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Slack guidelines

Back to Slack page

Slack is a chat client that provides us with a centralized way to communicate without overloading our inboxes. You can login online or download the desktop or mobile clients from the App Store.

See the Slack @ TTS guide to learn about our unique uses, bots and channels.


See a list of other popular channels in the Slack @ TTS guide.

How to make an announcement in #news

Use #news for vital team announcements. #news is an announcement-only channel where only administrators can post. If you have a post you’d like to go up in #news, ask in #outreach.

Please keep #news posts limited to information that the entire team needs to know. This includes things like:

  • Major events impacting all of TTS or a TTS Business unit
  • Required trainings
  • Necessary security and compliance actions
  • Policy changes or reminders
  • All-team events
  • Senior management team meeting notes
  • Changes or actions that impact the entire team

Frequently-used emoji

Emoji Meaning Backstory
:100: “This comment is 100% correct” or “I agree 100%”  
:angel: “Yay, a meeting was cancelled!” “Every time a meeting is cancelled, an angel gets its wings.”
:check: “I did this” or “I verified it was done”  
:eyes: “I’m taking a look at this.” When followed by a ?, it’s “can you/someoneone take a look at this?”  
:facepalm: Disbelief, shame, or exasperation. KnowYourMeme
:kidding-foia: Since Slack records are retained and subject to FOIA requests, indicate to any potential future readers that this was a joke.  
:plus: “I agree”  
:point_up: “I would also say this.” Can mean “this is correct” if you are the decider.  
:question: “I don’t understand this” or “this needs follow-up”  
:raccoon: ==> #channel “Please consider moving this conversation to a different channel.” Slack
:raised_hand: “I volunteer”  
:raising_hand: “Have time for a question?” Keep in mind that many folks strongly prefer that you also add what your question is about so they can determine its urgency.  
:shipit: “Ship it”, “this is ready to go”, etc. GitHub
:thanks: A picture of Tom Hanks (T. Hanks -> thanks) used as a shortcut to say “thanks”  
:thumbsup: “Sounds good”  
:troll:/:trollcute: “I’m intentionally trolling you” or making a joke  

Additional shortcuts


Slack Groups allow you to direct messages to a specific list of people in a more precise way than an @-channel or @-here. Any full member can view, create, and edit Slack groups at will.

Groups are a great way to alert people who might not be in a channel about something that needs their attention or make sure urgent incidents are directed to the right people and not an entire channel. For example, you can ping @github-admins in #admins-github if you have an urgent issue instead of using an @channel or use @federalist-team to alert that group of a conversation in another channel that we should see immediately.

Connectivity issues

If you are having connectivity issues with Slack, see the Slack status site for more information, and move to Hangouts Chat or email.

Still have questions?

Ask in Slack: #admins-slack, #it-issues, #questions, #teamops