Our Discord bot has brought happiness and memes to millions over the last two years, and I get questions about our business structure, our philosophy, and personal questions almost daily. I'd love to answer any questions anyone has, whether it be about Discord, the bot, or even myself.
EDIT: Obligatory edit about this post having 69% upvoted, I would feel like a hack if I didn't mention this
FINAL EDIT: Thanks so much everyone for joining me today, I had fun doing this! I also just want to take a minute as a closing thought because it was asked a few times about my mental health.
I, like lots of people today, have depression and anxiety. It's okay to get help, NEVER be ashamed of that. Your mental health is very important, and I genuinely hope anyone reading this knows that they're not alone in how they feel. We're all imperfect humans just trying to be happy. Keep meme-ing on, friends.
Why did you create the bot in the first place?
Is it alot of work to maintain?
Does it generate any income?
Why did you create the bot in the first place?
I was fresh out of dropping out of college and wanted to learn programming, found a programming discord server, learned about Discord's API, and just started teaching myself to program by making a bot!
Is it alot of work to maintain?
It is, it's really a full time job. A lot of people would be surprised how much work goes into running the bot. It's really a full blown business on the back-end.
Does it generate any income?
Yup! We have some AWESOME patrons that support us each month. It pays all our bot bills, pays for me to hire developers, and puts diapers on my baby's butt each month.
EDIT: I believe this is my first gold, I really appreciate it! Ya'll are the best!
Why did the gambling algorithm change? I feel like it was easier to make money before the update
Someone actually did the math on this recently. I haven't completely fact checked it, but the guy seemed pretty smart. He says there's a `45.83%` chance to win at the gamble command when factoring in all the possible ways it could go.
Before we rolled die, it was ~40% chance to win and it was all one random roll. Basically we picked a number between 1-100 and if it was 40 or lower you'd win. Our new way is actually easier to win, AND more transparent about why.
How many people do you / have to block on a daily basis?
I actually rarely block anyone, I just don't accept friend requests and have my DMs off. Sometimes I open them for fun just to see what people want to say though.
Do you feel like a dad?
I actually am a dad! I have a 9 month old son who will hopefully enjoy memes!
But even before my son was born, yes. Dad is a common nickname for me in our support server, and I try and treat all our users like my children in the sense that I really respect and care for their needs to the best of my ability.
Why did you choose pepe as the dank memer bot profile picture?
This is probably going to be more in depth for an answer than you expected but
I chose pepe because it has ALWAYS been an iconic meme to me. Sure, people say it's a dead meme, but you look at pepe and you see what it is. A friendly memey frog.
Now about a year ago, we REALLY considered changing it because of the climate around pepe. I had a large amount of people asking to change it, and even the official Node organization's discord server wouldn't let me post about it because it had pepe. But it bothers me that a few assholes can make the entire creation of pepe "Racist". Pepe has been such a good thing and used in such good ways for years. The creator of pepe does NOT deserve for his baby to be treated like this, and I won't give in to the idea that pepe itself is racist.
Our bot (as much as we can control with user input and random apis) will NEVER have racist content. Not even as a low brow meme. Pepe can still show the best in people, and I really truly believe that and will continue to fight for that.
Did you ever think you'd make it this far?
Not even for a second. I was amazed the day we were added to our 1,000th server.
How does it feel to get your own creation out there for the world to see and truly get recognised for it?
It feels amazing! I never expected the bot to grow, and I recently spoke with a CEO from a larger company (that will stay anon) and he said his daughter uses the bot. I felt like I was about to pee my pants honestly.
The other day I was playing Destiny 2 (I love Destiny btw) and someone in a public space recognized my name. It was insane, because I'm not even a large part of the bot's content or anything.
I'm so grateful that people enjoy the bot and have been sharing it with their friends, I can't say that enough.
How much is server costs for such a big discord bot?
It varies from bot to bot. For instance, I'm sure rythm is paying WAY more than us bc music is terrible to upkeep.
It also depends on how well you can write code, and we have a great backend developer.
If you were to, hypothetically, receive a Christmas gift, from a secret admirer, what would the best gift be? Asking for a friend...
Hypothetically, probably more anatomically correct pepe dolls.
If you were to make a new bot, do you think it'd get the same recognition Dank Memer gets?
Not a chance! Dank Memer grew because at the time it was the only bot doing what it did. Memes and all things memey. A ton of Dank Memer's early growth is due to luck in timing. I could go more in depth with all those factors if you'd like.
what command was the most pain in the ass to program and maintain?
All of the music features before YouTube killed us off.
how do you decide what to update?
Sometimes I look at user feedback, sometimes I look at backend data on what's not getting used, and sometimes I just personally get bored with some commands and decide they need changed.
How have you personally been lately?
Hi Nate, I've been good and I appreciate you for asking.
How did you begin your journey?
With a cheap laptop and free online tutorials on how to learn programming.
What did the bot start off as, and do you make a living just by the bot?
The bot started with cleverbot, pls meme, and pls triggered and grew from there.
