IM Bots: (Almost) Real-Time Blog Chat via IM

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This post got me thinking about how you could integrate IM into blogs. Currently, if people communicate about a topic/post, they post a comment. Almost in real-time, others can be alerted of the new comments if they have the RSS Comments feed for the blog — or if they are using CoComment, or my blog is using ShareThis, which is a WordPress plug-in that allows commenters to subscribe to the post and are emailed whenever someone posts a new comment.

IM on websites is tough. As a reader, I enjoy reading the discussions that take place via comments on blog posts. If IM (or live chat) started to really take-off within websites, I think some great discussion could be lost. However, if it’s used to merely meet people and chat about things — great.

IDEA: I was trying to think of how else IM could be integrated. There are some great API’s out there that are allowing you to integrate IM into applications — AOL has their own API, then there’s IMified (although not sure this is opened up; but somehow they are communicating on all the popular IM networks).

Anyhow, AOL’s API allows you to create a bot, then if a user has that bot/username on their IM friend list, you can send that user stuff anytime you want. Couldn’t we all be posting comments on blogs via IM? Thus, if we are IM’d a new comment that appears on a specific blog post we’re tracking — we could just send an IM back and that’d be posted as a comment. If other users are doing this too, then you’re essentially IM’ing them, but through the comment system, which then gets recorded. But once again, maybe there’s going to be those very minimal (informal) comments — tons of them — as we all currently use IM for; whereas with blog comments, we are a little bit more formal typically.

What are some practical uses of IM bots that you see in the future? What are your ideas?