This past weekend has been a pretty significant one for Chariot. Slack is now no longer a requirement to run Chariot 🎉 🙌🏼.
The reason for using Slack initially is that I wanted a method of alerting a group of people to a ride request inexpensively. Having Chariot send that request to a Slack channel seemed the best way of doing that and it works great.
That said, for that particular functionality to work, you need a Slack instance, Chariot needs some pretty aggressive control over your church Slack instance, which we take great care with but still not comfortable about having to ask for.
How we pass the requests into Slack isn't even documented by Slack themselves (forever indebted to Erik Kalkolen for this) meaning that they could effectively pull the carpet from under us at any point and the service that you're paying us for would be useless. And that would make us all sad 😢.
You also need your drivers to go download the Slack app.
TLDR; it takes a lot of effort to setup and we ask for a lot of trust from users upfront
Tried and trusted technology
So, from today - you don't need a Slack account, we'll send ride requests to driver group by good ol' SMS. It doesn't require an app or additional accounts. Just a phone number and the driver account here on Chariot. Done!
Of course, if you have Slack configured, we'll push the request there too.
I have thought about other notification integrations like WhatsApp, Telegram etc. but I'm inclined to hold off on doing that until there's a real need or request from users.
Until next time 👋🏼