Is there an to for a closed group that wants to organize meetups, discuss topics and share blog articles now and then? It has to be easy and not self hosted. Any ideas?

@AzureKingfisher If you don't mind it being closed source, take a look at Discord or Slack. The latter however locks your history after 10k messages unless you pay a subscribtion.

@Kiki but slack is instant messaging /chat groups based on IRC, right?

@AzureKingfisher Not sure if it's actually "based on", but yeah, it feels similar to irc. With the big exception that you always get all messages when you're offline. You need to actively leave the server, and I think that's a big plus.

Also, there's calendar integration and add-ons for polls and stuff and lots of other connectivity.

@Kiki @AzureKingfisher Slack is not based on IRC, but a proprietary commercial solution which recently made headlines for blocking random people and “reasoning” that with racism.

A recommended *secure* messaging platform would be the Matrix network with the Riot reference client.

Nextcloud could add the rest. (files, calendars, decks, etc.)

Both free/libre hosted (nextcloud paid, Matrix gratis) & self-hosted.

@MacLemon there we are at complicated again. I'm talking about people that partly don't know the difference between a web browser and a mail client and are hesitant to creating new accounts. I cannot tell them to create several accounts here and there and everywhere and use different programs to use them. I guess there is no solution and I should stay on Facebook and not try to convince them to quit with me.

@AzureKingfisher If they actually want to improve something, get a hosted Nextcloud Instance and obtain a descent level of privacy and security in return.

If the people are unwilling to learn anything for improving their situation… abandon ship.

I can only outline a very good and usable solution.

@AzureKingfisher maybe checkout too. That's more of a social media style tool to organize, rather than a chat like the other suggestions.

@zalandocalrissian I proposed email/mailing lists and had to explain what that was.

ouch :| What about an instant messenger? Matrix (riot) has that cool feature where you can embed other web apps such as etherpad or jitsi meet into a chat room.

@zalandocalrissian that's something I would like to use but the reality is a group really liking the convenience of Facebook without seeing a problem with that. You'd need a Facebook copy I guess. :/

Haven't used it myself, but what about diaspora/friendica? Do they want facebook because of the features or because they already have an account there and your interactions within the group will blend into the rest of their facebook content seamlessly? If it's the latter, you won't find a tool that will satisfy them unless you convince them why facebook is evil and that that's a legitimate reason for you not to use it.

@zalandocalrissian I think it's because they're already used to it. You're right, there isn't a technical solution. Seems I'm stuck with Facebook.

@AzureKingfisher Hm, difficult. I gather closed means invite only in this case? The thing is, while you can get free accounts for small groups on, mattermost or slack, and what not, it will just be different from facebook as the users pay with their data (or time and a guinea pigs for the paying customers).

Maybe your hackspace can host whatever software for your group or another one?

or you click a mastodon instance on and make that invite only? But then people still would need to learn about the fediverse...

Or get everyone to using wire?

If there's unwillingness to try something new, there will be no solution...

One cannot even setup a mailing list these days without taking smtp, dns, unix, webserver admin classes ;)

@ckeen @AzureKingfisher to be honest, mailing lists are the highest discipline of sysopsing. It involves spam filtering and general abuse fighting as well as working with all kinds of broken peers and their own ideas of blacklists, spam and bounce behavior. And then there's people and their full mailboxes, broken filters and broken clients.

@ckeen @AzureKingfisher and of course I forgot retired accounts, account moves, account takeovers etc all constantly affecting the member list

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