Common uses for Aether Pro

  • Aether is a flexible tool, so we’ve documented some real-world use cases inspired by our existing customers. While we keep names of our customers private, these are meant to be representative of actual use.
  • Some of these use cases overlap. For example, a single individual (a team of one) might use one or two cases at most, but a typical software startup would likely use at least a few of them at once.

Remote startup

  • Employees of your startup use Aether to collaborate. It takes place of your internal emails, and acts as a filter to make sure you only get discussions that you find interesting.
  • It also makes it so that the important content surfaces up via voting, but the rest is still available if you need it.
  • People who prefer to use the app get notifications, and the people who don’t want to install an app use it through email. Aether handles it seamlessly, regardless of the platform. Your director of engineering might be a command-line guy, and he can keep using his CLI email client just fine. (We even have a CLI via email of our own! Mail actions)
  • The internal mail traffic is significantly reduced, retained for documentation purposes, and made searchable. And the shared inbox that is the channel becomes the canonical record of decisions made. When a new employee gets onboarded, he or she will have access to all prior “tribal knowledge” of the team from day zero.
  • This startups also uses channel members to add their customers into a discussion group so they get continuous user feedback.
  • Since they are no longer getting Slack pings every fifteen minutes, the engineers and other folks who need to focus to do their work are now more productive, and they can deliver their work faster.
  • Their total is about 20 employees added as team members, and a few hundred customers added as channel members.
Total cost for this case
18 employees (18 x $10/mo)
9 contractors (free)
89 private channels, 3 public channels (free)
$180 a month

Customer support

  • A software startup needs a lightweight way to handle support emails, and convert them to conversations support reps are assigned to handle. Their support email is
  • They go to their team profile page and create a mail pipe, and makes it so that their forwards the emails to the mail pipe. Mail pipes are custom emails that can do things for you.
  • The admin chooses the ‘support’ use case for this mail pipe. As a result, this pipe will look at the sender of the email, if there’s no prior correspondence, create a channel for that account, pick a support representative from the pool, and add the rep to that channel.
  • As a result, a channel will be created, and a handling person will be added. This channel will be visible to teammates so that the support supervisor can read and jump into the conversation if needed.
  • Every new case sent by that customer will be collected in that unique channel for the customer as new threads. Ongoing conversations in the existing threads will get added to those threads as posts.
  • This allows that channel to represent the totality of the startup’s relationship to the customer. All tickets that they have created is there, with a support person assigned to them, with responses from both sides visible.
Total cost for this case
1 support supervisor, 8 support representatives (team member, 9 x $10/mo)
176 customers reached out for support (channel members, free)
176 customer channels to track conversations created automatically by Aether, 1 channel for internal discussion in the support team (channels, free)
$90 a month

Colleges and educational institutions

  • In a college department, every teacher is added as a team member. Teachers or the admin create the channels corresponding to each class (CS101), and the students are added in with their emails. (Alternatively, they can sign up themselves if the teacher makes the channel public.)
  • The teacher uses this to post assignments, deliver announcements, and offer a lightweight way to allow students to talk to each other within that class’ context.
  • At the end of the semester, the channel of the class is marked as archived to allow for the new, upcoming class of students to come in. Students can keep using their old CS101 channel to talk to each other if they like.
Total cost for this case
25 professors in a department (team members, 25 x $10/mo)
250 students (channel members, free)
18 classes per semester (channels, free)
$250 a month

Open source projects

  • Useful for: maintainers and core dev team who wants to have a private place for their own discussion, but also maintain a community of users
  • Core team adds themselves in as team members. This gives them access to all channels, some of which are private to team members only.
  • They also create a channel for their sponsors and/or Patreon supporters, a supporters@ group. These people use the app through email, which means they get discussion in these channels as emails, but they do not get sign-in rights. This group is invite-only.
  • Lastly, they create a public users@ group. This group is open for public and people can sign-up via the web link. They will also receive the discussion as emails and participate through that.
  • Since Aether is a post-based medium, rather than a chat-based medium like Slack, it is uniquely amenable to having deeper conversations about software, or even sending patch requests. It also has Markdown and code highlighting in 180+ languages.
  • The core team or volunteers added to the core team moderate the discussions within the public groups, while the development discussion can take place in the appropriate channel. If desired, this channel, like any other channel, can be made public so that people can join the conversation as well.
  • If the community wants to move out, that is also easy since for most of the members it is used through email, not a proprietary communication method like Slack. Even if people move out of Aether, they will be able to keep their copy of conversations in their mailboxes.
Total cost for this case

Note: Aether Pro is free for open-source projects

Aether Pro is a product born out of open source Aether P2P project (which we also built and continue to maintain), so we are proud to offer Aether Pro to other open-source projects for free as far as our capacity allows. If you’d like that please reach out to us here and we’ll create a service code for your project for free access.

