Slack is a foul pool of bad behaviors

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uh what? seriously maybe it’s your coworkers and not the tool? I mean you might as well shit all over SMS.


I’m all for blanket statements but… come on. Give me a break.


I recently started a Discourse instance to help me responsively and inclusively build software for 30 of our remote colleagues to use in their fieldwork. We’ll see if I end up with a community as robustly distinct as bbs…

  1. I thought Slack died… oh wait, that was Stride.

  2. Just like any chat or forum, how good or bad it is has more to do with the people involved, not the program itself.


Buh-buh-buh-but the death of email! What will be the new new paradigm if the new paradigm fails!?!


I work 100% remote and have for years. Previous clients used SILC (encrypted IRC). More recent clients and employers have all used Slack. All of those had rules and process around how they used slack. There was some fun, but it’s just not accepted to do anything off topic or unproductive. (Posting something interesting or inclusively funny to #random is fine). We’ve never had any of the problems you describe and I don’t see how we could do things half as well without real time, distributed communication. For example, I’ll ping #tech to see if everyone is good for a new deploy to production. We’ll have quick one/two or three person chats around design or implementation of something we’re working on that needs to integrate. Different business teams use Slack to coordinate Vetting and Due Diligence, the offices use local channels to announce events and just to mention treats in the breakroom so it serves alot of purposes even for folks who aren’t remote. Slack’s fine for that, but if it didn’t exist we would have to re-invent it (IRC, HipChat whatever).


I use Slack at work and I’ve never seen that happen.

Hell, I’ve seen much worse in email chains at previous jobs…


We use slack primarily for keeping coworkers up to date on our mountain of OSHA violations.


“Imagine what you’ll accomplish together.”

Um, no.


We’ve been using Slack at work for a while. I think we’ve been pretty good at not letting it become a cesspool so far. I think that’s due to the fact most folks are in smaller channels for each project and there’s a couple channels we cannot post anything to other than the managing devs (stuff like who’s out for the day, big announcements, and the like). It’s really about managing the communications but I think it’s over used when email is better for long form input that doesn’t fit conversational patterns. If anything, the best use of any chat protocol is to send quick messages about something coming up or just to notify the other party of the need for a face-to-face conversation. Anything more it needs to be put to another medium.


I agree with your point completely, and yet: group texts are the actual worst.


A rare bad take from Boing Boing. Slack is incredible. I work with remote teams all around the world, and Slack absolutely makes it possible. I mute the channels I’m not interested in. We have a dedicated “random” (read: meme spam) channels for the people who are apt to do that kind of thing. The “emoji reaction” feature cuts down on pointless “agree” messages. It’s a tool just like any other, use it correctly and it’s great.


No the worst are massive email chains where a significant amount of people have no business on it, and there are dozens of “reply all” messages of “remove me from this email chain”.


That sounds pretty much like what we did with lync when I worked remote, well we all did proper office desk or not as the team was all over North America so even with an ‘office’ I would not have been sitting next to my team mates.
We had a 2 group chats, one for our team, and one for multiple teams we interacted with to hand work off. The latter was simply ‘request 1234 now ready for SAN team’ so they could get on it right away instead of possibly not noticing and it sitting for a day and yes a day was a big time delay that could hurt our metrics.

Our team chat was open for anything that needed to be communicated to our team and to let us know the weekly telcon was not worth it this week so don’t bother. Any issues would be posed and taken to private chats/voice session for those actually working the problem.


My experiences with Slack were inoffensive. It’s not my favorite chat platform, but for work it suffices perfectly. I suspect the fault is with the people using it, not with what is, ultimately, just glorified IRC.

(It’s a pretty neat bit o’ glorification, though.)


I hate group texts but sometimes it’s the only way. I made an attempt to move a group text that was used to organize a weekly game night into a dedicated slack but almost no one would follow

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Check out Level. It’s a new slack competitor that’s aiming to fix some of the major problems with slack.

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That damn Bob Dobbs has a lot to answer for.


I use it for inter-organizational conversation with our fellow research organizations, and a separate instance for Viable Paradise related things. I’ve never seen any of these kinds of problems, which are really an issue of people not platforms.