Slack’s original project codename was linefeed. Steward Butterfield revealed that Slack stands for Searchable Log of All Conversation & Knowledge:
I’ve been using Slack for years daily, yet I had no idea of its hidden acronym. In fact, I always wondered about the poor choice of a word “slack” as it can mean “slacking off” (being lazy) at work. That is the opposite of the promise of productivity boost that it supposed to deliver.
Yet I find it indispensable for communication in our small team. It feels like there is a sweet spot of between 5-20 users where it isn’t too noisy and distracting to use, while providing a bridge of communication between remote team members and make them feel connected.
Our very first channel on Slack has been creatively named #design. Even within our small team, I’m actively participating in 21 channels not including direct person, or multi-person message channels. For us it comes down to removing friction from communicating with each other whether it is simply by starting a phone / video call right from the channel, easily react to specific messages with emojis, mentioning someone directly or running a number of automated bots to notify of something happening on our site. Overall, Slack helps us as a team to be in sync on priorities, make decisions and brainstorm ideas. Searching for old stuff (logs) is helpful too, but isn’t really our biggest use case.
Slack made it a lot easier to communicate, but hasn’t really replaced our in person meetings, webcam hangouts, phone calls and email chains. They all still serve a purpose.
How do you use Slack in your team?