I do make a living from the bot! I own a business that owns the bot, and the other part of my business is videography, which is something I'm REALLY passionate about.
What was your favorite feature to develop?
My favorite features will ALWAYS be the image generation commands. That's why there's so many! Something about putting someone's face in a meme within a text chat just really makes me laugh.
What language did you use? What type of model did you design your app on?
Where did the idea of making this bot originate?
Like I said in another comment, I wanted to learn programming. So I saw that reddit and discord both had easy to use APIs, and I mixed them up. Get memes from reddit, post them to Discord under a bot account, what can go wrong?
Why am I wasting my life collecting imaginary coins?
I have no clue, it baffles me how many people use our currency system. But I appreciate that people care and enjoy it!
What is the next big update for Dank Memer? Or if you don’t have one planned, what are some ideas you have?
As far as BIG updates, nothing is currently planned. I'm working currently with a temporary developer to bust out some new currency QoL updates in the next few weeks though!
I'm one of those developers that thinks of an idea and implements it on the same day most of the time, rather than planning too far ahead.
Do you use dank memer yourself?
Honestly yeah, but not the currency. I'm one of those people who feels like "Welp, since I have all the cheat codes I'm bored now". I don't feel the need to grind coins since I could just give myself coins. So I stick to primarily image commands and memes.
How do you generate profit from the bot?
Patreon is the main source! We have some really cool patrons that support us monthly and help me put diapers on my son's butt.
How long did it take you to program Dank Memer?
We've never finished, so... 2 1/2 years!
Forgive me, but I’ve never heard of a meme bot before. Can you explain what it actually does and how people use it?
It's a bot that does basically what any other Discord bot does, but in a memey way. Posting memes is the most common use case usually, but if you ban someone with the bot it'll say something like "x is banned, good riddance" etc. Errors insult you, currency is weird, etc.
What is the most interesting complaint you've gotten about the bot?
This is a hard one.
Top two would probably be:
How much coins do you think Dank Memer has from all of the betting?
Dank Memer just throws them away when you lose a bet, what a jerk
I love your bot! And also won a Zuckerberg Tshirt in one of your contests on discord last year!
Do you have any new projects you’re working on or wanting to create in the future?
My business itself is a new project I'm working on. Used to be called Dank Memer LLC but I'm starting to go towards film-making and commercial videography. As far as discord projects, nothing yet, but I'm always open to new things!
how many people ask a day for something "free" like the Pepe coin or the rare coin? thanks I love the bot I use it every day
a minimum of 3 probably
What got you started with developing and specifically developing discord bots?
Discord API seemed really easy at the time that I wanted to start learning programming!
How have you stayed to encourage yourself to keep going?
There's definitely been times that my mental health in association with the bot has struggled. What keeps me going is the passion the community has for the bot, and the devoted and loving volunteer staff team in the support server. Without them, the bot wouldn't be where it is today, and I wouldn't be around on Discord.
What feature do you think is most attributed to the bot's popularity?
It was the (now deceased) music feature that originally got me to add the bot but I can see the moderation tool or currency mini game being a bigger draw.
For the first year, the meme command. Since then it's been about currency more than anything.
The music got us some strong growth for a while, but once YouTube killed us off things went downhill for a bit.
No promises, but we're going to try and work around YouTube in the future and bring music back!
Are you happy with your creation?
No. I'm a perfectionist when it comes to what I make (which is why filmmaking is a VERY painful passion of mine), and I'll likely never be happy with the state of the bot. BUT that definitely drives me to be better and make better features for everyone!
How do you make a bot?
I don't mean to offend but I am just genuinely curious..
How do you feel about the thousands of people, and a vast majority being of them underage, who are addicted to your bot's gambling system? I know it's just fake coins but lots of people are actually addicted, lol.
No reason to be offended! It's something that I've struggled with morally, I'm not sure I can honestly give you a straight answer on this. I like to believe that the bot is meant for 18+, but I literally have no way to enforce that, and I'm not an idiot that will pretend that no one underage uses it.
Was there some times that the bot went over Discord's API rate limit?
Yup! We actually got API banned at one point and had to have our ratelimits personally raised.
Do you ever look back and think maybe I should have done a few things differently?
Every day. Heavily contributes to my rapidly declining mental health.
Counseling is a good thing, anyone reading this should know that if you need help, get it. Nothing to be ashamed of.
On a scale of 1-10, how difficult is this and how much time have you truly put into this bot?
it varies from 1-10 constantly, and I've been working on the bot full time for just over 14 months now if that tells you anything!
my question is: what made you decide to unblacklist everyone?
my friends and i were all blacklisted for botting and we all got unbanned and we’re enjoying the bot so much again lol
We were really strict on blacklists, and I really believe in giving most people second chances. Congrats on being unblacklisted! No more botting please lmao
How long have you been developing Dank Memer?
Since January 2017!
What is the one feature people keep requesting, to the point where it annoys you?
A meme stock exchange. It would be SO complicated to make and use, it would absolutely flop as a feature, but it's still requested constantly.
