A super detailed look at how we use Slack

Lots of folks have posted to this list asking for advice with online community tools, or a specific piece of coworking software. Everyone has a favorite (or not...maybe you're just barely tolerating the tools you use), but no matter the csse I haven't seen anyone really dive deep into the specifics of how any one tool gets used effectively.

So I decided to give it a try, and I'm pretty happy with how it came out :slight_smile: give it a listen!

We have more of these on the way, this was first by popular request! Hope you dig it.

-Alex

Thanks Alex!

Glen and I listened to the podcast this morning. It was great to hear examples the Slack channels Indy Hall has and how Slack is introduced to members. Also good to be reminded that establishing an online community using Slack (or any tool for that matter) has to be something that comes from members. We’ve tried the “hey - we have this thing called Slack and here’s what it’s for and here’s some channels - you should use them” approach. You’re right. It doesn’t work.

I also liked the “invitation, not announcement” reminder. We’ve had a hard time figuring out how to get things to come from members and I’d like to run something by you (and others in this group). Members bring us ideas, but rarely seem to have the energy to go beyond generating the idea and sharing it with us (even when we offer support in making them happen).

Here’s what has worked, to some extent. Glen and I have started things we want - not as the people who “run”/“own” Cowork Frederick, but just as people who want to do something. One example is our Local Lunch outings on Thursdays. We want to go out to eat lunch and we want people to join us, so we do it. We put it on the calendar and ask around to see who wants to join and then, with them, decide on a place to go. We go out to lunch every week and now, occasionally before I get to it, a member comes in and asks, “where are we going to lunch today?”.

If I apply this to Slack, I would create a channel for daily goals because I really like that idea and I would start using it and would see if others would join in. I would do this rather than announcing the channel and telling everyone to use it. It would the equivalent of “I’m going to lunch, anyone want to join me?”. “I’m going to post my goals and report back. Feel free to check in and hold me accountable.” Then I’d see if others start doing the same. Regardless of whether they do, I would continue to post my goals as long as it makes sense to me. In doing so, I’m not expecting anyone to do anything. I’m just putting myself out there and, hopefully, setting an example that says to others that they can too of they want.

Thoughts?

···

On Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:11:01 PM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

Lots of folks have posted to this list asking for advice with online community tools, or a specific piece of coworking software. Everyone has a favorite (or not…maybe you’re just barely tolerating the tools you use), but no matter the csse I haven’t seen anyone really dive deep into the specifics of how any one tool gets used effectively.
So I decided to give it a try, and I’m pretty happy with how it came out :slight_smile: give it a listen!

http://listen.coworkingweekly.com/episodes/57695-ep52-how-we-use-slack-to-build-community-online

We have more of these on the way, this was first by popular request! Hope you dig it.

-Alex

If I apply this to Slack, I would create a channel for daily goals because I really like that idea and I would start using it and would see if others would join in. I would do this rather than announcing the channel and telling everyone to use it. It would the equivalent of “I’m going to lunch, anyone want to join me?”. “I’m going to post my goals and report back. Feel free to check in and hold me accountable.” Then I’d see if others start doing the same.

I still would avoid doing this alone. Candidly, there’s nothing less inspiring than a slack channel with just one person posting in it, and nobody even responding. Many online communities start and stay empty because people are worried that when they post something, nobody will respond. If the best examples of your online community are rooms where you’re posting and nobody is responding, it sends a signal to them that the same thing will happen if they do, too.

Bootstrapping an online community is a lot like an offline community - you shouldn’t start with an empty chat room, just like you shouldn’t start with an empty coworking space :slight_smile:

I’m just putting myself out there and, hopefully, setting an example that says to others that they can too of they want.

Ahem. Cruise director. :wink:

To be fair, this can work, but I’ve started to notice the difference between when it works and when it doesn’t.

Local Lunch is a great example for a lot of reasons, and easy to build as a ritual or habit because everyone’s gotta eat :slight_smile: In this case, it’s an easy habit to build because the choice isn’t between “eat or not eat” it’s between “eat alone or eat with someone else.”

Daily goals is a little trickier, because it’s more like exercise. If people aren’t already wanting to do it, it’s tough to build enough momentum for the habit to stick.

Our most unsuccessful channels usually get invented as part of an abstract brainstorm. “It’d be cool to have a channel about XYZ.” Instead, I’d be looking for conversations and activities that already happen offline and give them an online home.

Try thinking about it as using a Slack channel to capture existing momentum and make it visible, vs trying to bootstrap it from nothing on your own.

-Alex

···

The #1 mistake in community building is doing it by yourself.

Better Coworkers: http://indyhall.org

Weekly Coworking Tips: http://coworkingweekly.com

My Audiobook: https://theindyhallway.com/ten

On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 11:39 AM, Julia Ferguson [email protected] wrote:

Thanks Alex!

Glen and I listened to the podcast this morning. It was great to hear examples the Slack channels Indy Hall has and how Slack is introduced to members. Also good to be reminded that establishing an online community using Slack (or any tool for that matter) has to be something that comes from members. We’ve tried the “hey - we have this thing called Slack and here’s what it’s for and here’s some channels - you should use them” approach. You’re right. It doesn’t work.

I also liked the “invitation, not announcement” reminder. We’ve had a hard time figuring out how to get things to come from members and I’d like to run something by you (and others in this group). Members bring us ideas, but rarely seem to have the energy to go beyond generating the idea and sharing it with us (even when we offer support in making them happen).

Here’s what has worked, to some extent. Glen and I have started things we want - not as the people who “run”/“own” Cowork Frederick, but just as people who want to do something. One example is our Local Lunch outings on Thursdays. We want to go out to eat lunch and we want people to join us, so we do it. We put it on the calendar and ask around to see who wants to join and then, with them, decide on a place to go. We go out to lunch every week and now, occasionally before I get to it, a member comes in and asks, “where are we going to lunch today?”.

If I apply this to Slack, I would create a channel for daily goals because I really like that idea and I would start using it and would see if others would join in. I would do this rather than announcing the channel and telling everyone to use it. It would the equivalent of “I’m going to lunch, anyone want to join me?”. “I’m going to post my goals and report back. Feel free to check in and hold me accountable.” Then I’d see if others start doing the same. Regardless of whether they do, I would continue to post my goals as long as it makes sense to me. In doing so, I’m not expecting anyone to do anything. I’m just putting myself out there and, hopefully, setting an example that says to others that they can too of they want.

Thoughts?

On Monday, January 30, 2017 at 10:11:01 PM UTC-5, Alex Hillman wrote:

Lots of folks have posted to this list asking for advice with online community tools, or a specific piece of coworking software. Everyone has a favorite (or not…maybe you’re just barely tolerating the tools you use), but no matter the csse I haven’t seen anyone really dive deep into the specifics of how any one tool gets used effectively.
So I decided to give it a try, and I’m pretty happy with how it came out :slight_smile: give it a listen!

http://listen.coworkingweekly.com/episodes/57695-ep52-how-we-use-slack-to-build-community-online

We have more of these on the way, this was first by popular request! Hope you dig it.

-Alex

Visit this forum on the web at http://discuss.coworking.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups “Coworking” group.

To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to [email protected].

For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.