I have been using slack for a few years now, but have really noticed an uptick in the last year or so. (If you aren’t familiar with slack, here’s an intro to slack usage, and if you are, here’s a great code of conduct for public slacks.)
It seems to me that there are four main types of slack groups.
The first is the company/department slack. This slack is long lived, contains many channels, and is multi purpose. There are channels for ops, marketing, etc. This slack is typically limited to the employees of a company, though contractors are also given access. The main purposes of this slack are an ad-hoc knowledge base and to reduce email. Depending on IT, this slack may be under the radar and compete with other solutions like hipchat, wikis or internal mailing lists.
The next type is a project slack. This is related to the company slack, but is less long lived, and has fewer members and channels. It is used for coordination amongst disparate people, often a set of contractors. May be maintained by the client or prime contractor, also serves as an ad-hoc knowledge base, but is primarily a means for coordination of effort.
Both of the above slacks may have other integrations with systems (CI/CD, monitoring, etc). These integrations with external systems can make the slack a one stop shop for corporate knowledge and memory, especially if the members are on paid accounts.
The above types are obviously limited in membership. The next two types of slacks are more public.
Another type of slack is the event slack. This slack replaces or augments Twitter as a way for people at a conference to communicate. May exist between events, but is quiescent while events are not happening. Here channels may be related to aspects of the event or tracks, and the slack is typically owned by the event coordinator and provided as a service to the conference attendees.
Slack can also be an email list replacement. I have been a member of several email lists for user groups/meetups in the front range, and it serms much of the activity on some of them have been driven to slack (the BDNT meetup is a good example). In addition, I see a lot of new slacks being created that would, a decade ago been email groups. (Facebook groups are also a replacement for email groups, depending on your audience, but I have found slack to be far superior in searchability.). The number of channels is typically related to member list size and length of existence. I have found these slacks be on the free slack plan, with its limits. I have also heard of slacks of this type charging for membership.
What has been your slack experience? What did I miss?