When I switched my email ID, I switched my Gtalk ID also. I don’t wanted to use the old ID just for IM. But how to tell everyone about it? My friends list on Gtalk is very huge! I Googled for available options to set auto responder for my old ID. I come across answer.im which just does the job but went down after just few hours. Then I found another desktop application to set auto responder, but this works only when your computer is on. So, I wasn’t satisfied with both of them.
Imified is a free service which provides you hosted IM bots. User can write it’s behavior in his favorite server side language like PHP. So, following are few things you must know/have to complete this Auto Responder Bot:
- Imified account, off course you can get one at imified.com if you don’t have.
- Web Space to put your IM end point script (Ex: PHP File). There are few free hosting providers which you can make use of.
- Knowledge of a server side scripting language, not must, but if you know, you can add more functionality. I will give the basic PHP code in this tutorial.
Now that you have an Imified account, create a new bot clicking on “Create New Bot”. Give your bot a name & select a bot.im ID, both of these are not important since you are going to use this for personal use on your existing Gtalk/MSN/Yahoo/AIM ID. But “Bot URL” is important here, you need to specify end point script file path which will be accessed whenever somebody pings your ID. In my case, I placed this file at http://prashanth.net/bot.php.
Once your Bot is created, you can see options to add other networks at the bottom. Select the network which you want to set the auto responder, here I am opting for Gtalk. Just enter username, password, nickname and click activate.
Now your bot is active, but we haven’t created our end point script yet, so bot still don’t know what to respond if somebody pings it! So the basic PHP script for auto responder is as follows (which is placed at http://prashanth.net/bot.php) :
echo “Hey, I am no longer available on this ID. Please add me as firstname.lastname@example.org on your Gtalk to chat with me. Thanks, Prashanth”;
Just open a text editor, like notepad, copy/paste the above code & save it as bot.php, upload it to your server. Make sure you upload it to the same path you gave to Imified in Bot URL field. This is very basic script to enable auto responder, I guess which is just enough. Imified passes various variables to this page through GET which you can make use of to write more interactive auto responder. Go through Imified API documentation for more on it.
So our always ON (24X7!!!) auto responder is up!
Update: As Adam said in comment section, user need not to use any scripting language until unless he wants to make use of variables passed by the Bot. So, for this purpose, we can simply use a text (.txt) file instead of PHP.