Introducing TellThemWhen

2010-09-09 15:44:00 +0000

I have had a scratch I have wanted to itch for a long time, and that is about how to share times online. TellThemWhen is my solution to this problem.

The problem TellThemWhen is trying to solve is one of “How do I tell Bob over in another time zone, what time I want them to do something”. Now, in many cases, Bob might be a person you deal with all the time, and you know he is 9 hours behind you, tomorrow, so all you have to do is the mental arithmetic once. Simple (yeah, right).

But what about when you have a Maintenance window coming up? What do you tell all your customers? Probably, like many sites out there, you go: “Hi there, we will be doing maintenance at 1am EST for 15 minutes”, but what is EST? If you are in Australia, it means time on the East Coast, if you are in the USA, it means something totally different.

Some sites solve this by linking to the world clock. Which is all well and good, but, honestly, a bit rude. Why are you making me hunt around a massive page of time zones to find the one I am closest to?

So what was needed was a simple way for anyone to make an instant in time, and then share that with the world. TellThemWhen does this.

The above maintenance window could include a link to TellThemWhen for the downtime, and now your users, in whatever time zone they are in, will get the time, for them, in their timezone.

Neat.

Over the weeks I’ll be blogging about some of the technology behind TellThemWhen. Handling multiple timezones is sometimes a challenge and TellThemWhen handles it in some interesting ways. Checking on up to three different sources for the timezone data, and then also verifying with your local computer that what we guessed is correct.

So anyway, check it out. It was fun making it with my designer, David Cruikshank (@thedav3 on twitter) and stay tuned for more features to come!

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Mikel