Slack seems to be the darling of the community world, particularly in tech areas it seems -
I think they do a great job promoting good technology. I even see a point in having access to it as a tool - but I struggle, personally, to see how it REALLY works for building a community.
Some community platforms are focused on the USER - they are closer to social networks.
- in these, you follow people, you get alerts when they post, you create private groups around memberships, rather than ideas, information is organised around user’s collections of posts, and content is tagged primarily by who posted it.
Some community platforms are focused on the TOPICS / CONVERSATIONS - these are forums [and my preferred source of ‘community’]
- in these you mainly work through lists of conversations divided into categories and topics, you can see who posted and who has contributed, but the primary structure is the information posted and the management is less about connections between people, but about meaningful classification of content
Now, it seems to me (after years of using it) that Slack is neither of these. You get minimal ways of connecting to users or learning much about them, and information is organised into rooms but not structured according to topic, but by time. It relies HEAVILY on search and makes it harder to glance through recent updates to find relevance to you.
It is great for quick conversations and messaging, and is more immediate that email. It is better than emailing as well in that the rooms act as tagging of that conversation according to some topic that is relevant to sender & receiver, BUT it does not change the fact that the user experiences information overload. In fact if you are a member of more than a very few active Slack teams you can get completely overloaded with updates.
Whilst I might want to run Slack to keep key members of a community/team alerted to immediate information when they are remote from each other, I would not build a community as a whole on Slack.
Is it just me?