Hey friends! I'm THRILLED to announce that our community is switching platforms — from Slack to a new community-focused platform called Circle!

While growing a community hasn't been easy, Slack has made it more difficult than it needs to be. It's not an ideal platform for many reasons, but until recently, it was one of the best options available for us.

But that all changed in August 2020 when a group of smart, community-focused people created Circle — specifically for communities like ours.

There are many exciting benefits, but I'll highlight some of the main ones here and try to address a few questions you might have!

  1. Browser-Based vs. App-Based - Everyone has different preferences, but we all use web browsers. Keeping our community available in a browser tab should help keep members much more engaged. It's too easy to close Slack or sign out never to return. That said, I've heard desktop and mobile apps are being developed!
  2. Asynchronous Chat - Slack's main feature was the ability to chat live in real-time. While that sounds appealing, it's rare anyone uses it that way. Circle still allows for discussion and direct messaging, but using posts instead of a live chat — making it feel more engaging/valuable and less quiet/empty.
  3. Organized Discussions - Circle allows us to create custom "spaces" and "space groups" that better organize topics of discussion and allow us to create even more, such as interest groups, resources, and community updates!
  4. Improved Onboarding - First impressions are everything. Unlike Slack, Circle sends customizable welcome emails and popups, offers unlimited invitation links that don't expire, and allows us to select what members see when they join, log in, or log out. I've built and maintained a lot of custom functionality of the last 2 years that Circle will now handle itself!
  5. Cumulative Knowledge - Information in Slack gets lost too quickly and it's difficult to find old messages. That means valuable information gets lost, especially for new members. With Circle, we can build up a searchable repository of valuable, easy-to-find information so the community becomes more and more valuable as it grows.
  6. Notifications - While Slack offers a lot of control over your notifications, it's overwhelming to see the number of unread messages when checking in and getting desktop popup notifications every time a new message comes in. Circle offers the same level of control, but keep all notifications organized in a single place.
  7. Weekly Digest - Circle will send a customizable weekly email digest to our community members with key insights like top comments, new members, popular topics, and community stats. Anyone can opt-out from this as well!
  8. Member Profiles & Tags - With Circle, member profiles are greatly improved and brought to the forefront. Everything you do on Circle is organized into your profile making it easy to find for you and for others. Members also get special tags that can be used for categories, personas, or roles.
  9. Group Messaging & Mobile App - While Circle doesn't have group messaging or a mobile app yet, they are working to launch both features quickly. Circle only launched in August 2020, so it's new and rapidly being updated!
  10. Moderation - While we haven't needed it yet because everyone here is so kind, Circle has built-in moderation features, which will become valuable as our community grows.
  11. Powerful Analytics - Unlike Slack, Circle offer robust analytics that offer insights to important metrics such as avg daily active members, monthly active members, top members, active topics, active spaces, and popular days/times

Questions

Now to pre-emptively address some questions you may have:

  1. Will my billing/subscription change? - No! Circle has no billing or eCommerce feature at this time. You can simply join Circle and forget about Slack. We'll pick a date and time to permanently delete our old Slack workspace.
  2. What about all the content we've been sharing in Slack until now? - Unfortunately, moving to Circle means leaving all the old conversations behind. However, they were getting left behind quickly in Slack anyway. While we're "starting over" in a way, we're now building a searchable knowledgebase where no conversation will get lost or go to waste ever again. We're also working on seeding this new platform with questions and posts so it doesn't feel empty upon arrival.
  3. Is there a mobile or desktop app? - The Circle team currently has an iOS app in beta. I'd guess that a native app will become available in the next few months. More details here.
  4. Will this help the community grow more? - Yes! In a major way. I expect community engagement to increase and for new members to be far more active.
  5. Are you sure this is the right decision? - As the founder of this community, this was NOT a decision I took lightly. I've spent many many hours designing and building around Slack. I would be willing to throw years of hard work and effort away if I didn't 110% believe this was the right move for us! I've made sure this new platform will serve us well for many years to come as we grow our community.
Welcome to the new and improved TFI! So excited to have you here! Feel free to check out all the channels and say hi to everyone! If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Matt or myself! We are here for you guys! 
I wanted to make a quick *Note: If you are not a fan of email notifications ( bc let's be honest, who wants even more emails? no one..Lol ), go into settings and just update your profile! 😉

Post a comment

Log in