Traffic and discussions on the CHAOS forums have gone down noticeably since we began also using Slack. Slack is nice for its immediateness, its basically like a chat app, but its not great for discussions that require nuance or a little bit of detail - in that way, its like Twitter, I guess. It (or at least the way we're using it) doesn't track topics over time - what was said earlier gets lost in the flood of chats about this whale or that prison hootch. On the other hand, its great for immediacy and off-the-cuff stuff.
I also worry that things get communicated on Slack or there are conversations that happen on Slack that never make it over to the forums, leaving some people out, which may perpetuate a sense of insiders/outsiders. For a membership organization, that would be a real problem, if its true.
Here's an example of what I'm talking about. A new member can't become a member without signing up on line - so defacto sees what's on the forums. But s/he may not see the Slack sign-up or, because people are busy and some limit their social media, never signs-up on Slack. So, the meet up today at two breweries that was shared on Slack never gets seen by the new members, who don't go to it, who don't develop friendships, who don't get further engaged, etc.
Another example - I don't think the Munton's order ever made its way over to the forums from Slack. So, quite a few members probably never knew about the opportunity to place an order.
Also, Slack (or at least the way we use it) doesn't seem to be a very good fit for more nuanced conversations - about brewing or the club. Its a quick-hit kind of thing.
I'm wondering if, now that we've been using Slack for a while, its time for us or small working group of us, to have a conversation about how we want to communicate with members and foster communication between members. I'm not at all advocating for not using Slack, its great in many ways. I want us to figure out how to best use it (and the forums).
I'd be happy to be a part of that conversation, or convene folks for it. Or perhaps this is a board conversation. What do others think?