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On the need to more easily manage multi-team Slack communication

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Slack has rapidly emerged as one of the darlings of Silicon Valley and an incredibly powerful collaboration tool for both startups and large organizations. During its rapid ascent, I’ve been using it off-and-on personally across a number of different Slack team affiliations like Product Managers.

Back onto the subject of managing multiple teams, I’ve only been able to discover a single 3rd party solution that could help assist with the frustrating problem of having to keep up with numerous channels and teams manually. In my months of experience running the Slack for Mac OS X client alongside the iOS app, I’ve found that multiple teams yield tremendous clutter, which of course can give rise to indifference.

While I haven’t used it myself, Slackline appears to zero-in on this problem specifically, which is especially important in corporate environments where multiple teams across companies want to collaborate with each other. Through a tiered pricing structure based on the number of shared channels and connected teams, this can be accomplished through the intermediate Slackline service, albeit through message forwarding which could introduce some particularly messy data ownership & security issues.

Separately, I would be curious to know how the Slack team itself approaches collaboration. Do they simply use Slack extensively across their internal team members and connected external partners? Or are they still fighting the battle most of us do in our email clients? And while there’s a very healthy universe of apps, bots and utilities in the Slack App Directory for customizing the service to your heart’s content, I can’t imagine they’ve done away with email completely (yet). So it almost feels inevitable that they’ll add multi-team cross-communication as an additional service tier in the future. As someone fixed on product development, I can only imagine how many use cases and customer demands they’ll need to take into account before offering this kind of service extension — fortunately, they’ve built quite the foundation, reputation and growth engine to take on the challenge.

Lastly, if you’re a product manager, there’s a paid Slack team ($20) that might be worth it to you for forging new connections, participating in topic and region-specific discussions, etc:
Product Manager HQ

And if you’re looking for other interesting Slack teams to join, have a look at these two sites:
Slack List
Chit Chats


Published in Slack