Bots: Going back to the fundamentals of social media

I’ve been starting all my mobile Tweet reading from a bookmark in Safari to this list of the top 100 influencers in the field of Bots, as compiled by Little Bird’s social graph analysis, and I just keep coming back to this interview with my friend and social media veteran Schlomo Rabinowitz this week on Chatbots Magazine.

IMG_3221I listened to it read aloud (by a text to speech bot in Pocket) while on a beautiful run along the river in downtown Portland, then I used the incredible Mac desktop Summary Service to pull out what really are the three most important lines of the interview.

I want to put these lines from Schlomo here in context but I also want to link to this mind-meltingly great talk by designer Erika Hall given at the Talkabot conference Schlomo put together recently. Hall argues that the rise of bots is going to save application design because it’s going to demand we think through the value and the experience of apps with words and dialogue before we start worrying about how the application looks. Most app design today is like shooting a movie first and then writing the script, she says. Incredible talk, which I also listened to on the same run. (A nice slow five miles on a sunny day.)

Here’s Schlomo…

On the importance of getting the social part of bots right – because it’s the part that faces your customers: “…bot design, just like all work that involves crafting trust, probably should not be delegated to your intern.”

On the opportunity people have today to make a name for yourself and your work in this new emerging medium: “…What I do know is that most people don’t actually try to do anything, so the barrier to entry to be heard is pretty easy — as long as you are intentional in who you want to influence, and don’t carpet-bomb your company name all over the socials.”

On the dynamic nature of the engagement that’s required for success:
“…When I say ‘do the good work,’ I mean that we should respect the fact that a good bot is constantly evolving its conversational narrative; much like how you should constantly tweak your marketing messaging.”

That’s a pretty good summary of this 1500 word interview Schlomo did this week, just those three quotes, but the whole thing is worth reading – or listening to.

The other line I’ve now quoted 3 times in conversations with people in the two days since I read the interview was this one, about the world famous 1977 classic text adventure game Zork. “If people spent as much time writing bot copy as the four coders of Zork did writing their narrative, maybe their bot would be just as memorable.” Yes!

Thanks Schlomo!