The Rands Leadership Slack was created on May 17th, 2015 at 12:08pm. I would call this community “vibrant.” Let’s start with stats from this weekend:
- 1.08 million messages since creation. (67% public, 2% private, 31% DMs)
- 3882 users. Talking in last seven days: 319. Reading in the same period: 1,159.
- 285 live channel. 207 archived.
- 13 services, four bots, 25 apps.
These numbers don’t tell a story other than saying “lots of people are talking about lots of things.” However, I would call the Rands Leadership Slack an unmitigated success that continues to exceed my expectations, and I see contributing factors that are supporting this success. (Good time to state I am the VP of Engineering at Slack, so here there be bias.)
First, continued member growth has mostly been word of mouth for 2017. I did marketing activities during the first year whenever it appeared that membership was flattening, but much of the growth in 2017 is word of mouth. Humans are referring other humans at a nice clip, and I’m inferring they’re doing so because they are finding value.
Second, while growing, the community is also self-regulating. The amount of administration I needed to do on a week to week basis averages less than five minutes. I attribute this to the fact I picked leadership as a domain, but also the community has deliberately defined how we expect this Slack to work.
There are two documents which define conduct are: the Welcome page as well as a Code of Conduct. In the last two years when a situation has arisen, I’ve simply pointed at the relevant clause and explained, “This is how we work together and how to treat each other” has worked every single time.
Third, and finally, Destalinator is a tool written and maintained by the denizens of this Slack. As I already wrote about, this tool prunes channels on a daily basis that haven’t been updated in two months. Because of this tool, new and current users seeking a new channel usually find a channel with recent activity. The discovery that channels are likely to be active avoids the perception problem that plagued wikis for years – the discover of a stale page (or channel) leads the reader to erroneously question, “Is everything stale here?”
It’s not stale. It’s vibrant. Over on the #jobs channel, we have a Google spreadsheet where anyone can add an open job. Curious, last week, I asked, “So, has anyone got a job as a result of being on this Slack?” The answer was a pleasing, “Many.”
I’ve run a lot of different experiments over the years to attempt to network the Rands community and each had a glimmer hope followed by immediate diminishing returns. Two years in, I am extremely thankful for the community of humans who spend part of the day caring, curating, and contributing to the Rands Leadership Slack.