Joining the Community

We are thrilled you have decided to join our community. We have a growing Slack community where current and aspiring analytics leaders discuss and share lessons and challenges from their experience working with data. It’s a great place to start building your brain trust!

If you have not already, please reach out to ask for an invite to our Slack group. In your email, please tell us a little bit about yourself and why you’re interested in joining our data community.

Participating in the Slack community

In general, we trust that the Locally Optimistic community will behave in ways that they believe are appropriate. The guidelines below are intended to help steer you in the right direction and to promote organic growth and discussion.


  • Read our code of conduct. We expect everyone to adhere to these requirements and we will not tolerate harassment or intolerant behavior. 
  • Enter your full name (this community will work best if we are all real humans), but feel free to add a custom “display name”
  • Add a headline in the “what I do” box (can be “title @ company” or anything that helps people know who they are chatting with)
  • Add a profile photo
  • Introduce yourself in the #introductions channel


We appreciate having individuals who build and sell data tools as part of our community. It’s incredibly valuable for our community both to find about new tools and solutions, and to be able to provide feedback that helps shape those tools to really solve their problems. We want folks contributing to our discussions and engaging, regardless of their employer, but also to ensure that LO is still primarily a place where discussions do not begin with a vendor agenda – so we have specific guidelines for our members who represent data vendors.

What is a vendor? 

  • We use “vendor” as shorthand to refer to community members who represent a company that sells products and/or services primarily to data teams or data team members. Regardless of your role within the company, please err on the side of being overly cautious when it comes to your approach to communicating about your own tool or direct competitors.  Vendors include employees of SaaS companies, consultants, freelancers, etc.
  • A vendor is still a community member. We hope that outside of conversations about your own tool or competitors, you feel empowered to fully engage with the community. 


  • Keep the tone civil, always. 
  • Note your vendor affiliation in your Slack name (e.g. Jane Doe @ Vendor Co.) so that those reading your commentary can understand your potentially biased position. If in doubt about whether you represent a vendor, err on the side of transparency.
  • When a community member mentions a problem that your product could help with, wait at least one full business day for the community to discuss and offer opinions before hopping in to introduce yourself and your tool.
  • Feel empowered to create #tools-toolname channel and announce it once in #general to allow interested users to opt into conversation related to your tool. We appreciate publicly searchable conversation, so this is preferable to having one-off conversations in DMs. 
  • Share content and events freely in #vendor-content.


  • Directly private-message someone about your product without being asked.
  • Contact someone outside of the Slack channel (e.g., handing their contact info to your sales team).
  • Comment on a competitors’ technology aside from comparing specific nuances and differences. Simply saying “alpha is bad” or “gamma is better” would violate this guideline
  • If content is hosted on a vendor website, it should definitely go in the #vendor-content or specific #tools-channel.
  • Promote your own product outside #vendor-content or your specific #tools- channel unless a community member has asked a question directly about it. If someone asks what tools solve a certain problem, a vendor could say “the big three service providers are alpha, beta, and gamma — I work at gamma so I’m biased toward that one. If you want to discuss more about the details, hope into #tools-toolname.” Do not simply post “you should check out gamma”. Though of course this should be posted after one full business day (see rule above).


This community is built for data practitioners to discuss the work that they do, the ideas that they have, and the things that they are learning. It is not intended to be lead generation for vendors or recruiters. It is not appropriate to directly reach out to community members to recruit them for a role. You may post a JD in the #jobs channel and invite interested candidates to reach out to you directly.

Reach Out to the Admins

If you observe anyone violating these rules or guidelines (or you just see something that makes you uncomfortable or you believe is hurting the community) please reach out to an admin (@scott, @michael, @ilan, @sam swift, or @caitlin moorman) and we’ll address it. You can also send us an email. And, of course, we expect that we will need to continuously evolve as a community, so joining the #communityrules channel is a great place to participate if you have thoughts on how we can make the community better.

Contributing to the Locally Optimistic Blog

We are very excited to publish blog posts from current and future analytics leaders on LocallyOptimistic.

A few ground rules:

  • The editorial team at LocallyOptimistic has the final word on what content gets posted. We reserve the right to reject any post for any reason at any time.
  • We do not publish posts that are designed to promote a specific product or service.
  • We do not compensate authors.
  • We do not take compensation for publishing (no payola).

If you have an idea for a post you would like to write, reach out to someone from the editorial team on Slack, and we will add you to a post-specific channel, where we will collaborate with you to prepare your post for publication. Here is the process:

  1. Review our licensing policies and make sure you’re okay with licensing your content under our rules.
  2. Create a shared google doc with your content and ask for a review in the channel for your post. The editorial team at LocallyOptimistic will review your post within one week and request changes.

    We will give critical feedback on your post — but our goal is for you to publish something of super high quality that will be a long term reference for our community – the feedback will all be constructive. We can give feedback early if you want more structural feedback, or later if you prefer to share a more finished product.

    Please refer to our style guide for specific style statements.
  3. Once you have made all of the requested changes, we will mutually determine a publish date.
  4. We will invite you to WordPress as a contributor, where you will create and schedule the final version of your post.

If you want to workshop post ideas, we have a channel for that in the Slack group at #blog. If you have other questions or concerns, please reach out on Slack.

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