How do our Slack channels work? Which do I need to use?

What you need to know:

  • we ask (1) that you check in on 1a-thefrontporch and direct messages to you and (2) that in groups where people may be expecting you to participate, you communicate your availability to make sure expectations align with reality
  • if you can check in every day or twice/week, you do not need to have any notifications on at all. If notifications are bothering you, please let us help you fix the settings more strategically. We do not want to make more noise in your life!
  • as a default, we recommend using the notifications option “direct messages, mentions & keywords,” and turning off the email option. This is minimalist but you won’t miss anything. Then you can turn ON notifications for channels you want more from. 
  • we think that Slack apps (desktop and mobile) work great and endorse using them
  • direct messages have a 48 hour retention period unless overridden by an admin.

Channels Guide

#1 workspace-wide, general interest channels

  • 1a-thefrontporch: announcements only. Around September 30 non-admins will no longer be able to post (we’ll solicit input on stuff, but it will redirect to 1b-thekitchen)
  • 1b-thekitchen: general on-topic discussion
  • 1c-thebackporch: chat about whatever. Drink margaritas.
  • 1d-intros: tell others about yourself! Reply to what others tell you!

#2 getting it done / work stuff

  • 2a-accountability-chat: talk about how you make it happen
  • 2b-daily-standbot: join if you want to check in with standbot every day
  • 2c-cowriting-lobby: talk about cowriting; announce intentions
  • 2d-quiet-cowriting: a virtual space where you can go and kind of feel connected, yet left alone. The pet rock of Slack channels.
  • 2e-pombot: use this channel if you want to pom with others

#3 logistics/interaction with us

  • 3a-schedule-officehours: find out/ask about office hours and 1-on-1 sessions.
  • 3b-techsupport: where Berkeley helps you do things
  • 3c-tools-resources: find or post about helpful stuff

#4 interest groups—public

  • 4a-bookproposals: writing your proposal, but also getting there
  • 4b-go-go-go: cranking it out. Logging miles. Creating a draft.
  • 4c-gettingtodone: making yourself finish/stop writing. Deciding when it’s good enough
  • (more of these coming)

#5 working groups (coming soon!)

  • topic/writing groups
  • accountability groups (how often do you want to check in with each other?)

#8 interest groups—private (private groups go to the bottom of your list anyway)

  • 8a-roadtotenure: PhD students, junior faculty, and mentors
  • 8b-roadtofull: associate faculty and mentors
  • 8c-admmmins: yum!

How the channels work

There are 4 types of channels, and membership works differently in the different ones:

  • public—we put everyone in; you can mute them
  • public—we tell you about it and you request to be in it (e.g., standbot)
  • private—we tell you about it and you can join if you’re in that situation (so people feel more like they can speak frankly, though we’ll entertain exceptions) (e.g., road to tenure, admmmins)
  • private—working group—everyone has their own and you don’t necessarily see the others or even know what they are

There’s nothing official about these categories; they’re just to frame how you think about them.

How to edit notifications

When you initially get added to the Studio workspace in Slack, your notifications will be set for everything. This can get quite noisy at peak times as you will receive a pop-up notification for every new message in the workspace.


In order to reduce the number of notifications you receive, we encourage you to follow the steps below:

  1. Click the bell icon in the top left area of your main Slack workspace screen
  2. Then click “Your notification preferences …”
  3.  On the next screen, select the radio button for “Direct messages, mentions & keywords”.

  4. Most people also want to reduce the number of emails they receive from Slack. These emails are typically activity messages that update you on what you missed between logins. To prevent these emails, uncheck the box for “Send me email notifications.”
  5. We encourage you to evaluate the other settings in this area, as they pertain to other forms of notification which you may or may not wish to receive.