Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Slack: Awesome Group Communication Tool

My supervisor introduced Slack to our team near the end of the year and asked us to try it out to see if we liked it as our main communication tool for next year.  Within just a couple of days, I was hooked.

What I love:
  1. Threaded conversations through hashtags, which allows you to follow conversations with specific topics so it doesn't keep derailing.  We have conversations for #google, #haiku, #general, #random, #fridayflurry (to share out great stories from the week), and more.
  2. Ability to direct message people within the group.  This keeps everything all in one place - group conversations, individual conversations, etc.  You don't have an email there, a text there, and another message there.  It's all together!

How it could be improved:
  1. Voice comments.  I would love to use this instead of Voxer for a lot of things, but I love the ability to "talk" my message.  Currently on Slack, you can do text, pictures, and links.  I came across an article that said voice was coming soon but haven't seen anything yet.  There are premium versions, so maybe it's in there, or still in development.
  2. More administrator control.  I would LOVE to use this with my student tech team.  It would be a perfect way for communication, especially with the different hashtags for different needs. However, as the teacher, I would need administrator access to view the direct message conversations to ensure that everything is staying school appropriate.  That is not a feature available, and so I am not able to use this with my student team.  I am still on the lookout for a better communication platform that will allow students to easily communicate with each other besides sending out mass emails as the only option

If you haven't checked out Slack yet, head over to slack.com and give it a try!  There are freemium options, but I'm happy with the free version :)

P.S. Slack did not ask me to write this. I just love the tool so much I wanted to share!

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