Slack vs Facebook Groups: The problems with Facebook groups and why we moved to Slack for our private community

  • This article was so helpful. Thanks so much for putting it together. I am building a community to follow up on a paid workshop. We are going use to as an accountability group to make sure we implement the lessons from the workshop. Given your assessment here I am making the leap to slack. Thanks again.

    • Chris Marr

      How’s Slack working out for you Derrick?

  • I have had the same challenge with my website community being on Facebook, my website is for handling sex and love within the context of marriage, and so I have a Facebook group for it, unfortunately due to Facebook being free for all, I now have a group with 80,000+ members but most are just spectators, spammers, marketers and people whose interests are so out of context with the aim of the website and the group. Worse malicious people keep reporting us and as you know we are at the mercy of Facebook and some of my admins accounts got permanently suspended from Facebook including mine. So I have decided this year to set up a forum in my website totally dedicated for love and sex issues. It is picking slowly, but it is catching up. Worse on Facebook posts cannot be categorized at all, making it so difficult to follow up on topics of interests as some jokers simply flood existing topics with drivel.
    This article is just a motivator for me.

    • Chris Marr

      How’s Slack working out for you Anthony?

  • nlpmum

    Hi Chris, A couple of questions: Do you manage to get by with just the free version of Slack or do you need the paid version? Did you also look at standard bulletin board functionality?

    I’m kinda interested that we have migrated from much more powerful bulletin board functionality (as used on Netmums and many other forums from 2008ish onwards) to FB which is unconfigurable and weak in terms of functionality though (as you say) incredibly strong in terms of distractions – not just from our own competing groups but also from masses of ads – usually for products which compete with our own. I’ve been wondering about setting up an old style bulletin board – I reckon this would have similar functionality to that of Slack wouldn’t it? F

    • Chris Marr

      Hey Fiona, tbh I never spent much time comparing Slack with forums. However, Slack met my criteria of being app based on almost all devices, where as forums are usually browser based and can be quite clunky. I’ve wobbled once on Slack and felt I needed a ‘proper forum’, but I’m totally over that because Slack just keeps getting better and better in terms of user experience.

      • nlpmum

        Interesting. So do you run the paid version or would it be possible to just use the free version. Presumably you have authority over who has access? And is there a moderation function? I will have to look at it closely. I find it unbelievable that so many people are running their private groups off FB with such limited functionality. Obv FB has it’s advantages for free, open access groups where you’re trying to build .a following but once your group is part of a paid program, it’s sooooo limited. I’m also looking at some of the course delivery options like Thinkific etc to see if they have decent discussion options.

        • Chris Marr

          I use the paid version of Slack, but you can use the free version with limited features.

          • Neil Silver

            If you have a community group can some users be free and some paid just with different functionality?

          • Chris Marr

            Hey Neil, not really, but the way I have done this is by giving people single channel access.

            Example:

            If you are a full paying member, you have access to all channels in Slack. However, if you are not a full paying member, but you are attending CMA Live, you can access a single channel (which doesn’t actually cost CMA anything).

            Make sense?