Life, Tech

How to Communicate With Your Team When HipChat is Down

May 4, 2016 | by Paul

Note: this was originally published on 3/16.

HipChat was down for a number of hours yesterday, leaving many of us to wonder if we’d just been fired via IM. Luckily, that wasn’t the case for many of us. But how can you continue to create business value with your team if/when this happens again in the future? Here are some options:

  • US Mail. If you’re a state-side organization, the United States government offers a scalable messaging service with flexible pricing. There are no monthly or user fees, simply pay for a “stamp” to send a message. Speed is a factor with messages taking multiple days to transmit. However, reliability is unmatched — they’ve been doing this since 1775. They didn’t even have flip phones in 1775.
  • Fax Machine. If you work at an older organization, this is the printer-y looking thing with a phone attached to it covered in dust in the back closet. It sucks in paper messages, then poops out harder-to-read paper messages across great distances. These devices are especially helpful for legal documents that need very fuzzy signatures so that they can be one-day disputed should that need arise.
  • AOL Instant Messenger / AIM. Yes, it’s still around. Seriously, why did we ever leave AIM? Buddy lists, status updates, creepy perves jerking off while they age-check the chat room. It has everything.
  • The Yo App. Yo can mean anything. The latest software feature is ready for QA. Yo. It has passed all tests and is ready for production. Yo. The push to production is complete. Yo. I think you misunderstood my previous ‘yo’ — QA revealed numerous bugs and security issues. Yo.
  • A podcast. Distribute audio communiques over iTunes and Stitcher. And earn some affiliate money from Mail Chimp and in the process.
  • Analog IM. Leave notes on people’s desks, keyboards, or monitors. Buy a stack of these. They’re not just for your Scrum board.
  • You know, like, talking. Auditory communication has been used even longer than the US Mail. Give it a try. There’s even an App for it on your phone — it’s the one that connects you to your parents.

Cheers to the HipChat team for getting us back online. Outages suck. But now you, dear reader, have options.

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  • Reply Eliot March 16, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I know how–Slack, the superior messaging app.

    • Reply Paul March 17, 2016 at 6:59 am

      That was the popular response on Twitter! I’m curious how a chat app can generate such a loyal following.

  • Reply Josh March 28, 2016 at 7:33 am

    Slack is pretty friggin good. But I would say that it’s just “as good” as hipchat. There’s great parity between the two. I’m assuming that this will become the new Emacs vs VI argument/religious-war.

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