Slack ‘Spots’, not just Bots

Ev Williams of Medium would like to see more sorts on information — stuff external to slack — rendered within Slack channels. He lists

project status, metrics, to-do lists, calendars at the top of certain team/project channels, with the chat below.

He than asks,

Wouldn’t that be nice?

Yes, it would be nice.

I think that near competitors — like Fleep — that offer embedded tasks, for example, are an indicator of how good this would be.

Slack would be well served if they reworked the paradigm to move beyond bots to include ‘spots’ — display panels with external information framed into Slack channels.

For instance, here’s a mock up of a Slack channel for the C2 conference, with some tasks from the Busybot task management tool, at the top.

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Mock up of a Task Management ‘Spot’ inside of Slack

(I actually used the sidebar from Busybot, since it looks just like Slack: it’s a parasitic app, relying on Slack for a great part of its architecture.)

Of course we’d like to pull more info into the context of the Slack channel where we are discussing it, and not to go back and forth. In my example, we can imagine that I have pinned a Busybot spot to the top of a Slack channel, and the task context and the Slack channel are linked, and share a name, as well.

I bet Slack is already at work at an integration model of this type, already. Aren’t you, Stewart Butterfield?

Written by

Founder, Work Futures. Editor, GigaOm. My obsession is the ecology of work, and the anthropology of the future.

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