Each week we bring you a few bots we think are fun or helpful or worth the time to try out.
This week’s selection includes the personal bot of DJ Hardwell, a bot that delivers insults in Shakespearean English, one to help your career, and one to find you a new apartment.
Red-eyed and speaking Early Modern English, Angry Shakespeare is a Slack bot that sends insults.
Type /insult and a username and you can send random insults to colleagues like “Thy tongue outvenoms all the worms of Nile” or “You are as a candle, the better burnt out.” Insults can be sent publicly in groups or privately to a single person.
Angry Shakespeare isn’t really funny, but it is playful. You may wonder why Angry Shakespeare exists, but trash-talking a teammate can be a lot of fun, and a bonding experience.
This bot allows the 8.5 million Facebook fans of DJ Hardwell to send him art, leave him a voice message that may be featured on his weekly show Hardwell On Air, or get his latest work, among other things.
You can also vote to choose the best track of the week. My favorite part is that you don’t need to leave Messenger to listen to the best track finalists. I also think it’s really smart to use the bot to tell fans ahead of a big live streaming event, like Hardwell bot did a few days ago.
Hardwell has been featured by Facebook Messenger on the Messenger mobile app.
One potential improvement to make: Hardwell bot is centered around DJ Hardwell (what a surprise), but fan pages also tend to connect the fan community, and this bot makes no attempt to do so. Fans have been known to do a lot more than listen to the same music. They do all sorts of other things with like-minded people.
One Direction fans recently created a charity. The Stuff You Should Know Kiva group has given out more than 115,000 micro loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries since 2009. No telling what DJ Hardwell’s fist-pumping fans would do when connected by the Hardwell bot, but maybe a future version of the bot can do more to bring those 8.5 million people together.
This is a pretty easy and fun to use bot that was launched on Messenger a few weeks ago. Just type in the city where you want to live, how much you want to pay, and (if you want) the number of bedrooms and Trulia’s bot brings you a carousel of options. Choose the “Get Summary” button to get a paragraph description from the person who placed the ad and additional pictures.
Some potential areas for improvement: I’d like to be able to search by neighborhood and be given a way to explore neighborhoods. The ability to distinguish between properties with month-to-month and annual lease agreements seems like a good idea. Also, I’m not really sure what “low crime” means. An explanation of how Trulia defines low or high crime would be really helpful.
This bot can help you find a place to live, but it also serves another purpose. Type in the dollar amount and city name and you will find out what $1,000 a month will get you in San Francisco or Portland or Dallas. In that respect it can offer some insights into the housing crisis experienced in places like San Francisco or quickly help you understand why a move to a cheaper market isn’t such a bad idea.
Type “Dallas $1,000” and you get some very nice options. Type “San Francisco $1,000” and you get no options.
Pretty simple concept here: Dinner Ideas sends you a dinner idea once a day or once a week. I’m not a foodie and I’m a pretty basic cook, so I didn’t cook any of these recipes. But it all looks delicious, and this seems like a solid use case for bots.
Dinner Ideas bot sends messages daily at 11 a.m. Maybe this bot would be better suited sending messages another time of day. The user experience would be a lot better if you could save your favorite recipes or share dietary limitations. It would also be a better bot if it got smarter to your taste over time. Overnight pull-apart cinnamon bread? Yes, please. Apple and oatmeal smoothie?? Absolutely not. Lentil praline ice cream? What is wrong with you?
Dinner Ideas is available on Facebook Messenger.
I’m sort of baffled why there aren’t more career-focused bots out there. TagOpp is a job search and career guidance bot, and like other bots that help people get jobs, this one seems focused on IT work today.
TagOpp gives you three options when you get started: still in college, recent graduate, and IT experienced. It then asks your location and to list your top IT skills. Some of TagOpp’s features are cool, like its rundown of IT trends, but this bot feels a bit half-baked.
It will be interesting to see what sort of use cases and challenges developers encounter when bots are made for specific industries.
TagOpp is available on Facebook Messenger.