Slack launches community forum site and related app
Slack launched a discussion board to connect community members and help them share their knowledge about using the team collaboration tool. Available today, the forum can be accessed on the Slack community forum website or through an app that can be installed on a user’s Slack workspace.
The Slack community was introduced in early 2019, initially to connect Slack developers at regional Meetup events; since then the focus has broadened to cater to a wider range of Slack admins and users, from complete beginners to experts. There are now 89 Slack community sections around the world and over 14,000 members, with events virtually continuing during the pandemic.
Past initiatives to support the community have included the introduction of a Slack certification program and the creation of a dedicated Slack workspace for community news and discussions. The final step is the peer-to-peer discussion forum, built on the Experience Cloud of parent company Salesforce. From there, Slack users can sign up and log in to post, vote, and respond to comments. Frequent visitors can increase their profile within the forum by earning reputation points and badges for engaging in community discussions.
Forum posts can be viewed without registration, allowing the forum to serve as a knowledge repository where Slack users can learn more about various aspects of the platform, from using channels to building news. simple automations through more technical development requests.
“The Community Forum is an accessible online place for anyone to ask questions and get answers on Slack,” said Elizabeth Kinsey, Community Manager, Slack. “You can go to Google and ask, ‘How do people think about channel structure’ and find a response from the community of people who use the tool day in and day out. It’s super powerful when it comes to both learning how to use Slack and getting more sophisticated with your use.
The forum has 10 sections covering the basics of Slack; Product user interface / UX; Digital HQ; Automation of work flow; Slack API; SDK and development tools; Change management; Slack certified; Slack community; and off topic discussions.
A community forum companion app can be installed in a user’s Slack workspace, with the ability to view and search forum threads, receive notifications on topics and groups, and respond to messages.
While the initial goal is to facilitate conversations between users, Kinsey said future iterations may encourage reviews of Slack products.
“Slack already has a community of followers, so it makes sense that the company provides them with a space to engage,” said Raúl Castañón, senior analyst at 451 Research, a division of S&P Global Market Intelligence.
To be successful, the forum must be independent, he said, with Slack providing the space without leading the conversation. While this can allow users to voice criticism, it can also foster innovation and new ideas. “Additionally, this is a timely initiative given the lack of on-site events – such as Slack Frontiers – resulting from the ongoing conditions imposed by COVID-19,” he said.
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