A Letter to Slack

Breaking up with Slack

Designer Samuel Hulick penned this humorous but substantive “breakup letter” with Slack. He argues that where its early promise to obsolesce email and free up time was enthralling, the reality of Slack’s subsequent explosion in popularity and usage is that it has made communication more difficult.

While it’s true that email was (and, despite your valiant efforts, still very much is) a barely-manageable firehose of to-do list items controlled by strangers, one of the few things that it did have going for it was that at least everything was in one place.

Trying to keep up with the manifold follow-up tasks from the manifold conversations in your manifold teams and channels requires a Skynet-like metapresence that is simply beyond me.

With you, the firehose problem has become a hydra-headed monster.

I touched on a part of this problem in this blog post back in January, but Hulick’s assessment is much more thorough and accurate. For me, Slack hasn’t replaced email—or even Basecamp—at all; it’s simply become another channel that I have to monitor—or, to be precise, it’s become at least eight channels that I have to actively monitor. Slack’s promise that I can “be less busy” seems optimistic if not unrealistic these days.

Read the full article at medium.com.