Update: 23 July 2020 – Riot.IM is now Element.io
So far the known New Zealand specific chat groups (chat rooms) that exist within the Matrix chat federation include…
If there are others that you know of, feel free to advise me or post in the comments below.
If people are looking for a viable alternative for staying in contact with friends and family at home and abroad as opposed to using the common proprietary messaging systems (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc) operated by sole corporations. Then I implore people to start looking at the federation of matrix.org chat servers.
Similar to how Email is structured, where Joe Bloggs at Hotmail can seamlessly Email his friend, Max Mustermann at Yahoo without needing to be with the same provider. The Matrix protocol is structured the same way for instant messaging and group chat. No one single company / provider has total control of the protocol.
If Joe Bloggs for example, doesn’t like Hotmail for what ever reason, he is able to choose to sign up to Gmail. Matrix.org is the same way, you have a choice of providers. You can even host your own node (like I do).
Like any project the onset, Matrix was pretty rough around the edges, but I feel the development of the system (being the Matrix Protocol together with the available client software) has now matured to a point where I feel Matrix/Element.io is now certainly very usable.
The reason why I favour Matrix over say Telegram, Signal, Slack, Zulip, Mattermost, Rocket Chat, is that Matrix is the only system where you can…
- Self host a node of your own AND
- Send messages to users on other servers (Federation) AND
- Has a usable front end client (Being Element.io available for Windows, Android, iOS, Linux, and others)