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Why Threaded Conversations are Better on Samepage

February 21, 2018

Why Threaded Conversations are Better on Samepage

What are threaded conversations?

In the chronological world of online team chat, a threaded conversation, or "thread", is a comment and its attached replies. Endless replies can be attached, even as newer comments flow in and push the thread further back into chat history.

Various forms of threaded conversations have been around since the dawn of Internet chat rooms. Slack is the nine-year-old juggernaut of online team chat software, but they incorporated threaded chat just one year ago. It begs the question - why did Slack wait 8 years to incorporate such a seemingly standard feature? We'll come back to that a bit later.

Why do people like threaded messaging?

Without threading, the timeline-based linear nature of online team chat makes it hard to address older comments when newer comments have already arrived and changed the subject. Threaded conversations make online team chat rooms a bit more user-friendly, but they typically don't fully solve the problem - they merely delay it.

What's wrong with typical chat threading?

In some cases, apps actually make it harder to see replies. In order to make it look pretty and reduce excessive scrolling, apps like Slack often minimize replies with a clickable count, e.g. "View 13 previous replies". Without that click, users are missing potentially critical updates.

Threads on Slack

But here's a bigger issue. Even threaded conversations eventually get pushed out of view by newer comments, often well before they're considered irrelevant. Chat rooms, channels - whatever you want to call them - aren't meant to be abandoned. In a corporate setting, channels are often set up for each department and are forced to support conversations about a wide range of subjects until the end of time. Is that really the best way to organize conversations? Of course not. This is the root of the problem with typical online team chat software.

Even if channels are set up for something more temporary, such as projects, the conversations are still displayed chronologically. Fairly recent comments, replies, and attachments are still pushed out of view, increasing the chances that someone misses a critical piece of information or has to spend more time finding it.

At first, maybe Slack thought hashtags would be the new way to tie comments together. After all, they did adopt the hashtag symbol as their brand icon, but it appears their users couldn't live in a linear chat world without threads, so Slack folded in with the rest and became just another app that couldn't quite deliver proper team collaboration functionality.

How is Samepage better?

Instead of having just a single channel for the marketing team, separate marketing team pages help divide and organize multiple ongoing projects and conversations. Active pages float to the top of the page list, so relevant activity is always easy to spot.

Pages help create more accessible chat threads

Pages - the ultimate real-time team collaboration tool

Pages are capable of storing just about anything - files, tasks, calendar events, diagrams, images, videos, meeting notes, and more. Here's the game-changer though: you can comment on any of it, and your teammates can reply. This means that no matter how many comments are posted on the page, you can drill into a conversation about any project asset with a click. No scrolling into history, no guessing the right search phrase.

Example 1: A chat thread about meeting notes

Chat Threads on Meeting Notes in Samepage

Example 2: A chat thread about an assigned task

Chat Threads on Tasks in Samepage

Of course, if you prefer to see conversations chronologically, pages have you covered there too. Along the right side of every page is a complete historical display of all page comments and replies.

Chat Threads on Pages in Samepage

Quoting previous comments in new ones

Commenting on another chat message is just as easy as commenting on any page content. Simply highlight the comment you're responding to. You'll see a quote icon pop up. Click it and add your response. It'll display your message with a link above it, taking other readers to the original comment.

1
Quote Comments
2
Link to Comments from Quotes

@mentioning in chat messages

@mentioning is another great way to link content together in Samepage. Of course, you can @mention a person to really grab their attention, but you can also @mention project assets such as files and pages. This creates links in your comments, making it easier for others to access the content you're talking about.

@Mention People, Files, and Pages

Collaboration software, redefining threaded chat

This is how it looks when your team and your content are all on the same page and your threaded conversations are actually attached to the project assets you're talking about. Learn more about our award-winning approach to team chat software.

Pages with chat threading on content