Sorry for the brief previous reply - I’ve been super busy with work, raising a family with kids on summer break, and personal projects. It’s 3am EST, and I find myself up in the middle of the night again, working. My sleep habits have been weird lately.
i love Slack. The company I work for, Speakaboos has remote teams in various locations. Previously, we used Skype as our main communications hub. It was great too, and allowed us to chat in various ways - group chats for team discussions, private chat for “pair programming” and other types of one-on-one interactions, video chat for our “standup” meetings (an agile programming thing), and one of my favorite features - screen sharing. Screen sharing has all kinds of great uses - giving a presentation to a group, or again - pair programming, when two developers needed to be looking at code together.
I discovered Slack about 6 months ago. It had one killer feature right off the bat that Skype didn’t have - the ability to paste graphics into the chat stream. We do a lot of design related things, so pasting screenshots directly into the chat was something I had always wanted to do with Skype. Honestly, if Skype had that feature, we probably wouldn’t have changed platforms so suddenly. Skype had a lot of traction with us, and moving everybody over to Slack took some effort. But we did it, and never looked back.
Besides pasting graphics into the chat stream, you can paste other types of links into the stream as well. Pasting a URL did the same sort of thing you see in Facebook, where it does its best to paste a little summary with a representative graphic. Pasting a YouTube link, pastes the actual video you can play without going to a browser - the video plays right there, in the chat stream.
Slack was free, and easy to set up. The switchover was pretty painless. As I got into Slack, being the administrator of the software, I started learning about its other features - integrations are like plug-ins - Slack is extendable to do all sorts of other neat things. Recently I’ve discovered that people are using Slack, not just for business communications but also developing online communities. I joined an IOS Developer Slack team, a Music team, a Guitar Talk team, and others. I created two of my own - one for Apple Music fans, and one for Audiobook and Podcast fans.
I could go on, singing the praises of Slack, but like I said - I’m pretty busy, and need to get to my ToDo list. Do yourself a favor and check out the Slack List - http://slacklist.info. Find a couple of topics you’re interested in, and join them. Some groups are still new, without a lot of engagement, but some are really booming! Let me know what your experience is like.