Never done this before so need some advice.

I work with people who work in a very niche area across multiple sectors and we would like to create some type of confidential method to communicate and network.

It has to be secure.

I am obviously not interested in FB or LinkedIn but would like to find some way to interact as a group.

The members would only be invited and be pre-approved.

I don't want something like a WhatsApp group as I don't want any option to spam or annoy members

Does anyone have any good suggestions?

Many thanks

Edit: Thanks Jan for the sensible additional points.

We will only be exchanging text info.

At its peak it would probably be 100 members

I and some others could dedicate a small amount of time to admin for a forum and we could allocate money to a solution but it would pobably be easier not to.


  • 1
    Welcome to the site. Can you add something about the nature and volume of the conversations? Do you anticipate long conversational threads (where you might benefit from a forum's threaded commenting), or will there be more "one-shot" messages and short conversations, and is this a few messages a week, a few messages a day, a hundred messages a day? Jul 10, 2019 at 21:53
  • Are you looking to self-host, cloud, or use another platform? That will influence the answers we can give to you.
    – JoelR
    Jul 30, 2019 at 2:57

1 Answer 1


If you don't want to host the "forum" yourself, you might consider using a Telegram group.

If you don't mind hosting it, there are all kinds of options you might consider:

  • IRC (may be too ephemeral)
  • forum software (there are many) behind some form of authentication
  • some kind of repository-aimed tool like GitLab
  • bug-tracking tools like Bugzilla or Trac
  • a wiki
  • some kind of CMS like Plone
  • some Google Docs -like thing such as ZoHo

Regardless of how you do it, though, keep in mind anyone may copy-paste or screenshot these "confidential" conversations out of your private environment.

  • 1
    Hi Warren Thanks very much for the comprehensive info. It has given me a lot to go on. All the best
    – jim slimm
    Jul 31, 2019 at 12:00

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