Phani Raj Kuchibhotla

Curious Curator

Please Stop Using Slack for Building Communities and Forums

It surprises me that a lot of online community builders use Slack to build a community and engage members

When I join a group/community I look forward to the following

  • A place where i can learn new things,
  • Know other users perspectives on topics
  • Interact/ideate/discuss thoroughly on some topics of interest( the way you find on Hackernews/Indie Hackers etc)

As Ashis Says

Sense of purpose. Great communities have a sense of purpose. While there is a need for free wheeling discussion, the biggest thing a community can do is to help those who have a sense of purpose - i.e. solve their how do I problems, help them improve by 10x in their career/job. This is the only way to become part of their lives.

Online Community need to foster discussion, encourage ideas, share feedback, help people grow.

No Slack

Agree Slack is easy to setup and no maintenance required, but Slack is definitely no a place where 10’s if not 100’s debate and discuss on a topic.

Slack is a good place to initiate and encourage impromptu discussions in the community , but i feel you should still have/continue to have a forum like interface where people can ideate and debate on topics .

In Slack , unless you have new channel created you cannot have such track-able debates and discussions may get lost in noise.

To some extent you can have thread and have some sanity in discussions, but having every one stick to threaded replies is not an easy task.

Discourse is great tool to build a community

I have no affiliation to Discourse.

I feel discourse makes it easy to have such track-able topic based discussions. I see them as the most prominent platform for most of the opensource projects as well platform like products . Yes, Discourse is paid and I wish there are some tools with freemium pricing like Slack and still let community builders have their own identity.

Other tools

Recently noticed [Threadbase]() on HN & Indiehackers . Google Groups can be great, but who wants an email based forum in age of Slack.

I wish more community builders opt for sane discussion forums and not chat based platforms like Slack/Discord/Gitter etc.