Ivan Reese

02/24/2023, 9:29 PM
Ever heard of "Slack Apps"? They're these little add-ons people can install in a Slack workspace. Most of them require a salad bar of permissions (eg: reading messages, posting messages, joining channels, etc etc) and they run somewhat invisibly, with unclear ownership/maintenance. So in the interest of protecting the quietude and in consideration of the sensitivity of our community, I've long had our Slack workspace configured to block app installs, pending manual approval by an admin. I usually get one request a year. Sometimes the apps are good (ie: we have one to facilitate a connection with Matrix, and another to run the #random-encounters). But often they're junk/spammy. In the past week I've had a handful of requests, all from members who seemingly have never posted. Some of the apps seem innocuous if perhaps a little ill-fitting (eg: Notion), others seem suspect or would at the very least require careful scrutiny. This request rush seems like as good a catalyst as any — I'd like to codify some Handbook guidance around Slack Apps, so I can simply point people to that writing if these requests continue at this increased frequency. Here's what I'd like to say:
Unsolicited requests to add Slack Apps will be ignored. If you'd like to install an app, please start a discussion about it in #administrivia or DM @Ivan Reese. Describe in detail how the app will benefit the community at large, and how it aligns with the goals and vibe of the community. A request from an active member for an app that addresses a longtime pain felt by many is more likely to be approved. A request from a new member or an app that addresses a personal inconvenience is not.
Thoughts and feedback welcome.