Slack: better team communication through unification

Canadian-based firm Slack promotes itself as providing better corporate communication through a unified tool. Slack combines email and many more communication platforms and media sources to achieve this. Their tagline: be less busy.
Slack promises everything in one place: any type of media involved in a project or conversation can be added from external services.
A promo video in which the Sandwich Video team shows how they use Slack:

Essentially, Slack provides the following things:

  • Platform independency: desktop, Android and iOS support included.
  • Private groups as well as 1-on-1 communication.
  • Channels for certain topics or departments (api, bugs, sales, support, cats, etc) – see screenshot below
  • Integration with many external services and platforms, including Dropbox, Jira, Google Hangouts, GitHub
  • Much more

A screenshot of the interface with channels:
As the article on IT World Canada News notes, email can be a hassle or even counterproductive if not used correctly:

  • Wrong or missed recipients (with CC for example)
  • Responses filling the inbox
  • Important stuff gets drowned out

Slack fixes this with making conversations easily readable and searchable. A quote from the article:

The tool is particularly useful in areas where lots of communications, such as emails, customer service tickets or tweets, are automatically generated by machines. Examples here could be when someone comments on a task in team collaboration systems like Asana or Trello, both of which Slack integrates with.

The tool seems to fit small, flexible teams best that work together on several projects. Just like with email, some discipline and etiquette (as with any communications tool) when it comes to using it.
Slack was founded by Stewart Butterfield, formerly founder of photo sharing service Flickr, which was sold to Yahoo.
Slack sounds a lot like Google Wave, the collaboration platform launched by Google a while ago, and which Google killed off in 2010. By the looks of it however, it seems to work quite well for (multiple) teams working on stuff, be it either support tickets, bugs, media productions or other team tasks.
Find out more about Slack on their website here.

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