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    To work well, in a bigger group, [email] requires some infrastructure and preparation, and possibly also maintaining a culture of mindful and efficient communication.

    Why can’t this culture also be applied to instant messaging?

    In theory, IM communication is persistent, but in practice because of lack of structure, intertwined topics, and insufficient metadata, what have been persisted is mostly useless. Searching through the history of a Slack room is difficult, and rarely useful.

    (my emphasis)

    The organisation I work in uses MS Teams, it’s much more structured. I do admit I don’t trust search but at least I can find URLs for conversations.

    [F2F conversation’s] first major weakness is synchronicity: it has to be scheduled, everyone has to participate at the same time.

    Again, in the right tool, you can just call your interlocutor from the IM app itself. Scheduling is as easy as typing “can I call you?”

    There are people who treat email as chat, and people who structure their IM messages like email. There are people who cannot handle a phone call in a coherent manner, and people who can take charge of an unruly chat room and delegate tasks and get things done.

    In the end, it’s not about technology, it’s about culture. Communication has to be nurtured and taught, and maintained. The tech is essentially irrelevant.

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      persistent, searchable mailing-list for team communication

      What would be the big difference to a forum or issue tracker?

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        The culture of IRC is more friendly to this stuff. It’s kinda like face to face, it’s massively greppable. You don’t have to always be online, mentions will only ever be to you personally (unless you have the handle ‘night’ or something like that), and the culture allows for you to go off and do your work then comment later. Also, one room, many topics, so you don’t need to catch up on lots of rooms and the number of concurrent topics is limited, much like real life.

        Also I personally type just about as fast as I talk.

        But yes, I love email. For any remote-only org that has managers, it’s the only real way to operate.