I run a local community of programmers and IT professionals, and we're using Slack as the only area for online communications. Lately, I've noticed that people use Slack channels that has been created with quite narrow purposes for random flaming and discussing things that are close to personal. For example, in a channel dedicated to work (which is
#work) people may start chatting about technologies and even politics.
I personally don't like it, but more than that, it dilutes the core topic and diminishes the value of the channel for those who purposefully join it. So I've been thinking about certain rules that would restrict talkative people and help them switch from public channels to private chats in case of severe off-topic.
The problem is, nobody likes rules, especially when they appear suddenly. So old member would even want to quit if I set up new constraints, which would lead to lower quality of the community as a whole, since the number of participants is quite low, about 100 members. I'm not a one and only decision maker, the community is rather loosely managed, there are authorities and newbies, and it all happens naturally. So how can I convince people to be more self-disciplined when it's too risky to attack the front directly?