Mattermost for tech champions
Mattermost is our chat platform, and is very similar to Slack, for those who have used it. It replaces Basecamp Campfires. Chat is transient - stuff very quickly disappears off the top of the screen, to be replaced by new chat, so it is not ideal for information you need to find again in the long term.
Mattermost is divided into Teams. There is a UK Team (which you will automatically join, if you join via the Hub). There is also a "xrGlobal" team, where XR people from all over the world hang out. You need to be invited into the xrGlobal team, but you will find there are many people in the UK team who can invite you. There is, of course, a public UK channel on the xrGlobal team, where people can get in contact with UK people. If you join xrGlobal, we recommend you join the UK channel.
Each team has many Channels - each channel discusses one area of interest. Channels can be public, or private. Every team has a Town Square and an Off Topic public channel, which everyone joins by default. Town square is like a Landing page, where you go to ask the whole of the team a question, propose a new topic of discussion, etc. Off Topic is for non business stuff.
Every working group should have a Reception public channel in the UK team, which anyone can join if they want to contact your group.
National working groups often choose to have a General Discussion public channel, which people can use to have general, UK wide chats about the subject, allowing cross fertilisation of ideas.
Most working groups will want a private channel for their internal chat.
Larger working groups that have many sub groups, or who have lots of separate subjects they want to discuss in separate channels, may need their own team. Having your own team will give you as large a chat area as you want, with all the public channels only open to your team members (or others you invite).
This is Mattermost open at the UK Team. Other teams you are in are shown in the bar on the left. Hovering the mouse over one of the icons shows the full name of the team, and clicking one switches into that team.
The chat in the Town Square channel is showing. Every team has a Town Square, for general, public chat. The other public channels you are in are shown in the PUBLIC CHANNELS list.
You can switch to other channels (e.g. Communities Reception) by clicking on them.
You can join other public channels in the team by clicking the More... at the bottom of the list. There will already be public Reception channels for every UK group on Mattermost, and joining a Reception channel is how you can contact the relevant group.
You can create new public channels in the team by clicking the + sign next to PUBLIC CHANNELS. We do not recommend you just create public channels randomly, especially in the UK team -- every channel should have a clear purpose, and you would normally discuss and agree the creation of a new channel in Town Square before creating it.
All the public channels are open to anyone in the UK team who cares to join them. Private channels, on the other hand, are only visible to people who have been invited to them. Any member of a private channel can invite anyone else in the team. (If someone is not in the team, you have to invite them to the team first.)
Many smaller groups will choose to have just have a public reception channel and a private group channel in the UK team. If new members are invited to join via the Hub (recommended), they will automatically be joined to the UK team and the two channels (but not to any other channels you create).
Larger or busier groups, who do a lot of chatting on many different subjects, may choose to have their own Team. They will still have a public reception channel in the UK team (for people to contact them), but all their other chat will be in their own team. Only people you invite to the team will be able to see it.
Once you have your own team, you can create as many channels as you like. The public ones are available for any member of the team to join (by clicking on the More at the end of the public channels list). You can use this to split your discussion into separate topics, which people can elect to follow (by joining the channel) or not.
The Hub will set you up a single, private channel in your team, and automatically join your members to the UK and your own teams, and to your private channel.
If you set up subgroups on the Hub (e.g. for your working groups who need their own facilities on the new services), subgroup members will also be invited to your team (and to the subgroup's channels).
Above is the the Manage Members screen. Only Team Admins can manage members. You can add new members (Invite People - see below), promote people to Team Admin, demote people, or remove people. You will notice you have a Team Admin called xrukadmin. Do not under any circumstances demote or remove xrukadmin from the team - it is the login the Hub uses to add people to your team automatically.
Above is the Invite People screen - you can invite people to your Mattermost Team directly this way, but we prefer that you invite them through the Hub, as then they will be added to the right channels, and to your team on the other services (UK Forum and UK Cloud). If you do invite people this way, you are then responsible for joining them to the Channels you want them to see, and any other subsequent maintenance. Please note that inviting people by email was disabled by the sysadmin at the time of writing, for security reasons.
It opens a separate area like this, showing the thread the post is in, and letting you reply in that thread. Using this reply button enables people to follow one conversation which at first appears to be mixed up with others in the main chat window.