Commune is an open source community platform, specifically designed for publicly available communities. We're designing tools for projects that thrive in an open environment, perpetually improved by their wisdom of the crowd.
Built as a Matrix server extension (Synapse only for now; Conduit is coming) combined with a custom client to make use of said extensions, Commune inverts some major norms of the mainstream Matrix experience:
With the Matrix protocol as a stable backbone, Commune acts as an accessibility layer on top that optimizes for online community building by small and medium sized grassroots organisations, as opposed to the 'secure & private' focus of Element which targets governments and enterprises.
This project started in earnest three years ago, when ahq / @ChurchOfTheSubgenius revealed Hummingbard, the first iteration of what is now Commune.
Back then it was basically a Reddit-alternative built with Matrix. In other words, a federated links-aggregator much like Lemmy, but based on the Matrix protocol instead of ActivityPub.