Note: You will find a link to join the Slack Community at the end of this blog post!
It all started with the first annual Tableau Public hackathon; which took place entirely online so, naturally, communication between participants had to be all digital too. In the past, Tableau Public has deferred to Twitter for event-driven community conversations but, this time around they wanted to provide people with a localized place to share their vizzes, get feedback and discuss all things #HackingOpenData and, due to its collaborative nature Slack emerged as the perfect venue.
Then, when Sophie Sparkes launched Viz Book Club a lot of inquiries about how to localize club-centric discussions started popping up, a light bulb went off in Tableau Public fangirl turned employee Cynthia Andrews' head; why not transform the existing hackathon team? By opening it to the community, they could solve for conversation localization with Slack channels AND give the community a new level of detail for communication!
Within a few short days, our team ' We Do It In [Tableau] Public" launched and so far, people are loving it!
On the fence about adding another platform to the list? Here are just a few of the reasons Slack rules:
Channels provide a dedicated space for continuous, subject-driven discussions and keep info overload at bay by allowing people to pick and choose which ones they join.
Within channels, threaded conversations make it easy to keep up-to-date on the conversations you take part in.
- We Do It In [Tableau] Public team members are using channels like #viz-assist to get help with current projects and #just-published to share their work; community groups like Data Plus Women are conversationally leaning in via their channels; and (as predicted) the #viz-book-club channel is a great venue for book-centric participants to chat.
Quick Commands put the Slack world at your fingertips. You can populate a list with everyone who belongs to a given channel simply by typing /who and hitting enter. Not available to talk? Use the /away command to set your status to inactive; when you become available again all you have to do is type /away again and you’re good to go! Suffering from multimedia overload? Use /collapse to hide inline images + video. Want to make them reappear? That’s what /expand is for!
Slack let’s you quickly jump between conversations by simply hitting ctrl+K (if you’re a PC) and cmnd+K or cmnd+T (if you’re a Mac). Then, just start typing the name of the channel, group or individual you’re looking for and hit return.
Want to take a peek at our community’s growth, or even visualize it yourself? Slack gives you access to team statistics, including total messages in the team account, number of readers, number of posters, and files created.
Thanks to the awesome power of integrated apps, you can do all kinds of magical things, like:
- Generate a random gif, influenced by the keyword(s) of your choosing by typing /giphy [keyword keyword keyword]
- Poll the community with simply by typing /poll "Poll question?" "Option1" "Option2" "Option3" and hitting return!
- Create and share memes with /meme [search terms or image url]
Haven’t used Slack before?