Persistent Group Chat

Persistent group chat apps like Slack and Spark are starting to dominate the conversation of unified communications. Are they that good? I'll let you find your own fluff blog posts hailing them as the next big thing (rendering everything else dead I assume). This takes a look at the other side, since it's rarely discussed.

Here are some of the negative aspects of these apps that I've found through their use. Sure, they have their good points, but it's always best to look at both sides of the situation.

The Overshare
You know the over sharer. Continuously posting at all hours, tagging names, causing phone alerts to pop off. If you're required to use these apps at your business, you're going to deal with these people. Messaging apps are much less formal than email and that can cause people to say too much, too often. These are the people (jackasses) that post random motivational quotes too.



"Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."

The Wasted Time
If you're part of a group chat of say 10 people, how much of a percentage of the information is relevant to you? Some people will end up reading everything including the non-relevant posts, wasting huge amounts of time in the process. Would you rather your team get work done or read group chats from "The Overshare Guy"?

Show me the Results
Sometimes the manager just want results and doesn't care how they get there. By forcing them on these apps, it increases the burden on their time and effort. Sure, if you want to micro manage it's a great way to do that, but most managers I know just need results.

Availability Status
I personally turn off any presence status for every app I use. Presence status gives a green light for people to bother you.
Why I don't use presence

Do they really (really) reduce email usage?
Of course they do, but you're trading one messaging platform for another. Net zero impact.

This article sums up in one line better than I did with this post.
Is group chat making you sweat?

"Following group chat all day feels like being in an all-day meeting with random participants and no agenda. "


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