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.

Once you have received your invite, please do the following:

  • Read our code of conduct
  • 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)
    • Important: if you are a software vendor, it is required that you list your affiliation in your profile, at a minimum. If you are often discussing your product or your competitors’ products, it’s even better if you can highlight your affiliation in your display name.
  • Add a profile photo
  • Introduce yourself in the #introductions channel

In Slack, remember that channels are free. If you want to start a conversation on a topic that doesn’t have a channel dedicated to it, you can create a channel and invite others to join you.

Participating in the Slack community

In general, in this community, we trust that everyone will behave in ways that they believe are appropriate. There are some hard-and-fast rules in our code of conduct, which we expect everyone to adhere to: specifically, rules prohibiting harassment and intolerant behavior. However, in general, we prefer to have guidelines for behavior rather than hard-and-fast rules in a way that promotes organic growth and discussion.


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. Vendors can add enormous value to the community by being there to answer questions about their products when questions arise, but we do not want the community to become a sales channel that drowns out organic discussion.

If someone mentions a problem that your product could help with, it is appropriate to add a comment to a thread saying “Hey I work at X and we have a solution that addresses this problem. PM me for information”. It is not appropriate to:

  • 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).

Similarly, 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.

Vendor participation

We have had some great discussion in the #communityrules channel about how community members who also work for vendors should behave with respect to their and their competitor’s competitors’ products. There are three concerns we (the community) feel the need to address explicitly:

  • It should be clear when someone is making a comment if they are potentially biased
  • We do not want vendors bad-mouthing each others’ products
  • We do not want this slack to become a sales-channel for vendors where conversations are consistently dominated by people promoting their own products.

In order to address these, we (the community) propose three rules and two guidelines:

  • Rule: if you are a vendor or an employee of a vendor-like entity, you should note that affiliation in your slack profile so that those reading the commentary can understand your potentially biased position
  • Guideline: make sure that we always keep the tone civil — in general, vendors should avoid commenting on a competitors’ technology unless they have specific nuances and differences they want to discuss. Simply saying “x is bad” would violate this guideline
    • Note that this does not apply to non-vendors. If you’ve had a bad experience with a technology, you should feel free to express that without facing a burden of proof.
  • Guideline: vendors should generally avoid promoting their own product unless there is a very clear use-case. If someone asks about tools to 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, direct message me,” and that would be fine. Constantly posting “you should check out gamma” is not.
  • Rule: if you are representing a vendor, you should only post vendor-sponsored content (article or video links) or announcements for vendor-sponsored events in #vendor-content or a tool-specific channel.
    • Note that this does not apply to unaffiliated individuals posting vendor-sponsored content that they found helpful, or to individuals posting content they wrote independently.
  • Rule: vendors should not send unsolicited sales direct-messages to members of the community – if you are a vendor and someone direct-messages you to learn more about your product, that’s great, but we do not want people using locally optimistic direct messages to spam for new customers.

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.

Inviting Others to the Community

If you are already a member of the Slack group, we encourage you to invite other like-minded current or aspiring analytics leaders using Slack’s “invite people” feature yourself! We only ask that you respect our mission of maintaining a sense of community and refrain from email / Facebook / LinkedIn blasts to a mass audience. We trust that everyone will act reasonably in how they contribute to building and growing our community.

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 our #authors channel where we collaborate on preparing posts for publication.

  • First, review our licensing policies and make sure you’re okay with licensing your content under our rules.
  • To contribute, you should create a shared google doc with your content and ask for a review in the #authors channel. The editorial team at LocallyOptimistic will review your post, and will likely request changes.
  • Once you have made all of the requested changes, we will mutually determine a publish date.
  • 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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