Alexa, WTF just happened?

An Amazon Alexa skill for What The F**k Just Happened Today.

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Excited to share this side project with Product Hunt! A couple months ago, it felt like an utter deluge of political news was happening every day. When I found WTF Just Happened Today?" in its email digest form, I loved the funny/irreverent tone Matt takes, and how much care he takes to be unbiased in his summaries. I also wanted to learn how to write an Alexa skill for my Echo, so I found a mutual friend (hi @sandimac!) to reach out through and get his blessing. The coding part was really cool to play with (AWS Lambda + Node.js) and SUPER easy. Like 4 hours easy. The approvals process was extremely cumbersome (I don't think they were SUPER stoked to have a skill that gets as close to the line of their Terms of Service with cursing as we do) but a couple months later, we're so excited to see what people think! If anyone's curious about making an Alexa skill, I'll be around all day to chat. Same with Matt on his experience growing his community.
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@staringispolite That's right! Big ups to @sandimac (whom I've never met in person, but feel like I've known for years from using Quibb!) for connecting us! πŸ€—
πŸ‘‹ Hey PH! This is Matt, creator of WTF Just Happened Today, a newsletter logging the daily shock and awe in national politics. I'm super excited about this WTFJHT Alexa skill – not because it's awesome! But because it was contributed by @staringispolite, a community member that volunteered his time to make this! So rad. πŸ‘Š Simply ask "Alexa, W.T.F. just happened," and she'll give you the latest US news! Let us know what you think! Here to answer questions! https://whatthefuckjusthappenedt... Source code for WTFJHT: Source code for WTFJHT Skill:
@matt_kiser @staringispolite Can I use the actual words or do I have to stick to the letters?
@alwaysunday @staringispolite Hey Andy, unfortunately no. Amazon has some, uh, sensitivities to the F-bomb. We also discovered that "What" is a reserved invocation utterance for Alexa (at least that's our suspicion).
@alwaysunday It's W.T.F. the letters :) In theory, Amazon's terms allow for having people say the actual words, but in practice we couldn't get it approved that way, no matter how much we censored the app/collateral/etc.
@matt_kiser @staringispolite Matt you are KILLING it. Love that WTFJHT has taken off like crazy (despite your already crazy life). Will be installing on my echo ASAP
@dnuzum @staringispolite Thanks Derek! And thanks for supporting WTFJHT! It's been an amazing experience. πŸ™Œ
This is awesome @staringispolite and @matt_kiser! Any plans to release integrations for other platforms? Would love it on Google Home/Now! #TypicalWantAndroidVersion
@kunalslab I'd love to do that! @staringispolite has first dibs on that, if he wants to/has time to (we haven't discussed)
@kunalslab Haha I love the hashtag. Typical Android ;) @matt_kiser I'm game! Does WTFJHT want to sponsor a Google Home for me? :D
@matt_kiser @staringispolite the hashtag is key. Glad I could inspire you. πŸ˜‚ Been using API.AI to create personal bots, and you can deploy to Google Home pretty easily from there. I currently don't have a Google Home, but I'll get one to use WTFJHT when you launch!
@kunalslab lol. you requested it, but don't even have one??
This is Dope🚬🚬 You guys just inspired me to make an Alexa skill
@dredurr From a technical standpoint, it's so easy once you get your head around AWS Lambda. What worked for me was just following one of the "random fact skill" tutorials and subbing out my own code. Got the prototype for WTFJHT done in one night
@matt_kiser Something I'm curious about, that we haven't talked about - how has the experience been as a side project maker, once you shifted from growing an email newsletter, to taking on collaborators like me?
@staringispolite Good question! The WTFJHT project started on a whim and became popular very quickly. I can't say I had a plan or was prepared – it's not like I had some policy or process in place for working with folks. A lot of people reached out about contributing code, copy, and other skills, which was amazing and inspiring. It was also a little overwhelming! I've been juggling a full time job, running the site (which has become it's own type of full time job), and, you know, trying to also maintain a normal social life. What's amazing, though, is that everybody has volunteered their time. The WTFJHT community is so cool! From you proactively reaching out wanting to build this, to several devs teaching me how to setup continuous integration, SSL, a CDN, migrate to S3, to a few guys testing out a podcast (we eventually killed this but will probably bring it back), and more. There's an entire group of copyeditors that make pull requests to fix typos for me! Amazing. These are all things I couldn't have done myself and this strength in numbers community is what makes WTFJHT so special. :)
@matt_kiser I didn't know about the copywriters and all the tech help! That's awesome.
@staringispolite right!? It's kind of amazing what happens when you open source not just the code, but the copy as well. Pull request all the things!
@matt_kiser @staringispolite Very cool! I often want to help in some small way.