Build stronger remote relationships with irresistible ice breakers

Hello World!

Hey there! 👋 Raymond here, I’m the founder of Banter.

Banter came about as a response to the challenges of building remote culture that I had been noticing as I worked with remote marketing teams. There are so many tools that help with remote productivity, but there wasn’t much out for remote culture.

I’ve always felt like one of the major benefits of an office were those serendipitous moments of chat, where you learn something random about your teammate. The 5 minutes before a Zoom call isn’t cutting it.

I got inspired to pursue Banter by a meme tweet of all things.

How does Banter work?

Banter can get up and running in less than a minute.

Step 1. Add Banter to Slack, the permissions the bot asks for are just so we can message into the channel and see what kind of response those prompts get.

Step 2. Set up the bot, pick a channel, topics and schedule the ice breakers.

Step 3. Banter fires in a group channel, your team replies to the conversation starters, debate and sharing ensues.

What do people think of Banter so far?

The MVP of Banter launched on Feb 24, 2021 via a Linkedin post, since then a bunch of teams have been giving Banter a whirl and giving us great feedback.

1. Teams are engaging

Workspaces with Banter are bumpin’! Every other day or once a week seem to be the best cadence for Banter. Teams of all sizes and geos are having interesting conversations and learning about each other in a relaxed way. We have teams out in Japan (こにちわ), 10 person startups, 500 person startups that have exited a few public companies, and everything in between.

2. Features are being requested

The MVP release is and was pretty barebones, we got the core feature working, made sure it didn’t have any egregious bugs and threw it out in the world. I’m ecstatic to see Slack admins and team leads requesting new features for Banter, it (hopefully) means we have something worth caring about.

3. Asynchronous is valuable

Even if someone on a team doesn’t participate in a Banter prompt, they still get all the benefits of learning about their team. Having replies and participation in a more public setting allows for spectators to still get value.

4. Some questions are too deep

This is a work in progress. Being vulnerable is essential for forging strong relationships, and our little bot is trying its darndest to get people to open up, sometimes it’s a little aggressive.

What’s next for Banter?

We’re going to be building a bunch of features. We’ve been at it for roughly 6 months to get the foundation set. Banter will soon become a lot more customizable and scalable for larger organizations.

We’ll be using this blog to share roadmap, feature updates, insights about remote work and just generally working in public. If you have any questions or feedback, fire me an email at [email protected]!

How does your team feel about pineapple on Pizza? 🍍 +🍕 = ?

Get conversation starting ice breakers in Slack and build a closer team.

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    🧊 Icebreakers that your Slack team will actually like

    Banter sparks fun group conversations that help build employee culture and friendship.

    Choose the schedule and topics. Banter takes care of the rest. Automated and asynchronous.

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