Slack is wonderful and awesome and horrible and bad. A rant.

Slack is the hot new thing. It’s killing email! It’s the best way to collaborate! <Insert awesome emoji here, also highlighting how great Slack is and how cool I am for knowing emoji.>

It’s so easy to create a new Slack team. That is, unless you want people from outside your domain to join. That’s cool, here’s this 20 step process to create a sign-up form on some other service so that people can join your group. My kids’ pre-school can master a sign-up form for snack day without having to download a gist from Github. No pressure.

Finding Slack teams to join is awesome and gives such a sense of accomplishment. It’s like Indiana Jones discovering the lost Arc. Except he at least had part of a map showing where it was, which is a lot more than you have for discovering Slack rooms. Here’s a tip: every time you stumble across a Slack room to join, buy a lotto ticket, because clearly luck is with you.

Slack is real-time, which is great. But wait. All of the sudden you’re wading through the 50 reaction gifs that just blew up your phone notifications from the 1,000 person web design Slack room you just joined. Slack is like what Ugthor, cave dwelling Neanderthal futurist, imagined the world of the tomorrow would be.

So you turn off notifications and then promptly forget to work through your 11 different logins to your 500 chat rooms[1].

But no, you get back up on that pony. John starts talking about one thing, but then Bill starts talking about something else at the same time. Before you know it, you’ve given yourself an aneurysm trying to mentally thread and follow the 15 different conversations going on at any one time in each room. Who doesn’t love the smell of hematoma in the morning; except, whoops, you’ve lost your sense of smell from the brain damage.

Slack is the best and one true way to collaborate. Also, interestingly, it’s your new employer. Who knew when you started using Slack that you were getting a new job: keeping up with Slack. The hours are long and the boss is a taskmaster who communicates only through emoji, but at least the pay is, well, umm, nevermind. Hope those lotto tickets pay out.

Look, I have three rules which I live by: Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city, don’t look directly into the light, and never go near a lady with a tattoo of a dagger on her hand.[2]

But that’s beside the point. Here’s the thing. I like chat as much as the next guy. Slack takes it to the next level (shoutout to Hipchat as well). And Stewart and his team are amazing people doing objectively awesome things. They deserve ALL the success. <Insert that 100% emoji here. See, I’m cool.>

But.

But.

You’re wrong if you think Slack replaces email. Email’s been killed more times than Freddy Krueger (kids, ask your parents). There’s a reason it’s not going anywhere. It works. Threads are an absolute necessity when multiple conversations are happening. You’re always going to check your email. And you don’t have to reply immediately.

You’re wrong if you think Slack’s the one true way to collaborate and will kill all others. Especially for larger teams. There is no one tool that fits all. Forums are awesome. So too are my personal favorite, email groups.[3]

You’re wrong if you think … hell, I don’t have a third point. I’m not a good writer. But you knew that.

In conclusion: <Insert shrugging guy emoji here. See, I’m cool!>

Also, if you have a moment, please check out Groups.io. We even integrate with Slack.

(This was also published on my blog, WingedPig).

[1] https://twitter.com/jkottke/status/694581357075390464
[2] Bastardized from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090142/quotes
[3] My startup, Groups.io