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Slack for Online Communities

Content Management
5
Member Management
5
User Experience
4
Analytics & Reporting
4
Innovation
4
Customer Service
5
Community type: 
Professional Networking
Number of members: 
101-500
Reviewer's job function: 
Community Manager
Staff size: 
Just me
Organization's industry type: 
Membership Org/Association
Years of personal experience with this platform: 
1-3 years

There are 320+ ASAE members who are experimenting with Slack as a collaboration platform for online communities.  Here is the link where you can participate: The Association Community on Slack.  First, please use this page to send yourself an invitation.

Slack has some strong strengths and some noticable weaknesses compared to the leading association community platforms.

Strengths:

  • It's chat-based so it feels much more live and responsive than the email discussion lists
  • Members can jump from 1-1 chat to an audio call seamlessly
  • You can integrate over 1000 cutting edge tools into Slack.  One example is streaming all your updates from some project management software into a Slack channel, and that's going to reduce email overload.
  • If you have software developers on staff, you can manually intetegrate your AMS (and other tools) into Slack such as sending messages into a Slack channel when a member's credit card fails during annual renewal.  This takes work, but it's a relatively easy interface (aka "API") for developers to work with.

Weaknesses:

  • It's built for internal teams rather than online communities, so it's hard to on-board new members because they don't have as much of an incentive to figure the platform out as an employee in an organization whose paycheck depends upon it.
  • You can't customize the look and feel for other users much (hard to place welcome text prominently)
  • Association professionals often feel overwhelmed by the volume of information streaming into the different chat channels and think that they have to read each one, causing them to not return.