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Slack for Creative Commons

What is Slack

Slack is a chat client that allows us to chat with each other and engage with our community in real time and asynchronously.

Why Slack?

While IRC has been a good choice in the past, Slack is more mobile friendly and integrates with the workflows of users who are using Slack for other projects, creating a more robust (and chatty) community. In addition, Slack scores high for accessibility, public familiarity, and adoption. The best news? You don’t have to give up IRC if you don’t want to! We’ve built a bridge from IRC to Slack so you can continue hanging out in #creativecommons if that’s where you feel most comfortable.

Slack Setup

Because Slack is a web application, there’s no installation necessary. You can login online or download the desktop or mobile clients.

How to join Slack

1. Steps to sign up: Access the “Steps for new users” document Note: We got in touch with Slack and they are in the process of translating their documents, but for now it’s English only.

2. Fill out the form here -

3. Accept the email invitation that is sent to you once you fill out the form.

4. Start in the #general channel, and explore the other channels that may interest you!

Code of Conduct

As a global nonprofit committed to establishing inclusive community norms, all participants in the Creative Commons Slack Organization are expected to abide by our Slack/Code_of_Conduct.

How to suggest a new channel

We create channels based on how discussions are shaped around specific topics. Any channel with fewer than 10 users and little to no discussion in 30 days will be deleted. Only admins can make a channel.

Channel naming conventions

  • All channels begin with "cc-"
  • Channels that end with -community are community channels, designed to find other people with your specific commons interest
  • Regional channels will be formatted as follows: cc-region
  • Naming conventions can be modified based on community input

Selected Channels and their uses

  • cc-africa
    • For discussion of cc-africa and activities
  • cc-animals
    • All cuteness, all the time
  • cc-announcements
    • Blog posts and conversation
  • cc-arab-world
  • cc-colombia
  • cc-comms
  • cc-copyrightreform
  • cc-india
  • cc-nederland
  • cc-openedu-goals
  • cc-turkey
  • cc-uk
  • cc-developers
    • For chat related to CC's open source development community
  • cc-gsoc
    • For discussions related to CC's participation in Google Summer of Code
  • cc-latinamerica
    • For discussion of cc-latinamerica and activities
  • awesomefund
    • For discussions of the CC awesome fund
  • cc-announcements
    • For official Creative Commons announcements. Watch this channel for news that everyone should know
  • cc-europe
    • For discussion of cc-europe and activities
  • cc-music
    • For CC musicians
  • cc-openedu
    • For OER and related
  • cc-openglam
  • cc-reads
    • Creative Commons reads
  • cc-summit
    • For summit related discussion
  • general
    • For saying hello and where all new users begin
  • random
    • For non-CC related chatter

