It was January 5, 2019. I had been doing participating in the #vss365 writing challenge on Twitter for nearly three weeks and enjoyed every moment of it. However, getting into and keeping up with the writing challenge was not easy. Once I finally found the prompt giver (then discovering it changes monthly), I found out that the tweets usually get sent out when I’m asleep. While I don’t follow a ton of people on Twitter, my timeline still gets cluttered very quickly and finding the prompt tweet is sometimes difficult. So that morning of the 5th, I had an idea:
What if I made a little website that picked up the prompt tweet and emailed it to me, as well as provide an archive of each prompt? That way, I would have it in my inbox when I woke up, lower the entry barrier for participation, and have a cool project to add to my portfolio?
And thus, #vss365 today was born.
I won’t bore you with the technical details, but I’ll say this was more complicated than it looks. As a 6-year professional website developer working on his third college degree (B.S. in IT class of 2020!), I have the existing knowledge and experience needed to make it, but I decided to write this using some technology that I am not totally familiar with, which added to the challenge and my excitement to finally publish it. After all, it is not often I get to combine programming and poetry, my two loves.
As alluded to earlier, #vss365 today allows you to browse the #vss365 prompts, currently going back to January 1, 2019, as well as subscribe to daily emails that deliver the prompt directly to your inbox. The emails are completed automated and can be stopped at any time. In case you are concerned, I have no intention of sending out any other messages (I dislike spam and unwanted email as much as the next person). Besides, my email address is in it too, and I don’t want to send myself spam! I’ve also written the site to allow linking directly to individual days. So if you wanted to share the prompt for January 12, 2019 (one of my favorite prompts for that month), the link will look like https://vss365today.com/view/2019-01-12. Convenience is nice.
I currently classify #vss365 today as a beta because I am still trying to get everything running rock-solid. There is possibility that the prompt tweet is missed, and if so, I would like for there to be a way to send out the notification retrospectively. I am also not the best at visual design, so if you find any visual and written word adjustments, improvements, or errors, please do not hesitate to tell me! I appreciate all the help I can get. I do have some browsing improvements planned, so there’s fun things still to come!
Enough of me yammering already. I hope you enjoy #vss365 today! In case you are wondering, my Twitter is @cely717, if you want to keep up with my #vss365 submissions. Happy writing, everyone! 😃