It’s official! The Social Justice Book Club is moving into Slack as of January 2017. Our hope is that this new platform will foster stronger, more on-going discussion, a simpler sharing of links, and reduce the possibility of trolling in the conversation.
Because so many of you said you’d not yet used Slack, we’ve put together a basic tutorial of the platform, how it works, and how we plan to use it. But first, a video! If you’re completely and totally new to Slack, this is an awesome place to start.
How Slack Works
Think of Slack as the most robust chatroom you’ve ever seen. You can DM other participants directly, or engage with the larger group in themed “chatrooms.” Conversations are easily searchable, and yes, there are gifs.
Slack can be viewed as a website, mobile app (for iOS or Android), and Mac desktop app. Notifications can be customized to your liking, and there’s a “Snooze Mode” available if you want to set yourself away to focus, sleep, or, you know, read the book.
How We’ll Use It
We’ve got a few basic channels set up to start:
- #general: General conversation about anything that strikes your fancy and may be relevant to the club/other club members. Kerry and I will also use this channel for overall group announcements, as all incoming members will be in this channel.
- #introductions: Introduce yourself! Share your blog, social media channels, Litsy username, whatever you’re comfortable with. As new members join, they can introduce themselves and view existing members in the chat history.
- #random: Exactly what it sounds like: totally random things. Some great YouTube video you saw, or an awesome plugin for Slack, or what you had for lunch. You know, random things.
- #recommendations: We know you all know about as many social-justice themed books as we do… if not more. Use this channel to toss out recommendations, discuss possible books to add to the club’s list, etc. You can always use the Google form as well, but we thought this might be easier & more centralized for all to see and comment on.
Then there will be a designated channel for each month’s read. By separating the individual book discussions, members interested in, say, the January book but not the March book can join the app without being bothered by notifications for conversations they don’t plan to participate in. The channel for January is called, appropriately, #hopeinthedark.
It’s worth noting that while we can add you to a channel, you can always remove yourself from any channel you don’t want to join. You control your Slack experience, from channels to notifications to snoozed settings.
How the Club Will Operate
In order to be sure to continue to spread the word about the club, sign-ups will be open for each round. In order to keep things simple, we will be keeping sign-ups on Kerry’s blog, but you can always always get in touch with either of us anywhere on social media to let us know you want to participate. Members who sign-up for a specific book will be added to the book-appropriate channel (and new members added to the club-level channels). We still hope that members will share photos and thoughts on their respective social channels (don’t forget the hashtag, #SJBookClub), but that Slack’s conversation model will foster more real-time discussion.
Where appropriate/applicable, Kerry and I will share additional book content (author interviews, suggested reading lists, etc.) on our blogs (and link to these in the Slack). We hope members with blogs will review the book(s) read and share links to those reviews in the Slack platform, though reviews are not required to participate in any way. To wrap up the month, we’ll collect the reviews, relevant media pieces, articles of note, etc. in a wrap-up post on our blogs and share the link in Slack.
Don’t forget, our January 2017 pick is Hope In The Dark by Rebecca Solnit. There’s still plenty of time to buy or borrow the book in your preferred format, so you can head over to Kerry’s blog to sign up and we’ll see you over on Slack!