Faster Bot Reporting

Until a few days ago, the bot hasn’t reported packages that it had bought until it got confirmation from the vendors and had sourced product images…. which resulted in oftentimes a big delay between when the bot placed an order and when it showed up on the site. No More!

I’ve updated the bot to start reporting packages ordered immediately. It will still take time for us to get the exact estimated arrival date and keywords for packages. However as soon as an order is created you will see it as a ‘mystery’ package with very large estimated arrival window. Once the bot has confirmed a purchase for that order it will tell you what keywords were used and more precisely when it will show up.

 

Bobcats In Dublin

Last weekend I met up with Adam, Neil and Jonathan of Monday Madness in Dublin for a pint. While it was great to see them, the real purpose of my¬† in order to take the wondrous glitter sent by the bot off of their hands. It is toxic stuff. As you can see in this video (around the 14:00 mark) the “nail decorations” that you can see to the left sent Neil into a rage. I had to apologize. We try to filter offensive items like these out, but sometimes they make it through the cracks anyhow.

The backs of Irish drivers licenses look like the image to the right. I would not have believed this if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes. They have 17 or so little pictures of vehicles ranging from a tractor to five different types of trailers to three or four different types of motorcycles and a horse and buggy if you squint hard enough. Clearly there is more than enough madness to go around in Ireland.

Take a look at their YouTube channel here for the ruining of various video games, madness and occasional unboxings. Follow them on Twitter here for more madness.

Win your own bobcat!

Check out our new keyword tagging contest if you have a minute today.

Since the beginning of this project, the bot has had trouble with items that vendors tag with wrong keywords or misleading descriptions. For example, take a look at this “Harry Potter” bracelet on AliExpress. So far the bot has simply crawled the descriptions on a product’s page in order to identify keywords. However this has resulted in a list of keywords that we were never quite happy with.

So we have put together this little contest where you can help us tag some of the items that the bot is buying, score points and possibly win weekly prizes. The data from this page will be an important signal for the bot going forward and give it a tighter keyword list.

On the contest page you see an image of an item that the bot has bought with eight keywords below it. Click on the keyword that you think is the best fit with the product. You get a point if you select the word that most other people have also selected for the product. If you are on the leaderboard at the end of the week you win glorious prizes!

How are the eight keywords picked? Some are keywords that the bot has already associated with the product and some are entirely random. If the random keywords get clicked on the contest starts showing them more often.

As we are just rolling this out, please let me know what you think. (alexander@bobcatinabox.com)