Should we even hold open meetings on Slack?

Thanks for clarifying.

I was just responding to this topic at hand, meetings. :slight_smile:

I agree. However, I would argue that introducing new people to ClassicPress and managing community meetings are two distinct activities that may (or may not) have overlap, but, shouldn’t be necessarily conflated.

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If you’re inviting the general public to community meetings it’s not about whether you like it or not.
How about a 70-year-old grandmother that blogs that is having problems and needs help? Would she be able to navigate the other side of Slack, I’ve never been on the other side or used it so I can answer.
The thing to remember about the general population is you have to take everything to the lowest common denominator i.e. the 70-year-old grandma that barely can log into her CP site and post something.

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To clarify, Slack is usually used as a backchannel – it’s built for team communication, rather than providing effective support. While you can get assistance via Slack, the forums are actually the better place for this. The reason is simple: if you help someone on Slack, the help gets buried in the history and becomes difficult to find later. Only one person benefits from it. If you help someone on the forum, it is searchable and anyone can benefit from it.

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Again…
the question is

Should we even hold open meetings on Slack?

And my answer still stands.

If you’re inviting the general public to community meetings…
you have to take everything to the lowest common denominator.

I have seen where others have posted about having a bit of trouble using Slack.
Are we all not part of the CP team?

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There was an issue with the link you used and a viable solution (direct link) has been offered. I don’t think having people register for Slack is asking too much – people register online for things every day. Just, the link needs to be corrected.

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@CodePotent
My posting about logging in is in a different thread.
This is getting off track.
Again this thread is about…

Should we even hold open meetings on Slack?

Please stay on point.

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Since it wasn’t abundantly clear: yes, I think open meetings should be held on Slack.

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Okay, let me flip the question. Where would you want the meetings to be held?

Keeping in mind the following:

  1. Our biggest user base right now is Slack - so how would we move them? How many users would we lose in the move? Is it worth losing those users in the pursuit of “easier”?
  2. We already have the bridge in place for people who don’t want to use Slack.
  3. Who is going to manage this new “easier” channel? I will be honest, I don’t have the time, I am already spread super thin.

If we can decide on a solution or answer to the above, and someone is willing to set it up. I won’t stand in the way of that.

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Mumble.
I can agree to some extent slack is a channel more suitable for people actively developing the project and we “should” have a “place for the masses”.
We do have the forums.
But forums lack real time features that we find in slack.
And forums are for support and long term debate shaping.
Irc channels? Adding a dedicated chat room to forums where it is possible to archive the contents?
A separate CP + BuddyPress install?
Being me I would opt for a BuddyPress. I can build a test one if we get to understand what we need from it. Build and manage it I mean. Obviously respecting all the guidelines the community team will decide for its operation.
Only problem I have is I am not able to put it on a decent domain due to a budget shortage at present, but I am sure I can manage to find a solution for that.
Let me know what you think.
EDITED TO ADD:
Obviously if we decide for another option (like an irc channel or adding dedicated chat rooms to forum) I am eager to step in also. A BuddyPress is just my personal approach…

I have complete confidence in ClassicPress for websites.

As far as a real-time discussion platform, we’ve looked at a number of alternatives and none of them come close to the usability of Slack. This is also not something we’d want to host ourselves.

If we don’t want or need real-time discussion, then we already have a place for that: right here on the forums. The only “catch” for that is you need to make a single thread per issue.

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I would say no, we shouldn’t be holding open community meetings on Slack. I don’t mean we shouldn’t use Slack, and I’m not suggesting that we look for some alternative on CP itself. I just wouldn’t be extending an open invitation to the community. You can tell them it’s on, sure. If they want to make the effort that’s fine, but don’t advertise it as if it’s some sort of opportunity for the general public to get in and have their say.

Slack is a place for quick-fired chat and it’s not really going to be any sort of a medium for the hypothetical 70-year-old grandma to interact with the community. The forum is the place for that. I don’t see Slack as being a suitable place for an online “open community meeting” for the general public. As @thewolf points out, if you are going to do that then it needs something that can be dropped to the lowest common denominator.

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There is a difference between a committee meeting and a community meeting.

I’m all for keeping committee meetings members-only for commenting while others can still attend and read along – same as now. Those meetings have a specific agenda and community input would probably take them into the weeds and overtime.

For community meetings, which may not even necessarily have a structured agenda, I think everyone should be allowed to participate.

