Slack Chat
the Mighty SSI Think Tank gears up for the Mariner tsunami coming


(1) Thanks for setting up that site, amigos.

(2) KLAT continues to prioritize SSI for the coming season and forwards all of your suggestions to the top for review.

(3) They offer this link and ask whether it is useful for the Slack Chat type purpose:

(4) You guys know how hopeless I am with new tech.  It took me 3 months to get comfortable with Twitter :- )  .... but ... once I get the hang of something I do use it relentlessly.

I will 100% jump in with you guys on Slack Chat, no questions asked, since it is obviously a clear community desire.  In return could I ask three things?

(a) Somebody lay out for me a bullet-list procedure on how to sign up, get started, perhaps with a suggestion or two as to early use of Slack Chat.

(b) If you'd be so kind, please jump over to and provide a bit of feedback on that page?

(c) A bit of patience on my taking a week or two on Slack Chat please :- ) 






Hey Doc

Slack is designed as a community-based chat forum but you have to become a member to use it.  It is organised by workspaces which are like individual sites (SSI is its own workspace).  Within the workspace are channels.  We are currently chatting in two channels - one for 'general' chat i.e. not specific to a game and one for 'game-chatter'.

To get started is very straightforward.

  1. Click this link: (taken from G Moneyball's link on SSI a few days ago)
  2. Choose a username and password
  3. Start chatting!  If you desire, I believe you can re-read everything that's been written since we started on Tuesday - there's some great content and mini-discussions in there as potential sources for new posts.

One of the great advantages of Slack is the ability to insert rich media like URLs, Twitter links, videos/sound etc.  Has a great UI too and has a mobile app so you can stay connected easily when you're on the move plus a desktop app if you prefer this to the website version although there's not much difference visually between the two.

Will look at the link you've shown above when I get home from work later and provide feedback as requested.


2 that it pipes notifications to your desktop when people post in our workspace, so you'll know when we're in there chatting. And you can set what level of notifications you want displayed.

To get the app, all you have to do is click download the app button from our workspace page when it offers you the chance to get it.


I use it on iphone, it's intuitive and very easy to use.  There'll be Android and probably other device versions too.


One click in your app store to install (free), then you just enter the slack workspace you want to access, give it your email address and a username and a password and it's ready to use. Defaults are pretty much ideal for most users, and you can customize the appearance significantly (change the color scheme of the menus, zoom the font size to something bigger or smaller, change how compact the messages are in your display, change how it displays emoticons, code text, and media files, where it stores downloaded files, how you'll receive notifications...all through an easy-to-navigate and read preferences menu.

ChicagoMariner1's picture

just tried to use Klatchat.  My comment is sitting there, no idea if it is published or not.  I’m posting here as well, hope it takes.  

Where to begin on comments on #klatchat.  General usability is poor (orientation, navigation, work necessary to do basic things.). If you are on a mobile device, it’s really painful.  Pretty much the same as the rest of the site. It’s a real barrier to doing anything other than reading (and even that is hard.). [Thankful that] the content and comments the community are so strong - strong enough for people to stick with it despite the barriers.



What Fungineer said. I did look at the link, but it's not as sophisticated, fully featured, or user friendly as Slack, which I had never hear of before. Slack provides all the chat functionality people here have been looking for.

It is hard to evaluate the Klat chat since the link sends us to a blank chat. I contributed a post that simply said, "Test." I can see it, but I don't know if Klat will segregate for SSI users and organize the chat so that multiple topics are easily recognized and followed. To date Klat seems to have followed a "cross-pollenization" ethos, which I think contributes to some of the difficulties. Are we going to have to sort through threads from completely different communities? Are we going to have to see people randomly post in "our" threads that have no idea what this community is about? 

Doc, I for one (and I suspect many agree) have been blown away with your generosity in building, guiding, and keeping this community together without a paywall. As someone on a fixed income, I could not participate without it. If Klat is the best platform for you moving forward, then most I'm sure will understand and participate on the Klat SSI site. Also, we know you have your own issues and needs, which include recent health matters and the need to support a family. 

We do not know the particulars of your arrangement with Klat, but Slack seems to provide a free, well-designed chat interface that can supplement SSI and remove the whole chat matter from the Klat agenda so far as SSI is concerned. 

Above all, I doubt anybody wants to do anything that will make your life or your management of this web community harder and more expensive.


Since I sort of sprang this Slack idea on everyone, just a couple of thoughts:

1) the Klat chat link you sent does work for a few commenters, Doc, but the window for commenting is small and not really flexible for people with vision problems. It is ordered on newest first (and bottom-up is not how the Western world naturally reads) and unless things have significantly improved it will still on occasion scroll you up automatically when new comments are posted, which makes catching up on previous posts nearly impossible. It only gets worse the more people are trying to chat at once, say in Game threads. You can post gifs and Youtube links, which is good in some ways, but you cannot hide those images if you don't want to see them. It's also incredibly tough on mobile users. It is usable but not necessarily functionally friendly IMO, if that makes sense.

I enjoy Slack because it is user-friendly on all devices as well as user-customizable on all devices. I can send a quick message to one person so I'm not cluttering up the group chat, make text bigger or change colors to make it easier on the eyes... it wants to be used by a variety of people who may not all come to it with the same 20/20 vision, large monitor or lack of dyslexia. I find it helps facilitate discussion easily, which is what I really want.

If there are things we can recommend from our Slack experience as we go to help improve Klat's chatbox for what they're attempting, I'm all for it. Coding is obviously a completely different issue, but all I was really hoping for with the Slack suggestion is to organize and improve conversation to then be able to return here and have some long-form discussions for the 95% of your traffic that will never chat or post but love this site as much as any of us. As the master of the 14-paragraph diatribe I can't imagine ever not being a blogger here.

Thanks for being willing to float the trial balloon, Doc.

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