Slack Is All Hose And No Bucket

We love using Slack for our communications here, and I think the idea of using Slack for classroom communication is sound. Some might say it’s not open enough, but I say pshaw, some conversations are better behind closed doors. Not every statement has to be a public stand. Twitter has been a seminar in that last point over the past couple years.

No, my problem with Slack is that it is all hose and no bucket. You can search through conversations and find meaningful facts, but for us, at least, conversation is so easy that it can (and does) erode the impulse to do more end-to-end treatments of things. Community knowledge accretes but never quite pools.

I did a video on Federated Wiki Information Lifecycle a while back that was pretty FW-centric which explained how communication could move to more comprehensive exposition. But there’s a general opportunity here for someone to build a Slack-like tool that pushes users to do the harder iterative work of summary and explanation. And I expect that’s what the next iteration of Slack-like sites will be — communication sites that move fluidly and cleanly into exposition, summary, and more wiki-like modes.

FWIW, here’s the old Federated Wiki Lifecycle Video:

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2 thoughts on “Slack Is All Hose And No Bucket

  1. Yes, but doesn’t Slack call itself a hose? It’s is self described as a “messaging” app. It is us who come in with excitement that merge into desires to make it a bucket. And than some click bait clown calls it a new LMS, and game over.

    It shows up when an active Slack hits the 10k message limit. Press the red panic button.

    But it is supposed to be stuff that flows away, a swirl of giphy’s down the chute. Mostly.

    The problem is not the tool, but a lack of ideas on how to manage flow. We get lazy. We just want to be able to search for one document among 12,000 goofy messages.

    So if stuff is important, pin it to a channel. Or make a practice of summarizing what is important *outside” of Slack (maybe a FedWiki!). There is also a feature that almost no one uses- you can create Slack pages, which can even be shared outside of Slack. So while it is mostly closed, I may not need to see all the banter if your group as a practice of summarizing elsewhere.

    I’m less interested in the idea of community spaces inside the Slack; for project planning, development, dispersed teams, it works really well. For messaging.

    But no, we want a quiz engine, and a tie to our SIS, and maybe a gradebook module, and…. and…. and….

    It’s not a tool problem, Pogo.

  2. I fully agree. Adding the bots all seem to add-ons for the nozzle, with few assisting in bucket area–smells like a Smallest Federated Wiki front-end w/ Slack API backend opportunity.

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