This is a ‘Friday project’ that has been on the backburner for a while where I work. I'm excited that it is now seeing the light of day!

I’m a big fan of IRC but Slack is definitely the cool kid on the block. It irritates me that a lot of the good things about Slack could’ve been built on IRC if only people wanted to build on the protocol some more. But it doesn't irritate me enough not to use it, or build my own apps upon it. Enter Seenbot.

Seenbot logo

Seenbot is a reimagining of the !seen command on IRC. !seen is a common bot command that tells you when a user was last seen talking on the channel, or when they last left the channel. You don't really need to worry about that in Slack because you can always see the channel history, but we figured we could make it even better.

Instead of containing it to Slack, Seenbot allows you to automatically check your teammates social media accounts to see where they last posted something, or last checked in somewhere. For example my colleague Pete is away on vacation at the moment, but using Seenbot I can easily see where he last was, to see if he might be available to answer a quick question or not:

/seen @originalpete

Probably not then...

Seenbot is a classic mashup app; making use of a whole bunch of APIs to achieve a relatively simple goal. It’s also our first Ruby on Rails 5 (beta) app, which has been a reasonably pain-free experience.

We have plans to add more networks and make the bot more intelligent, prioritising and surfacing geolocation data instead of just using recency. Give it a try!