It's no secret that I've been quite busy at work lately. I face a daily barrage of decisions and questions... and I finally have a solution.

The idea came upon me when I ran into this Twitter site, "Roy_from_IT":

If one were to do a regression analysis on my Skype conversations, I believe a full 95% of them would involve one of these responses: "lol", "brb meeting", "hmm", "interesting..", or "what do you think the problem is?"

Imagine if I had a Skype bot that just randomly selected one of these answers and return them?! I bet I'd still be at least 80% effective at my job. Let's imagine...

The MindTouch office is humming with activity on a busy July day:

Like usual, I'm not at my desk (maybe people assume I'm in the front room on a conference call with a client, but maybe I'm just sitting in there, talking out LOUD TO MYSELF). Damien, in a rush to get an important answer about a client project, messages me on Skype:

DamienH: Hey Roy, the blog paragraphs fix didn't seem to work. I tried to change Wordpress' behavior to nl2br, but it didn't fix it.

He wouldn't expect an answer. Damien might even be thinking, "Well, I asked him the question, he's not at my desk. I can get a burrito!" Bzzt.

RoyK: What do you think the problem is?

Damien swivels and sees an empty desk. Confusion reigns.

DamienH: Well, I guess we could try to use CSS to fix the problem with paragraph breaks. That'd be a cleaner solution that wouldn't necessitate an internal fix inside WordPress we'd have to maintain. Thanks Roy!

Or maybe a group chat begins with Corey and Brian about something important:

BrianH: Yo Roy, ***** from ***** is such a douche. He won't respond to my emails.
CoreyG: This is really going to drag down my "support tickets close" statistics. I may just close it to keep our "average days open" number low.
RoyK: lol
CoreyG: You're right, we should try to solve the problem. Let me try emailing him again. Thanks, Roy.

Or maybe Guerric is working on some fancypants feature:

GuerricS: So I've got this killer new version of Deki Push I've been hacking on at home. Want to take a look?
RoyK: Hmm...
GuerricS: You're right, it's probably not polished, and import/export will deprecate it. I won't waste your time.

So easy!

Of course, people might pick up on these if they're too short. Maybe a more contextual answer will help.

JessicaR: So, I think we need a feature to make it easier to skin.
RoyK: Hmm, interesting. I think that's a great idea, but we just have limited resources. We should focus on what we can do in the immediate future. But we should definitely mark that down as an idea we should pursue in the future.
JessicaR: Thanks!

Of course, sometimes it's good to get people to be actionable.

DamienH: I just wrote this killer animated Ajax counter. Want to see?
RoyK: You should write a blog post on it.
DamienH: That's a great idea! Here it is.

Sometimes our Russian devs need a little help: (my script would have to send one message, wait for a response, then send the second one!)

DmitryA: Hello, Roy! What is polyglot function?
RoyK: Did you search the wiki?
DmitryA: Ahh. <goes away for five minutes>
DmitryA: _______________ (doesn't really matter what goes here)
RoyK: File a bug on it.

Or maybe one of the interns needs my help:

RickyN: Got time to help me with some code stuff?
RoyK: brb, meeting

No, wait. I'd do that when I'm actually sitting at my desk.


Posted by roy on July 8, 2009 at 11:28 PM in Foolishness, MindTouch | 2 Comments

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Comment posted on July 9th, 2009 at 11:23 AM
LOL roy from IT replied to me when I said my phone was broken. I didn't know it was a bot haha.
Comment posted on July 8th, 2009 at 11:36 PM
a busy man in his busy world. Good luck roy.