For clarity, I think both are best handled with Slack.

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That’s a very good distinction. I agree with everything up to the last sentence.

I think community meetings would need something simpler than Slack. But I’ve got no idea what that is. :thinking:

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So have I. But having confidence in something and demonstrating that confidence are quite different things.

Bingo! That is precisely what I am getting at. So when we have an open meeting, which is it?

Sorry, I completely disagree. If we are holding a committee meeting, Slack seems like the least worst option. (I say “least worst” rather than best because I don’t think it copes well with more than four participants if the subject-matter is more than just a casual chat, but I don’t think any other tool makes a better job of it.)

Agreed 100%! If we are holding a community meeting, then the very differentiating factor is the desire to make it open. I don’t think just saying “anyone can participate” makes it genuinely open for the reasons that @thewolf has given. Making it an “open” meeting also means making the means of communication as open as possible.

The thing I’ve noticed is that Slack is not actually very good for real-time discussion when the number of participants gets above four. Slack excels for real-time discussions between or among two or three people, as well as (ironically) for general chit-chat that is not in real-time at all.

I’d be perfectly fine with that too. It doesn’t showcase ClassicPress, but we know it works well. And, of course, @wadestriebel ends up porting Slack discussions over to the forum anyway, which is another indication of Slack’s inadequacies. (And no, the issue there isn’t just the 10k limit; trying to find old comments on Slack is a bit of a nightmare in any event.)

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So, I think this becomes the question: “Do we even need real-time discussions for widespread community involvement?” What’s the point?

One of the issues for me is time zones. For the small number in the committee it’s not hard to come up with a mutually agreeable time. But, for that last meeting, it was a choice for me between 3am, 4am and 5am. Real time discussions for a large group of people at a set time (if we are talking about all CP users) is always going to be limiting anyway.

I agree with @james… the forum is a much better place for it.

We are forgetting something. The meeting is not just being held at slack. @wadestriebel mentioned the bridge, which helped me remember. It is also being held on Discord at the same time. Maybe in anouncements we should start mentioning: The meeting is held on Slack AND Discord. I have found that discord is a lot easier to deal with for a lot of the more casual users in other projects Im a part off. It might still not be perfect, but it is an alternative.

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My two cents from very different perspective.

Slack is not an open architecture, they closed XMPP support some time ago. So, for the openness it is not the best solution. If we at CP aim for openness, we should use as many open tools as possible.

From my own perspective: if I can’t connect to Pidgin, I don’t use. So, now I am (mostly) on Telegram and (almost never) on Skype. Just because they allow me to connect with Pidgin (How weird it is? Feel free to write those words back to me. :slight_smile: )

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We tried Rocket.Chat but it was nowhere ready for production, tons of bugs, lots of lag when loading messages (and this was only with like 10 of us).

The bridge can offer connections to other chat providers. Here is the link to the repo: https://github.com/42wim/matterbridge

bridge between mattermost, IRC, gitter, xmpp, slack, discord, telegram, rocket.chat, steam, twitch, ssh-chat, zulip, whatsapp and matrix with REST API (mattermost not required!)

If I am being honest I Slack being our central hub for a long time (if not ever), this is where the majority of our users are and there is no easy way to move them. We had this discussion last year when discussing whether Slack was the best choice and ultimately it doesn’t matter. If we could go back in time and change from Slack to another provider we would, but we can’t.

Our best solution, for now, is the bridge. If there is enough interest in adding a new provider we will definitely look into supporting it.

What is the goal? To save the history of the meeting? To easily link to web pages (or have apps that integrate with link previews)? To interact in real time? To hear and see people (video call)? To have the @mentions ping the people mentioned? To actually decide things, or discuss and decide later? To hash out details of policy in the open? To determine best approach on matters that need some expertise to discuss?

I think every meeting needs its own approach. They are all different. Slack is only good for a few things, but once you get a lot of conversations going, it becomes the central hub. Using different channels helps keep it organized, but it still doesn’t help with the way that conversations often fork tangentially. Publishing a summary of meeting notes helps everyone that couldn’t attend.

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I’m not a fan of Slack for meetings of more than 5-6 people, but it’s great for small, focused task team meetings.

My preference for mass meetings would be video calls with chat (Zoom, maybe?) Not aware of free versions that would do the job, though. Zoom free version, for instance, would limit meetings of more than 2(?) people to 40 minutes.