Swing Left Volunteer Slack Guide

👋🏼 Welcome to Slack!

Communication and volunteer support is key to an organization like Swing Left; email, conference calls, and the website are all important tools. Slack is another tool to help volunteers meet each other and share what’s working. If you are new to Slack, follow this checklist and you’ll be up and running in about 20 minutes.

🚦 Before you begin...

Slack is our online community for volunteers and team leaders from all across the country. It’s the primary way we stay connected and updated on all of the great organizing work taking place. This document has active blue links which will take you to the Slack.com help pages or YouTube videos which are quite helpful.

🔑 Step 1: Logging in

Follow your email invitation instructions or join the team at https://swingleft-support.slack.com. Slack.com is web-based but there are other options as well. Consider downloading the desktop version and/or smartphone app at www.slack.com/downloads.

💁 Step 2: Setting up your profile and notification preferences.

Fill out your profile. We suggest as you fill out your name you append your location and/or Swing Left group as part of your Full Name on the profile page. For example, instead of William Faulkner, the Full Name is William Faulkner, SL-NYC. Upload a profile photo so we can get to know each other better. Setting your notification preferences, and keeping them simple, will make your life much easier. Getting too many notifications can be annoying, so we recommend turning off all notifications except for Direct Messages and certain channels that are most meaningful to you. See this guide to notifications.

🚀 Step 3: Getting Started

How to play: Watch the videos listed below (and more if you’d like) at slack.com/videoguides. They’re short and full of useful tips. Or if you prefer web instructions, here is the Slack ‘Getting Started’ guide. Our Slack domain is a safe and respectful place so don’t be shy about trying things out!

Using channels In Slack, public and private channels -- all channels have a # in front of their name -- help organize team conversations. Public channels give greater visibility into what various teams are doing across the organization; they’re also a great place for real time conversations across time zones! Our slack is organized primarily in #team, #proj, or #local channels:

  • Each Super State has a team e.g. #team-arizona, #team-north-carolina, etc.

  • Most of our tactics are organized into projects, e.g. #proj-letter-writing, #proj-house-parties

  • You will also find locally focused channels: #local-greater-dc

Be judicious in joining too many channels at first. You can always add more later. You will automatically be in the #introductions and #announcements channels. Here is how to join channels:

  • Click the word Channels on the left side of your screen.

  • Browse your channel options or type in a few letters in the search bar.

  • Click the channel you want, and click the green “Join Channel” box at the bottom.

💬 Sending messages Communication in Slack happens through messages i.e at the bottom of each channel there is an ‘empty box’ awaiting a new message! Try it now by going to #introductions and introducing yourself in the message box.

There are several ways to message other people in Slack:

  • Mention them within a channel message by using their full or screen name starting with the @. Such as: @William Faulkner, SL-NYC.

  • Reply to a message the person has written using the “start a thread” 💬 action found by placing your cursor over the right side of the message pane. Use the 💬 often and try not to use the “also send to a team” checkbox unless it is crucial that everyone in the channel sees your reply. This practice will really keep our Slack clean and user-friendly.

  • React to a message with an emoji. Your ‘happy face’ emoji might help someone who needs support.

  • Use a Direct Message (or DM). To get started, click thenext to Direct Messages on the left side of the screen, type in your own name to test your DM skills or message someone else privately using their @name. You can even use DM’s to your self to add notes, files and reminders.

🎉 Step 4: Have more questions? If you have checked out the videos, and the guides, and still have some questions or comments, please head over to the #proj-slack channel, and we will try to answer your questions or send you to the best tutorial. You rock!

Thank you for being part of the team!