[ACTION REQUIRED] We're migrating from GroupMe to Slack!

Hi, everyone! Big news today. We are migrating our groups, the heart of our service, from GroupMe to a group messaging service called Slack. THIS DIRECTLY AFFECTS YOU, AND ACTION IS REQUIRED. 

 

Why? Well, here are just a few of the cool things you can do on Slack:

* edit and delete your messages

* upload images without compression

* discuss both in your group, and with the entire Escaype crew, so we can combine forces for even better coverage

* insert any kind of reaction to a message, not just a "like"

* communicate from an iOS/Android app, website (slack.com), and mac/pc desktop app. 

* favorite messages, so you can save those important Photoshop tricks that get shared in your group

* search to quickly find that message you're looking for

* identify keywords (for example, your name), and when someone uses those keywords in a group, you'll get notified

* the ability to keep forecast discussions separate from other discussions, so information is much more organized

* We can restrict who can post in the Important Alerts group, to avoid confusion. 

 

Here are the things you'll be leaving behind:

* the ability to easily make a meme out of any photo (though we have implemented a bot that makes memes)

 

Sounds like a no-brainer to us. So we opened our team on Slack for testing in our groups today, and everyone we've surveyed has been unanimously in favor of Slack. So, bye bye, Groupme. 

Starting now, GroupMe will be phased out. All groups are now active on Slack. From now until the end of the month, Tung and I will still monitor GroupMe, and the bots will continue to post forecasts there. After September 30, the GroupMe bots will be disabled, and GroupMe will no longer be monitored. 


HERE'S WHAT YOU NEED TO DO

1) Go to slack.com, or download the Slack app for iOS/Android. 

2) Check your email for an invite to join our Escaype team. Follow the instructions to join our team. 

 

When you join, you'll see several discussion channels, and a way to send a direct message to anyone, including us You will not yet see your group. We're monitoring the channels as people join, and we'll add you to your group soon. 

 

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS

The groups (private groups) work just like your group on GroupMe. No changes here. 

Remember, you won't see this group immediately upon joining. We'll add you to it.

 

The direct messages work just like those on GroupMe. No changes here. 

 

The channels (public groups) are where the new stuff is.

Channels are groups that are open to all Escaype members. We have created channels for:

* important alerts and info (#importantalerts), which will function the same way as the Alerts group in GroupMe. Only Tung and Jeff can post here.

* arranging carpools for photo outings (#carpools), where you can look for Escaype folks to join you on photo outings, plan and suggest trips, discuss locations, etc. 

* a random thread (#random), where anything goes. Nothing important happens here. 

There may be an all-Escaype #weather channel coming soon, but for simplicity, and to make as few changes as possible, we have omitted it for now. 


TIPS AND TRICKS

* If you long-tap (mobile) or mouse over (web/desktop) a message, you'll see options: You can "react" to it with any emoticon. If it's your message, you can also edit or delete it. You can also star/favorite it, which saves it on a special page for you to refer to later. 

* If someone has posted a "reaction" to a message, you can click on their reaction icon to "react" the same way. It's basically the "like" button, except with the freedom to more than just "like".

* You can pick and choose which channels you'd like to join and subscribe to. You can also mute any channel or group you're in. We highly recommend you mute certain conversations and do not simply turn off all app notifications, because we send important notifications through the #importantalerts channel.

* You can do lots of other tricks, like bolding some text by putting *asterisks* around it, and italicizing it by putting _underscores_ around it. You can find more of these tricks in the Slack guides, if you're interested (but none of them are essential for basic use of Slack). 

 


SIDE NOTE

After working 7-day weeks for the last 6 months, Tung and I will be taking our first vacation, in Banff, Canada, from September 22-30. We will not be available or easily reachable during this time

We have a few contacts in the Bay Area who will ensure that our systems are running, and we expect the apps, including heat maps (which should be released for iOS before we leave) to be fully functional. We may check in and drop a quick message if we notice a great show coming up, but because internet connections may spotty, we can't promise this. 

We take every possible chance to emphasize that Escaype is a service, and not just an app. You can still ask the same questions you would ask us, in your groups, and the odds are high that someone will be able to help. Work together as much as possible. If you know how to read a satellite image, we'd love it if you could answer a couple questions for us -- we just might even reward you for it when we get back. 

This is a bit of a test for us, and we don't plan to repeat it often. If you find that Escaype is not meeting your needs while we are unavailable, shoot us a private message containing "#escaype4lyfe", and we'll work with you to provide compensation when we return. (Don't worry, we're not here to take your subscription and run away.)

Happy shooting,

-jl

 

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