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I want to bring together and chat at others in my job as a very specific in-house developer. I am on my own and would benefit from it. So should I simply start a google group? Should I man my own chat server (I can and even have a subdomain name for it).

What I do is everything tech for our schools in-house printing. Printing study guides, test for up to 100,000 students. We do variable data mailings. I want to know what and how others do it to get the best from them and maybe offer something I do well, if at all.

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    Slack seems the favorite of the current times, and it seems to be usable by non-technical people as well.

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      Slack isn’t good for managing topics, though. Slack is good for chat, maybe something like Discourse is good for “threads”.

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        Yeah - in my experience slack is quite good for social groups and passing the time, but not so useful for serious talk or information sharing.

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          Try Zulip. The conversation is filterable by stream (like slack’s channels) and futher filterable by topic (like threads). https://zulipchat.com/

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        The biggest challenge is probably to get everybody to use your thing? Or can you force them? If not, you should probably start with something they already use, like WhatsApp, Facebook, Email, …

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          I always thought lobste.rs would be a good codebase to start from.