Brum Tech Slack

Everyone running Linux on the desktop did. Having a client which can connect to any server network is irrelevant if there’s no servers out there to connect to which already have your friends on them. People jumped to Google Talk because all their friends already had google accounts and did not have accounts. Secondly, Gnome having a brilliant new infrastructure does not help people on OS X and Windows and iOS and Android at all, and basically all my friends have at least one of those things.

Google could have been the XMPP server. They promised they would be and almost were for a short while. But then people would have been able to compete fairly with them. I jumped to Google Talk and an Android phone on the back of that promise. Google didn’t deliver.

I text iChatted to my kids, using their Macs over a Google Talk transport. It was much more reliable than Skype but it wouldn’t talk over video to my Linux boxes due to Apple’s iChat proprietary evils. Imagine a communication system that allowed people with different computers to talk to each other. I was so excited when I saw my first DECnet/SNA gateway, so this isn’t exactly a new problem.

Weirdly, now they’re losing, Microsoft seem to be selling one of the best solutions, via an XMPP gateway. Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised, as IBM suddenly started playing fair(ish) when Unix ate into their market. Having maxed-out on market share causes protectionism. We need to kill monopolies before they exist.

Have you seen Richard Stallman’s proposal to tax company size, to prevent monopolies?

I don’t think monopolies, per se, are the problem. After all, that’s an abstract concept. As is a company. It’s the folk inside who determine what is done.

So, the geeks come up with cool shit for the good of all \o/ If it gets some momentum, then everyone loves it and joins in. The corporate ladder climbers spot the development and circle to see how they can leverage it to their benefit. If someone in the hierarchy can benefit monetarily from the development, then at least one person will work to make that happen. Momentum occurs. A “strategy” is born, and the geeks lose control and become “directed” by a “plan”.

In a nutshell, that’s how “the market” works. It’s a stinking pile of selfishness.

There’s nothing that geeks can do inside corporate environments to further tech, and keep control of it, unless they themselves control the business (or the IP or get lucky). See Mark Shuttleworth, Elon Musk, Linus, etc.

Attacking monopolies will shift things a bit, but the sociopaths will still be circling.

(No idea what this has to do with Slack, though :smile:)

I’m not sure Mark Shuttleworth is any longer a good example. He was good until he had sufficient share of the Linux market then started throwing his weight around to the disadvantage of Ubuntu’s competitors, in a tiny market place.

That’s my definition of a monopoly: a big enough market share that you can make people do what you want. It isn’t a fixed percentage but I don’t think it’s abstract. It’s about Slack because if 1 company gets to own company messaging, it is bad for everyone else.

I agree. I don’t in any way condone the status quo, I was merely pointing out that I understand from first hand experience why it’s currently the case.

This is the best bit about it for me. I work remotely and Slack is our primary communication tool. Being able to read through (and search) chat history is a huge help. and that is killing Slack?

@LimeBlast we looked at slackin for somethign previously, the only issue is that it exposes email addresses of all the community members.

I wasn’t aware of this, thanks of the heads up. How could they get something so basic, wrong? Maybe there’s something else out there which does the same, but without such an obvious oversight.

I guess they built initially for use by internal teams so email addresses are shown in app on profiles. The WordPress developer community is the largest Slack Account and they have a custom solution for this where you setup an account at that forwards to your personal address so your personal address is hidden to the community.

In slack? Isn’t that something which is unavoidable then? Or are you suggesting that any self inviting system is going to be at fault?

See message above @Dan.

In rides WordPress on its white charger, to protect its IP invested in the social map of the WordPress blogosphere from a potential competitor.

[ I feel a bit mean for having said this last night. I have a free WordPress blog and they have been one of the best service providers I’ve used. They don’t spam me or constantly bother me to upgrade my service level, so I actually would trust them to protect my private information from less scrupulous companies. ] It’s still true though.

I’m trying Slack, on the grounds that I couldn’t understand why people liked Twitter until I tried it but I’m confused. Do I really have to log out and in again to move between virtual teams and have multiple accounts, even though I’ve registered for 2 teams using the same email address? Is it actually hierarchically structured, or have I misunderstood something?

You need to think of each team as being it’s own instance of Slack - because it is. You may well have registered using the same email address across both instances, but they’re still separate, and should be treated as separate - for example, if you change your password on one, it won’t automatically change on the other.

That said, there is nothing stopping you from signing into multiple teams at the same time, with full support for this being available in all the apps as well as the web-based one.

For what it’s worth, I’m a member of @Jess’s slack team, a team for work, and one for Silicon Canal.

Rather than there being a me, with affiliations to 3 different teams, possibly with overlap of personnel, there are 3 Me identities? That seems a massive limitation, in areas like time-allocation or cross-team communication.

This is probably my only criticism of Slack, and apparently they’re working on making it simpler. I guess it’s a hangover from when their users were only part of one Slack team…

As soon as I pressed (Enter) I remembered reading that they’ve been successful in a market they weren’t targeting, ‘community’ projects, which don’t give them any income. Maybe they’ll try to fix that at the same time.

There’s an open source slack alternative.

That’s great. Why don’t people use it?

UX. Again. Same place many foss projects fall down. Slack is still better than the things that do what slack does

True. Which is a shame, because Slack’s UX while quite slick, still has some glaring holes. To compete, though, you do need to get to first base.

I’ve played with Slack a bit now. I see integrated (i.e. duplicated) team directory and presence services, a ‘chat room’ for each channel, with no threading, direct messaging and push notification to mobile. Have I missed the vital Shiny Thing that is impressing everyone?

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