ContactBot: noiselessly telling people where you are

Ever been in a situation where you are abroad for a short period of time, or you forgot your mobile phone charger, or otherwise not reachable at your normal phone number? I’ve been there, and it can be annoying to handle, unless you’re the kind of person who keeps lists (and even then, text messages ain’t free!). Or worse, you have several mobile phones, and you juggle them around, and people don’t know which one you are on right now…

There’s Google Voice, and other forwarding services, but that would require giving people a different number; one whose voice quality is probably not as good. And if the new number is only needed temporarily, that seems like an overkill.

Enter ContactBot. It provides a Twitter bot; you can tell it your phone number and location, and your friends (people you follow, not people who follow you) can then query the bot for your whereabouts.

The test bot is @hircus_contact. It is rate-limited at the basic 150 messages per hour, so if you want to heavily test it, or do not want to give me your phone number (I run the bot, after all!), feel free to check out the code and run your own bot!

Note that the bot does not currently add you back, so you’d have to wait until I personally add you before you can send direct messages. Should take less than a day.

TODO: timezone support, so the bot can warn your tactless friends not to call you at 3 a.m., documentation, and test cases. And online help.

Current command set:

  • D hircus_contact set phone 555-5555
  • D hircus_contact set location New York, NY
  • D hircus_contact phone ma_cherie
  • D hircus_contact location ma_cherie

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2 responses to “ContactBot: noiselessly telling people where you are

  1. Pingback: Michel Salim: ContactBot: noiselessly telling people where you are | TuxWire : The Linux Blog

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