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    • 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? 

    • Back when Slack first started to emerge as a popular app after a nerve-wracking, slow start for the team, I listened to some interviews with Stewart Butterfield, whom I knew from his Flickr days.

      When asked why it took off, he said he had no idea. He thought it would be for bringing all forms of communication in the office together and making them searchable, but he said that's not how it was being used. He said people were using it for chat and collaboration, two words they had banned from their marketing because there were so many other products out there that did it.

      Personally I think it's genius is its humanity. Their messages are so informal, warm and funny — not all corporate like most business programs. Even their release notes are hilarious.

      What I don't like about it is it brings an expectation that you can interrupt anyone and there's an expectation of a quick response. It's like texting, but in the office. If you're writing something important that takes concentration, Slack is there to invade your concentration and it gets crazy as the size of the org grows.

    • I use Slack as part of my volunteer work with ACLU People Power.

      It provides an easy way for us to reach out to ACLU staff when we need more information to answer a helpdesk ticket. It's also helpful for volunteers to communicate with each other.

      It provides a communications mechanism to reach out to volunteers who participate in calling and texting campaigns.

    • One of the things I REALLY love about Slack is how convenient a middleware platform it makes itself. I have an app that lets me monitor multiple workspaces (and I have like 12 at this point), and in each of those environments, all of my supporting tooling (GSuite, Atlassian, etc.) is DEEPLY integrated. Even though these workspaces have entirely different purposes and processes, the underlying platform is awesome in all of them. The bots are really fantastic (and that's not something I say; I absolutely despise Facebook bots), and it's super convenient to have a #commits channel where I can monitor all code pushes with deep links to my repo. How fantastic is that?