Colm Doyle A Developer Relations professional in Dublin, Ireland.

Now you can see view counts on Tweets, but it ain't pretty

Mitchell Clark, writing for The Verge:

Twitter announced that view counts for tweets are now visible on iOS and Android and that they’ll be coming soon to the web (I’ve already started to see them there). The feature lets you see how many times someone has looked at your tweet, or anyone else’s, though there are a few exceptions that we’ll cover in just a moment.

You know, they say that great product and design is as much about saying no to new features as much as it is about saying yes, and that if you’re making the right choices, you’re probably saying no a lot more than you say yes. Something to ponder as you view the ever increasing list of features coming out of Twitter of late.

A screenshot of the metadata associated with a tweet, displayed in the Twitter app for iOS.

Tech giants ditch office space in London and Europe

George Hammond and Cristina Criddle writing for the Financial Times:

Google’s parent Alphabet, Facebook parent Meta and enterprise software giant Salesforce are among the US technology groups seeking to abandon leased office space in London and Dublin, according to people familiar with the plans.

[…]

Meanwhile, demands from staff to work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic have turned some tech companies into accidental landlords that are now jostling to sublet surplus space in a challenged property market.

There’s been a lot of talk about what is going to happen with return to office plans in the new year, with many companies mandating that employees come back in.

Much of the public commentary from various CEOs has been around “the value of in-person collaboration”, but it’s hard to wonder if it’s less to do with that and more to do with the fact that these same companies have sunk millions into office space and are now trying to recoup some of that investment.

Ben Thompson's 2022 Stratechery Year in Review

Ben Thompson has published this year’s edition of his annual Stratechery year in review, and it’s well worth a read to see what you’re missing out on if you aren’t a subscriber. I’ve been one for a few years now, and I’ve never regretted it. With this year’s changes to bundle in the Dithering podcast he co-hosts with John Gruber, as well as the fact he publishes his content across so many mediums (podcast/newsletter/website), it’s even better value than ever.

How to search in Slack

If there’s one thing I learned working at Slack, it’s that almost every single company who uses it does it wrong. I don’t mean people can’t use it, I mean they barely scratch the surface of what it can do. The way Slack uses it internally is like night and day compared to the average use and one of the key ways it’s used differently is just how much Search is used internally.

You see, Slack actually stands for Searchable Log of All Communication and Knowledge. Search was always meant to be the superpower. You dump all your company knowledge into Slack, and then you can search for it when you need it.

Search for a phrase

So, let’s start off with the most common use case, you’re trying to find a message that contains a specific phrase. You can do this by typing the phrase into the search bar at the top of Slack. You can also use the keyboard shortcut cmd + k to open the search bar.

Think quarterly sales report. What this will return is any message that contains that phrase. It will also return any message that contains the words quarterly and sales and report in any order. This is because Slack uses a full-text search engine, which means it’s not just looking for the exact phrase, but it’s also looking for any message that contains the words in any order.

Searching for a specific phrase

If we keep going with the sales report example you can get more specific and search for a specific phrase by putting quotes around it. So, if you search for "quarterly sales report" you’ll only get messages that contain that exact phrase.

Searching for a specific phrase in a specific channel

If you want to search for a specific phrase in a specific channel, you can do that by adding in: followed by the channel name. So, if you want to search for "quarterly sales report" in the #sales channel, you can search for "quarterly sales report" in:#sales.

Searching for a specific phrase from a specific user

Similar to narrowing down the search to a specific channel, you can also narrow it down to a specific user. You can do this by adding from: followed by the user’s name. So, if you want to search for "quarterly sales report" from @jane, you can search for "quarterly sales report" from:@jane. If you know @jane was involved in the conversation, but not the one who actually sent the message, you can also search for with:@jane.

You can also combine these two to search for a specific phrase from a specific user in a specific channel. So, if you want to search for "quarterly sales report" from @jane in the #sales channel, you can search for "quarterly sales report" from:@jane in:#sales.

Using emoji to narrow it down

Emoji reactions, or “reacji” as they’re called at Slack, are an extremely common feature of messages in Slack. They’re used for everything from voting on things, to indicating something is in progress, to just adding a little bit of fun to a message.

Given how common they are, it’s no surprise that you can use them in your search. You can do this by adding has: followed by the emoji. So, if you want to search for messages that have the :thumbsup: emoji, you can search for has::thumbsup:.

A great example of how this is used in Slack is for triaging a channel full of support requests. Internally, there’s a convention that when a support request comes in, the first person to respond to it adds a :eyes: 👀 emoji to the message. Once the request has been processed, the person who processed it adds a :white_check_mark: ✅ emoji.

So when you’re trying to triage a channel, let’s call it #support, then what you do is run a search for in:#support -has::eyes: -has::white_check_mark:. This will return all the messages that haven’t been processed yet, because the minus symbol means “return messages without this emoji”.

Who, what and when

The final search tip I’ll leave you with involves dates. If after all of the above, you still have too many results, you can narrow it down by date. You can do this by adding before: or after: followed by a date. So, if you want to search for messages that were sent before the 1st of January 2022, you can search for before:2022-01-01. You can also search for messages that were sent after a specific date by using after:. And as will all the previous examples, you can combine these two terms to search for a specific range. So, if you want to search for messages that were sent between the 1st of January 2022 and the 1st of January 2023, you can search for after:2022-01-01 before:2023-01-01. There’s also a quick shorthand for ranges on a specific month or year, with is during:. So, if you want to search for messages that were sent during January 2022, you can search for during:2022-01.

Don’t be afraid of your chat history, embrace it

Slack is a great tool for communication, but it’s also a great tool for knowledge management. If you’re not using it to its full potential, you’re missing out on a lot of value. So, don’t be afraid of your chat history, embrace it.

The hackathon YOLOing into production energy continues at Twitter

Jay Peters, reporting for The Verge:

Twitter is adding to its increasingly complex ways of differentiating accounts with new square profile pictures with rounded corners for brands. The new type of profile pic started rolling out on the platform on Monday, and you might already be able to see them on brand profiles and in your feed.

The product development “process” at Twitter over the last few weeks kind of reminds me of the chaotic energy of a hackathon, where people are just building and shipping whatever idea comes into their head and moving onto the next thing on their list.

Fun for a while, but not exactly a sustainable way to build a product.