One point on the proposed slack behavior:

It can be challenging to keep up with discussions when there are a ton of channels and new channels popping up all of the time.  It might be beneficial to remove/archive old channels that are outdated or where the discussion is complete.  But in general, I think inventing new channels willy-nilly is a bad one, as not everyone will know about their existence and inevitably people will get left out of relevant conversations.

On Thu, May 17, 2018 at 9:04 AM, Matthew Turk <> wrote:
Hi folks,

I want to bring up that this *is* something we can discuss -- and we probably will need to refine these guidelines a bit.  But even just in the last couple days I've noticed that folks are working hard on using threads, channels, etc, and I think it makes for a much less noisy experience.  Things that work really well in small teams don't necessarily scale, which I think is where we're at, and in some ways can even bottleneck scaling to larger numbers of people.  Even though I'm a bit grumpy about changing (especially since I am used to IRC) it seems like this is likely an improvement.

That being said, we should figure out if it works for us -- and if we can refine these guidelines.  And then probably write them down and stick 'em in an onboarding bot. 


On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 8:51 PM Matthew Turk <> wrote:
Sounds good
On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 5:19 PM Michael Zingale <> wrote:

> these sound like good suggestions to me.  I get overwhelmed when I pop in
on slacks that are not my usual hangouts, so maybe this will help.

> On Mon, May 14, 2018 at 6:11 PM, John ZuHone <> wrote:

>> All of this sounds great to me!

>> > On May 14, 2018, at 5:54 PM, Nathan Goldbaum <>
>> >
>> > Hi all,
>> >
>> > I just had a discussion with Molly Peeples here at the Enzo workshop.
She pointed out to me that the yt slack is currently very noisy and active
and that there are a number of ways we could try to make Slack a more
useful resource for both the user and developer community. This is informed
by her experience in several very busy slack organizations. I've summarized
her suggestions below.
>> >
>> > 1. Make the general channel less noisy
>> >
>> > Currently there are lots of discussions that go on in general. This is
ok for a smaller slack, but for a slack community of our size this just
encourages people to silence all activity from the yt slack and then never
participate again. Making #general quieter will encourage people to check
the yt slack when there's a major update and then perhaps more infrequently
check in on other channels.
>> >
>> > Another thing we can do immediately to make #general less noisy is
make our github integration publish new pull requests and issues to a new
#development or #github channel.
>> >
>> > 2. Point people asking for help to the #help channel.
>> >
>> > Since people join #general automatically when they first join, there
will inevitably be questions getting asked in #general. We should point
people, both in the #general channel topic, and actively via social
interactions on Slack to the #help channel.
>> >
>> > 3. Use threads more often
>> >
>> > This way an ongoing conversation does not generate tons of
notifications. This also means that if someone responds to your question in
a thread, you should use that thread to reply.
>> >
>> > 4. Create new channels often
>> >
>> > If there seems to be a topic that is generating lots of discussion, we
should feel less inhibited to mention that this is happening and try to
move discussion about that topic to a new channel. This way people who are
interested in that topic get notifications about that topic and everyone
else can ignore it.
>> >
>> > Ultimately my hope here is that more people will participate in our
slack community and eventually in the yt community as a whole.
>> >
>> > Please don't take this e-mail as a dictate from me about how we should
use slack but instead as the beginning of a discussion about this. I'd
especially like to hear from people who currently don't use much slack
because it's too noisy and from people who think my above suggestions are
annoying or overbearing. Do you think you'd use Slack more if it were less
noisy? Are there other ways we can improve the hygiene of our Slack
>> >
>> > Thanks for your time and attention,
>> >
>> > Nathan Goldbaum
>> > _______________________________________________
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> --
> Michael Zingale
> Associate Professor

> Dept. of Physics & Astronomy • Stony Brook University • Stony Brook, NY
> phone:  631-632-8225
> e-mail:
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Cameron Hummels
NSF Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Astronomy
California Institute of Technology