Community team on Slack

Hello! Now that we’ve been using Slack for nearly two months, I’m reviewing where we can improve. Some other teams have made specific feature requests, and I’m happy to hear those in the #slackhelp channel. (If there’s anything that can be done to make Slack better for you, I’m all ears.)

Now, for this team in particular, there have been a few requests as it pertains to channels. Like most teams, you joined Slack to find an already created #community channel waiting for you. It turns out, #community isn’t a great name, as many think it is either a watercooler of sorts or for general discussion topics. Others think it pertains to local communities (half right). The “community” team is really a super-team composed of a number of wide-ranging initiatives.

There are a lot of users in the channel, and a decent amount of noise, especially if you only care about only one particular initiative or project. There’s lot of cross-talk. Meetings can run into each other or need to be carefully scheduled around each other.

Slack suggests you create channels only as you realize you need them, and we adopted this model. Before WordCamp San Francisco was over, a #training channel was created. Here’s my current proposal, based on the projects page and a review of all requests I’ve received:

  • #events — Rename the #community channel to #events. WordCamps, meetups, and other events. Includes sponsorships talk. Can have subdivisions for WordCamps and/or meetups at a later point.
  • #outreach — This would cover a number of projects that are mostly dormant or nascent. As things ramp up, this could divide further into channels for academic outreach, #diversity, #mentorship / #gsoc, etc.
  • #training — The training team; this channel already exists.
  • #wptv — WordPress.tv video moderation.

Of course, there will be stuff that takes place that spans multiple teams. I don’t think it’ll be difficult how to make that work, though. As an example: as most stuff focuses on events, community-team-wide housekeeping and updates could be covered during regular #events meetings. I think this is a very good trade-off.

#meta, #slack