One year ago on May 2nd 2016 we released Mica, the Hipster Cat Bot on Facebook Messenger — only a few days after Facebook announced that they are going to open their platform for chatbots.

One year Mica, the Hipster Cat Bot

After launching on Facebook, Mica was also released on Skype, Telegram, Kik and Viber and is available in Beta for WeChat, Slack, Alexa and Line.

We would like to share some insights into what happened during the first year of Mica:

Growth!

We’ve seen some exciting growth and interesting patterns emerge. From countries we would have never expected Mica to go big (hello Philippines!), to interaction…


Mica with the Facebook Messenger QR code

After a tough and exciting 10 months creating and developing a cross-platform chatbot (chatcat :) ) we finally reached one spectacular goal: 100.000 users!


Over the past few months several thousands of useful chatbots and virtual assistants were released. Their functionality and complexity gets better and better day by day. Now you can book a flight, order food via chatbot or get advice by virtual shopping assistants — just to mention a few!

For instance one of my chatbots is Mica, the Hipster Cat Bot, a chatbot that helps you discover the best venues. While developing it, I figured out that in contrast to an app or a website, creating a chatbot is far more difficult than expected in terms of user experience (UX)…


Over the past few months several thousands of useful chatbots and virtual assistants were released. Their functionality and complexity gets better and better day by day. Now you can book a flight, order food via chatbot or get advice by virtual shopping assistants — just to mention a few!

For instance one of my chatbots is Mica, the Hipster Cat Bot, a chatbot that helps you discover the best venues. While developing it, I figured out that in contrast to an app or a website, creating a chatbot is far more difficult than expected in terms of user experience (UX)…


Why you shouldn’t talk to your chat bot about everything

At the Privacy Week conference in Vienna I gave a talk about “Privacy And Data Security Of Chatbots”. I wanted to point out, that you should consider what data to share with a bot and in which steps data is processed in the background when talking to a bot: How secure are the messenger apps themselves, the connection the data is transferred over, the used NLP and Machine Learning tools and — last but not least — the backend of the bot itself and its database.

Chatbots and Mica

A chatbot is a service that enables you to interact with a service or…


Discover hip places worldwide on Facebook, Skype, Telegram, WeChat etc.

Amazing things have happened since the launch of Mica, the Hipster Cat Bot. But first, what are bots and why all the fuss?

What is a Chat Bot?

A chat bot is an interactive program that talks to you. Bots are also referred to as “virtual assistants” or “conversational UI”. They answer naturally to requests to mimic a conversation. Their scope can be anything, like weather forecasts, online-shopping, or hotel reservations; In my case, it’s venue recommendations.

Advantages

The idea (and opportunity) behind chat bots is the lack of barriers to use them: Apps have to be installed separately, bots are integrated in the apps people…


A serious take on how emoji add personality and depth to a chatbot.

image from https://unsplash.com/photos/m7zKB91brGo

Emoji and chatbots are a match made in heaven! One picture is worth ten thousand words — this is also the case for emoji, smileys or emoticons since you can show your intent, mood, feelings or interests with just one character. These small pictograms offer a universal simplicity in communication and hence improved user experience when used correctly.

With emoji you can tell whether you are hungry or angry (I’m still waiting for a “hangry” emoji), or if you traveled to Japan or Paris. You can make super funny jokes or form a complete conversation or even poetry.


This is a visual code for adding Facebook Messenger bots similar to Snapcodes of Snapchat. Expect to see these on restaurant doors soon.

A week ago I launched Mica on Product Hunt. Mica, the Hipster Cat as one of the first bots that got approved by Facebook to run on the brand new Facebook Messenger platform that helps you discover hip venues. You can talk to Mica here 😼.

What is a Chat Bot?

A Chat Bot is a (ro)bot that is programmed to talk to you and answer requests. The topic depends on the business’ focus and could be a weather forecast bot, (online-)shop assistant bot, or a hotel reservation bot, but in our case it’s a venue recommendation bot.


24h after the launch of Mica, The Hipster Cat Bot 😼

Mica, The Hipster Cat

It‘s been one exciting day since we launched Mica, the Hipster Cat bot on Product Hunt and there is more exciting stuff to come! But let me start at the beginning.

About half a year ago we launched the project LIKE A HIPSTER, which is a hyper-local discovery app, that helps users find venues with a hipster vibe in their neighborhood. And since this app acquired more success than expected I was exploring further ideas how to develop and monetize the app and also played around with new technologies…


Originally published at electrobabe.at on March 25, 2016.

At the jQuery Conf in Berlin (December 2015) and at the Rubyslava Meetup in Bratislava (17.3.2016) I was presenting my talk “From Java to AngularJS (without pain)”.

jQuery Conf

jQuery Conference Berlin 2015

Barbara Ondrisek

Senior Software Engineer, Public Speaker, Founder of Women And Code

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