How hard was it developing the bot? Did you start alone or already had a team?
It's been rough, but I've always surrounded myself with smart and helpful people. My current backend dev has been there since day one.
Why did you decide for the prefix of the bot to be “pls” instead of others that use one character prefixes such as “!”?
Every bot and their mother had lame prefixes when Dank Memer was created. I think pls is PERFECT for a meme bot.
Have you ever considered adding meme style Artificial Intelligence to your bot?
Yes, it would certainly be interesting. Like a memey cleverbot.
what is the usage like for dank memer? eg; how many commands are triggered every hour, every day, etc, obviously i dont expect a 100% accurate answer because thats just not possible, but yeah overall whats the usage like
Are you married (I am not a creep I am just wondering but I might still be a creep)? How old were you when you made the bot? What was your job before making dank memer? What are some competing bots
Are you married
Yup! Been married for 3 years now!
How old were you when you made the bot?
Math is hard. I'm 23 now and the bot was made in January 2017
What are some competing bots
Honestly we don't have any real competitors. And I don't mean that in a cocky way, just more of a sense of there's no meme bots nearly this large. We had "pepe bot" fighting us for a bit over a year ago, but they shut their bot down.
How's your mental health doing? Still working for the weight loss goals? Any tips videography beginners?
How's your mental health doing?
Not great, but that seems like it's everyone these days.
Still working for the weight loss goals?
Nope, that died a bit ago and the will to try again is rough.
Any tips videography beginners?
Don't worry about expensive equipment, worry about lighting and audio both looking good and your video will turn out great.
Is there anything about the bot that you think you could have done better, but it would be too hard to integrate well in the current state?
localization, I want more than just English available but it's going to be an entire backend rewrite to make that happen (and it will happen if it's the last thing I do)
Is it cool to own DankMemer? Is it as fun as you want it to be?
It can be really fun at times, and really stressful at others. I'm practically "on call" 24/7 in case the bot goes offline.
when is he jackhammer,passive mode gonna be added?
As soon as I can get it tested and added. I had a surgery wednesday, and have a busy week this week. It's coming, don't worry!
How has your day been?
Not too bad, woke up and played with my son for a bit now talking to all ya'll on reddit. How about yours?
Where do you see dankmemer in 5 years?
On new platforms. Slack, twitch, twitter, and whatever replaces Discord.
When will you realize that Warlocks are true masterrace?
You're the worst of the worst. Titans are where it's at, 1v1 me irl.
I'm genuinely curious what you think I've done to break rules lmao, please enlighten me
Do you like the band Threatin?
Have never heard of them, listening right now and will report back shortly.
How does it feel to know that millions of people spend hours a day using something you created?
Weird, very weird.
How much money is enough to sell out to an advertising firm since you have the ability to listen in on 1.3m discord servers' semi-private conversations?
Not enough money in the world, I run the bot in the most morally acceptable ways I can and wouldn't do that... Even if Discord would allow it in the first place (they most definitely don't)
When you first created the bot, was your intention for it to get this big? or was it more of a "just me and my friends will use this" situation?
Neither really, it was more of a "I want to learn programming" project. I expected to make it and then forget about it.
When did you know that you have hit it, that you have become popular/made something that people love to use?
This is a really hard question. Growth has been pretty constant since about 100,000 servers, so probably at that point?
How did your creation spread so much? How much effort was put into "advertising" it?
Word of mouth was by far the most effective tool to growing. Get people to love your bot and want to play with their friends, and it just grows naturally from that!
Are there any new things that we are to expect with this bot? Any cool new changes?
You can expect constant updates, anyone who's been around for a while knows that our work is never done! I guess one cool feature coming soon is a passive mode for the currency system
Are you able to generate an income with your bot / where do you work for a living?
I own my own "media" business! Dank Memer is the main product, and I'm doing commercial videography in addition to that!
How did you find such a good staff team to be able to keep the bot running?
Beats me, they're too good to be true!
What's the most interesting statistic regarding Dank Memer?
8000 pink phallic objects have been sent to users in the last 24 hours
How do people look at you in public?
I've never met anyone in public that knows I work on Dank Memer!
what is your life goal?
I want to be a filmmaker as a hobby, a commercial videographer as a full time job, and for the immediate future continue to be in charge of content for Dank Memer!
1) How much do you spend on servers?
2) What hosting provider do you use?
3) How do you raise funds?
4) Have you tried and failed at other bots?
How much do you spend on servers?
What hosting provider do you use?
We bounce around between galaxygate, linode, and online.net
How do you raise funds?
Patreon, despite it's obvious flaws, it's a great platform
Have you tried and failed at other bots?
Yup. A few "one off joke" bots, and one serious moderation bot that went nowhere.
I hope i'm not too late
Why did you choose Eris to make the bot?
We have first-hand knowledge that Eris is much less "bloated" than discord.js if you use the exact same features on both. At 25k servers we went from discord.js to eris and our memory usage got cut in like 1/4
What is really your favorite part about running the bot?
Interacting with the community. It's what keeps me going.