Introduction

There is a helpful and rapidly growing community forming around the Opt Out podcast and privacy space on Matrix, and this is a simple guide to get you joining in quickly!

As I often talk about on the podcast, finding a community that can support, encourage, and equip you on your privacy journey is vital, and hopefully this will be a helpful start on finding a community that fits you well.

Why Matrix?

The Opt Out community is focused around Matrix, an open-source, federated, and encrypted chat platform that enables large group chats easily. Matrix has many different clients available, and is a rapidly growing protocol and platform for privacy-preserving chats.

You can view Matrix as a modernized IRC or simplified Discord that is improving quickly and is focused on user-privacy and data-sovereignty.

How to join if you already have a Matrix account

If you’re already on Matrix and have an account setup, joining is extremely easy! The following steps will assume you’re using Element, the most popular Matrix client, but the overall steps should be similar:

From the URL

  1. Go to https://matrix.to/#/#optout-general:matrix.optoutpod.com in your favorite browser (or click the link here!)

  2. Select “Continue”

  3. Select “Continue” under Element (or follow the directions for the app of your choice)

  4. Allow the browser tab to open Element

  5. Click “Join” in Element to confirm

In Element on desktop

  1. Hit the + icon next to “Home” and select “Join public room”

  2. Enter the channel address of “#optout-general:matrix.optoutpod.com” and hit Join

How to join if you don’t yet have a Matrix account

  1. Install your preferred Matrix client (I recommend Element) or navigate to https://chat.optoutpod.com for a web client

  2. Click “Create Account”

  3. Select a username (this cannot be changed once set, so choose carefully!) and set a strong password

  4. You will be automatically joined to the main Opt Out channel and can go about joining whatever Matrix channels you’d like from there, and your account is hosted on my Matrix server!

If creating an account with the Element client or at app.element.io

  1. Click “Create Account”

  2. Click “Edit” at the top right to change homeservers

  3. Set the homeserver to “optoutpod.com” and click “Continue”

  4. Select a username (this cannot be changed once set, so choose carefully!) and set a strong password

  5. You will be automatically joined to the main Opt Out channel and can go about joining whatever Matrix channels you’d like from there, and your account is hosted on my Matrix server!

Recommended channels

While you’ll automatically be joined to the main Opt Out channel (#optout-general), here are some other channels that focus on similar content and community that I’d recommend you consider joining as well:

Conclusion

If you have any questions from this post or would like more information on a specific aspect of the post, please reach out via Twitter, Matrix, Threema, or email.