This one is making waves around the office today. Motherboard, the science nerd wing of Vice, is feeling the squeeze this time, quitting Slack cold turkey to see the effect on the organization. With relatively tame stats of 8000 messages a week, it sounds like Motherboard was losing traction with their productivity. Not an uncommon article as evidenced by this blog, but a higher profile thought-leader swinging the pendulum nonetheless.
Slack has been an indispensible tool. However, we noticed that more and more time was being diverted to Slack. It wasn’t just joking around, although there was plenty of that. We’d find ourselves spending 30 minutes in a spirited debate about a story we all seemed interested in, but then… no one would write something for the site. It was as if the Slack discussion had replaced the blogging process. Talking about a topic with our colleagues fulfilled the urge to publish.
The other recurring issue with Slack is that it’s just baseline distracting. People are always talking, often directly to you, and they usually expect an immediate response. Writers and editors need unbroken blocks of time to work. Slack makes that difficult.
cover photo: A Motherboard “blog-b-que” on July 4, 2015. Photo: Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai