What You Get When You Blend Slack & Discourse

Slack and Discourse are both fundamental to how we connect as community members – Slack gives us real-time access to conversation and cooperation together, while Discourse hosts longer-form discussions and standardized documentation.

Stewards of either space, formal and informal both, encourage certain practices to integrate and preserve the best benefits of both. Here’s more context for how those principles might apply to using these two tools together:

News + Wiki = Resources

The Network’s various Slack channels house a treasure trove of links and nods to civic tech’s current events, newest developments and notable impacts. These inevitably get lost to back scroll over time, but that doesn’t mean they have to be both gone and forgotten.

If you’re someone who likes to keep the community abreast of the innovation and evolution of civic tech, consider developing a relevant Wiki topic to house those interesting articles and historical developments once you’ve shared them to Slack.

Threads + Discussion = Connection

Conversations on Slack foster intense bursts of interest and energy around specific topics – but the longer those threads stretch, the harder it can be to maintain engagement. Especially once a couple of days have passed.

Kicking off a conversation that takes on a mind of its own isn’t always what someone bargains for when they’re popping into Slack. If your query opens up a wealth of knowledge from the community, but you’re not able to package that up for delivery over here to Discourse, consider asking a thread-mate to do it instead. Em shows us a great example of that here – about Slack and Discourse use itself!

Huddling + Events = Collaboration

We don’t think of Slack as first and foremost a live meeting venue, but the Huddle feature lets you invite up to 50 people in a DM or channel for real-time live conversation. This informal way of checking in and co-working with team members relieves pressure on more organized meetings to cover it all.

Reimagine911 uses Huddles to support volunteers through data discovery processes! Check out Rebecca’s write-up for R911 on using Slack – those are great tips to apply community-wide.

The Network team is also hoping to shift to using the Event calendar and category as a primary waypoint for what’s happening within the community. Share your meetings there and make sure to link to relevant Slack channels if your project or team relies on them for collaboration in between.


Me every time I read “back scroll”

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