A bot that helps community members connect with one another offline

What is Bond?

Bond is a Facebook Messenger bot that helps members of professional networking groups find people to connect with offline. Users can ask the bot to recommend community members who have particular areas of expertise, who work at certain companies, who are residing in a specific location, or who simply want to collaborate.

Bond Features

  • A flexible real-time directory using simple pre-existing tools such as Google Sheets or CRMs
  • Connecting users offline by suggesting convenient meet up locations leveraging Facebook Places
  • Provides a flexible user experience through natural language processing, persistent menu, and quick replies
  • Full control over your current data privacy

What problem are we trying to solve?

Members of professional networking groups often want to meet up with other members offline, but they don't feel comfortable querying a large group with a statement such as, "Hi! I'll be in San Diego for a work trip this week. Anyone in SD free for lunch on Thursday?" Bond alleviates this discomfort and enables people to more easily find people to meet up with.

What is Bond's impact?

Bond strengthens community ties by creating a frictionless way for members to build offline relationships. Whether you're looking for a mentor, advice, co-founder, or speakers for a panel/conference, Bond enables community members to build lasting connections without having to send a message to a large group.

How does Bond work?

Most professional networking groups have shared member databases where community members can add information about themselves, where they live, what they do for work, and projects they're interested in working on. Bond uses this data to create a bot that allows members to easily query this information without having to search through thousands of rows of data.

With Natural Language Processing, a user can say similar sentences below to narrow results:

  • I’m going to San Diego. Who lives there?
  • Can anyone speak on live action VR on a panel?
  • Does anyone have experience in software tools?

Respect for users' privacy

Because this information is entered by the user with the intent of its being queried by other members, Bond is respectful of users' privacy and security. Users can ask the bot "Get My Information" in order to see what other members have access to. They can also ask the bot to "Delete My Information" from the system completely. We will also ping the user once every 60 days to remind them that they have information stored in the excel sheet. "Hi, you submitted data to use via Google Sheets (http://google.com/thesheet) on 3/9/2016. We wanted to remind you that we have the following information on file for you: " Community is about safety, and we are committed to keeping it that way.

What's next for Bond?

We would like to build a GUI so that other groups can build their own Messenger bots to connect to their own databases. (Currently, Bond only works with our Facebook group, a professional networking group for people in the VR/AR industry, but we believe we can extend this model towards other communities.)

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