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Consolidation of Community Slack Channels


April 16, 2024

On April 26th, 2024 Pantheon will begin consolidating the channels in our Community Slack instance and convert members to single-channel guests of the #general channel. All other public channels will be archived.

In many cases, the benefits of separate channels come with substantial and increasing monetary costs as well as downsides for participants. Pantheon is unique in our level of support for both WordPress and Drupal. We want a free-flowing exchange of ideas between those communities. Steering conversions to separate #wordpress and #drupal channels as we have in the past works against that benefit.

Some other channels have specific corresponding GitHub repositories that are suited to the tracking of complex topics or bug reports rather than discussion in the #general channel

  • Our Decoupled Kit repo which holds much of our integration code used to connect WordPress and Drupal to Next.js and Gatsby can track questions or bug reports that often surfaced in the #front-end-frameworks channel.
  • The #search channel often held discussion that corresponds to our Drupal module and WordPress plugin that provide search functionality.
  • The #secrets-management channel exists to discuss Pantheon's new Secrets Management functionality that is currently in Early Access and has a waiting list for more customers. In many instances, the issue queue for the Terminus plugin required to use this feature is the appropriate place to hold questions.


What is Changing in Community Slack?

Pantheon will be consolidating the channels in Community Slack and transitioning all members to single-channel guests in the #general channel. All other public channels will be archived. This transition will be completed between April 26th and April 30th.

How Will This Change Alter the Experience for Existing Community Members?

Starting Tuesday, April 30th, all Community Slack Members will receive a notification that their account has been transitioned to a "single-channel guest" account. Community members do not need to take any action. Once this process is finalized, they will only be granted access to the #general channel in Community Slack.

When Can I Expect This Change to Take Place?

We'll post a final message in every channel on April 25th as a heads-up before we begin archiving channels. On April 26th, we'll begin the archiving process. At this time all channels will be archived except for #general.

Will the General Channel Become Too Noisy?

The #general channel is already the most active channel by far. We anticipate that this change will approximately double the volume of posts and threads in the #general channel. However, we don't foresee this increase overwhelming ongoing conversations, especially since discussions often occur within threads.

Will I Be Able to Search Through All of The Slack History?

After all community members have been transitioned to single-channel guests in the #general channel, they will have limited access, only able to search the history of that channel. However, Pantheon employees will retain access to conversations in archived channels and can access that history as needed.

Will I Still Have the Ability to Send Direct Messages to Other Members?

Yes, you'll still be able to send direct messages to other users within Community Slack.

Given There Is No Longer a Dedicated Channel for Submitting Product Feedback and Feature Requests, Where Do I Submit This?

We welcome all product feedback and suggestions! Please continue to share those with our team in the #general channel, and we will make sure your feedback gets passed along to the appropriate teams. As always, if you see product feedback you like, give it a thumbs up! This helps us gauge the demand for specific products or features.

Additionally, we'll explore automations and integrations to ensure that threads discussing specific topics, such as product feedback, are comprehensively captured with minimal effort.

Will There Be Guidelines or Best Practices for Using the Consolidated Channel Effectively?

To maintain organization within the consolidated Slack channel, we encourage the use of threaded conversations to keep discussions organized. Our team will continue to monitor this channel regularly to ensure discussions stay on topic and address any issues promptly. In the near future, we will look into leveraging automations and integrations to streamline processes and ensure that relevant information is captured and organized efficiently.

If My Question Goes Unanswered in Slack, Where Else Can I Seek Additional Support?

We are committed to supporting you every step of the way! Join us for Office Hours every Wednesday at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT, where one of our Pantheon experts will be available to assist you with any questions you may have. If there's a particular topic you're eager to learn more about let us know, and we'll arrange a Topic-specific Zoom Office Hours session.We believe that scheduling video calls for topics such as Terminus or Upstreams will enable us to share the expertise of power users more effectively. To request topic-specific office hours, simply email us at [email protected].

For urgent issues, please open a chat or submit a support ticket.

How Will Conversations Cross-Link Between Slack and Other Places Like Github?

While there are several automated tools we are considering, Pantheon staff will first proactively monitor discussions in the consolidated #general channel, and when appropriate, find or create relevant issues in GitHub repos or elsewhere and share those links in discussion threads. When the topic of discussion is a bug or a feature request related to an open source tool, our product and engineering team can more effectively respond to issues and tickets than they can to one or more Slack threads.

Will There Be Opportunities for Feedback or Suggestions Regarding the Consolidated Channel?

Absolutely! As we look to improve the functionality and experience here in Community Slack we welcome all feedback and suggestions. You can share your thoughts with our team by emailing [email protected] or by attending regularly scheduled Office Hours on Zoom (Wednesday at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT)

Have you considered other tools like Discord or GitHub Discussions?

As we have reviewed the norms among similar companies and communities we have seen a few changes since our Pantheon Community Slack was created in 2016. First, we remember that the creation of our Community Slack in 2016 very quickly drew the attention and activity that had previously gone into our "Power Users Google Group," which generated many messages every day in the pre-Slack era.

Pantheon Community Slack has been a vibrant space because practically everyone there was already in other Slacks. That does not appear to be true for Discord. While Discord's functionality overlaps heavily with Slack, the population of users does not. The social norms of the larger communities we operate in (web development agencies, WordPress, Drupal, Higher Education) meant that a very high percentage of Pantheon users were already in at least one Slack workspace (if not a dozen). We could expect people to join another workspace in the Slack app they already had installed on their computers. We wouldn't expect traction asking people to download a new app like Discord for the first time.

On the other hand, many of our most active community members do have GitHub accounts. For the immediate future, we are steering discussions toward GitHub's long-standing convention of Issues which are meant for tracking specific topics that often lead to specific changes within a specific code repository.

In the years since we at Pantheon developed many of our tools and practices, GitHub has added more community-centric tools like Discussions for conversations that may not start with the specificity implied by Issues. We see many of our peer companies using GitHub Discussions and will evaluate if and how Pantheon could leverage this tool to more effectively serve our community.