Technology

Monday Buzz: The Bot Takeover of 2016

By / Feb 1, 2016 (Rob McDonald/Flickr)

Bots are evolving beyond programmer playthings and amusing jokes, and 2016 could be the year they steal the spotlight from mobile apps. Plus: The best grassroots marketing campaigns.

Less complex than full-blown applications, but full of potential use cases, bots are finally having their day in the sun. Basically, they’re lines of code that can quickly answer queries, assisting in searches and decision-making. But while they’re typically known for their simplicity, their potential for the workplace is building a lot of buzz in Silicon Valley.

For those unaware of the growing popularity of bots, or those who just think of SmarterChild when bots are mentioned, editor Casey Newton has an intriguing feature on The Verge about their rise to legitimacy.

In part, that rise can be attributed to the diminishing returns of apps. A number of organizations, from associations to corporations and media outlets have experimented with apps for products, events, and verticals.

“But for developers, getting us to download their apps is increasingly difficult and expensive. Outside of games, we spend the vast majority of our time in apps built by Facebook and Google: they make eight of the 10 most-used apps, according to ComScore,” Newton writes. “To anyone paying attention, it’s becoming apparent that the golden age of apps is coming to a close.”

Many think that bots, which are already put to use prominently within communication and workforce-efficiency programs like Slack, could become the glue that holds many of our disparate information channels, messaging platforms, and priorities in check.

That’s not to say bots will inevitably become a core part of our daily lives and workflows. After all, one investor told Newton that bots would become “the Bitcoin of 2015.” But the limitless potential of bots means that associations should at least be keeping an eye on bot evolution.

List of the Day

CQ Roll Call‘s Connectivity blog has a new, extensive list of highly successful grassroots marketing campaigns, like the example above from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. You can check out all 50 campaigns, and their results, here.

Other Good Reads

Mark Suster may be a venture capitalist with a clear focus on startups, but his blog post has some valuable insights on community building that any association can put to use.

The latest change to Facebook’s news feed has arrived, and for a look into how qualitative feedback will affect how your association’s stories appear in news feeds, click here.

Live streaming looks like it’s here to stay, so familiarize yourself and your association with the basics, thanks to this Q&A list from Event Manager Blog.

Morgan Little

Morgan Little is a contributor to Associations Now. More »

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