Slack Tips

  • Everything in Slack is public and is therefore potentially part of the public record (written words that are attributable back to you). Don’t say something on Slack that you wouldn’t feel comfortable appearing on the news.
  • Slack provides some formatting tips to make your messages extra fancy.
  • If you customize your profile with your location or personal pronoun, consider also adding those details to the Last Name field so they appear alongside your messages. This is a great way to be remote-friendly and gender inclusive. Otherwise, your colleagues need to view your profile to see that information. Many people use airport codes instead of city names to indicate their location.
  • The advanced settings section provides an option for only showing channels that have unread messages. This is useful if you’re a member of a lot of channels.
  • Click the timestamp on any post to go to the archival view of it. This is helpful if you’d like to cross-post a link to a message in another channel.
  • When using Slack on mobile: mentioning someone in a channel they aren’t in won’t notify them, and you won’t get the option to invite someone after mentioning them
  • Feel free to pop in and out of channels. You can /mute channels (so you only receive messages when your name or @channel is mentioned) or leave channels if they become overwhelming.
  • If you’re interested in tracking specific keywords across Slack, set up highlight word notifications.
  • To add an RSS feed to any channel, type /feed subscribe "RSS URL"
  • Never use Slack to share secure information. If you need to share short bits of text securely, use a Pastebin or other means. If you want to say something private, it’s easy to ask someone to hop on a call. (See the /slack/#shortcuts">shortcuts below.)
  • You can use Slack as an archival system, but it's not a permanent archive. It has a powerful search feature and you can search specific channels or conversations. Content and files shared in Slack workspaces and direct messages are set up to delete after 180 days.
  • You can also search by tagged emoji. To see all messages tagged with a particular emoji, search Slack for has: (for example has::cc:).
  • Set Slack boundaries when you need to be heads-down by setting your status to Away. If you use Slack on mobile, you can prevent direct messages and mentions from pinging you when you’re not working. Just set your phone to Do Not Disturb mode or temporarily turn off notifications from the Slack app. Don’t worry — though we have different schedules and may message each other at strange times, there’s no expectation for people to respond when they’re not working.
  • Praise your coworkers and community! If you’d like to praise someone for doing good work, start a message with love @username or :heart: @username.
  • Use text encoding when pasting a large chunk of text. Use the + sign to the left of the text box to create a snippet. There will be an option to select how you would like to encode the text; select plain text to avoid smart quotes, if you’re pasting code.
  • Emojis come in different colors. Tired of tabbing through multiple skin color emoji to find the one you want or identify with? Click on the Emoji Deluxe picker (the smily face in the text box) - then click on the emoji in the bottom right corner. You can then select a default color going forward.
  • Change your color scheme. You can change your color scheme by going to Preferences –> Theme –> Custom Theme. Paste the following for the US Design Standards theme: #112E51,#205493,#0071BC,#FFFFFF,#323A45,#FFFFFF,#4AA564,#981B1E
  • Screen-sharing tip: If you want notifications to stop showing up so people don’t see them, hover over the Notification Center icon in the top right corner of your screen and Option or CTRL + click on it. Repeat that to turn notifications back on.

Frequently used emoji

check: = I did this or verified it was done
plus: = I am a +1 for the above
100: = I am a SUPER +1 to the above OR this comment is keeping it 100 (as in, keeping it real, speaking the 100% truth)
thumbsup: = Sounds good
question: = I don’t understand this/needs followup
point_up: = I would also say this (can mean “this is correct” if you are the decider)
raised_hand: = I volunteer
raising_hand: = Have time for a question? (Keep in mind that many folks strongly prefer that you also add what your question is about so they can determine its urgency.)
facepalm: = Disbelief, shame, or exasperation.
troll: = I’m intentionally [" trolling you or making a joke


Type @channel [message] to send your message to everyone in the channel. Use sparingly and only if everyone in the channel needs to see your message.

Type @here [message] to send your message to everyone in the channel with Slack open at a desktop computer. Don’t use this as a softer version of an @channel because there will be no notification for anyone who wasn’t at their computer.

Type /me [message] to “emote” your message. (Just try it.)

Type /mute to suppress notifications from the channel you’re currently in. You can also turn on desktop notifications for specific channels.

Type /hangout to start a Google Hangout in the current channel.

Type [message XPOST #channel-name] to cross-post a message to a different channel while posting it.

Type /remind to remind yourself to do something in the future.

Type love @username for [message] to publicly praise and thank someone. If Charlie is in the channel, it will copy your message to #love.

Press Option + Up or Option + Down to switch between channels and direct messages.

Press Esc to mark all messages in the current channel as read.

Press Shift + Esc to mark all messages across all channels as read. Only do this if you’ve caught up in channels for your projects first.

Press Command + K or Command + T to switch between channels and direct messages by name.

Press Command + [ and Command + ] to jump back and forth along your history of DMs/channels.

To mark messages as unread, click a message on your phone and select mark unread or press Alt and then click your mouse to do so on your desktop.


Portions of this text are derived from the 18f Handbook's guide to Slack.