Discourse Narrative Bot Beta Feedback

(Jeff Atwood) #125

I think we will tweak the badge copy a little based on this feedback:

Completed our new user tutorial

This badge is granted upon successful completion of the interactive new user tutorial. You’ve taken the initiative to learn the basic tools of discussion, and now you’re certified!


Completed our advanced user tutorial

This badge is granted upon successful completion of the interactive advanced user tutorial. You’ve mastered the advanced tools of discussion — and now you’re fully licensed!

We’re also adding a @discobot fortune mode that tells your fortune. Bear in mind that quote, dice and fortune are really just parlor tricks to give the bot some personality. They’re the icing on the cake, not the cake itself. :wink:

99% of the purpose of discobot is to greet new arrivals with the essentials, and offer to play with them so they can optionally learn a few key Discourse skills, while using Discourse, e.g. the tutorial that is the first “level” of the game.

(Tobias Eigen) #126

On my site, why are discobot (and system user) at TL4 as well as staff? We don’t use this trust level much on our site, so would prefer to keep it empty. Can I demote them to TL3 without issues or should I leave them at TL4?

(Jeff Atwood) #144

8 posts were split to a new topic: Should narrative bot be conversational, or step by step instructional?

Should narrative bot be conversational, or step by step instructional?
(Tobias Eigen) #151

Maybe this will be sufficient to provide as a link to folks to complete the new user track… it seems to work, though there’s still the extra step to send the message.


I am super happy about the conversational flow of discobot’s messages and am glad it avoids making the track “feel like work” by giving lists of detailed instructions.

Time will tell how many people actually start the track - so far we’ve had it up for a week and haven’t had anyone do it except the moderators I am trying to encourage to take it.

(Alan Tan) #158

I wouldn’t recommend demoting them to TL3 because I can’t be sure what might break at this moment. In most parts of our code base, the trust level check is usually accompanied by a check for a staff user. However, there are a couple of places in our code base with conditions that are purely based on the trust level of the user which I’m unsure of the outcome should you demote system and discobot to TL3. What we can do instead is to exclude non-human users from displaying in certain places UI wise.

(Christoph) #177

This is great! :thumbsup: Any chance that a delay can be added (e.g. send first bot message x minutes after first login) so that people get a chance to look at what they came for first, before the screen goes dark and the bot tries to steal the show?

The delay seems particularly useful in the case of topic invites because people follow the link to see the topic but then the screen turns black and the bot steals the show. I did a mass topic invite to make sure that these users see that topic first thing after signing up but it turns out that many didn’t see it and I assume that it was because of the bot. (I posted about this earlier but can’t find that post anymore).

(Christoph) #179

Was just testing the new user track from the perspective of a user who gets a lot wrong and I found a few minor things (which I’m posting because I think this first experience with discourse should be as frustration-free as ever possible for the user):

Well, this first point is actually not about frustration but about education: when the bot asks you to

type **bold** or _italic_

you can just quote that part of the bot’s message and it will be happy with it. I’d say that it should push the user to type bold or italic text in the actual post itself. In fact, the same is true for the first task of posting a link. It will also accept if you quote the link from the bot’s message…

When asked to post an image, I first failed and then got the dog-walk.gif hint. When I then replied with an image, I had forgotten to like the post with the unicorn and the bot replied

Did you forget to like :heart: my post? :crying_cat_face:

So I intuitively pressed :heart: on the post right above and waited. But nothing happened. Well, because you are meant to :heart: the post with the unicorn, not the dog-walk-hint. So I will change that last hint to

Did you forget to like :heart: my unicon post? :crying_cat_face:

When it comes to searching for the capy​bara, the bot says:

Try searching for the term “capy​bara” in this topic

Since it’s crucial that you search in this topi, I’d change this to

Try searching for the term “capy​bara” in this topic

I also seem to remember that in an earlier version of the bot, the “Search in this Topic” option was enabled when the user would press the search icon. I though that was good but it is no longer the case.

Now, this one surprised me: Since I started the bot manually in a new PM and not via a reply to the welcome message, the capybara actually ended up in my own post right under the start new user command. I assume that the code says to put the capybara into the OP but I guess it would be better to put it into the first post owned by the bot, no?

Finally, I noticed that the post with the certificate is delivered immediately after the “Yay you found it” post. This entails that a) the “Yay you found” it post is scrolled off screen just as you start reading it and b) the bot is giving a bad example of submitting two consecutive posts in the same topic. Could the two not be combined into one post?

One could also turn the the bot’s last suggestion into a task:

If you have a physical :keyboard:, press ? to view our handy keyboard shortcuts.

But I assume this has not been done because it wont work in the absence of a keyboard.

(Christoph) #190

Of course effort and effect have to be balanced and I have no idea how much effort it would take. I was assuming that it would be very eaay given that quotes are clearly defined parts of the post.

As for rarity, I am repeatedly surprised just what kind of mistakes people make. But in this case, think it is not so unlikely because the “Quote” button kind of invites it as soon as you select some text…

My point was mainly about sloppiness, not that it’s difficult to find out which post you’re supposed to like. None of my suggestions above is actually necessary. This is just fine-tuning to optimise the new user experience.

How about the other suggestion then:

I kind of like the idea of an ASCII art certificate but I don’t think it’s needed for reliability reasons. If the image doesn’t show up, there is some other thing going on.

