1 min read

Introducing Captain Botbeard - A Swashbuckling Twitter Bot

@glcheetham Learnin' without thought be labor lost; thought without learnin' be perilous - Confucius— Captain Botbeard (@CaptainBotBeard) 5 July 2016

@glcheetham I be indebted to me' father for living, but to me' teacher for livin' well - Alexander the Great— Captain Botbeard (@CaptainBotBeard) 5 July 2016

I've recently become interested to know how readily users would interact with my software via social media platforms. Why? Because that's how most people consume and create content now - through a social media app on their smartphone or tablet. So I created Captain Botbeard, a simple twitter bot who will take whatever you tweet him, translate it into "pirate-speak", and then tweet it back to you.

I'm beginning to understand that my users are now almost all on Facebook or Twitter. I saw this presentation the other week and it makes the facts abundantly clear.

  • Soon, the smartphone will be the universal device. Every human will have one.
  • Internet users now spend more than half of their time online inside mobile apps.
  • A third of mobile app use is Facebook.
Bar chart showing distribution of internet time between mobile app, desktop, and browser

So, if I want to really want to engage with people, the browser isn't the place to do it. I should be doing it inside of a social network.

Enter Botbeard. Here's two ways why he's better as a Twitter bot than as a web app:

  • He's inherently viral: If somebody uses him, all their friends are notified via their timeline.
  • He's easy to interact with: People can interact with Botbeard without leaving the context of their social media app, and they already know how to interact with him because they do so via tweet.

I'm still in the process of figuring out how I can apply any of this to my day-to-day work, but I can't wait until Talk like a Pirate Day, because Botbeard will go down a treat!

Oh, and you can see his source code on Github:


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