How SitePoint Uses Slack

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Slack art

Everyone in the entire world loves Slack, obviously.

The increasingly ubiquitous chat app has taken over the business and media world, with organizations as diverse as eBay, Sony, Yelp, the New York Times and SitePoint (who?) hooked into the plaid-patterned platform. Slack has been valued at about US $2.8 billion, which is a lot of moneybag emojis but probably only one rocket ship emoji.

It’s interesting how different organizations have adapted Slack for their own purposes. What sorts of social conventions have they developed? What kinds of integrations have they integrated? What ridiculous emoji have they created? Once you start reading about this stuff, it can become quite addictive, as every new tidbit is something that may save you a bunch of time.

A few weeks ago we outlined how 6 organizations use Slack, which gave a bunch of practical ideas. I’ve also been publishing regular snippets of amusing conversations from our Slack channels to our Medium publication. But now, let’s move past the quips and puns and take a look at how we use Slack to make working life easier/better.

Dev Integrations

Like any other web company, our devs use Slack to centralize notifications from various other services, including GitHub, BuildBot, and AirBrake. Unlike some other organizations, Slack is mainly used to provide awareness, rather than acting as a place to deploy code or run services.

Where’s Wally?

Like most organizations who care about the sanity of their employees, we’re keen on letting people work from home whenever they like if that’s what works for them. The only potential wrinkle in that policy is when other, at-work people, who are organizing meetings and such, aren’t aware that their compatriots are away. To try to combat this, we’ve set up a channel where work-from-home-ers can check in to update people on their movements, so people’s expectations for replies etc are catered to.

Shout Outs

If someone does something awesome, we have a dedicated channel in which to shout them out. We’ve found having a specific venue to praise people means people praise more often, which has to be a good thing.


This is actually just a channel we use to troll Kat, our actual designer, with dumb jokes about how we should use Papyrus for the font on all our pages, and talk about using Canva to design final versions of everything, rather than initial sketches.

Chicken Monday

Sometimes we go out for spicy fried chicken on Mondays, so we definitely need a dedicated channel to discuss when we should venture for such sustenance.

SitePoint Contributors Team

So that’s our Slack usage for SitePoint HQ, but if you’re a contributor, active forum participant, or even a SitePoint ambassador, we have a whole other SitePoint Slack Team for ya.

We have more than a dozen channels, split into topics like “HTML”, “JavaScript” and “PHP”. We also have specific channels for editors, forum staff and ambassadors, as well as places to discuss specific topics like our burgeoning Peer Review program.

Having so many people (there are more than 350 right now) means things can get hectic, especially when someone (I’m still not clear on who) brought chatbot Jeeves to the party. Since I’m based in Melbourne, it’s not unusual to wake up to more than 300 notifications from a conversation that happened at 4am my time, so smart filtering is necessary to preserve some kind of sanity. Another thing: because this is a large team under Slack’s free plan, we have a limit of 10,000 messages. This means anything important needs to be saved elsewhere.

But the quantity of people interested in web development provides plenty of fodder for content ideas, with frequent calls to convert particularly spirited discussions into articles. It’s also getting to become the first place to visit when you need an author, a tech reviewer or an editor. It’s super handy.

By the way, if you want to become a contributor, either because of this explanation of our Slack usage, or due to some other, more legitimate reason, get in touch via email or comment below.

So, that’s how we use Slack — how about you? Any comments, theories, questions or queries? Drop us a line below.

Adam RobertsAdam Roberts
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Adam is SitePoint's head of newsletters, who mainly writes Versioning, a daily newsletter covering everything new and interesting in the world of web development. He has a beard and will talk to you about beer and Star Wars, if you let him.

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