How can chat spaces support forums?

We hosted a discussion on Forum Strategy and explored some answers to questions.

This one was: How can chat spaces support forums?

  • Standards are lower so more comfortable to participate
  • Can summarise ideas from Slack into forum posts
  • Lots of apps and integrations for Slack
  • Slack is quicker for conversations, you can get faster feedback
  • Stock and Flow - flow goes to Slack, Stock goes to forum
  • Could collect quick replies (even with poll or emoji react) to start a discussion or answer a question in a forum
  • Easy direct connection among members
  • DMs are great for Slack, they are super powerful
  • Fun ways to engage (gifs, emojis, etc.)
  • Slack is great for voting on ideas

What else would you add to this list?

This is a wiki post, feel free to edit this list directly or add a comment. :blush:


Chat spaces help to build relationships with other community members. Forums are focused on topics over individuals which is generally a good thing, but there is a space for more informal conversations that help bond over shared interests.


Just to expand a bit on things that I think makes chat more comfortable for me to participate in some conversations:

  • I have lower expectations for making “good posts”. Shorter messages are fine
  • less likely to be “seen forever” so if I’m less worried that something I say silly will be found 3 months from now.

Yep, even in public channels in chat space, it’s common to see people form group identities within the channels they have chosen to join. I can make some stronger assumptions about who I’m having a particular conversation with, and that can contribute to building relationships and comfort as well.

I sometime prefer engaging in chat when I’m on a mobile device. (I’m also happy to read longer posts on mobile, but I’m a bit less likely to contribute until I have a real keyboard).

We launched a new product feature where a live chat event highlights questions to be answered and this is all converted into a normal forum topic at the end of the event to retain the conversation and allow others to contribute that weren’t at the event.

I feel this brings balance in that you can have a live informal chat to get to know other members, but the best content of that chat is preserved into the lifeblood of any forum: topics and posts.

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