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Misusing backSlash as Instant Messenger

posted by Krow on 12:12 PM March 13th, 2003   Printer-friendly   Email story
We just recently noticed, that backSlash is (in 1.x as well as 2.x) a very fine instant messenger between authors who just have web access or not liking IRC or ICQ.

Just start a new story, put the message (up to 50 characters) in the title field, and hit preview. Immediately your message is shown to all logged in authors when they load the next Slash page. And if you then have the submission list open with it's refresh of 900 seconds (the default valalue), you always have the newest messages even without hitting the reload button. It also proofed to be useful to send replies or ACK messages to acknowledge, that the message has been read.

But be careful not to submit those messages as stories. This can be awkward. (So there's even a little bit of thrill when using this type of IM... ;-)

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  • if you do this, save the story and hide it, you can have conversations permanantly. Just be sure not to post loged in (or remember to check the anonymous box) if you don't want people to find the story.

    "How about you interface with my ass? By biting it!" --Bender
  • this seems like one of the most useless things you could possibly do with a slash-based site. For heaven's sake, there's IRC, AIM, even chat.
    lottadot []
    • Actually, when my site was up I found that the authors were sending notes to each other in the form of unpublished stories. It comes in handy if you are logged in and just need to make a quick announcement to the people who would only see it by being logged in as an author. I think that a mod to the system to handle 'authors only' threads and 'authors only' comments would be a cool feature.

      That said, considering the lack of tech savvy found among the authors that I was dealing with was a problem. Many didn't know how to use irc (though they im'ed each other all the time... oh, the drama) or would say that it was inconvenient to do so....

      So while it is a pretty useless waste of slash to use this way for some it aint all that bad :)

      • Same to us here. I needed to talk to an logged in author immediately before he's publishing his story and wondered how to contact him so fast. Somehow I noticed that the same way I saw what he was doing, I could make him see, that I want to talk to him and started a story with title "tbf: Please visit us in IRC". Shortly after he showed up and wondered how I managed it to use backSlash as IM. Since then you often see authors editing stories like "maol: Slashdot has this story also." or even IRC like messag
        -- There is no place like $HOME