Amused that the outage today is preventing so much work from being done, when decentralized platforms like @matrix still exist and are running just fine. Why do people keep using these walled gardens?

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@downey @matrix

That's actually an easy question to answer: The IT guy who has to pick these platforms is *essentially* responsible for the decision.

If a self-hosted or non-mainstream solution goes down or has a problem, its *his* fault. And he's get piled on by the ignorant for using a "non-standard solution."

If he gets them to buy Slack and it goes down, it's Slack's fault, as he used an "industry standard solution."

Why should the IT person stick their neck out for that?

@gedvondur Not really a convincing argument IMHO. The "IT guy" can also just buy a @matrix instance (with support contracts) from someone like EMS or others.

@downey @matrix I agree.

But that does not shield him from criticism of there is problems with the system. Its the same problems that startups have when competing with established companies.

Somebody in authority will always say "We wouldn't have that problem if we used Big Platform X like they did at my last company" regardless of the truth of that statement.

So again I reiterate: What incentive other than moral righteousness does the average IT guy have in using fringe solutions?

@downey @matrix

I'm not trying to be antagonistic, just hoping for a better answer. For years, I've tried to justify using smaller/different solutions rather than going back to the Big Vendors, but it always runs into the "Nobody Ever Got Fired For Buying IBM/Cisco/Dell/Slack/Oracle" wall.

@gedvondur @matrix Maybe but I'm less interested in hypotheticals that scare people away and more interested in actual evidence of that happening.

The boss can pay EMS and get a 5-nines SLA and support contracts, which is as good or better service than you can get by paying Slack too. Ultimately in my experience procurement is all about having someone to blame if something goes wrong and that's what support agreements are about, in theory.

@downey @matrix

I have no quarrel with your assessment of the technical and support merits. You are right! But this is a *human* problem, not a technical one.

As to evidence...I worked at one of those big vendors I mentioned and do competitive intelligence for a living. I can tell you this: It's absolutely a thing. The big vendors *count* on it.

The vast majority of IT guys are not passionate tech folks and just want to get paid with a minimum of risk. Sad, but that's the way it is.

@gedvondur @downey @matrix

It is sad but i have to confirm your point @gedvondur !

It is also my experience that the decision maker in the end is not a classical IT guy but a economics-background manager in the IT department.

He will not take the risk because in return nobody will thank him for the savings or independency of a decision for a foss&decentralized solution.

If something goes wrong (it does not matter if it's a problem of the particular software or just the server it is running on or if the employees just dislike the GUI) there is no big company behind this FOSS product to blame.

If it is MS Teams, Slack... then the problems are accepted as fate and won't be blamed on the manager.

I'm currently a (smaller) decision maker in my company and i'm currently risking my job by replacing proprietary servers and software against FOSS technologies. If there will be a security issue it will be my fault (even if we will host the stuff in a third-partyNOC).

@gedvondur @downey @matrix
Another remark: if I succeed I won't get any appreciation or money for it, it will not even be remarked... It is just for my own purpose and interest.. At the end even a little bit selfishness...

My budget will be reduced by the saved amount. If we have to go back to Windows servers, I will have to fight for a budget raise again ;)

Of course I hope to deliver more flexibility, lower costs and a job enrichment for my IT teams (even if most of my admins have currently no Linux skills and not really happy to envolve in that direction).

@Calypso1 @downey @matrix Also 100% true. Especially the budget comment. Do your damndest and get budget cuts for doing it.

I've often remarked that while the average IT guy is happy to save money for the company, he's not going to do it if it hurts his career or makes him eat shit sandwiches from ignorant managers.

The money isn't coming from *his* wallet and employers have been making it clear that everyone is instantly replaceable for years.

@Calypso1 @downey @matrix

I agree entirely.

We are seeing more evidence that the decision makers are more and more coming from the line of business as well in larger companies, with IT only having an advisory seat at the table.

A quote from Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, that I think sums up where we are going collectively:

“Never has technology been more important to customers and never have they cared less about the details of that technology.”

@gedvondur Exactly. It reminds me of the 1970s mantra of "Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM!".

@gedvondur @downey @matrix

Using externally-hosted services solves a myriad of problems for sysadmins and higher-ups, until it goes down for a long time, or data is lost, corrupted, or compromised, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Even so, "nobody ever got fired for using IBM services" still applies.

@gedvondur @downey @matrix

As far as highly available, enterprise services, probably the best situation is "we own it and host it, but have iron-clad 24x7 service and support contract with vendor."

Even so, I've seen senior admins roasted for things beyond their control, or for simple human error 1 in 100,000 times they did something.

If someone on my team screwed up I would go to mgmt, this happened & I'm responsible.

"Henry, I'm so tired of your I chopped the cherry tree!"

"Thank you!"

@hhardy01 @downey @matrix I don't know if I'd sign on saying "self hosted is best" but only because I firmly believe that there are more customer use cases than I can easily hold in my head.

But my instincts agree with the idea. I was raised in the "do it yourself" IT tradition.

@gedvondur @downey @matrix

I am talking about IT departments with a 100 million dollar plus budget. Like Fortune 50 companies or major research universities.

Small businesses buy off the shelf services perforce.

The days of "hire a sysadmin and let them do whatever they want because wizard stuff" are unfortunately gone, except for in my own self-hosted projects, so there's that. I still do cloud stuff too, it's inescapable.

