Why slack isn’t the best communication tool for coworking spaces
With that, below are some of the downsides of using slack to connect your coworking space community that you should definitely take into consideration.
Impersonal member directory
Slack communities simply do not have a useful directory function. Forcing members to chat via profile picture-less nicknames that make it hard to connect a face to a person. I always like to know a little bit more about who I am working next to. Having some knowledge about the other members also reduces the friction of establishing new connections or even friendships with others in the community. It’s much easier to start a chat with someone when you at least know what they do, what company they are working at etc.
Relying on synchronicity
Your members are busy working on their own projects, so you cannot expect them to have your slack community open at all times. Unfortunately, Slack is all about being in the moment. Connections are rather random depending on when you check the feed, so threads relevant to you may easily get lost in other chatter.
What is the better way?
Proactivity. Members must be prompted proactively when there are threads relevant to them. You can do this in two ways.
- Have you community managers constantly scan slack channels and ping relevant people.
- Use an alternative platform that proactively matches members and posts based on tags, skills, and even interests.
Fear of missing out can disengage members
Surprisingly, fear of missing out can actually be a powerful tool for community building. You log into slack to find out what’s been going at your coworking space since you last checked. However, since Slack is all about being active at the moment, it works best with members who have time and attention to have Slack open all day. As the chats of the day pile up, it can be overwhelming to check in even once a day, causing members to disengage as they don’t feel like they are a part of the community.
Hard to scan
When conversations do build on Slack, they are forced into a series of stream of consciousness messages that can become difficult to scan over and get the gist from when compared to forum topics for example.
Completely separate from your website
From branding to simple navigation to your existing resources and pages, having your community connected on your directly to your site makes things a lot easier. Slack exists purely in a separate space.
Did you know knowork can live on your own domain? Learn more
We still like Slack!
This is not meant to be a hit piece on Slack. We love Slack at Knowork for internal collaboration and communication in our own team, and we have seen coworking spaces use it successfully as well. The point is simply to choose a community platform that is the right choice for your community specifically.