Read this document to get familiar with Mattermost. It is used to communicate with XR groups as well as have 1-to-1 conversations.
If you need support with:
- How to use Mattermost
- Getting onto Mattermost
- Using the Hub (and XR's other services including the UK Cloud, UK Forums)
Please join one of the weekly sessions:
Mondays 17:30-18:00 (quick questions)
Thursdays 18:30-19:30 (longer training)
Meeting ID: 895 2855 8324 Passcode: 278766
Before you can access Mattermost you first need to sign up to the XR UK Communications Hub. For instructions on how to do this, please read this guide.
Once you are on the Hub, there are a few ways to access Mattermost:
- Click on the Mattermost icon from the Comms Hub main page.
- Type https://organise.earth into your browser and hit Enter.
Once this is done, we recommend adding the page to your bookmarks/favourites so it's easier to find in future.
Note: Mattermost is also available as an app so you can install it to your smartphone or tablet. Please read this document for instructions on how to do this.
When you have logged in to Mattermost, you will see a screen that looks a lot like this:
Note that we have added numbers to the screenshot and we will refer to this image throughout the document.
Watch this 5 minute video for an introduction on finding your way around Mattermost.
Teams in Mattermost are basically collections of Channels. Teams appear on the far left of your screen (1). Click to switch between them.
You will be added to the UK Team by default but your group might use other Teams — you will see these too.
Checking who else is in my Team
To see the other members of a Team, click on the Main Menu (3) and select View Members.
Joining other Teams
UK Circles with their own Team can be contacted via their Reception Channel in UK Team.
To join a public Team, click on the + sign next to your list of Teams (1) and then click "Browse Channels". This will bring up a list of all the other XR public Teams you are able to join, including for other countries. Click on one of the list of Teams to add yourself.
If you want to be added to a private Team (e.g. for your local group), you will need to speak to a Group Admin/Tech Champion who will be able to send you an invite.
Leaving a Team
To leave a Team, open the Main Menu (3), and then select the option Leave Team.
Note that once you have left a Team, if you want to re-join at any point, you will have to join (or be invited to) all the Channels you belong(ed) to previously.
Channels are just another name for group chats. Every local group/working group set up on the Hub will have several of these Channels that you will be added to if you are part of that group.
Note: For a walkthrough of Channels, you can watch the Finding and Joining Channels video (4 mins).
Type of Channels
To join a public Channel, either click in Find Channel and search, or click the + button to browse Channels on the left (4). This will bring up a list of all of the public Channels in your Team. Click on any of these in the list to add yourself.
To join a private Channel, you should ask someone already in that Channel to add you. You could also post a message in that group's reception Channel asking to be added.
Leaving a Channel
To leave a Channel, click its name at the top of the screen (not where it appears lower down on the left) and then select the option Leave Channel. Alternatively, if you hover over the Channel lower down on the left, three dots will appear next to it — from that menu, select Leave Channel.
You can mute Channels if you want to stop receiving notifications from it but don't want to leave. To do this, click the Channel heading (at the top of the screen), or hover over the Channel lower down on the left and click the three dots, and then click Mute Channel. You can also set whether you want to be notified if someone uses
@channel in Settings (11).
Every Team has two default Channels that you will be added to when you are added to the team:
Town Square: This is the communal area in each team that should be used for announcements and general XR-related discussions.
Off Topic: This is a place where team members can discuss things that aren't directly related to the business of the team (e.g. social activities).
Very Important: Please do not rename these default Channels as it will cause a lot of confusion.
Note: It is not possible to leave the Town Square Channel. If you want to stop receiving notifications, you should mute the Channel instead.
If you hover over the Channels header on the lower left (5), by clicking on the three dots that then appear, you can sort your Channels in one of three ways:
- by Recent Activity - the most recent will be at the top
- Manually – you can drag the Channels up and down into the order you prefer
In addition, you can Create New Category which enables you to sort Channels into groups that suit you, e.g. relating to particular projects or areas of interest. Once you have created your categories, you can drag and drop Channels between them.
