Around the 9th of September 2015 we set up Slack for NWDUG. Before the slack channel communication wasn’t brilliant, it felt to me like our community was just centred around one day a month event.

We toyed with the idea of an IRC channel for a bit but the user on-boarding was too much and the lack of moderation tools and integrations was a real deal breaker for me. So we settled on Slack and then ran with it.

I think it’s safe to say that it’s been a huge success! We’re active every week day with a total of 59 registered users, scratch that 60, someone just signed up as I’m writing this! In total we have around 10-15 online every day which I think is pretty great.

Here is a sample of some of the channels we are running:

  • Organisers - a channel that allows me, Eli and Phil to privately discuss the goings on of the group and get things organised.
  • General - says what it does on the tin.
  • Bumblebee-Dev - a channel for development of our hubot Bumblebee who tracks most importantly karma and has some neat integrations (search npm for hubot-drupal).
  • Sprints - a channel for organising sprints, it’s open to anyone.

There are a bunch of integrations we’ve added over time as well:

  • Giphy - gifs on demand
  • Trello - used for updates on our organisational board
  • Hubot - Bumblebee Hubot
  • Twitter - expanding tweets

These integrations all add value to our Slack group and provide functionality that isn’t readily available in IRC, sure it’s possible but not as easily as it is in Slack.

We’re not just north west based either. There are people from all over the UK in Slack. We pride ourselves on being an open user group and generally a nice bunch of people.

Slack isn’t costing us anything either. We don’t need the features of a paid Slack account so we are happy to stick on the free plan. This isn’t without it’s issues though, all it would take is a change of service from Slack to throw things out the window. If that happens then we’ll have to look into other alternatives.

Since we introduced Slack it’s certainly felt like NWDUG has grown. The meetup has extended into an all year round thing with people able to chat with each other on a daily basis.

If your interested in getting involved then join here -