We use Campfire a lot – it’s our main way of communicating as a team that’s more than half remote. We’ve shared what happens inside our Campfire rooms before, and today I’ll share a peek at how we use our statistics robot, “Tally”, in Campfire.
Tally sits in a few of our Campfire rooms all day and answers questions people have, whether it’s about how signups for a product us doing, how a feature is being used, what the latest results for an A/B test are, or what the weather in Chicago is. Tally also sends SMS messages, searches the internet and more:
Tally grew from a couple of desires:
- I wanted an easier way to answer easy questions that come up frequently – how is this A/B test going? How many people have used custom fields since we launched them? None of these are hard questions to answer, but Tally makes these simple questions completely self-serve.
- I wanted to explore our API more. In the course of doing analyses at 37signals I end up interacting with a lot of different APIs, and have seen some great ones and some terrible ones. I wanted to see how ours stacked up, and also have a chance to write and test some new wrappers for other APIs as well.
- I wanted to add some fun features to our Campfire room. Tally knows how to tell a joke and has some funny images at the ready. These don’t add any practical value, but are occasionally good for a laugh.
One of the most common uses of Tally has been to check A/B test results. We use and are big fans of Optimizely to run A/B tests, but also use Clicky to measure the results. Tally makes finding the overall results a one-line affair:
Have an idea for something we should teach Tally to do? Are you doing something interesting with the Campfire API? Tell us about it in the comments!