December 19, 2015 in Technical Problems
After holding my breath for a "real" integrated chat software and limping along on the current iteration of chat, and pleading for over two years to fix the css on the chat I just couldn't do anymore. - Deep breath...
On my site we only use chat for a few hours on Friday Nights were we banter about the week. Last night we kicked the tires on Slack and many really enjoyed the interface and features, which harkens back to what we use to use - a Hotline client from yesteryear - which included inline attachments and sharing of files.
I looked at other software including all the "chat" software that usually shadow's forum communities, they have there pro's & cons.
Also considered HipChat, Ryver, and Gip (now apart of RingCentral) , I had tried HipChat when working as a consultant with another company and its as a good contender but the price point would have been too expensive to even consider. Plus if you already used you're email address for one organization you couldn't' use it again for another - forcing you to have a different email and logging in and out of the service. Ryver's price point is good - free - but just couldn't' put my finger on how to get it to my liking, interface had an uncanny valley feel, to it. Gip too would have worked but after a quick poll of my participants many already use Slack in their other businesses and are familiar with its features.
The benefit of these services also have a true multi-platform based app in addition to using a browser. Which may help me see the return of many our members who are several time zones away and usually are chatting from a tablet while relaxing on the sofa and the current chat software just does odd things on a mobile browser. (did i mention the CSS issues?)
All of these latter systems are geared toward "teams" or group collaborations so you typically have to invite these users to your channel. I was able to get all the email addresses who had participated in my most recent chats and then send them an invite. But there are a few who haven't visited in a long time and I will need to provide a way for them to "SIGN UP" to request an invite.
I am hoping there is a way to use the Pages to create a simple signup sheet that allows users to create a request Full Name / Email / Handle and then some way to eventually pass this data to the Slack API to instantiate an invite. As it is now I will manually have to collect these and copy and paste them in to the invite request.
If anyone has this talent perhaps it would be a good marketplace, integration (on both services).
I would truly love IPS to have some avenue into this arena too - however this is not a core business focus, nor should it necessarily be.
I dont know what the slack api looks like, but IPS has some nice request wrappers that can make api calls simple one liners of php.
@Mike John just released a new version of the forms app which has rules ECA's built into it. You could use it to build the request form and then pass the data to the Slack api using a rule when the form is submitted.
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