When Slack and Email are not Ideal Solutions, How to Manage Group Communications

I spoke with a professor at UCL School of Management, University College London, today about how he plans on communicating with 170 of his peers regarding the topic of Collective Intelligence (CI). From one peer to one hundred and seventy others, he said they would share industry insights, events, and more.

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His choice of communications interested me. How do you plan on organizing this community and forming announcements? Not quite sure, but we kicked around some ideas, he says. Email as a medium could work, but things get lost. Yes, but items get mixed in the shuffle all of the time.

How about Slack? I love it, personally but, it’s probably too stimulating for most, and the last thing I want is to be annoyed or anxious about not checking in with a group of respected professionals. Likewise, WhatsApp and group message offer more of the same.

Understanding a Heterogeneous Ecosystem

Communication in this way is what I call heterogeneous, meaning the contacts involve multiple individuals that don’t work together either at a company or inherently on the same team. For this virtual group to come together and build synergies, they have to:

  1. Acknowledge they are working towards a common goal
  2. Abide by the rules of the game

The irony in this particular example is that there’s a group discussing CI and how to work together isn’t obvious or straightforward.

In this case, their desire for connection is to present exciting events, talks, and, more generally, understand what’s going on in the CI community. A Facebook group might be another obvious option; however, FB’s experience at this point is a bit distracting and too personal. A LinkedIn group, though, is more buttoned-up and is currently where this collection of thought leaders is showing up.

The Path of Least Resistance

Even still, it’s not good enough. Why? According to the professor, the groups don’t provide a straightforward experience like using a generic listserv where you send an email to mailinglist@yourserver.com, and everyone on the list gets the message.

There’s something to be said about simplicity. Using an easy distribution method ensures the people learning the rules don’t have to overthink how to arrive at their desired outcome.

I immediately thought, hey, bundleIQ is perfect for this use case over the listserv.

bundleIQ workflow

Create a bundle -> add members to it -> publish a note -> discuss

Positives

  • Content is grouped together
  • Content is searchable
  • Content can be added more quickly than emailing the listserv
  • Members can discuss notes versus reply to all in email

Negatives

  • Notifications only on iPhone; the member would have to remember to check on their own

Email listserv workflow

Create listserv -> add members to it -> email content -> reply all

Positives

  • Everyone uses email; zero adoption curve

Negatives

  • Reply all is threads are unbearable
  • Email search is semi-useful
  • Member would have to set up a rule to group them in a folder

Teamwork and Discussions

bundleIQ is becoming more popular for group knowledge because it delivers exponential value to communities looking to share insights collectively. When you have more than a sentence or two to say and want others to remember, publishing a note is better than typing a message: Slack, WhatsApp, and others like these fall flat as knowledge management tools.

Email works fine but where it disappoints is when you want to discuss content across a group of people not inside the same organization. Keyword “discuss.” You have long-form communication, which could very well be a note, and you have no way of concisely responding to 170 people on the thread. What do you do?

Just one of the reasons people love bundleIQ; you can discuss notes.

Read, “How to Collaborate with Your Team Using bundleIQ.”

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