Tracey Taylor, the managing editor of my hometown local news site Berkeleyside, is a reasonably hard-nosed veteran journalist, but she sounds a little wobbly at the knees as she tells me about her recent infatuation. She’s fallen hard — for an enterprise software service.
“I was away on a trip when we started using it,” she says. “Everyone was talking about how great it was, and at first I was annoyed. It took me about two days to see the value. Now, when someone on the team tries to contact me in any other way, I get annoyed with them — I just say, put it in Slack.”
Slack, a messaging tool designed for team collaboration, is the working digital world’s latest paramour. Slack is explicitly designed for the office, yet it feels like a friend. It’s business software that you don’t want to quit at the end of the day.
When we fall in love with a piece of software, we want to move in with it, and droves of infatuated users have shacked up with Slack. Now they’re importing more and more of their lives into it. Why switch to a different app to set a reminder, track your hours, keep up with Twitter, or tally a to-do list? Slack is what you already have open, all the time. Sure, the wreckage of past affairs (email, Microsoft Office, the desktop itself) litters our screens. But maybe this time will be different.
If you haven’t yet used Slack, it will not seem all that revolutionary; to the uninitiated, it still evokes “What’s the big deal?” responses. (Former Valleywag editor Sam Biddle, on Twitter: “No more interesting than our desk chairs.”) Slack does not come on like a heavy-duty digital disruptor. Above all, it’s a considerate program: It does things the way you’d want it to, often without your having to tell it — and if you want it to do something differently, it almost always lets you.
What a great partner! But it’s got some ideas of its own, too. It wants to limit the place of those old flames in your new life. It wants you to answer when it calls. It wants to get everything in the open — but, please, type it out. Also: It’s persuasive.
Here at Data McFly, we make use of Slack daily; between chatting and webhooks integration, we’ve found Slack a powerful tool.
Coming across this post today, I felt it worth sharing.