Working in social media, there’s no way in hell our team would just turn round and chat to each other. We were using all sorts of platforms to chat between us, then Jeremy fixed us up on the Slack communication app. Because I’m so amenable and open to trying new things, I was immediately scathing about it before even looking at it. We have so many mediums of communication – texting, Google Hangouts, email, Facebook Messenger, phones, chatting, I couldn’t see how we’d need another.
Wrong. I’m here to give it the right royal a thumbs up. It’s quite tricky to explain how it works. As with so many social media tools, you can only really learn how it works by using it. I can tell you what it’s really good at though.
It’s excellent for teams who communicate with each other about all sorts of different things. Anyone in the group can join any channel of conversation. We have a lot of channels such as #brightideas (speaks for itself) #each client has their own channel, #banter so we can talk non work related rubbish and very excitingly for me, #content. Every time someone spots an interesting article or comes up with an angle, they type it in the content channel and the whole lot is kept there so I can scroll back whenever I like and pick out ideas to write about. You can direct message each other through the app and all conversations and channels are neatly filed for you down one side of the screen. You can attach documents, pictures, sound files, anything. They are embedded throughout the conversation stream so you don’t have to go searching for an attachment.
We all love it. Jeremy and I are often in the Mount whilst the others are in Auckland. Slack means we can easily join in conversations about a particular client and the history of the conversation is recorded so you can scroll back through it. Even better, you can search the whole thing by word or phrase so you don’t spend ages trying to find a snippet of conversation you are sure you’ve had.
Slick techy video producers Sandwich Video took the same ‘meh’ approach as I did when they were asked by Slack to produce a video on their behalf telling them that those communications products never work. Then they started using it. Then they wanted to make a idea about it. Here it is.