I read a short blog post by Amit Aggarwal entitled “How to Write Your Own IM Bot in Less Than 5 Minutes”. Now that’s a catchy title. It seemed like it would not take too long to follow Amit’s advice. Essentially he recommended the use of the IMified service. You can write your bot in any language. And getting a simple one started takes little time. I was interested to say the least.
IMified was launched around a year and a half ago. I think it might be only two dudes in the company. Their service is free to use. You create an account with them. Then you create a web page and host it on your own server. You tell IMified who your bot is going to IM. Then the service will do the instant messaging and communicate with your web page. You web page just responds to IMified, which shall do the instant messaging for you.
At first I thought maybe this was talking about those smart bots you see when you go into chat room. You know. Those are the ones that are usually spamming the people in the room. However I realized I was wrong. Amit is talking about sending messages from a bot over an instant messenger such as Yahoo Messenger. That is still quite a feat. However it was not as exciting as the chat room bot idea.
What it boils down to is that IMified has figured out the instant messaging protocol for all the popular instant messaging systems. It then provides an API that you can program to control IM message bots. If you were trying to do an IM message bot, that seems like a lot of help. You don’t have to decode the instant messaging protocol yourself. Somebody else has done the research for you. I imagine IMified will keep up with changes in the instant messengers as they get upgraded.
I am sure IMified is a business. They do not charge you for their bot service. However I always wonder how companies such as this make money. Usually there is some catch. I got the feeling from their web site that they do more than just IM message bot control. Perhaps they make their money elsewhere. I hope they come out with an easy interface to chat rooms for bot purposes. Then I will check them out for sure. In the mean time I am going to brush up on some web programming skills.
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