Moving off Slack

June 16, 2019

As some of you might know I’m currently developing an integrated chat within 200WaD. I want members to write more together, so a chat gathering everyone is a must-have.

Slack is a bit cumbersome to use: you have to install it, configure your account, and actually write/check messages. Not everyone has used Slack before, and I can’t expect everyone here to sign up.

However, we all subscribed to 200 Words a Day. That’s where the magic should happen.

At first I wanted to integrate Slack within 200WaD using their Application Programming Interface, but it turns out I made a mistake: I didn’t read the f* API rate limit. I spent three days building something that will be unusable given our desired use - about 1000 visitors per day versus a one websocket connection per minute limit: unthinkable.

I could have bypassed the rate limit by setting up a middleware (a server making requests instead of a user), but it’s more complex than rolling out our own in-house chat server from a structural point of view. That’s why today I decided to completely move off Slack and build my own chat engine.

Another reason I want to have total control over the chat application is the Writing Circles feature: the possibility for 200WaD members to create groups based on common interests, which in turn could become a possible way to monetize 200WaD using a B2B business model.

200WaD is driven by one purpose: empowering writers. And I believe building a free open community based on collaboration to be the way to go about it. Building a chat to remove all communication barriers (= messages lesser than 200 words) is the first step towards this vision.