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“But I think people were pretty embarrassed.” Ivanka Trump Is Hard at Work in Washington — But for Whom? What Happens When the Office Becomes a Nonstop Chat Room Inside the Toxic Workplace at Fox News Read More Stories of Working in America on The Job Office gossip is as old as the office.

But the medium made that gossip searchable and public to anyone who knew where to look. And yet, at the same time, Slack was also the obvious place to do it.

It’s “cool office culture, available for instant download,” Slate declared two years ago, as the phenomenon was taking hold.

Or, as Ali Rayl, Slack’s director of customer experience, puts it (in faintly depressing terms), Slack allows users to “create the human connection without the human overhead.” Slack’s work chat is the consummation of the open-plan-office dream — an unstructured space where you can share, collaborate, and see what everyone else is working on.

Originally, Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield set out to design games.

In 2002, he began work on Game Neverending, an online fantasy video game in which it was impossible for players to win or lose — that project failed, but some of its code gave rise to Flickr.

His efforts toward a second endless game, this time called Glitch, yielded Slack; it grew out of the chat application the Glitch team used internally.

At some point over the last year, it started to feel, at least in a certain kind of office, as ubiquitous as those other social-media giants.And, “people were getting called ‘dumb sluts’ left and right.” At first, as salespeople started reading, the talk continued, but then the account managers noticed who was joining and began to flee.The fight-or-flight impulse was not particularly useful here: They could make the channel disappear from their own view of Slack, but running away did nothing to delete its history.These functions aren’t so different from those of previous chat apps, but Slack makes them look good (a friendly interface) and run better (speedy, reliable, with a strong search function).All of this has earned Slack word-of-mouth enthusiasm, not something generally associated with workplace software.

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