Re: Slack

1

I'm an obsessive Slack user. It's amazing for internal communications in an office (we use it at GovLoop) and a few friends and I also have a Slack we chat in all day long.


Posted by: Catherine | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:25 AM
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2

I'm going to keep talking to you people while I work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:26 AM
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3

Yeah, we started using it for a couple of projects and now I'm in it all the time. It's magical the way it scratches the "kill time on irc" itch while still basically being productive.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:27 AM
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4

What makes it different from chatrooms/IMing, except the level of organization?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:35 AM
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5

Never heard of it!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:38 AM
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4: it has lots of integrations with other useful services (github, evernote) and it's organized around groups in a way that makes it easy to have a flat access policy and lots of ad hoc kind of combinations of people. So I guess the answer to that is "yeah, level of organization"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:41 AM
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Actually just the integration with files is super sweet. You can dump in text and it'll create a snippet that has its own comment thread attached.

And the bots are fun, but silly (as in the article).


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:45 AM
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8

Oh, great. One more thing to produce in discovery.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:46 AM
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One cool use case for academic labs is an online journal club; it's super easy to drag-and-drop pdfs of papers (or screenshotted figures from the papers, or whatever) and talk about them inline, and then you have sort of a repository for cool articles where you don't have to worry about the older ones dropping off the radar the way they might if you were just emailing them around, and you also don't have to deal with trying to schedule a weekly (or whatever) meeting to talk about things in person.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:50 AM
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10

The Slate article mentions a Slack board just for journal article pdfs. Lawbreakers, all of you. Shut it down!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:52 AM
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11

How likely is it to turn into a panopticon over time? It looks like communication without boss access is possible, but will that last?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:53 AM
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10: Lawbreakers, all of you.

Not that I shy away from that under ordinary circumstances but "academics posting journal articles to which they all have licensed institutional access" seems like pretty weak law-beer.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:57 AM
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13

I meant the group. I was just tarring you by association. Not that you don't deserve it, as you say.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:02 AM
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14

So someone thought, "Blogs are dead, and Facebook and Twitter are boring. We need to come up with a new way for people to kill time at work, or else they may get so desperate they will start working."


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:08 AM
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We're using it to communicate on the e-discovery job I'm on now. I sure beats email as a way to communicate case/protocol developments.

Some of the big e-discovery platforms have IM built into them, but lots of people don't know it. They'll get a message from me and their first response is "what is this and where did it come from?"

Slack lets my employer keep it separate and not pay for the feature on the review platform


Posted by: idp | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:10 AM
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All these sorts of things are a blind spot for me. I don't understand what the difference is depending on which box you type into, you're still typing words in a box.

I mean, there are differences depending on the ease of addressing a particular group, I get that. But that it's a big difference from email or whatever confuses me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:14 AM
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17

14: The theory is that the stream will be "on task" for whatever folks are working on. At least I think that is the theory.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:16 AM
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18

16.last: does unfogged seem different from email?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:20 AM
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Well, sure -- ease of addressing a different group is a real thing; blogs are different from Facebook are different from email and so on.

But when you've got the audience sort of predefined -- the people you're working with on a given thing, or whatever -- I don't get how the latest software is all that different from any other way of setting up a chatroom or similar.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:31 AM
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20

I'm not saying I'm right about this, enough people feel strongly about it that I get that it's my own blind spot.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:32 AM
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21

I worked for a place that used Skype's chat in a way similar to what people are describing for Slack. This was back in 2007-2008. I loved it but haven't worked anywhere with significant real-time chat-like activity since.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 11:34 AM
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22

I was expecting 5. Droll!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 12:26 PM
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23

I can look forward to my organization adopting this technology sometime around 2035.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 12:49 PM
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24

Or rather, at approximately the same time we retire Lotus Notes.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:04 PM
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25

Working at first a large law firm, then a small law firm, and then the state government, I transitioned from WordPerfect to MS Word three times. I've kind of wondered if I can find an even slower moving legal entity to work for that's still using WP, and if my working for them would trigger a shift.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:08 PM
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I saw this security notice the other day and thought (actually, wrote, on twitter) something along the lines of "haha who the hell is still running Lotus Domino?" I guess I have my answer!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:10 PM
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AISIMHB one of my first jobs was as a random useless flunky in the IT department of a large law firm. I was terrible at it, hated it, and soon got fired, but not before 1. taking a lot of naps in the storage room and 2. trying to convince them they should really be making a full push to get this "internet" thing. This was in, oh, summer 1992? They were not so much convinced, even though I showed them the slick new text-mode "GUI" on Gopher.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:13 PM
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My mom's office, which is in an area of medical research, still has patient records on DataEase. How that's not totally illegal I have no idea, I guess it's not a security hazard since the computers that can run that program are so old they're probably incompatible with Ethernet cards.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:13 PM
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29

Oh, Gopher was great.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:14 PM
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30

Oh, new security hole in Lotus! I'm sure the various agencies that spy on us are all over that shit.


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:18 PM
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31

Is GroupWise still safe?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 1:20 PM
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32

I bet a lot of specialized niche business software is Dos-within-Windows. Car repair business software, for example.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 2:04 PM
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33

Catherine!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 2:51 PM
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34

It is, however, notable how much dumber real-time conversations (on things like Slack, irc, and IM) are versus post-and-wait.

Speak for yourself, dude. My IM conversations are scintillating.

Also, I know there's at least one startup trying to make improved IRC tools, precisely because of that jumprope/leash thing. IRC is a lot more open than Slack.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 3:01 PM
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35

From the article:

When a new employee joins Slack for the first time, she's greeted by Slack Bot, a chatterbot who will serve as her simplistic but well-mannered consort in her travels through the app.

Huh. So "consort" doesn't mean what I think it means?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 4:09 PM
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36

Also:

Slate favors a custom emoji of Outward editor Bryan Lowder with a toboggan Photoshopped onto his head; when editors drop into a private group to workshop headlines, they announce their presence with a taco emoji.

This seems like it should win some kind of award for "sentence containing the most elements that would have been totally incomprehensible in the recent past."


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 4:15 PM
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37

If you make something called a Slack Bot and it's not an animated J. R. "Bob" Dobbs, you should get off my lawn.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 4:44 PM
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38

33 gets it exactly right.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 7:54 PM
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39

Anyway, I had never heard of Slack until I read the linked article earlier today. I don't really get the appeal, but I've also never worked in the kind of environment where it seems to be used.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 8:12 PM
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40

So, Slack Bot is basically Clippy?


Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 9:06 PM
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41

Josh: Have you heard of it heard of it, like, yay!, or have you just heard of it?


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 04-20-15 10:57 PM
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