Dad jokes have been a staple of the internet since it began, with sites like Reddit and dedicated Facebook pages sharing some of the best, I thought people should be a “Hello” away from their own personal dad joke curator. I knew the bot needed to be simple, be personal and witty, otherwise users wouldn’t keep asking for jokes and simply leave.
So, I wrote Dad Bot’s script with humour and personality in mind including some mild easter eggs should someone ever come across them. With added GIF replies and using the user's name, I was able to write a human-like bot which users enjoy interacting with.
To get DadBot published and active inside Facebook Messenger, I used an excellent website called Dexter to write and publish my bot. The service is built on a film script-like design which the bot creator types out users responses and the bots answers in a linear, timeline approach.
Writing the script was super easy with Dexter and not long after, I had a fully interactive bot that users could start talking to.
DadBot’s jokes are sadly not written by me, but they are pulled from a dad joke API (I know, I was surprised to find one too). Luckily, Dexter provides API fetch support and once I wrote the request properly, DadBot was fetching jokes no problem.
Once I was happy with DadBot’s linguistic abilities, I moved on to create an enticing and functional landing page for people to visit outside of Facebook Messenger.
After finding a really excellent jQuery plugin which emulates a Facebook Messenger conversation and quickly assembling a Bootstrap based landing page - I was good to go.
Soon after the website was finished, I launched DadBot on Facebook Messenger. Since it’s launch, DadBot has sent over 14,000 messages to over 400 Facebook users all over the globe. It is a really great feeling to see people interacting with the product, getting messages back and asking for even more!
My goals are to continue improving DadBot with even more witty responses and flesh out his GIF replies to hopefully bring more joy to the over 1 Billion Facebook users out there.