Contacting other groups
All XR UK groups on Mattermost have a public 'Reception' Channel in the UK Team, and their members will be added to them by default (you will probably be in some yourself). This lets rebels from other groups find and speak to them.
To join someone else's reception Channel, go to the UK Team, click Find Channel or + (4), to search or browse for the Channel you want to join and then click Join. The Channel will then appear in your Channels list.
Important: You should not create public Channels from inside Mattermost. Instead, please get your Group Admin/Tech Champion to do this for you using the Hub.
To create a private Channel:
- Click on the + sign next to the Main Menu (3)
- Select 'Create New Channel'
- Enter a name for the new Channel (and optional Purpose and Header), ensuring that 'Private' is selected
- Click Create Channel
Channel headers (7)
Underneath the Channel name at the top of the page is the Channel header. It is a useful place to put information about what the Channel is for and to store some useful links (e.g. your group's Forum or your regular Zoom meetings).
To see all the info, click on the Channel name:
then click on View Info.
If you want to change what is written in the header, click on Edit Channel Header. If you want to add links to this section, the process is the same as here. Please confirm with your Group Admin before making any change to the Header.
Sending Messages (15)
You can write messages by typing in the box at the bottom of the screen. To send them hit Enter. The message will be sent to the Channel or Direct Message you are currently in.
Alerting people to messages
If you want a particular person to read a message you are sending, you can tag them by writing '@' followed by their username (e.g.
@xrukadmin). This will send them a notification.
Important: You can also use
@channel to notify everyone in a Channel but please use this responsibly as for larger groups it is rarely appropriate and may annoy people.
Sending Direct Messages (6)
To send someone a Direct Message (instead of posting in a Channel):
- Click the + sign to the right of the heading DIRECT MESSAGES to the left of the screen (6)
- Select the users you want to message (up to a maximum of 6)
- Write and send your message
All of the Direct Message conversations that you have had will appear below the DIRECT MESSAGES heading to make it easier to contact them again. Next to each name, an icon shows whether they are online or not. Clicking on a username will display your Direct Message history with that user. Users you do not need to contact regularly can be removed from this list by pressing the cross to the right of their name.
Sorting your Direct Messages
Much like with Channels, Direct Messages can be sorted alphabetically or most recent first. You can also choose how many to show (all, 10, 15...). To change these settings hover over DIRECT MESSAGES then click the three dots to the right of it.
Replying to messages
It is possible to reply to messages posted in Channels or Direct Messages using 'threads'. These are helpful if you are having multiple conversations at once so people don't get confused about which messages are related to which discussion. To reply to a message in a thread click on the Reply icon:
Note: For a full explanation, watch the threading messages video (5 mins).
Reacting to messages
To add a reaction (e.g. a thumbs up or heart icon) to a message click on the Add Reaction icon:
To post a reaction to a message, click on the Emoticon icon on the bottom right-hand side (17).
Searching for messages (10)
Use the search box to find messages and replies that match the search terms entered. All Channels that you are a member of in the current Team are searched.
Note: For a full explanation, watch the Searching for messages video (3 mins).
You can click on the 'save' icon (like a bookmark) next to a message to save it for later, then bring up all your saved messages by clicking on the 'Saved posts' icon at the top right of the screen (12).
Note: For a full explanation, watch the Saving messages video (3 mins).
To add a picture, click on the paperclip icon on the bottom right of the screen (16). To add a nicely formatted link to your message, write the text you want to show in square brackets immediately followed by the link URL in round brackets. For example:
Check out this fantastic [guide to Mattermost](https://rebeltoolkit.extinctionrebellion.uk/link/394#bkmrk-page-title)!
will look like:
Check out this fantastic guide to Mattermost!
