How to Slack with Strangers
Or, Seeking Out Cool People You Haven’t Met Yet
As many of you already know, Slack’s a group chat service that a bunch of companies are use to replace or augment their email services. Here’s a video about Slack that Adam Lisagor/ Sandwich Video created to explain how it works:
Increasingly, Slack’s becoming a way for special interest groups to gather, meet, and “talk” (virtually) about whatever’s on their mind.
I’m currently a member of 4 Slack groups:
- Outdoorsy — where I work.
- Medium — where I edit the Invisible Illness publication.
- Women in Product — a Slack-created Slack group for tech women, very Inception-like.
- Beautiful Voyager, the Slack group I created to help overthinkers connect with each other.
The Beautiful Voyager Slack channel has, as of today, 57 full time members. There are only about 10 active members at any given time. The people in the Slack group come from a variety of backgrounds and places around the world. I don’t even know who everyone is, which is fine as far as I’m concerned. My goal is to create community, which means creating the right space for people to feel comfortable hang out. I can’t control what will happen in that space — or when.
I started the BV Slack channel earlier this year when I wanted a space to be able to connect with people without having to go through the hassle of using social media apps. I wanted the connection to be seamless with the rest of my life. I also wanted to know if I could get other overthinkers like me to find out that they weren’t alone. How hard would it be to get everyone talking?
Creating the right channels helped
It took a while to figure out what kind of channels worked for this kind of social group on Slack. One of the keys was that the channels needed a really clear purpose.
It’s relaxing to know exactly what each channel is for. It removes decision fatigue. We use the #wins room to share small daily wins. It always makes me happy to see that channel lit up.
#reading room is perfect for sharing a great article or to see what people are learning about. #business building is a great fit for people in the tech industry. It has new productivity tips or solutions for small businesses.
#lettingthisgo is where we write what we want to toss away. It works, too.
In the case of the BV Slack group, what ties us all together is that we’re curious and engaged with the question of what it means to be both sensitive and strong in today’s fast-moving world.
One of my big ground rules is: It’s always OK to drop away from the group and return whenever you feel like it. The goal is no pressure.
If you’re curious about the Beautiful Voyager Slack group, or want to join, find out more about how to do so here.