Feedback for wordprompt.com - a personal writing app similar to Reddit

Hi Humane Tech Community,

Sorry if this is not the right place to ask, but I was hoping to get some feedback on a simple personal writing app. The app was inspired by the work of James Pennebaker (this is a great presentation: youtube.com/watch?v=UQ1J9mrj9U4) and is similar to Reddit. I created the app as a personal project but hope it might actually be helpful for people, and it would be great to have your thoughts (please note that most of the current prompts are being generated by a bot):

wordprompt.com
wordprompt.com/about

Are there fundamental design problems? Do you think people would actually use this (why / why not)? If you think people would use this, do you have any suggestions as to how I might go about encouraging adoption?

Developed countries are undergoing a mental health crisis, and many developing countries have almost no qualified therapists. Many people with mental illnesses (~ 50%) do not seek therapy even if it is available. Mental health needs solutions which are scalable. Personal writing prompt apps can be available to anyone with an internet connection (which now includes many people in developing countries), can have many benefits (please see video posted above), and unlike traditional therapy it has no cost, is always available, may be preventative (eg. daily journalling), and is completely private. However personal writing normally an isolated activity. Wordprompt is an experiment to see if simple Reddit-style incentives could create network effects and make personal writing a more engaging shared experience.

Thanks for reading, it would be great to hear any thoughts!

Andrew

Seems like same thing as write

https://write.as/new

If I understand correctly the prompts serve as inspiration to start writing on a certain subject.

Then it is not really Reddit-style, as there you have subreddits which are topical in nature. With 1000’s of prompts and the top ones related to e.g. ‘self-help’ I would have to skim many pages to find prompts dealing with e.g. ‘technology’. You can avoid this by adding a tagging/topics feature (e.g. similar to Github).

Humane tech-wise… You seem to have no trackers, which is great. But you have to add a Privacy Policy and probably a Terms of Service as well. The PP is required because you store login credentials and maybe IP and browser fingerprint, etc. You may use 3rd-party services (e.g. for the bot). You should store passwords hashed and take sufficient security measures. Without PP you violate GDPR and other privacy laws (e.g. California). The PP could probably be quite simple, generated from a template. There are GDPR checklists on the web.

The ToS might be handy as an acceptible use policy and a disclaimer for you. Now users could use your service to enter inappropriate/illegal content in the Answers. You should also state whether you are able to decrypt it, and what copyright/license the user has on entered content.

edit: Additionally I find it good practice if the About page of any web app gave some more background on the creators of the service, from a transparency and trust perspective.

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It looks as though write.as is focused more towards publishing and not towards writing prompts for personal writing?

Hey thanks for the thoughts. I’m completely unfamiliar with the legal side of things so I’ll have to look into PPs, cheers for bringing that up.

I am definitely thinking that in the future you would be able to add #tags as you suggest (or something similar). In my head I’m equating word count with up votes, which is why I compare it to Reddit.

I should definitely add creator details at some point, thanks for bringing that up

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Could be a great open-source project. Or do you want to monetize in future?

Another idea: A prompt service that can be integrated in blogging apps such as write.as

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I really like the idea of open source - that could be the way to go if things were to take off. I would hesitate to go open source until there was either lots of traction or none at all (feeling a bit protective of the idea being “stolen” in the early stages I guess!). Open source makes sense as I currently don’t have a clear business model in mind - I don’t think this is the kind of app which should have advertising!

I like the idea of the prompt service for blogs. I think a key feature is keeping track of the word count, so you have a metric by which to sort the prompts - not sure how this may work with a blog?

When going open source you’d be the maintainer, the project lead, of your code repository. The idea itself is already out there on your current website.

A way to get traction in the form of contributors while staying in charge is to post to https://github.com/open-source-ideas/open-source-ideas

If you decide to go OSS I’ll offer another twist to the concept which might be very interesting.

I’m definitely keen on the idea of other people contributing and reviewing the code. I don’t have a huge amount of web development experience, so this would be a good idea. To be honest I am not actually too concerned about staying in charge either, I guess I just care about being credited for the initial idea haha!

I was actually wondering if it might be pushed to https://github.com/humanetech-community/awesome-humane-tech ?

I think the idea in its current form doesn’t fit well enough in the categories of humane tech to be included there, to be honest.

Fair enough :+1:

If I decide to go OSS should I let you know? I am wondering what the additional twist is

Yes, that would be best. It is a rather large twist and we’ll have to find a way to approach it. It may need a minimum viable product (MVP) and assurance it is not taken by commercial parties (e.g. write.as also has commercial components).

Sorry, not sure I understand what “assurance it is not taken by commercial parties” means? Does this mean that there should be no apps out there with a similar idea which are commercialised?

The current app is fully functional but I assume there may be quite a few changes and tests required before being considered an MVP?

Thanks for all your feedback by the way, I’ll definitely have to consider the idea of OSS

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I mean that the additonal idea can be adopted by commercial parties, before an OSS project can take shape.

The MVP is scoped to the extension with the twist (if indeed that is a good idea to follow-up on), not your current app, which is an MVP in itself you could say.

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