Wikimedia uses Zulip for its Outreach programs to connect students and mentors. Zulip is a free and open source chat group application.
How to join Wikimedia Zulip
Wikimedia uses the Zulip instance at http://wikimedia.zulipchat.com. You can sign up for Zulip with your email address, Google or Github credentials.
How messages in Zulip are organized
Conversations in Zulip are organized into streams. Streams are subdivided into topics.
Streams are similar to chatrooms and mailing lists: They determine who receives a message. Each conversation thread in a stream is a topic: This is similar to the subject line of an email (though topics are usually shorter, e.g. "logo design", not "feedback on the new logo design?"); it organizes messages into topic threads.
Users can discuss a topic in a more focused and structured way, and users can search their messages and get started on particular topic faster.
Chat workflows in Zulip
Some users who have not used Zulip before may some difficulties to understand chat workflows in Zulip. Here is some explanation and tips:
- When starting a new conversation, remember to start a new topic.
- Don't worry about interrupting, each conversation has its own space ("topic").
- If you see a conversation where the last message was sent a few hours (or days!) ago, feel free to reply anyway. It'll be easy for everyone to see your reply in context, regardless of anything else that has happened on the stream in the meantime.
- Feel free to @-mention a person when you want that person to see your topic. The @-mentioned people will get a notification in their Zulip account.
Documentation how to use Zulip in general is available at https://zulipchat.com/help/.
Why we encourage the use of Zulip
IRC chat is currently a communication tool for many projects, and it can be quite appropriate for many of them. But it is not a mobile friendly tool, and not ideal for adhoc but timely mentoring. For Google Summer of Code, Outreachy, and GSoD, we want to offer participants and mentors technology in order to maximize their outcomes and reduce the failure rate. A good mobile app is mandatory for mentors to be available for the participant in a timely fashion.
For further information, this topic had been discussed in phab:T150732.