Earlier this week, InsideVR announced that they were launching an open, world-wide Slack channel specifically for people interested in Virtual Reality. The message went out on several media platforms, and has already managed to pick up more than 150 members, and is inches away from the 200 people mark.
You can get your invite here: https://insidevrcommunity.herokuapp.com/
So – What is Slack?
Slack is an interesting platform, and it allows for much more direct collaboration than any of your average run-of-the-mill social media sites out there. Rather than going into an elaborate salesy rant about why Slack is the greatest thing since sliced bread, we’d rather let the owners of the product tell you why it’s great and what it was designed to do, as I’m sure you’ll immediately recognize some benefits of using it in your day-to-day life:
With that quick introduction out of the way, let me tell you what you’re left with. You’re left with a topic-oriented direct line of communication with the community you and I have come to know and love. The Virtual Reality community!
Now that you’ve gotten the gist of what Slack is, we can get cracking on why we think it’s particularly interesting in the realm of new emerging technologies like virtual reality:
1. There’s room for everyone
Number one. There’s room for everyone. Throughout all of the comms associated with the release of the channel, it was made very clear that everyone’s welcome. It doesn’t really matter if you’re a VR-veteran who has accumulated all of the knowledge of gyroscopic technologies and VR-ready machinery or if you’re an average guy or girl who has managed to get a hold of a Samsung GearVR and wants to learn more about what this VR-thing is. If you want to be a part of the community, you can.
2. No Advertising, and No Intrusive Contact Requests
That’s right. No advertising. Zero – Nothing! If you’ve ever been active on one or more social media platforms, you’ve no doubt seen some of the promotional posts, videos or pop-ups floating around to entice you to purchase something or toss in your email in exchange of a newsletter. With Slack, that’s a thing of the past, and you can focus on collaboration in a nice clean communicative environment.
“The great thing about this community is that professionals/agencies/
enterprises from the VR/AR/360° niche are represented. That means no matter what question you have, there are members uniquely qualified to answer it. It gives an ad-free zone where it’s all about content, and less about being the largest megaphone.”
Also – One of the annoying parts of the internet (Facebook in particular) is that to initiate a conversation with somebody you don’t know – often you’ll need to invite them into your friends list and mix your personal and professional life in a way that’s often an inconvenience to you. No more!
3. Channels and Groups
One of the great things about Slack is that you can initiate conversation in channels and groups. Channels allows the entire list of members to start individual topic-based rooms where ideas, files and streams can be exchanged. In corporate environments, this is often used for internal departments such as the legal team, finance, design etc.
With Virtual Reality as a focus, there’s plenty interest-based channels to make. If you’re really interested in learning more about the HTC Vive, locate the HTC Vive Channel. If you’re looking to find people for a local hackathon – browse the channel set up for your native location.
4. International Business Opportunities
Given that there’s hundreds of people participating, you’ll have a great number of opportunities to connect with business owners and potential clients. This will all be initiated through direct conversation, and is really one of the best ways of getting stuff like this started. Actual conversation does more for a business relationship than any amount of scheduled email blasts. Get talking, and meet your next business partner today!
If you’re like me, and act in the pursuit of knowledge of Virtual Reality at all costs and are looking to attend an event that’s outside of your usual neighborhood or country, you’ll have a chance to meet someone also attending the event beforehand.
A good example would be VR Days that’s due November this year in Amsterdam. The fact that I can meet and greet some of these guests and talented keynote speakers beforehand, is a big deal to me.