Slack wants to make it easier for users to connect and share information about the popular collaboration tool, whose community has more than 14,000 members worldwide.
Slack has launched a discussion forum to connect community members and help them share their knowledge about using the collaboration tool. Available since the beginning of the week, the forum can be accessed on the Slack Community Forum site, or via an application that can be installed in the user’s Slack workspace. Introduced in early 2019, the Slack Community was initially intended to connect Slack developers at regional Meetup events.
But since then, the objective has widened. The Community wants to address a wider range of administrators and users of the solution, from novices to experts. Now, this community has 89 chapters, each led by volunteers who want to share their passion for Slack, and more than 14,000 members. All community events have been maintained virtually during the pandemic.
Messages accessible without registration
So far, to support the community, the publisher had already introduced a certification system and created a dedicated workspace for community information and discussion. The peer-to-peer discussion forum, built on parent company Salesforce’s Experience Cloud, complements these initiatives. Now users can register and login to the forum to post, vote and respond to comments. Regular visitors can improve their profile on the forum by earning reputation points and badges that reward their participation in community discussions. Posts can be viewed without registration, allowing the forum to serve as a repository of knowledge for users.
They can therefore learn about various aspects of the platform, from using channels and creating simple automations to finding answers to more technical development questions. “The Community Forum is an online space where anyone can ask questions and get answers on Slack,” said Elizabeth Kinsey, Slack’s community manager. “You can go to Google and do a query like, ‘What do people think about channel structure? and find a response from the community of people who use the tool every day. It’s very powerful when it comes to both learning to use Slack and refining it.”
An app available
The forum has 10 sections devoted respectively to Slack basics, product UI/UX, digital workspace, digital HQ, workflow automation, Slack APIs, SDKs and developer tools, change management, the Slack Certified program, the Slack Community, and off-topic discussions. A companion app called the Slack Community Forum App can be installed in a user’s Slack workspace. It allows you to view and search forum discussions, receive notifications about topics and groups, and respond to messages.
The Slack Community Forum App installed and accessed from a user’s Slack workspace. (Credit: Slack)
While the initial goal is to facilitate interaction between users, Elizabeth Kinsey said that future iterations could encourage feedback on Slack products. “Slack already has a community of followers, so it makes sense that the company should provide space for them to engage,” said Raúl Castañón, principal analyst at 451 Research, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence. “To be successful, the forum must be independent,” he added. Slack provides the space, without trying to direct the conversations. While this approach can allow users to voice criticism, it can also foster innovation and new ideas. “This initiative is also welcome, given the lack of face-to-face events, such as Slack Frontiers, which cannot take place due to the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic,” the analyst further said.