How to attract new users and make botpress more popular

Hello,

I’m really interested in creating chatbots with botpress. However, I’m a beginner in JavaScript and NodeJs and I don’t have a lot of experience.

Personally, I prefer using videos to learn and I find there are not enough video tutorials on building chatbots with botpress. Botpress Youtube channel is almost empty.

Also, I searched Youtube and I could not find any good tutorials from other users who would be willing to share their knowledge.

As far as I can see the community of botpress developers is very small and I think releasing more video step-by-step tutorials and learning materials would bring more people who would be willing to develop chatbots with botpress.

Are you planning to release more video tutorials and learning materials?

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Hi @Marius,

Yes, there are plans on releasing video-tutorials, but not sure about timeframe for that.

As for beginner, I’d still recommend you not to rely on videos but more on try-fail-retry approach, googling errors you are getting and reading books. This is less convenient, but gives much more output from my experience.

Any book suggestions? I googling a loot but no luck finding a book specifically about botpress.

i don’t think there is a book available try the examples on the github page and the docs online also this tutorial https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_vw2CNmc2iMXvSYdKKPZAootEH9XRykgki2xmI0otm8/edit

is a great one to follow

@Marius I was once very eager to learn botpress like you and anticipated that botpress is a real game-changer. But it has an almost flat learning curve for anyone save the most skilled and seasoned Javascript dev (I’m talking 3 years of on the job experience ask @dmk23 who had a hell of a time collaborating to make vital changes to the messenger module which was a bit obsolete to say the least.).

Looks like the folks behind botpress are more keen to develop it than to make it user friendly by explaining how to get stuff done programatically. Very powerful GUI for the layman wishing to create basic bots but very frustrating for the dev trying to develop on existing functionality and add bespoke code to it for, say, lead generation or something similarly pertinent to profitability.

The novelty is the team admits that their docs suck but the code behind botpress is quite elegant. I try and gently coerce them to improve the docs by posting seemingly stupid questions (to the seasoned developer). But it just doesnt seem to work (see question I posted pertaining to the analytics module. All I wanted was a step by step tutorial on how to add custom analytics and all I got was a slightly refactored readme.md).

What I suggest is you download every new version, clone every repo, save them somewhere safe and watch. There is every likelihood that after Botpress Server the guys behind the project are going to turn capitalist and build a Quebec venture to fully exploit the fruits of their efforts. Thereafter you can use the tons of free code that you would have downloaded to figure out the workings of their code and bend it to your whims.

For now don’t expect anything from Botpress save for VERY well written code. The only way you are going to even remotely benefit from it is by learning and practicing JavaScript. Take their optimistic responses about improving docs with a little salt. The guys writting the docs assume that everyone who reads them has been writting code for years. If they were really keen we would have seen developments in that direction. In fact Botpress has the capability to supercede everything from MSBotFramework to Watson to Chatfuel. But they just churn out the same obscure, brusque tutorials for every version with very minor changes in diction and information delivery and a very rigid set of recycled visual tools (For example the same screenshots explaining actions from five years ago with all changes ignored)

I subscribe to their threads on Github so that I know the real active brains behind the project. When the time comes for me to integrate Botpress to my A.I/M.L/Automation stack I will do so and engage the important devs. For now its just for spin-off side projects for customers with low volume of clients and elementary needs. As soon as there is a stable Botpress Server with all the fundamental modules I will probably launch a few paid courses to generate a few quid of static income on the side and also disect it thouroughly to see how it works.

So I suggest you learn more Javascript and be very grateful for the humongous contributions these guys are making to the world of open source. This project is probably numero uno right now in terms of churning out free, simple, readable, modular, efficient, well layered and clear code. Its just the docs which totally suck.

Good luck!

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I’ll probably be releasing a few in the near future. I absolutely love this platform and have even started picking up on some of the ReactJS framwork in my efforts to extend it.

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Hi Sean,

Contributions from the community are always very appreciated by the whole team!
Videos and tutorials are always some of the most requested things.

