Discussed at our team offsite, I see two options:
- Make the Telegram channel less "unofficial", see https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Google_Code-in/2018#Unofficial_smalltalk_groups
- Consider using Zulip, like for Outreachy and GSoC. See https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Outreach_programs/Zulip for documentation.
I think I'd like to have feedback from the admins of the next GCI edition here, and we don't know yet who will be an admin or if GCI will take place.
I don't see either how to make most "mentors and admins" join any new channel if one outcome might be to only increase communication venue fragmentation.
I think until someone brings up new pro and con arguments that Telegram channel is our status quo. It's a less noisy place with a specific focus, and the IRC technology has enough disadvantages that Telegram probably makes sense, and Telegram has also been successfully used as a back channel for the last Wikimedia Hackathons, so that technology seems to be alright given the time of communication fragmentation that we live in.
I've also added it to the info for participants at https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Google_Code-in%2FParticipants&type=revision&diff=3429980&oldid=3398524
We should however encourage folks to join and explicitly mention it in emails and such. Noted in https://www.mediawiki.org/w/index.php?title=Google_Code-in%2FAdmins%2FEmail_templates&type=revision&diff=3429974&oldid=3125178