Acter

Activism Organizing on Matrix

Benjamin Kampmann
@ben:acter.global
2023-09-22, Matrix Summit 2023 Berlin

It'se me, Ben

Co-Founder & Tech-Lead Acter.global

formerly

Rust & Decentralisation since 2015

prev. Core Dev @ Parity on Substrate

Co-Host RustFest 2016 & 2017, OpenTechSchool
political Organizer with DiB2017, XR Magdeburg, ...

more about me on gnunicorn.org

Rust Developer @ New Vector/Element

Lead-Dev for matrix-rust-sdk

and also ...

wtf organizing?

peer-to-peer
eye-to-eye-level

no bosses
no project manager(s)

happens in a social context
takes place "after work"

people coming together to work towards a specific aim or goal

civil society

grassroots activism

WhatsApp!

or Telegram, if you are lucky...

  • an Excel Sheet

  • a Trello

  • an Asana

  • a Wekan Board

  • a Github/Jira Project

We need more structures! Let's set up a ...

the mobile-first casual organizing App built on Matrix

Acter

show me!

where we are at

Chat

Calendar

Updates

feed of the latest news - like Instagram, TikTok Feed

your shared pin wall / fridge of important to quickly look up

important events and who has RSVP'ed

Pins

end-2-encrypted Chat like in WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal

Chat

Calendar

Updates

Pins

for all your communities in just one App

how's that different?

quick'n'easy browsing the news feed to stay up to date

casual

fresh, clean & modern UI/UX, No-Management PM-Tools

clean

subspaces, structured objects, likes & comments

more signal, less noise

blockchain-less federated backend thanks to matrix.org

decentralised

always-on full privacy for all communication & tools*

end-2-end encrypted

for all your casual organizing needs

non-business suite

* Not yet enabled by default

try yourself!

Beta now on AppStore for iOS and Google PlayStore for Android!

your registration token: MatrixSummit23

Desktop -> Nightly releases:

docs.acter.global

Mobile via App Stores:

give us feedback!

tell us at #foyer:acter.global

#tech:acter.global

Thanks!

Questions?

We are hiring => acter.global

appendix

Tech Stack

Frontend / App

Dart, Native Apps for mobile & desktop (by Google)

Google Design Framework with plenty of mobile Widgets

Core

low-level systems-language compiled native and as WASM

reusing as many common widgets & elements as possible. Theming through build-in tooling

Backend

synapse

brings

✅ decentralisation / federation

✅ extensible protocol

✅ end-2-end encryption

✅ public standard

also

✅ over 1 MAU

✅ used by UK, FR & DE Giovernments

✅ plenty of Integrations (slack, IRC, E-Mail, Twitter, etc..)

Matrix specialisation

Custom Events

  • UI/UX-first approach
  • Activitystream-style Event (and JMP/ rfc8984)
    e.g. Todo; MarkAsDone, MarkAsArchived, Reorder, etc
  • Abstracted through state-machine to high-level "interactive" object
  • requires full history of room

Custom Subspace

to differentiate to existing "classic" chat rooms, and know which ones to sync back fully

Intend to spec

... once we feel the events are "mature enough"

until then you can find all nicely specified at:

acterglobal/a3/
 ->native/core/src/events

business

Acter (association)

  • Non-profit, 501c-equivialent status
  • Membership based, democratically organized Danish Association
  • Remote-first Team Denmark, Portugal, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Pakistan, China
  • "startup" driven work-approach

Multi-tier usage pattern

Regular User

Free App from the AppStore; create as many private groups as they like; Be part of as many groups as they like

1.

Super User

Pay per public group; paid groups with integrations and extra apps

2.

Partner organizations

Manager their own server for their user base and connected grassroots;  licensed version of the App; extra services

3.

Same login and App for all different groups, interconnectivity through matrix

license

Main work is the building the App

We are not hosting company

Makes licensing complicated

we have bills to pay, too..

eventually Free Software under the
"Acter Source License"

Public & free

  • all code public on Github
  • anyone can use the availalbe App
  • free personal, educational and internal usage for up to 100ppl (as long as it is not public)
  • else need a special license

eventually AGPL 3.0

All code automatically becomes licensed under AGPL 3.0 in 2 years from date of publication.

Acter - Activism Organizing on Matrix @ MatrixSummit 2023, Berlin

By Benjamin Kampmann

Acter - Activism Organizing on Matrix @ MatrixSummit 2023, Berlin

State of the App. Acter.global - where we are, where we are heading.

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