Past: Moved to Slack
In 2016, Creative Commons (CC) moved to Slack as our primary messaging platform (We're on Slack! Join us! - Creative Commons). We are very thankful for the generous support that Slack has provided. The Slack messaging platform is far more accessible than IRC. We saw an immediate and sustained increase in our messaging community (A month of Slack: Growing global communities every day - Creative Commons, Lessons learned from a year of Slack, 1000 members, and immeasurable community growth - Creative Commons). We currently have 10,293 members in our Slack workspace. Of those, we see daily activity from an average of 250 of them spread across almost 70 public channels. The Slack platform is not without valid criticisms, but those will be addressed in the Future: Open Source section, below.
Present: Dropping IRC
When CC moved to Slack, we also set up a bridge with our three IRC channels on Freenode. However those channels only see ones of active users and tens of messages per year. With the hostile takeover of Freenode in 2021, the Free/Libre and Open Source (FOSS) community has largely moved to libera.chat. However, we will not be moving our Slack/IRC bridge there. Effective 2022-01-24 we are dropping IRC as an officially supported messaging platform. In addition to there having been very few active users on IRC, many of the active IRC users also have active Slack accounts. Dropping IRC will allow us to better allocate our technical resources to better serve the community as a whole.
Future: Open Source
Over the years, Slack has had performance and UX issues. It is also designed around assumptions that do not fit a large open community. Those issues have not prevented it from being a strong and capable messaging platform that has served our community well. However, an Open Source messaging platform would better align with the Creative Commons community and the values we champion. The Open Source and Open Content communities have long enjoyed a significant overlap and collaboration. With regards to messaging, we hope to increase that overlap in the next year or two.