There are many reasons why you could use Slack as your messaging platform of choice for a public or semi-public project. It can be an open source project, a local community project or just an interest-based project. But chances are your community is getting big and you want to get unlimited searchable chat history.
Yet, Slack’s free tier only archives the last 10,000 messages. But at $80 per user per year, Slack can become an expensive software-as-a-service. Meet SlackArchive, a free service that lets you archive all your messages for free.
At heart, SlackArchive is a bot that you add to your Slack. Named ArchiveBot, this bot will record conversations in this channel for the chat archive.
Then, you can access your archive on the company’s website. Like on Slack, you can search across multiple channels and find information in very little time. You can also create a permalink for a specific message.
Finally, because SlackArchive is also a bot, you can query the search history directly within Slack. A few bot commands will get you results without having to switch to another window.
So why would you use SlackArchive? Many public projects, such as open source projects have relied on message boards, Google Groups and IRC. While message boards and Google Groups provide a good search interface, they don’t provide the same kind of direct, instant message-like experience as Slack.
That’s why many projects want to use Slack. And many people already use Slack to talk with their coworkers, switching to Slack for other projects seems like a natural move.
SlackArchive doesn’t provide private chat history in order to avoid competing directly with Slack’s premium plans. This service is specifically tailored toward public projects. And I feel like it has the potential to replace good old forums once and for all.