Context collapse with Beeper

Beeper client with all the networks it can connect to

I have been meaning to write about context collapse with beeper for a long while. I have written about Beeper previously.. In short Beeper is a messaging client which takes advantage of Matrix’s bridge system to connect/bridge to many different networks.

This means I use Matrix every single day on my laptops and smartphones. Its great, as its connects to so many different networks including Discord and Slack, all without installing Slack or Discord on my phone and even laptop if I wanted to.

However there is a effect which is best described as (like) context collapse.

The amount of times I have received a message from someone on Linkedin, Facebook msg, Twitter direct message (which I don’t think works anymore – as you can imagine)., etc, etc. They all end up in my inbox and its super useful but sometimes I need to look at the little icon to then figure out what I should do next.

Should I treat it as serious, should I reply straight away or not worry too much. This is very apt when you are getting linkedin or twitter DMs. This is similar for Facebook messages.

It also affects the way you reply too, should I reply in my usual laidback style, should I add emojis, should I write a lot back, voice reply, etc etc.

Beeper descktop and mobile client running

It sounds stressful but actually I’m ok with it because the alternative of having lot of apps on my phone or laptop running would be far worst in my head. If there was a way to make the notifications per network that might be useful, but generally I’m ok with the context collapse, as the icons make it clear enough and force me to think.

This changes a bit when using my Android wear watch, which strips out such detail. So I generally don’t reply unless I know its from a friend or family. Although even that can be interesting as my mother is on sms & signal or a friend who is on sms, discord and facebook msg.

I kinda want to see a matrix bridge for activitypub (fediverse) but honestly with the amount of context collapse, I don’t think it would personally be a good idea for me.

Interested what others think about this all and would you like one client to do all your messages and potentially your social networking too?

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and

30 thoughts on “Context collapse with Beeper

  1. @cubicgarden Had to fit Beeper into my workflow. Turned out to be no point in using it for iMessages — those were people I was in constant communication with and not missing. I disconnected it.

    Useful for those other messaging apps I wind up on, many because it’s what they use in their country. Nice because I might otherwise miss a Messenger, Instagram, WhatsApp, whatever because they fall through the cracks.

    Means that most of my Beeper messages… are from Beeper about outages though.

  2. @cubicgarden I self host my matrix instance and use bridges with e2ee. I’ve found that organizing stuff into “spaces” has been essential to make sense of messages. E.g. i have a seperate space for messages from loved ones and meatspace friends and others for different projects I work on. It’s been a huge boon for ptojects that use multiple apps for comms (discord/slack/etc at once)

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