Other formatting tips
Here are a few simple tips on formatting messages:
- **bold** displays as bold
- _italic_ displays as italic
- ~~strikethrough~~ displays as
- ```typewriter style``` displays as
- >quote displays as
It can be difficult to copy messages in order to share them in multiple Channels without losing the formatting and any links. Currently, the only way this is to:
- Open Settings (underneath 2)
- On the sidebar, click Advanced
- Set Enable Post Formatting to Off
- Copy and paste the messages that you want to share
- Return to Account Settings -> Advanced and set Enable Post Formatting back to On
If you are in a Direct Message chat, clicking the 'Big Blue Button' will start a video call between you and the person (or people) in that chat; if you are in a Channel, it will open a video chat link for anyone in that Channel to join, using Big Blue Button. This posts a link for everyone to click on to join the call.
Rebel Compass (9)
Rebel Compass is a trusted guide through XR Global Support's digital services and infrastructure. Clicking this icon will take you to a resource page including plaforms, videos, documents, trainings, events, etc.
So that you don't miss any important messages, it's strongly recommended that you adjust your notification settings. This will also make sure you aren't overwhelmed by huge numbers of irrelevant notifications.
To modify the notification settings in Mattermost, open Settings (underneath 2), which brings up the following:
Notification settings can be changed by clicking on the Notifications tab.
Setting desktop/mobile notifications
To modify these settings, go to the notification settings tab, as shown above, and click Edit in the sections labelled Desktop Notifications or Mobile Push Notifications.
We recommend that Send desktop notifications (under Desktop Notifications) and Send mobile push notifications (under Mobile Push Notifications) are set to either For all activity or For mentions and direct messages.
Enabling email notifications
You can enable email notifications of Mattermost messages. To do this:
- Open Settings
- In Email Notifications, click Edit
- Under Send email notifications, select Immediately
- Click Save
Setting notifications for reply threads
To be notified of all messages that happen in a thread you are participating in, you should:
- Open Settings
- In Reply notifications, click Edit
- Select Trigger notifications on messages in reply threads that I start or participate in
- Click Save
Personalising your mentions
It is possible to be notified every time a certain word is mentioned in one of your Channels. By default, this word will just be your username including the
@ symbol (e.g.
@myusername), but you can add extra words if you like. For example, if you do a lot of work on the Rebel Toolkit you may want to add
toolkit to your list of words that trigger mentions.
To set this up:
- Open Settings
- Next to Words That Trigger Mentions click Edit
- Tick any of the tickboxes that apply
- Add any additional keywords (e.g.
toolkit) in the space below the tickboxes
- Click Save
Seeing recent mentions (11)
Click on the top right @ sign to see posts where you have been recently mentioned.
Grouping unread messages together
You can set Mattermost to collect unread messages at the top of the sidebar so they are easier to find. To do this:
- Open Settings
- Click on the Sidebar tab
- Click Edit in Group unread channels separately
- Select On
- Click Save
Setting up 'out-of-office' messages
If you will not be reachable on Mattermost for a while and would like to set an automatic reply to any messages received in that time, you should:
- Open Settings
- Under Automatic Direct Message Replies click Edit
- Select Enabled and write your message
- Click Save
You can follow the same process to disable the automatic messages when you return.
Getting rid of annoying messages from 'System'
In your Channels, you will probably see lots of messages from 'System' notifying that people have been added to and have left the Channel. You can turn these off by:
- Open Settings
- In the sidebar, Click Advanced
- Click Edit in Enable Join/Leave Messages
- Click Off and then Save
Setting your status
To change your status (which can be Online, Away, Do Not Disturb and Offline):
- Click on your icon at the top left of the screen (2)
- Select your preferred option
Adding a profile picture
To add a profile picture to your Mattermost account:
- Click on your icon (2)
- Click Profile
- Click Edit next to Profile Picture
- Upload an image of your choice
- Click Save
To log out of Mattermost, click on your icon (2) and then click Log Out.
Other places to find information about Mattermost
There is a Help button (underneath 17) at the bottom right of the screen.
Here is useful list of other resources about Mattermost that you might find useful:
This is a 16 minute video that talks you through signing up on Mattermost and explaining the basics of how to use it.
This is the official guide to Mattermost. It goes into a lot more detail than this guide, but it is more complicated and not all of it is relevant to XR.