8 maintainers (team member, 8 x $10/mo)
2187 in the users community (channel members, free)
14 channels, some of them public, some private (14 channels, free)
~~$80~a~month~~ Zero

A company working with contractors or external providers

  • Contractors are added to the appropriate projects’ channels, and they work with the employees of the company which are team members. This allows the contractors to not have to join the team’s instance thus create yet another login to deal with, and also allows the employees to interact with the contractor in their natural environment, with the full conversation with the contractor available for everyone.
  • This solves the who-said-what game when working with external providers since both the provider and the employees can point to the conversation that is visible to everyone in the ‘group inbox’ (i.e. channel)
Total cost for this case
12 employees (team member, 12 x $10/mo)
5 contractors (channel members, free)
8 channels, 2 for ongoing projects, 5 for major branches of work such as engineering or product, and one for the contractors (channels, free)
$120 a month

Venture capital

  • An investment firm adds the founders of their portfolio companies into a channel. They use this to introduce companies to each other, make it so that they all benefit from the newest perks from the company, and foster discussion and camaraderie across their talented founder base.
  • Since this channel is private and lightweight (running entirely through email for the founders), it also adds no overhead.
Total cost for this case
7 investors and associates (team member, 7 x $10/mo)
48 co-founders in the investment cohorts (channel members, free)
3 investment cohorts (each a channel, free)
$70 a month

A startup’s users community

  • A product startup adds the users of their product into their private community channel that lives within their Aether instance they also use for their internal communication.
  • Instead of running a public forum, this runs through email, so the discussion is only visible to the customers, manageable by the employees and it allows the company to keep a pulse on their customers’ happiness.
Total cost for this case
1 startup's community engagement lead (team member, 1 x $10/mo)
150 product users in the discussion channel (channel members, free)
1 product-feedback mailing list (channel, free)
$10 a month


  • Conference owners create a channel for conference participants to broadcast the events and changes. It allows the event organiser to correct and update timetables if needed, and all of those can be kept in an email thread.
  • People can respond, they can have a conversation with each other, not just the organisers, and no one’s email address gets exposed to each other.
Total cost for this case
8 conference organisers (team members, 8 x $10/mo)
400-500 conference participants (channel members, free)
2 conference tracks, 5 workshop classes (7 channels, free)
$80 a month

Private communities

  • Useful for: a person who wishes to have a private, lightweight community over email but don’t want to maintain a website like Discourse (which is not lightweight), or other forum software, nor does he or she want to create a mailing list and get into deep intricacies of running mailing list servers and moderating discussions within them.
  • For participating people, the content is directly delivered into their mailboxes, it’s not yet another login or a forum that they have to check. It is also the full content in the email that is being delivered, not a ‘click here to see full message’ teasers. They can respond, and their responses will form something like a Reddit thread within the email for everyone to see.
  • Moderators are added as team members, and participants are added as channel members.
  • Admin or moderators choose whether the community is open for public sign-ups, or it is invite-only. Moderators can also remove posts or people from the group as needed.
  • This gives the person a great way to build a community that is private and invite-only or public, but still private enough that its contents won’t show up on the internet on a Google search.
  • The moderators can also use the platform to create multiple communities with different subscriber sets, so there can be an arbitrary number of participants with an arbitrary number of people in them. Some of the channels could be, for example, exclusively for Patreon-supporters of the given creator.
Total cost for this case
1 admin, 1 moderator (team member, 2 x $10/mo)
751 people who signed up for the community (channel members, free)
7 meet-up groups (7 channels, free)
$20 a month


  • A meetup owner in San Francisco creates a channel for his or her meetup, marks the channel as public, and sends the sign-up link for that channel to the meetup members. The benefit is that the meetup participants now have access to a low-noise, very lightweight network that they can email and keep up to date with each other, without having to sign up.
  • Meetup owner gets a place to post the new meetups and people get a place to talk about their interests. Meetup owner can also moderate this channel and remove disruptive people as needed as well.
Total cost for this case
1 meet-up organiser (team member, 1 x $10/mo)
78 meetup participants (channel members, free)
3 meet-up groups (3 channels, free)
$10 a month

Residential building administration

  • A building administrator has channels for each of the different blocks and uses them to communicate work orders, outages and upcoming repairs.
  • These channels also double as a lightweight communication method for neighbours to talk to each other.
  • There is also a channel for flat owners, and another for tenants that are living in the units so that the appropriate notifications can go to appropriate people.
  • The admin team can moderate these communities so that they don’t get out of hand. Since these communities are private, no one from the outside sees them, the only way to join them is to be added in by the administrator. This makes so that the lists require minimal management and overhead.
Total cost for this case
3 building admins (team member, 1 x $10/mo)
720 residents (channel members, free)
3 channels (channels, free)
$10 a month

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