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Feb 25, 2016

I'm a Slacker

I've been using Slack at work for a while now. However, I recently discovered a new use for it: my family.
Slack is a cloud-based team collaboration tool designed for businesses. At it's core, it is an instant-messaging, IRC-style media, where team members share discussion in different topic channels. Many small businesses are calling it the email replacement. But it is more than than because of its add-on features and increased productivity for a team.
I'm on it constantly, because it has a web interface, a computer-installed application and phone apps to make me available for needed discussions at work. Because sometimes my wife has trouble getting a hold of me with no directly phone line at work and having to mute my mobile so often when I'm there, I suggested creating a slack just for the two of us -- kind of a private social media
Then I realized, a family is a team too. If Slack's motto of "be less busy" was effective for business, then perhaps it would work as an organizer for my family as well. We are still in the beginning stages, but our "slack" is being shared out to extended family as a way to share announcements, have video chats, share recipes, read the news and even share a joke or two.
There are several RSS feeds managed in our slack - from a daily Bible verse to breaking news stories. We have built-in video features, helper bots and shared calendars. And it is not shared out to the rest of the cloud, like on Facebook. It all stays within the context of our team: our family.
Technology often gets a bad reputation as something that destroys family time. But technology itself is amoral; it is how we use it that creates consequences. I, for one, look for ways to use technology to bring my family closer together. Slack is my current pursuit in that effort.

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