceable. Private group chats and dms can happen anywhere, so slack is not critical for those at all. Slack is definitely on it’s way out, we can all start identifying and ending all dependencies on it to be ready to migrate.”


Maybe its me as an organizer, but pushing non-noisebridge comms to email or signal group chat comes second nature to me. Its a good idea! Most people I work with through NB I have their personal e-mail address or phone number and use that for stuff outside of Noisebridge.

I imagine this will happen organically as we continue to re-found noisebridge and new social bonds are established and old ones are given a fresh breath of life.

In that vein, I think it is worth noting that Discourse hides e-mail addresses on purpose:

Even once we eventually get posting-by-e-mail functionality turned on, you still don’t see other people’s e-mail addresses; discourse generates random hashes for each post and topic and PM. But what we could do is add a profile field, “Public e-mail” or similar and allow people to opt-in to having a contact address displayed on their profile. Maybe that’s worth a shot?

In all my years, I only recall this happening once, lol.

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We had an informal GPG key sharing party back in August 2018 when Cel was visiting here from MIT. ^_^

I’m interested in chat alternatives to Slack that are fully open source and will help us connect with other hackers and makers around the world. Slack works great as a closed source project, but:

There is no encryption of actual data.

  • Admins can recover all deleted public posts and deleted users via export.
  • If upgraded to an enterprise account, all private direct messages can also be recovered.
  • Validation of accounts is confusing. If we have matching display names and icons we get confused.
  • No way to designate rooms publicly readable to the www without an account.
  • No support for anonymous posting. is a solid open source contender that functions just like Slack, so nothing to learn:

  • Import all slack posts, users and web hooks.
  • Very solid, scales nicely.
  • E2E encryption supported.
  • Has worked nicely at
  • Users can livestream to Youtube!
  • Anonymous posting.
  • Rooms can be designated read-only to the www, allowing for anonymous viewing.


  • Integrates with many services: Slack, Discord, Gitter, Rocket, Mattermost, IRC, XMPP, etc.
  • Matrix rooms can all federate with each other so lots of hackerspaces already in Matrix community!
  • E2E encryption supported.
  • User & Device verification built-in to stop impersonators.
  • No threaded message support yet.

That’s good too.

People could also be like “Hi person I would like to consider a friend or at least not lose contact with, here is my email address, could I have yours?”

We don’t need technology solutions to all these issues imo. But maybe we do. Voluntary contact info that is OK to give out on request should a person disappear? also good. I don’t suppose GPG keys somehow manage that as well? I recall there used to be GPG key sharing after meetings.