Our Vaxbot (vaccine.monal.im) has continued to grow. We just hit 8 million messages sent and send around 800,000 messages a day. XMPP and Vaxbot have been on TV news in Las Vegas and South Carolina, the radio in Washington as well newspapers all over the country. We mention XMPP and try to explain it as much as we can, some reporters do a better job than others.

Over at the yax.im blog , Georg Lukas goes into some detail about the technical challenges of handling the message volume we have generated. Thanks to the prosody team for helping him made adjustments so handle our message blasts without causing downtime. Thousands of Americans have used XMPP for the first time and this number will continue to grow. April 19th was a big day because the vaccine will be available to every adult in the country now. I expect to see additional spikes in users. Thankfully, we also have a chat-bot interface now made by Friedrich and Thilo from the Monal developer team and are retiring the old web interface for registration. People can send stop to unsubscribe and just click an XMPP link to subscribe to the bot. This has helped with the scale.

Still, there are a few thousand users at any given moment with people unsubscribing as they have their appointments (and hopefully keeping the apps installed). This is the opposite of a social network where are trying to keep a user base for the bot. In fact I would prefer people unsubscribe when they have their shot. Realistically in a few weeks the need for this bot in the US will be gone. Hopefully we can replicate this kind of service internationally.

Info: VaxBot is a free service that helps you find vaccine appointments in your state or country if available. We send notifications to your device so you never have to hit refresh. If you have got vaccinated you can opt-out. Of course you are welcome to continue the XMPP-based messaging technology we provide under a free license for everyone. You can follow the usual messaging app Monal IM via Twitter and Fosstodon. Find the open-source code on GitHub.

Everyone stay safe! ­čÖé