I pownced about this already, but I wanted to expand on my thoughts here.

For those of you that don’t know about Pownce it’s web 2.0 blend between blogging and Instant Messaging. It fills the void when I have something to say, but not enough time to write a full blog entry. It also provides for the opportunity to reply to particular messages.

Replies are the focus of this post. I think it would be cool to have a bot that listened to a pownce feed for a specific directive. When it gets a question that it knows how to answer it could reply directly in Pownce.
  It could be done in several ways. It could wait for messages directly to it (Pownce allows for direct messages) or it could look at all the messages for keywords like “define:, weather:, ticker:, etc.”. If it saw “weather: Portland, OR” In my public feed it could quickly look up the weather and reply to me in pownce. Google has something similar for definitions. If I enter “define: happiness” into google it will quickly tell me about a state of being happy. I just want this type of thing in Pownce so I don’t have to switch over to my web browser.

  In the spirit of this blog here’s why it won’t work:
    The main reason this won’t work is it’s not allowed :(.
  According to Pownce’s legal page “User will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Site for any purpose without Megatechtronium’s express written permission.”

  Bummer. I guess I need to get their express written permission. Perhaps I could use Twitter instead since it offers similar functionality but doesn’t have a robot clause in it’s TOS page. I’ve used Twitter, but I like Pownce better and I think it’s reply feature is a lot more sophisticated than Twitter’s.

By the way, Pownce is currently an invite only beta, but if you would like an invite, post a comment to the blog so I can invite you, or go to inviteShare which is a cool site to share invites to limited beta sites. That’s how I got an invite to Joost, but that’s a post for another time.