Sunday, December 9, 2012

Time for Community Run Forums

Aaron raised a good idea the other day - maybe its time someone created a community run forum for Verbots - forums run by the community for the community. That way all the information is kept open and available to the public. The current forum is hosted on the same server Verbots is at which means whoever runs also runs the forums and owns the information stored there.

What do people think, is it time for a community run forum? Any volunteers?

On another note it might be a good idea to create a list of chatter bot websites, community forums, etc. K was thinking about creating a links page here for reference. Have any ideas? These could be replacements for Verbots Online, etc.?

If you've got link you'd like make a comment and provide a little detail on what the link is for and why someone might be interested in using it. If you just drop a link without an explanation it will be ignored. Hopefully we can create a community driven list that is comprehensive and not just a bunch of people touting their own sites - at least not without some value to the community.

Share your thoughts. 

Monday, December 3, 2012

Verbots Development

Someone on the Verbots forum asked who was in charge of these days and in the ensuing discussion (with Aaron and my internal to myself) I began to wonder what Verbots users think there is going on development-wise.

Take a look at the past:

If we look at Matt's brief post A little history: Chatterbots and Conversive we can see that, in terms of major developments, there haven't been any since 2006 when Verbots Online was introduced. The Verbots Desktop 5 I believe was a push to make Verbots Desktop compatible with a newer version of .NET and to get it working with Windows 7. If I had to guess Matt probably spent less than a months worth of work (part time) on it. No significant development in 6 years says something about the product.

Look at the present:

Have you ever noticed the site makes no reference to I think Verbots was kept around as a kind of introductory service compared to the full enterprise approach Conversive took. In the end not many hobbyists run Fortune 500 companies or at least none ended up buying. The recent shuttering of Verbots Online shows the company didn't have time to focus on the hobbyist market anymore. (I hope the community is able to come up with a free / open-source version for those still using the service.)

I don't know what will come of the Verbots or the future of its development past this day. I'm not speaking for the company, rather sharing my own experience in dealing with the extension that is Verbots. If there is a strong enough community and if that community is helped out along the way I can see many parts of Verbots living on past any one organization, let's just hope that happens. How it survives is anyone's guess.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Verbots Online shut down

As of today Verbots Online is officially shut down. If you navigate to the old website it will refer you back to the homepage. Speaking of the home page it's been updated to reflect the discontinued service as well. Refunds have been processed.

Thanks to everyone who kept it going over the last 6 or so years.

There's been some chatter on the Forums about alternative services and if anything comes up maybe we'll post about it in the future.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Verbots Online Refunds

Over the past week and a half we've been processing refunds for those who paid for Verbots Online service for 2012. All of the refunds have been now been processed.

Here’s what we did:

If you were paying month by month we canceled your subscription payment in PayPal. If you didn't have a subscription hopefully you've seen the notices and will stop paying! We also canceled all the PayPal subscriptions for those who paid for a full year of service and refunded their money.

Our only option for processing the refunds is through PayPal using the email address you paid with. If you have access to the email account you used to pay for Verbots Online and still haven’t received a notice for a refund please contact Chris at: 
  • verbotrefund at conversive dot com. 
  • The subject line should say: "Verbots Online Refund"
  • The body of the message should have: verbot account id, the email address your verbot account is under and if you have a different email address associated with PayPal that address as well.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Verbots Online closing down at the end of August

We are sad to announce Verbots Online will be closing on August 31st, 2012. On September 1st users will find any existing deployments to be non-operational.

It's been a good run. Verbots Online launched in 2006 to give Verbots users a web-enabled way to show off their virtual personalities. Since then we've built up a very loyal base of users who created engaging Virtual Personalities and introduced them to the world.

While we know this decision is a disappointment to some, Verbot Standard Edition and will remain up and running for the foreseeable future as will the community (bulletin boards).

Existing Users:

You may have already noticed but two weeks ago we removed the ability to make payments through VerbotsOnline. We will be emailing existing (paying) users to recommend they cancel their payment subscriptions through PayPal and we will also be going through and canceling as many subscriptions as we can find. Anyone who has paid in advance will be getting a refund based on the time remaining.

We recommend downloading your chat logs as once the server is taken down you won't have access to any information that is currently there.

If you have any questions please leave them in the comments field or post them in the Verbots Forums.

Monday, July 16, 2012

A little history: Chatterbots and Conversive

A little history for all you Chatterbot fans:

  • 1966 - Joseph Weizenbaum developed the original chatterbot, ELIZA. 
  • 1994 - Dr. Michael ("Fuzzy") Mauldin, Founder of Lycos, Inc., developed a prototype chatterbot, Julia. 
  • 1997 - Dr. Mauldin and Peter Plantec formed Virtual Personalities, Inc. to create viable NLP solutions for companies. 
  • 2000 – Sylvie - The first Verbally Enhanced Software Robot - or, Verbot was released. 
  • 2001 – Virtual Personalities, Inc. became Conversive, Inc. to reflect the focus on providing Customer Service and Marketing Solutions to the Enterprise. 
  • 2003 – Conversive’s Application Platform version 5 (CAP5) released. 
  • 2004 – Verbot desktop version 4 is released for the enthusiast community. 
  • 2006 – Verbot Online version released: let your website visitors chat with your bot! 
  • 2007 – Conversive Live Automation released, seamlessly integrates live web chat with the power of Conversive’s proven automation technologies. 
  • 2009 – Verbot desktop version 5 released, fully featured Free version.
  • 2012 - Verbot Online version ends.
  • 2012 - Verbots (through Conversive) are acquired by Avaya, Inc. 
  • 2014 -, Community forums accidently but permanently shutdown. 

Saturday, July 14, 2012


Welcome to the un-official Verbots blog! My name is Chris and I work for the company who publishes Verbots. Note: I don't speak for the company and am writing this in my personal time.

I plan to use this space for regular updates to the Verbots family of products including Verbots and - in addition to posts on the Verbots forums. New and existing users should find it easier to subscribe to this blog and/or RSS updates instead of checking the forums.

I wanted a place that was a little more public to talk about Verbots. Maybe this site can be a little more active in content than the homepage. If you'd like to write something about Verbots or chatter bots (do a guest post) drop a line!