Happy Birthday, DadBot

After sending 14,000 messages to over 400 Facebook users across the globe, DadBot turns 1 year old.

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Although he may not look it, it's DadBot's 1st Birthday today and what a year it has been! To celebrate, I thought it would be a good opportunity to talk about the journey myself and DadBot have been on and to share some pretty cool statistics from the past year.

DadBot initially started as an interest I had in Facebook Messenger bots. After using some great Facebook lots like Poncho I was both inspired and I asked myself "It can't be that hard?!... Can it?". So, from that day forward, I started to conduct research into just how I could create a killer Facebook bot and how I was going to do it.

After scouring the internet, reading articles and watching several YouTube videos, I finally settled with building DadBot on the platform Dexter. Dexter is a really awesome tool for anyone (just like me) who has never built a chatbot before and wants to get stuck in with something that's super easy to pick up and has the potential to be very powerful. Dexter works on a film script-like format between the user and bot that is defined with a + and - sign. For example:

User + Hi there!
Bot - Why hello there James, how are you doing?

So - by using this super simple markup, making a chatbot come alive is super easy and more importantly, anyone who can type on a keyboard can get started on making their own bot too. Dexter also has some really powerful features (Which you can explore in their docs ) like capturing users names, sending images and video, JavaScript logic and most importantly for me, API requests.

Unfortunately, DadBot's material is not written by myself (Although I have written a couple of jokes in his repertoire) but comes courtesy of the really great icanhazdadjoke API. As Dexter allows for API requests natively on their platform, getting DadBot to send a joke as a response was super easy and super rewarding when I got it to work successfully.

On March 14th, 2017 and after a couple of nights of giving DadBot his voice, creating his handsome face and building a website, I was ready to publish him on the Facebook Messenger platform.

Since then, DadBot has sent over 14,000 messages to more than 400 users from England all the way to the USA. Hundreds of GIF's from the Giphy API and has hundreds of people groan with laughter.

Just looking at these stats from the last year has truly been mind-blowing. Especially as I have done nothing to actively promote DadBot in any way besides showing my friends, forcing him into my workplace Slack and letting Facebook users across the globe start chatting with him. This makes me think that people really DO love DadBot and I want to make him even better in the next year (firstly, starting with this Blog!).

So... keep a watchful eye over DadBot as I'm sure there will be some more updates soon and be sure to keep an eye on this blog for any more future news. As always, my inbox is always open so feel free to shoot me an email at info@dadbot.xyz

Till next time,

James

This article is my oldest. It is 560 words long