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Our studio is a little strange. There are only two of us, here, so we’re often stretched thin. At heart, we’re startup guys, but we also have young families and live in an expensive city. This adds some complication to what we do. Oh, yeah, and we don’t like the idea of taking VC funding. So, we need to do client work (we call this “turning tricks”) to keep the lights on.

About a year-and-a-half ago, we launched this thing called Chapp. The idea was simple: make a browser-based version of IRC. At the time I hadn’t heard of Slack (or HipChat, or Fleep, or Kato, or any of the other hundreds of chat apps out there). Dumb, I know, but sometimes we just build stuff because doing so seems like fun.

Anyway, we launched Chapp and got some interest. However, we soon needed to get back to client work, so we could keep feeding all of our kids. Since then, Chapp languished. We never really figured out who the tool was for,* and we got caught up working on Officehours. A few folks still use Chapp, but the community is tiny.

I sort of regret not having worked on Chapp, more. It’s different from many of the services I mention, as it has both public and private channels. This means I can use it for work-stuffs, but I can also use it more like a kind of Reddit. Plus, I find so many other neat uses for it.

For example: Talk about software: http://chapp.is/SketchApp Provide public product support: http://chapp.is/Officehours Show new products: http://chapp.is/ShowChapp Get feedback: http://chapp.is/DesignCrit Share articles: http://chapp.is/Read

I don’t know that this is of interest to any of you. That said, the feedback some of you provided about Officehours was helpful—and I figured it wouldn’t hurt to show you this. If you feel like dropping by and using the service, we’d certainly love to have you join us. :-)

*We should have picked a smaller market to initially target, but we felt like restraining it in this way was sort of a marketing hack—and discouraged more organic growth.


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    The world needs a good open source IRC web-based client. Maybe that’s Chapp. Maybe it’s not. Think about it, won’t you?

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      I think that’s probably what we should have started with: a cleanly designed client for IRC. That would have been a smarter approach, and had more uptake.

      At this time, we can’t do it, just because Officehours needs all of our attention. In the future, though, who knows? :-)

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        Are you sure the world doesn’t need a nicer protocol than IRC? :P

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          like IRCv3? http://ircv3.net/

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            No, because that’s still IRC, just with more things added on top of it.