Jake Trent

Use Slack Channels to Broadcast

Use a slack #channel, not @channel, to broadcast.

Who are you talking to?

Who do you want to tell your great thing to? Who are you trying to reach?

This question is answered by the #channel that you are in. If you are in the #engineering channel and type something and send it, everyone in that channel will see it. That’s why they’re there. That’s what they expect to see.

Sometimes, instead, it seems like we believe that we aren’t telling everyone in the channel a thing unless we pull a @channel or @here mention out and use it. This is not true.

Say it in the channel, people see it in the channel.

When Timeliness is Important

If you want everyone to see something in a shorter amount of time, it might be appropriate to use a mention. Mentions are often tied to notifications and are filtered less in most peoples’ Slack settings.

When you mention someone or everyone via @channel, notifications are pushed to those users. They are pulled into an engagement with you. They are pulled away from other things to pay attention to what you’re saying at that very moment. Make sure the timeliness of what you’re saying calls for this action before you take it.

If you want to say something to a group of people, just say it in the channel.

If you want to say something urgently (adv. in a way that requires immediate action), say it with @channel.