Dear Handmade Folks,

I’m announcing the launch of our new Discord server! Swing by and introduce yourself – I’d love to personally welcome you there.

My aim is to keep the Discord server running year-round. However, during live events, we’ll still maintain a private chat server for ticket holders. This helps those who prefer not to use Discord, but it’s also a business necessity: we sell online tickets to access official discussions.

Now, about Matrix. We’ve decided to part ways.

CEO/CTO’s Response

If you’ll remember, I expressed my frustration of chat servers at Software You Can Love, which generated a lot of interesting debate. After this I also vented on Hacker News how Matrix’s priorities are not going towards UX:

abnercoimbre: “Yeah I’ve been using them for my indie conferences since 2020. I recently argued that it’s not the Year for Matrix, even if Discord now has ads and is doing sketchy stuff typical of enshitification. Unfortunately I just don’t see Matrix’s priorities going towards UX. I’m dropping them. Revolt has promise, at the very least as a stopgap.”

Matrix leadership then weighed in:

Arathorn: “fwiw, is Element’s attempt to spell out that we our priorities are absolutely going towards UX. Meanwhile the old Element apps aren’t improving because all our (limited) bandwidth is going into Element X, which we hope to be ready this summer.”

My thoughts on his response:

  • “Labs” rarely gets promotion, and I like to think I’m pretty in the loop. (I had forgotten it exists.)
  • Element X hardly ever makes a cameo in your blog – it seems you’ve got your hands full!
  • From where I stand, it looks like enterprise deals and hosting expansion take the cake in your priority list.

That’s all fair – you gotta do what you think keeps the lights on. But from my perspective, there’s no consistent effort to prioritize user experience or performance. If there were, you’d have hit the ground running as the next Discord killer and smoothed out user onboarding from day one. You’d have swapped out Python for a more efficient language for your chat server in a heartbeat.

This isn’t easy for me: I’ve wanted to believe since 2020. I’ve been all-in on Matrix, even entangling it with my ticketing system. But now, my ticket holders are making it clear: if I stick with this ecosystem, they’ll take a pass.

So, time to bid farewell.

Handmade Network “versus” Handmade Cities

As a reminder, Handmade Network remains our go-to online hangout. In contrast, Handmade Cities is all about face-to-face connections: think conferences and meetups. What Ben and I shared a while back still rings true (except now, Matrix is out of the picture.)

Another newsletter is in the works, but I wanted to tackle this chat server disaster first.

We’re slowly piecing together our speaker lineup for Boston and Seattle. Of course I’d love to hear from our top supporters, so stay tuned for that. And whoever you might be, don’t hesitate to suggest presentations – just hit reply.

Your organizer,