Why Slack?

I have been running remote teams for almost a decade now. Tools available for remote teams have evolved a lot during this time.

In the early days tools like Skype made it easier to communicate with remote teams via text, audio and video. After that came a wave of tools like Dropbox, Google Docs that helped manage files in the cloud for remote teams. However, these utilities were never able to create a real office like environment. A real office doesn’t feel like you are transacting with a co-worker, but has a character to it. You don’t talk with co-workers only when you need something. You overhear other people talking about the new episode of The Game of Thrones. You crack jokes, you huddle. Not all these things can be done by remote teams, but having a “virtual office” can help get the team connected better.

HipChat

Slack

Slack Replies

Search wasn’t a big deal for us so that was the end of Slack’s evaluation.

Slack Re-evaluated

HipChat Asana Integration
Slack Asana Integration

Asana isn’t the only better integration. GitHub, Sentry and the webhook to push messages into Slack can be customized a lot more and provide a better experience. For instance, this is the same commit from Github to HipChat & Slack.

HipChat-GitHub Integration
Slack-GitHub Integration

Notice Board

Slack has a great feature for this use case. You don’t have to setup an internal WordPress blog, but just use their ‘Post’ feature. Anyone can write a post which can be shared with any channel or a person. It is great to capture things like your medium to long term goals, certain processes and in general company updates (especially if you are a big team.) The posts act as a ‘notice board’ (when was the last time you actually saw a notice board?) for the company.

Another great feature Slack has that I hadn’t even thought would be useful until we started using Slack — Favorite a Message. It is a like bookmarking a message for easy access for later on.

Not Everything Works

Another nitpick with Slack is that when writing a ‘post’, they use Markdown syntax. I would much rather use a WYSIWYG editor that can speed up formatting.

Slack Post Markdown

Email Killer & Future

Did I miss something? Would like a follow up on how we use Slack? Reach out here.

Originally posted here.

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