I started a Slack channel to collaborate with other IF people. Discord is great for communication, but it’s not really conducive to material collaboration. Slack has attractive features in that regard.
The problem is the free tier will only retain 90 days of discussion. Non-Profits get up to 250 free users and an 85% discount above that on the Pro version.
Is there any interest in an IFTF Slack? I’d be happy to use that and have a private channel for my own game dev collaboration.
I’ve already attracted a few people that like Slack for this kind of community.
Or even implementing a self-hosted Mattermost server might be a viable alternative.
IFTF has a Slack on the nonprofit plan, but it’s meant for organization/committee/volunteer work, not as a public forum. We’d rather not make it dual-purpose.
Unfortunately we can’t have two nonprofit Slacks for the same organization.
Slack is kind of not ideal for open public social spaces anyway. You can use it that way, but the idea of “you are here to do your job” is pretty deeply baked into Slack’s model. E.g., there are no social moderation features, because it assumes that you can take any problems to somebody’s manager.
We’ve thought about putting more energy into Discord, but as you say, that’s not right for what you’re doing either.
I totally understand a need for an online collaboration space.
Releasing work is one thing. Collaboration is another. Preserving chat logs for posterity is interesting but not necessarily an overriding interest when people are working on a project.
I agree. You’d preserve the docs, not the slack.
Don’t forget you can create a Private Message here and invite other members to participate in a private group discussion. It behaves exactly like a discussion thread, allowing uploads, images, and links, but is only visible to those invited, and the message owner can add and remove members at will.
The Forum is archived, and we have over a decade of historical messages and personal exchange.
While it might not be quite as immediate as a Slack chat, I have had nearly real-time conversations with people on this forum since Discourse can alert you on your device or desktop when you receive replies, and it also notifies you if someone is currently replying to the message - so there’s a bit of real-time functionality.
I’ve looked over a couple of “real time chat” plugins for Discourse, but there’s always something that makes me resist it. Essentially forum chat plugins function as a public group message that shows whether people are on the forum or not, and if someone is typing a reply. Chats are basically fancily-formatted topic threads, and we already have that here.
Yeah the moderation element is a real concern. We know from past experience how insidious trolls can be. Outside of that, Slack is a fairly healthy collaboration platform. Obviously the choice of such tools is in itself often controversial. I think I’ve used most if not all of them through my consulting work and for active material collaboration, I personally prefer Slack.
I might see how hard it is to inflate a Mattermost site, but make it invitation only. Or I may just pay for Slack Pro and request donations from the people that join. The Slack free plan is not viable because I also strongly believe we need to preserve everything. It may be that my little side community stay’s small and manageable.
But I do have one core interest. I’d like to to encourage more group IF creation. We all know how hard it is to build strong works. Enabling material collaboration is a good experiment. I would still steer larger discussions here. My idea is very much about working on specific projects that are best served on a semi-private platform.
Ironically, hosting games on itch.io is, to me, one of the worst ways of preserving IF. The if-archive has done a great job of archiving all IFComp games that are submitted as files; a large proportion of games hosted on ‘other websites’ in the past decades have disappeared forever. I feel sad seeing the several games in this comp that aren’t downloadable, as they will likely become obscure and/or ‘lost’ in the future.
IF archive has several mirrors and many IF fans are dedicated to preservation. Regular Internet Archive often doesn’t preserve all the features of a game, especially when different parts of the web enviornment get deprecated over the years.
(examples of lost games include Sun and Moon, Hanon’s Last Girl, or, outside of the comp, Emily Short’s games Bee and Blood and Laurels, one of which was recently recovered after several years due to the excellent work of Autumn Chen)
I’d be most interested to see how it goes with mattermost. Earlier, i was interested in running it. However, IIRC (need to check), it’s docker only. Which is Ok, but then requires more than the very basic cloud cpu+ram. you wind up paying for hosting instead. Although slack is excellent, it’s also a bit pricey as soon as you pay. I’ve been using fleep.io for about a year. So far its been good even on the free tier. However, you run out of file store quickly unless you pay.
I’ve inflated a Mattermost server at https://collab.plover.net as a test run with my team. If all goes well, I’ll promote it to Zifmia.Com and move it to a higher level linode server (plover is a very small 2-core/4gb ram server).
If anyone wants to join, here’s the invite: Mattermost
It’s stable and works just like Slack. Has desktop and mobile apps.
I’m happy to make teams for other projects too. This invite is specifically for my “area” where we’re working on a story and that’s the intent of the site. To allow teams to materially collaborate.