Regardless: is the certificate background image customizable? (Even if logo, name and avatar keep a fixed position, this might allow for sufficient customization in cases like Tobias’.)

Translate discobot tutorial certificate?
(Michael Downey) #213

:thumbsup: I love the idea of a bot to help people figure out how the forum works.

:cry: I also loathe the loss of a personal welcome email for new users. Studies in professional community management have consistently shown that a “personal” email – even a short one! – when someone joins a community ranks consistently only behind a personal phone call when it comes to the best tactic in converting that new person into an active contributor, content creator, or (best!) collaborator in the community.

(Most recent source I could find via a quick Google search, is on page 33 of the “State of Community Management 2016” report from The Community Roundtable.)

I’d strongly recommend a scenario in which the personal welcome PM can coexist with the bot. (If that does in fact exist and I’ve missed it, my apologies!)


I hear you, but before discobot did the welcome, the welcome PM was system generated anyway – it just came from a personal account. I’m not sure of the efficacy of that.

I’ve created a bit of a hybrid solution. I’ve customised the initial message that comes from the bot to incorporate the personal stuff.

And then I use canned replies to send a personal message that comes from me.

In CoPs that’s feasible. In large support communities it’s not, but those people aren’t there to be converted anyway – they just want the answer to a question.

(Jeff Atwood) #215

Looks great! Feel free to change the avatar and name fully to match your brand; the default name and avatar are merely abstract placeholders. I have seen some use “welcomebot” for example.


Is there any way of getting stats on % of users that interact with discobot? (Aside from no. that get the certified badge?)

(Jeff Atwood) #221

I usually just visit the bot’s profile and browse its private message tab.

(Daniela) #222

I think this is what you want

(Glenn Sims) #225

Very nice program. I just finished the 2 tutorials on KC, which were very engaging! Thanks @codinghorror and the Discourse team for this great new bot!

It makes me wanna become a disco bot…get it? Okay I’ll stop :joy:



(Christoph) #227

Here are some thoughts on the advanced user track:

  • The bot says “There are lots of ways to customize your experience, such as selecting a dark or light theme.” But whether or not a user can select a theme or which themes are available is a site setting and can be turned off. Wouldn’t it make more sense to mention something that is available regardless of site settings? For example: “… such as how many and what kind of emails you receive”?
  • The second exercise is “Go ahead and delete any of your posts above by using the delete action. Don’t delete the first post, though!” However, at that point, the user usually has exactly one post apart from the OP so it’s a bit strange to say “any of your posts above”
  • After the delete task, the bot creates another post on my behalf, deletes it, and asks me to undelete it? Why not just ask to undelete the post I have deleted in the previous task? If the idea is that all tasks should be doable regardless of the other ones, I would suggest that the bot only creates a deleted post if the user did not complete the delete-task.
  • In discourse_narrative_bot.advanced_user_narrative.edit.instructions the bot says “Everyone makes mistakes. But don’t worry, you can always edit your posts to fix them!” Wouldn’t this be a nice opportunity to play with the fact that it’s a bot by letting him say “Humans make mistakes…”?

Update: I also noticed in the advanced track that after the bot says

In the meantime, I’ll stay out of your way.

It nevertheless still sends the timeout message. Not sure if it would have sent it if I had not replied to the previous message, but the interaction is nevertheless a bit strange:

(Christoph) #243

Is there any particular reason why the bot doesn’t mention the advanced user track at the end of the new user track?

Another thing: the setting discourse narrative bot welcome post delaydoes not seem to work. I have it set to 30 seconds but when I just created a new user, the bot’s message was there from the start and the screen turned black immediately as before.

(Tobias Eigen) #244

I suspect this is because the admin track is still being tested and is not considered quite ready for prime time. The big priority is the new user track.

I just tested this by setting it to 20000 seconds, and the delay seems to be working on my site. Discobot’s message is not showing up. It’s true that it’s a bit weird for the screen to turn black immediately if there is no notification there to look at. :slight_smile:

However, I have another welcome message arriving via SSO so would prefer the screen darkening feature to not go away. Could suppressing it be added as an admin option for those who have the delay set and don’t need it? Or wait to darken the screen when the discobot message is sent?

Also, the max delay appears to be 20,000 seconds or about 5 hours. I was hoping to try delaying it by a day or a few days to use it to remind people to come back to discourse. Could this be done?

And finally, if there is a delay, then it will be sent out by email since the user is probably not online. So some noobs will be confused and will try to click the ... in their email client. I had this happen a few times already. I don’t know if there is a solution for this.

(For my site, I’d like to see the discobot message go out immediately and be highlighted with the screen darkening, and then send out my SSO-sourced welcome message a few days later. This is something I’ll have to try to figure out on my own since it involves updating some custom code that @AdamCapriola wrote for me back in the day)

(Christoph) #245

Hm, strange. Which version are you on? Is it still the plugin or already the latest version merged into core? I’m using the latter and just tried again, this time with 60 seconds but the bot’s message is there immediately after signup. The only thing that comes to mind as I write this is that perhaps the timer already starts counting when the first email is sent to the new user (and not upon first login).

Are you saying that the screen turns black even though the bot did not yet send the welcome message? I’d consider that a bug.

That’s interesting. Is that another version of what I’ve been asking about here:

If it’s similar (except you use SSO instead of webhooks) it would be great if you could briefly describe your setup/workflow in that topic.