@hhardy01 @downey @matrix I was thinking more "Fortune 250" myself. But I see what you are saying. I think the rules start to change at Fortune 50.

I think to break this cycle IT folks need to start translating IT concerns into business concerns sans the technical explanations. The business people cutting the checks do not want technobabble and don't' share IT's concerns. So its on IT to expand its vocabulary to achieve both business and IT goals. Or get increasingly ignored.

@hhardy01 @downey @matrix True. I struggle to tell small vendors and small OSS support organizations how to get beyond the "IBM" problem.

The best I've come up with is customer case studies proving they do what they say.

@downey @cwebber @matrix At my work it was a particularly baffling decision since our bugtracker actually already has a messaging interface very much not unlike Slack built in. I was never in fact given a rationale for us deciding to go with Slack instead (which integrates less well with our workflows) but I suspect it was a case of familiarity and the network effect, as my co-workers and bosses are mostly certified engineers and generally stick to whatever they already know at all costs.

@keithzg @matrix @cwebber The adoption of Slack seems to have been directly correlated to their marketing spend more than any other factor...

@downey @keithzg @matrix @cwebber The biggest single catalyst I saw was when Automattic ( switched the whole project over to it. Instantly it seemed like many tech companies immediately followed suit.

As Automattic is now moving to Matrix I'm hoping some will follow them again.


If only the Fediverse or decentralized Worlds would have enough money so that Derek Caelin
could make funny TV ads while people eat Pizza,
people would not use #Slack …

@downey @matrix >running just fine

at least recommend Mattermost as a Slack replacement, not the hecking matrix

@epi @matrix Last I checked Mattermost didn't do federation and still represented a single point of failure. If that has changed I'm happy to recommend it 🙂

@downey @matrix Mattermost is a service that you host. It is not federated, just like Slack.

@downey @epi @matrix slack doesn't do federation either, clearly that isn't the feature people want for a corporate chat ap

@downey @epi @matrix okay, I was wrong.

Never seen it used, I just have a plethora of idependent slack accounts.

Which is still more usable than Teams attempt at the same, clearly no one at MS has ever had to use the multiple server implementation.

@downey @epi @matrix my company uses it because it is more secure than slack........

@LovesTha @downey @epi @matrix more secure for whom? Microsoft, for sure. Your company? Nah. Not so much.

@LovesTha @downey @epi @matrix we make a lot of use of RocketChat - it's proven to be superb (even though it uses MondoDB)... and it supports federation:

@downey Because it's cheaper to hire a lawyer to figure out a contract than to keep an IT department around. Not saying that this makes the decision any better.

@downey @matrix It's always cool to read about these outages on decentralized Mastodon after not noticing them myself because I don't use centralized bullshit 🤣 #MatrixFTW

@nipos @downey @matrix seriously though! i love this. i had no idea slack was out until somebody posted about it this morning, then all i had to do was laugh because it affects me in no way shape or form! decentralization for the win, every time.

@wauz @downey "Freedom of choice" is exhausting and its true value might be hidden for a long period time.

It's more than only choice. Young generation is used to, addicted to walled gardens. Literally.
When I was pre-school, I used to stroll around the whole place. No, it's not, that nobody cared. Everybody did. There was a kind of supervision.
Parenting has changed from decent supervision to rigid surveillance and total control.
You even can't leave a playground without the help of a full grown as a child.
I find THAT frightening!

@wauz @Lamdarer Interesting comparison. It would be an interesting sociological study to try to show that kind of causal connection, empirically...

This is, based on my experience of empirical sociology, a too hard nut to crack for sociologists. This is clearly a psychological issue. We ain't got tools and methods for that kind of research.


@wauz @Lamdarer Yeah maybe so, although I feel like socio-economic and cultural influence would play a big part in fear complexes. Regardless, important questions.

After all, sociology is the scientific butcher shop, where we make sausage from the leftovers of other faculties.
On the other hand, we were the best experts to organize evidence finding research on the spreading of viruses like Sars-2. Virologists and epidemiologists sucked completely so far.

@downey @matrix people buy into walled gardens because few of them can imagine the loss of freedoms they take for granted until well after it's too late.

@lightweight @downey @matrix meh. more so, few of the alpha geeks are demonstrating how important it is to be an edge runner, to be able to live free & push further.

@jauntywunderkind420 @downey @matrix dunno. I think one can lead a horse to water... but beyond that, there has to be thirst and savvy :)

@lightweight i don't disagree with that at all. i just thikn even the best of us look pretty lack-luster & un-impressive these days. there's little draw for others, when the best look like they're fairing all the same.

full agree, maybe we can make things radically better & no one will notice or care. but right now, few of us are living exceptionally better technical existences. most of us are still trapped on one or two workstations, living in some sad dark pre-cloud personal computing environment, often with cobbled-together environments we've artisanally manufactured. this is not how we win.

@jauntywunderkind420 Huh. Not sure that describes how I live :) I benefit from my own cloud quite a lot...

@jauntywunderkind420 @downey @matrix very very painfully slowly non-alpha geeks are starting to realise the folly of putting too many eggs in one basket and allowing too much power to concentrate... stuff like this: and (these concern the Frightful Five, among whom Salesforce would *love* to be).

@downey @matrix @cwebber because it costs money to host and maintain these things ourselves and businesses prefer to spend money on their business :)

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