A community that learns together is constantly generating valuable knowledge but when those conversations are happening in the halls of Slack, nobody else can listen in and benefit – so you end up with repeat questions and support calls. That's one reason why with Excalibur we've stuck with GitHub Discussions and it works well for us. Discussions are searchable, accessible, integrated, and fully async.

But maybe you are using Slack or Discord.

One pain point you'll run into is that all the knowledge sharing going on will either be lost or impossible to find, even if you're paying out the nose for a paid plan.

What if you could extract that knowledge – automatically? Like a learning "extract-transform-load (ETL)" process. That way you could still maintain real-time or async conversations and store important answers or knowledge in an archive that is searchable for the future.

You could:

  • Build a support bot you can invoke on-demand
  • Create batch jobs using tooling APIs to do custom flows
  • Use a service that can sync, organize, and store messages

On that last point, today I learned about Linen which is a community product that aims to be a search-engine-friendly Slack alternative. It can sync your Slack or Discord messages. You can see it in action for Kotlin developer community.

I think whatever the solution, there's a big challenge in identifying what matters. Simply cloning every conversation lifts and shifts the problem of wading through the mud (the extract part) so it's important to create a strategy and process around identifying what's valuable to archive and how best to surface that (the transform part).

Have a lovely day,

Extract, transform, and load community learning

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