WeAllJS Culture and Process
In the interest of making the overall space as welcoming as possible for its members, and for the sake of doing our best to support the variety of individuals that are participating, the WeAllJS Slack has a particular policy for channel management, structure, and administration.
At its core, there are three channel types: “Resource” channels, “identity” channels, and “others”.
#job-board for helping people find work or employees, various tech-related channels for helping folks with questions that might involve work. As such, these public channels are more strictly policed than others: we consider it of prime importance that these channels are maximally accessible to community members because of the concrete career-related benefits they might provide.
Since their scope is specific and limited, resource channels (and thus, allpublic channels) can only be created by Admins. If there’s an idea for aresource channel you’d like to pitch or request, join
#meta and discuss the idea, and an admin can help you make it (and announce it in
Prefixed Resource Channels
Certain types of resource channels belong to a group of similar channels. The two main prefixes right now are
#con-* for any conferences, and
#loc-* for people either living in, or visiting those locations/places.
Identity channels are usually private, and reserved specifically for people who want to talk with folks they identify with on particular axes. All identity channels are private channels, and require an existing member to invite someone (in the future,
@wheelie-bot will help with invites). These channels can also be made by everybody. Feel free to create your own! If you want to announce its existence, notify an admin, and they’ll post to
#announcements about it and tell people how they can get invited in.
Identity channels are places where you can get to know people in the community that are like you, that share your understanding and concerns. They are places where you can talk about things that have happened or things you’d like to see without having to compensate for all the intersections that might be present in resource channels.
Identity channels fall into two categories: “toplevel” identity channels (for example,
#quiltbag), and “subchannels” under those identities (
Why Identity Channels?
While being an admin on http://lgbtq.technology, it became clear over time that expecting everyone to share all spaces simply helped perpetuate power structures that exist in our larger society. Even in a community filled with marginalized folks, groups that didn’t already have representation would find themselves drowned out by the majority, and eventually decide that they didn’t wish to participate anymore.
A solution was introduced and tested over time where, instead, new spaces would regularly be created for folks who needed specific spaces of their own:
#not-men became a general discussion forum away from men,
#trans-masculine a place away from the dominance of trans women in the
#poc-mental-health to be able to share mental health concerns without the stress of potentially dealing with White People Feelings™.
The results were generally positive: underrepresented groups who had long gone silent or stopped participating in other channels suddenly started being more active. They would feel like they had a space where they felt welcome, and others like them would join soon after – and their numbers would bolster even after a long time with barely any representation. WeAllJS adopted this strategy in hopes that employing it from the get-go of a community would make it even more successful.
Certain channels, some public, some private, have a special function beyond resources or identity channels:
#admin(private): A channel with all the slack admins in it. When a user uses the
/admincommand, or a new member signs up through the website, messages are sent to that channel to be processed by active admins. It is also the channel where private admin-side discussion happens.
#announcements: This is the default channel that everyone in the community joins, and is unpartable. As such, only admins can post to it. Generally, there are three main categories of messages that will be posted there: New channels created, administrative meta-info that everyone should be aware of (policy or CoC changes, new admins, slack-wide requests of importance), and finally WeAllJS-related events or news that might be relevant to everyone.
#meta: General WeAllJS planning and management channel. This is the place for the community to discuss policy, usage, etc. It is not a place for reporting CoC violations. Please use the
/admincommand or refer to the enforcement policy for that.
#meta-*: Subcategories of meta-related channels.
@wheelie-botand website development, for example.