Oliver Nassar

I can be reached at onassar@gmail.com.

For my open source work, check out github.com/onassar


Labour Day Weekend Project: Switcheroo

View more posts

The Listserve

I would be remiss if I didn't start with The Listserve, labeled an "email lottery". The premise?

Each day, an email is chosen from it's growing (21k+ at the time of writing) list of subscribers.
The lucky-winner is given 48 hours to come up with a short email.
About anything.

Love, or the environment, or political rants. They've all been explored.

People are given the chance to have their voice, and mind, delivered directly to tens-of-thousands on inboxes. A promising idea. So how does Switcheroo fit in?

Switcheroo

Switcheroo is my attempt to give everyone a chance to share their writings, and have them read. While I don't have a catchy one-sentence pitch (yet), the goal is to connect writers, around a topic, together, anonymously. I think it makes more sense when I explain the flow:

That's it. The stories will also be posted online anonymously to read.

Why I made it

I want to practice my writing. And while I could do so in a journal, or blog, there is something charming about the idea that I can write, and have it read, anonymously. From the convenience of my inbox.

The goal? To encourage anonymous sharing. And perhaps later, anonymous conversations around those stories (hint: you can reply back to any stories that you're sent and start an anonymous conversation with them through email).

The Tech

Since this blog focuses on the technology aspect of my life, I've got to make a mention there:

I'd say I've spent maybe 80+ hours on this project by now, but got it up in about 25 hours.
I'll try and get a few blog posts up about some scaling issues, and some edge-cases when using inbound hooks (whether Postmark or another provider).

Also, if enough outbound emails are generated (at least 30 or so per day at the moment), I'll probably switch the outbound to Amazon SES with a reply-to being capture by Postmark (or maybe another inbound provider if they're dramatically cheaper).