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Matrix is an open source decentralised chat platform which can be self hosted. Technically, behind the scenes, Matrix is a distrbuted mutable JSON ledger - so it can be used for a lot more than just chatting. You can read more about it at their offical page: https://matrix.org
Our Matrix room is at
First, you need a homeserver. You can choose to use the Matrix foundation's server, or, preferably (in the interests of decentralisation), you can set up your own. Alternatively, you can join ours at glasgow.social - we also have a public web interface at https://matrix.glasgow.social
Your homeserver takes part in conversations globally on your behalf - it's where your avatar is homed, and where any images you upload are stored. Any conversations you join are archived to your homeserver so if those servers go offline, the conversation can still continue. You can connect to your homeserver from multiple locations for instance from your phone, a web browser on your computer or laptop and resume where you left off in the discussion.
Note: adding your email for registration is optional. If you add an email you are required to verify it before you can log in.
Once you've created an account you can use the
Explore button to list the available rooms. We're in the room named
Open Source (full ID is #opensource:glasgow.social).
Alternatively you can type the command to join the room directly into the chat bar:
You will likely need to set the client to use your homeserver, like
https://matrix.org depending on where you created your account. The advantage of creating an account on glasgow.social is that it allows you to browse the other local rooms easier, but you can still take part no matter where you create your account. You can see a screenshot of how to do this below.