I'm looking for a bot to advertise my site and help answer questions on AIM.
February 3, 2004 7:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a program (a bot) that will help answer questions while at the same time advertising my web site on AOL Instant messenger. An important feature will be for the bot to ask the user if they would like would like to refer the bot to some of their friends. Is there anything like this already out there?
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I got an instant message from a bot the other day, unfortunately I forgot the screenname, but I really liked it, and one of the friends referred the bot to me. The users wouldn't refer the bot to their friends unless it's something they are likely interested in, and I like the idea a lot.
posted by banished to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Isn't that the same as spam? You are asking people to tell you how to spam AOL IM?
posted by dg at 9:22 PM on February 3, 2004

Response by poster: No it's word of mouth. That's why I wasn't offended to get the IM. It was referred to me by a friend, not a marketer.
posted by banished at 9:37 PM on February 3, 2004

I doubt there is preexisting code that will do precisely as you want, but it should be relatively easy to script something out of pieces. Java AIMBot or Perl's Net::AIM might be good places to start.

Having said that, if I personally got an unsolicited (and face it: referrals are still unsolicited) advertisement from your bot, I'd blacklist your bot and tell everyone I know not to patronize your site or business. Just because you can send spam doesn't mean you should.
posted by majick at 10:14 PM on February 3, 2004

spambot: how are you feeling
seanyboy: I've had a mother of a day
spambot: would your mother like some herbal viagra?

Don't know about AOL, but the latest copy of VB.Net has a half developed (As in programmed) picture of MSN Messenger on the back so it looks like this at least has an API for messenger based Apps.

You could also try this

There may be a problem with developing AOL messenger applications. In the past, AOL have changed the interface to messenger several times in order to stop 3rd party applications talking to it. This seems to have slowed down, but it may happen again.
posted by seanyboy at 12:00 AM on February 4, 2004

Gotta, say, the plan sounds *great*.

God, I hate AIM spam.

Hey! Yo'ure friend recommended me to you! You can trust me! Ask me a question. Now buy sometinhing.

Commercial messages on channels designed for uncommercial use are shitty, banished. Referred or not.
posted by bonaldi at 6:12 AM on February 4, 2004

I vote against IM spam as well.
posted by callmejay at 8:52 AM on February 4, 2004

Like it or not, spam works. Someone has got to be replying and reacting to all those viagra messages. So while I hope banished target market isn't web-saavy geeks like you guys, I suspect he'll probably get as much as a 10% response rate, which will make it worth the effort.

That said, my IM client blocks any communication to me from a source other than those on my contacts list.

Good luck, banished. Let us know how it works out for you.
posted by crunchland at 12:45 PM on February 4, 2004

Like it or not, selling heroin outside school works.

Just because it works doesn't make it acceptable. And aren't unsolicited commercial messages illegal in the US now or what?
posted by bonaldi at 4:14 PM on February 4, 2004

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