Thu 9 Oct 2014 5:37AM

Should OpenFarm try out Slack for real-time discussion?

R Ryan Public Seen by 197

Slack is a replacement to IRC for real-time chat. It has different chat rooms for splitting out topics (ie. development, general discussion, deployment, crop info, etc). It has some great advanced features too for hooking in services (ie. live deploy info/errors, twitter mentions, etc), super easy file uploads for discussing mock-ups, etc.

I think it would help us feel more cohesive as a remote team across time-zones and help those on the outside feel more included in the discussion; one downside is that new members have to be explicitly added ($7/mo service has guest abilities), but I imagine we can make this process very welcoming and generally this is a tool for the working team.

Should we try it out?


Ryan Thu 9 Oct 2014 5:38AM


Poll Created Thu 9 Oct 2014 5:41AM

Should we use Slack? Closed Sun 12 Oct 2014 5:07AM

by Ryan Wed 26 Apr 2017 10:34AM

We will give Slack a shot for real-time communication with larger community decisions being made on Loomio (hopefully with some Slack integration too!)

See above!


Results Option % of points Voters
Agree 75.0% 3 RA DU R
Abstain 0.0% 0  
Disagree 25.0% 1 RC
Block 0.0% 0  

4 of 39 people have participated (10%)


Thu 9 Oct 2014 5:42AM

I think Slack is a wonderful tool and will help us all work together more efficiently.


Rick Carlino
Fri 10 Oct 2014 12:13PM

See previous comment.


Rory Aronson
Fri 10 Oct 2014 9:38PM

Happy to try it out


simonv3 Thu 9 Oct 2014 10:10AM

I would personally prefer something that is opensource and we can host on our own servers, but does a similar thing, but Slack is pretty awesome, and it's definitely good for staying in touch with people across timezones if your whole team is on board.

I don't think we need the paid for version, I think we can create some nifty commands to publish meeting results, etc onto slack.

It's a shame about not having guests.

Maybe one of us should build a roll-your-own slack ;)


Rick Carlino Fri 10 Oct 2014 12:12PM

I use Slack at my day job and can say it's a great product, but I'm giving the thumbs down to this one.

I think using a different chat tool isn't going to change the adoption rate. The reality is that the only chat tool we've been able to consistently use for the past 18 months is G+. That seems to be the one that everyone wants to use. Getting a slack account will just be one more tab I need to keep open.

"Retroshare" (http://retroshare.sourceforge.net/) is an open source, peer-to-peer, decentralized, team management suite that I have been interested in in the past for those wanting to go the open source route.

My 2 cents is we just keep using G+ / Gdocs as our team management solution and give people a link to an IRC webchat page when we need to have large group discussions.


Ryan Fri 10 Oct 2014 5:59PM

We have a lot of platforms to talk on, but I strongly believe this could be the go-to one for anything not large enough to warrant a full Loomio/GitHub discussion. While G+ is what we default to, I don't think that means it's what's best.

Personally, I know I can reach out to you or Simon on G+, but I don't readily have Andru's or Rich's contact info, nor do I feel able to reach out on a whim. It took me awhile to finally reach out and connect with Ghislaine, but once I did I got the sense it was easier for her to conversationally ask questions and catch up where before there wasn't as approachable a place for her to do that. When I have questions I often feel like I'm probably bothering someone, and that I don't want to ask just one person, or just who's on IRC, and it doesn't make sense to make a whole Loomio/GitHub discussion.

I think it's easy for those relatively on the outside of the core to feel out of the loop. Currently, when I log onto IRC I see a blank wall and generally one other person online that makes me feel like nothing has been going on, and when I sometimes feel able to ask a question, I almost never see a response either because no one responds, no one sees it, or more likely I close the tab or app before anything happens. A history of what's discussed in a format like Slack makes it easy to catch up and be ready to go.

Slack can bring us persistence of chat, reducing catch up time and answering repeated questions, and provides a more friendly place than IRC for everyone to connect. At the end of the day I'm trying to read Loomio discussions and GitHub issues, but I can't help but feel like there's discussion going on elsewhere that I'm not a part of, despite trying. I think Slack is one of the best tools to fix all of the above and provide us a lot of extra niceties like deploy info, errors, easy GitHub issue creation, etc. Why did you team switch to Slack at work?


Ryan Fri 10 Oct 2014 8:17PM

Just serendipitously found this video from XOXO Festival. Bandcamp runs as a virtual company without an office and their co-founder makes a little mention in the video how they switched from IRC to Slack :)


Rory Aronson Fri 10 Oct 2014 9:38PM

I have not used slack before but some other Shuttleworth Foundation projects use it and love it. The one time I did use IRC, "netsplits" happened - basically ruined the meeting, and then I didn't realize that if I closed the window and came back a few hours later, there is no saved history :( Plus, IRC is pretty decrepit and rather user unfriendly IMHO.

I think it makes sense to use for real-time communication among the team, and I'd like to try it out.

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