I wonder if these muppets have heard of eggdrop (created 1993). Something tells me prior art for this one won’t be too hard to find.
This is Patented IMBots by Simon Willison, posted on 15th August 2002.
Next: PHP numbered code listings
Previous: More mailing list etiquette
Previously hosted at http://simon.incutio.com/archive/2002/08/15/patentedIMBots