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#administrivia
Title
# administrivia
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Alex McLean

01/29/2024, 2:34 PM
I was surprised how unpopular slack is in a survey I did recently
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David Alan Hjelle

01/29/2024, 3:56 PM
Interesting. It makes me ask a bunch of other questions: • Does a tool like Slack get less-liked when it is "required" versus used by choice? • I think software can get worse with popularity — trying to please everyone instead of keeping a core user base happy. I wonder how much this plays into that? • My impression is that people hate Microsoft Teams even more, but I have no data whatsoever. • How much of this is personality traits like introversion and extroversion coming in to play? <rant> Slack is fine, to me, but I sure wish they put in more effort to helping improve conversations rather than just being a conversation tool. I'd like a tool that helps the right information get to the right people with a very high signal-to-noise ratio. I don't know how, but it certainly seems that Slack is in a decent position to try address that? But I'm not aware of any movement in that direction </rant>
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Alex McLean

01/29/2024, 4:03 PM
Yes I think a lot of it is down to cultural issues, like discord being friendlier because people are more used to using it with friends. Usability-wise I don't see a huge difference between slack and discord.. Except the lack of in-app archiving unless you pay an astonishingly expensive fee, which brings a kind of community amnesia. I was also happy to see that fewer people said they avoided email than I expected. (This was a survey of people interested in algorithmic patterns and doesn't have a lot of statistical power)
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David Alan Hjelle

01/29/2024, 4:06 PM
Oh, yeah. It seems that 95% of what people mean by "user friendly" or "easy to use" is "what I'm already familiar with.
brings a kind of community amnesia
Yeah. As much as I'm the one that introduced Slack (and, before that, instant messaging) to my office — I do miss the permanent record I used to keep with email. But I'm a bit of an outlier there, I think. And there are sometimes benefits to forgetting…
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Alex McLean

01/29/2024, 4:09 PM
Hat tip to the archivers here. The other slacks I'm on don't have them, and it's just really sad that so much context is lost.
I'm optimistic about the fediverse. I've involved with helping move the live coding community there and it's looking promising, with nice integration between mastodon, wordpress and owncast (video streaming)
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Nilesh Trivedi

01/29/2024, 11:31 PM
I was looking around for a messaging tool recently and learned that Zulip remains that last one still supporting communities. Mattermost and Rocketchat and both have pivoted to being Slack alternative, ie. for corporate teams, not public communities. Element/Matrix is another, though end-to-end encryption and public communities are at odds.
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Josh Bleecher Snyder

01/30/2024, 12:29 AM
I'm sad that "audio call" isn't even on the list. It's So Much Better than video chat, and retains most of its good qualities.
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Stephen De Gabrielle

01/30/2024, 6:29 PM
I’m quite pleased with the quality of the new chat functionality added to Discourse. Sadly not a viable alternative to discord.
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jatkins

01/31/2024, 4:10 AM
> I'm sad that "audio call" isn't even on the list. It's So Much Better than video chat, and retains most of its good qualities. I can't say I agree. Audio>text, but video>audio by far IMO. It brings more focus, and communicates better with facial expressions.
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Josh Bleecher Snyder

01/31/2024, 5:37 AM
I very much doubt I'll convince you, but some of the values that audio-only brings: • I can walk while on a call. This is a net good: Not looking at screen => not distracted, legs moving => brain working. • Less bandwidth = fewer glitches. • I find that audio-only has fewer caucus score problems. Not zero...but fewer. I don't fully understand why. • Less Zoom fatigue. I don't know your demographics, but note (as with so much), the burden of this does not fall equally on everyone. The last two, in particular, should at least raise the question: Even if video conferencing works well for me, if it is worse for my teammates (often the ones who are already not well-placed to shoulder additional burdens), should I enable/encourage others to feel comfortable with their camera off? (Or encourage default audio-only across the board?)
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jatkins

01/31/2024, 5:45 AM
I don’t wish to take the conversation too far astray, but suffice it to say I’m not convinced as you suspected haha. Though, I’ve made it so point to allow camera off meetings if helpful. And personally I turn off the self view.
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Stephen De Gabrielle

01/31/2024, 5:22 PM
I feel slack is a primarily near-real-time text chat. the audio and video is secondary. (And the ‘huddle’ changes were not an improvement.)
Discord is better due to network effects - all my fav OSS programming communities are on discord - not because it is better or worse than slack. Discourse chat is worse because even less network effect.
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jatkins

01/31/2024, 5:30 PM
It's decidedly horrible from the network effect POV, but has anyone looked at Urbit and the chat apps embedded within it? It's in between beta and released-but-very-small territory.
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Timothy Johnson

02/03/2024, 4:34 AM
Do any of you follow 37signals? This looks like an interesting alternative, just announced yesterday: https://world.hey.com/dhh/campfire-is-now-for-sale-51a19fc9
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Nilesh Trivedi

02/03/2024, 6:15 AM
I recently surveyed the chat app market for a community I'm starting where durability of knowledge is super critical. Mattermost, Rocketchat have both pivoted to bring Slack alternative (i.e. for corporate teams, rather than communities). Element/Matrix's encryption has a lot of usability friction. Ended up choosing Zulip which seems to be only serious team that still supports communities.
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D. Schmudde

02/05/2024, 8:30 AM
Yeah we also did a bit of a survey of the chat app market at The School of Losing Time. Our intention was to own our conversations. We ended up talking seriously 3 approaches: Zulip, Rocket Chat, and Element/Gitter (see https://hackmd.io/@schmudde/ry4mAeTh3). Settled on Zulip. I must say that the mobile interface still leaves a lot to be desired. And in the web chat, it's a little intimidating until the streams start flowing.
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Nilesh Trivedi

02/08/2024, 10:12 AM
@D. Schmudde Zulip team has been working on a new mobile app written in Flutter. But it's even more primitive at this point.