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jory burson
jory burson

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meet thanksbot

The cover of my grandmother’s journal reads:

It’s not happy people who are thankful
It’s thankful people who are happy

I can’t know for sure, but I think this little nudge has made a difference on her outlook over the years. I do know that thanksbot has changed mine over the course of 2+ years, and I’m very excited to share it with you today.

thanksbot is an open source chat app for Slack that records individual messages of affirmation and shares them periodically with your workspace. Send thanksbot a direct message to record an appreciative note for a colleague; once you’ve double-checked the message it will be recorded and stored for later. Then at the designated time, thanksbot posts all the messages in aggregate for everyone to enjoy:

thanksbot sample text

thanksbot provides a gentle nudge to practice being thankful, improving moods and modifying behavior over time. The app sends a periodic, unintrusive reminder to help people build a reflex for sharing messages:

thanksbot reminder text

An earlier version of this tool was developed for internal use at Bocoup in 2016. The team liked getting the surprise positive affirmation, and it helped raise awareness for the unseen things people were doing to help one another. The “good feelings” were also reciprocal - it not only felt good to receive the affirmation publicly, and also felt good to write messages knowing it would make someone happy later.

In collaboration with Katie Broida and with support from Bocoup, thanksbot has been completely re-written and made available for your community via the Slack store or GitHub . We hope thanksbot encourages more positive affirmations and joy in your community workspace, as it did in ours years ago. I’m excited for you to try it out - please let us know what you think on Twitter (@kbroida & @jorydotcom).

If you like using thanksbot, there are several people to recognize: Michael Champlin for the gracious kitty logo; Ben Alman, Pam Druin, Isaac Durazo, Bob Holt, Tyler Kellen, Jess Klein, and many other past and present Bocoupers contributed to this idea. We’re also grateful to the OpenJS Foundation and W3C TAG Slack communities for beta-testing.

Top comments (2)

dcwither profile image
Devin Witherspoon

Thanks for sharing! This is something my team practices, but having reminders might balance who thanks, and who gets thanked.

jorydotcom profile image
jory burson

we found that it helped highlight the unseen lifts that occur across the team - not just the big efforts which often attract more kudos :D