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Anonymously Ask A Black Person via SMS (ABP) is Back Online – Team, Goals, Features and Task List

ask a black person

Well, that was unexpected. After posting about my weekend hack about Anonymously Ask A Black Person via SMS. I’ve received another couple thousand page views on the blog post, numbers of tweets saying it was awesome and dozens of request to keep Anonymously Ask A Black Person up and running.

ask a black person

The blog post, “How and Why I built “Anonymously Ask A Black Person” SMS platform that reached almost 10,000 page views & removed from Product Hunt in 48 hours with Twilio” was viewed over 2500 times in two days.

Now Anonymously Ask A Black Person is a team of seven and yes.. we’re all black :). The good thing is we’re all developers and the gender demographic is three women and five guys. After talking with a couple of the team members we decided setup a slack group, and the strategy is there is no official schedule we’ll mark messages that we want to reply to in the google doc and reply when we can. Also we’re all going to remain “anonymous” except myself of course. A couple members of the team said they might post via Twitter/social media that they are contributing.

Before starting out I felt we needed two things, team core values and reachable goals.

The Anonymously Ask A Black Person Core Values are:
#1 Be authentic
#2 Reply with compassion and empathy
#3 Provide Value
#4 Be Creative
#5 Innovate with technology
#6 Enhance community
#7 Have fun

Our goals are:
Receive and answer 10,000 questions within 90 days

I also wanted to make a couple updates to enhance the user experience and add credibility. Last night was a long night but here’s the tasks list and growing feature set.

Task last
Remove long twitter hashtag and change to #aabp
Blog post about ADP is back on

Updated Features,Tasks and Bugs List
1. Learn how to reply to twilio sms from slack (this would be awesome)
2. Rebuild backend response chat with firebase or slack (I’m going to try this
3. Update Twilio sms to google spreadsheet columns for team
4. Create Ask a black person slack room – DONE
5. Review overall Twilio logs and configuration
6. Create a login system for updated chat/admin room if slack doesn’t work
7. Add stripe payment option to website
8. Update website footer with company address – DONE
9. update website footer with history blog post link – DONE
10. Review people who want to get involved via google spreadsheet
11. Install wordpress
12. update team on twitter login
13. Host team video chat for introductions
14. Review weekly
15. Create terms of service and privacy policy pages used TermsFeed – DONE
16. Convert mobile number form to ajax submission. The original idea was change submission post php layout of submission page or create alert message after user submits their number. – DONE
17. Edit input form redirection
18. Update example questions with real previous questions – DONE
19. Register domain name to use as a short url – DONE
20. Setup short url on for tweets – DONE
21. Edit display of twitter widget using – DONE
22. Create a reminder sms service or way to send group messages
23. Change default welcome text from “Ask me anything. How may I help you?” to “Hi, ask me anything. How may I help you?” – DONE
24. Add testimonials from twitter – on hold
25. SETUP SSL(https)
26. Edit twitter card and Facebook meta open graph data and default image – DONE
27. Test FB open graph data with
28. Format ajax thank you message mobile media css property for mobile devices

Updated budget
Short url godaddy: – $15.18
TermsFeed ( ) Privacy Policy – $3.00
TermsFeed ( ) terms of service – $9.00
V2 Total: $27.18

Twilio starter credit and phone number $20.00
Napier basic plan $15.00
Twitter Bootstrap theme $18.00 domain name with private registration $12.17
Coding Time: TBD 🙂

Total V1 + V2: $133.18

What happens now is TBD, but I’m excited to be working with a team. Ironically as I fished some of the updates above last night around 3:00am an investor friend from kleiner perkins emailed me saying he had heard about Anonymously Ask A Black Person via Kristy Tillman @kristyt . His response was BRILLIANT!

If you are interested in joining the team to answer questions or help develpe out the app fill out the form on the Get Involved page

Now, what are you waiting for, tell your friends, send a text message question to 1-877-605-2741 and “Anonymously Ask A Black Person“.

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