SLACK: Connecting us all

This post is to tell everyone about the MWC starting to use SLACK, a team messaging app which has taken group communications by storm.   Developed for remote-working corporate teams, it also happens to be useful for any sort of group messaging – and maybe even especially for social groups like the MWC.  If we’ve learned one thing during the pandemic (and let’s face it, we’ve probably learned thousands of things!) it’s that we miss each other and would like to find better, easier ways for MWC’ers to stay in touch. 
To celebrate the MWC’s Tenth Anniversary we are going to spruce up a bit and try something new which will be great for the MWC and support us in the future.  Hey, you don’t get to be ten years old by not growing!
For years now it has been troubling that the MWC has had not-so-great communication between its members.  It’s not that there wasn’t plenty to say – it was just difficult to figure out a good way to make it happen!  And, hey, we all do it – get involved with a specific MWC group where we make friends (hooray!) but then tend to close ourselves off from others (boo hoo!).  One of the reasons this has happened has been because there has NOT been a good platform to encourage easy communication with each other.  An additional concern has also been how to do this while safeguarding member privacy.  But there now appears to be something which can help us out.
SLACK: A NEW WAY TO COMMUNICATE.  As a gentle and better way for us all to be in touch with each other the MWC is going to try the online messaging platform called: SLACK.   It just might be perfect for a social group like the MWC.
WHAT IS SLACK? -THINK OF IT AS A PARTY.   SLACK is a private messaging platform which offers quick, easy, real-time communication and collaboration in a group.  A combo of text and email.  It is most commonly used by work teams within companies. but no one ever said it couldn’t be used for FUN!   In our case, it will let MWC’ers communicate with other individual MWC’ers, or sub-groups – or the entire membership.  “Channels” (SLACK terminology for a sub-group) can be formed  by activity group, or for a specific activity or excursion or by topic or interest.    And, yes, it IS like a party where you can “clink” your glass to get everyone’s attention or you can talk to someone you haven’t seen in awhile or you can sidle up to a group of friends.   It’s private, easy, fast and flexible.  Your messages don’t get trolled in order to sell advertising. 
OUR PARTY INVITATION.  All MWC members will be receiving a MWC-SLACK “party” invitation very soon.  It will list a few rules of the road and request that you sign up via an invite-link.  At that point, you might want to play with it a bit on your computer, tablet and/or smartphone (after downloading an app).  Initially, we will ALL be on the “#general” channel – but we will be adding more channels soon for the activity groups.  We will also offer some ZOOM training sessions to get everyone started.  It will take awhile to roll this out for individuals and various groups – but we can do it!
SLACK has turned into a bit of a phenomenon for businesses – and it has loads of add-ons, app integrations, and additional services (for example, you can make audio and video calls within it and also ZOOM).  SLACK went public just two years ago at an initial $23Bil valuation – only to be purchased about a year and half later (at the end of last year) by for $27.3 Bil.
But none of that matters to us.  The MWC is going to initiate this very simply and use it at a basic level.  If we find additional uses, we’ll upgrade.  So, let’s work together to give this a try. There are many different levels of tech ability within the MWC and we may need to get some critical mass before this “clicks.”  And there will probably be a few bumps in the road.  But I’m betting on us.  Before the pandemic, very few of us had a lot of exposure to Zoom – although now it seems essential – and I’m pretty sure that’s how we will feel about SLACK.  The MWC is supposed to connect us all and now, with SLACK, it looks like that can happen.  You’re going to like this!

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