If you need help promoting any content, feel free to reach out to @marcmerce

Best Regards,
JB

@DigiSenseiZim Your comment dates from a year ago, I am curious to know if your perception changed since. If so how? Thanks you for your continuous contributions!

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@seangugerty Please do reach out to me if you are working on something. I can provide you with some help to answer questions or make your content more accessible to the community.

@marcmerce My opinions have shifted somewhat slightly. I have come to terms with the fact that Botpress is not for anyone except us the programmers. It is still a very young venture which has staged a commendable balancing act between making the technology accessible and ensuring continuity through revenue generation. Let me try and split the issues

Development & User Acceptance
I feel Botpress has been around long enough to have a beta testing team. You know the guys who use it and make noise on the forum and read everything. Those can be your beta test users. You also know the guys who contribute to PR’s. Those can be your beta inspectors. The only way to speed up the dev debug and release pipelines is to have a bunch of independent/fresh eyes looking at the stuff that’s there. The most successful products are those that engage their stakeholders. I would imagine @allardy will be keen about hexing the whole code to speed up nlu while @jbperron seeks to plug in code that gets insights from users. Meanwhile, @anonymousUser can’t figure out why all the code won’t show up in code editor like it does in visual studio code (wild example I know but you get the picture I hope)

Pro Version Caveats
Don’t wait for someone to ask why they should move to Pro or to ask for a trial, give them a glimpse. Let’s take RBAC for example (which I imagine is foremost on the features that drive users to go Pro). Show people that separation of concerns and roles is possible in the community version at a very small scale whereby a super-admin can create one account each for

  • Conversation Designer (Access to Content, Q&A and Misunderstood interface only)
  • Agent / Moderator (Access to HITL & Misunderstood only)
  • Analyst (Access to Analytics module only)
    If that’s giving away too much choose an ‘unimportant’ role with minimum usage eg an Analyst

Let me give you my experience here. On realizing there was no separation of concerns in Botpress, I created a few pages on the same server using Laravel with explicit access to a certain module GUI and disabled the side menu items, scrambled the URL and did some other random foo. Dirty workaround but it works.

Now imagine how my heart plummeted to my boots when I learned that for a few quid a month I could get that functionality. I can easily transfer the cost to my client along with hosting fees and all the other mandatory stuff. I admit I could have read the documentation (I came across RBAC and just brushed it off as some security acronym I admit) but had I known from practical use I would not even have bothered wrangling a solution.

Documentation

I would encourage that you release docs at the same time you release a new module. Right now there isn’t anything on smooch, uipath, slack, microsoft teams, misunderstood and nlu-extras. First, just do the basic drill down which a developer would quickly understand. Then let people stumble and get lost and ask questions and help each other from there. After some time, review the content and factor in the sticking point. Engage serial bloggers who love giving to the dev community and have a distinctly transparent way of expressing ideas and getting main points across ( @abhisheksimion comes to mind) to review just a short piece of your literature at a time, (emphasis on short, something that can be reviewed in 10-15 minutes).

The body of knowledge behind the solution
As with most open source projects we tend to focus on the functionality of the application as a whole. However, you would be amazed at how many people are intrigued with the nitty gritties. For instance, I have a dude who recently joined my team who is a Maths graduate majoring in Statistics turned programmer (thats a mouthful lol). All he does in his free time is tear the nlu module apart over and over again with each new release. Try and create forums and blogs specifically for individuals focused on the science behind botpress, UX developers, big data analysts e.t.c.

Sorry for my very long analysis, believe me I could go on and on because I have a lot of issues but I feel these are the ones that are foremost.Overall just remember as a community we love Botpress, we appreciate all your efforts and we want to do everything that we possibly can to help it reach its full potential as a product and as a company. Thats the spirit of a community. But as with real life communities there are always segments. Just find ways to get the most from each segment

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Don’t be sorry for this amazing feedback @DigiSenseiZim. I appreciate the fact that you take the time to have this discussion. Thank you!