Over the past month or so I’ve taken advantage of two new sources of information about what’s going on in the world of chatbots and messaging. There seems to be a trend where folks provide curated links to interesting, recent posts and articles around specific technology themes. Two examples of curated weekly lists are Chat Bots Weekly and Messaging Weekly. I think I ran across both of these lists on Product Hunt, which seems to be a great place these days for discovering products and lists on the cutting bot edge.
Chat Bots Weekly is curated by Omar Pera. Each week Omar selects a handful of recent articles on chatbots from publishers and blog sites. Omar is following the huge upswing in the bot hype cycle to bring readers stories focused on bots, conversational interfaces, and what it all means for businesses and developers.
Messaging Weekly is curated by the team at Smooch. As with Chat Bots Weekly, Messaging Weekly typically offers up four or so articles from around the web that deal with conversational UI, how to design and build conversational UIs, and who’s doing what in the space.
Based on the subject matter of each these two weekly lists, there can be a little bit of overlap in the content. And since I follow this space pretty closely, the lists sometimes contain articles I’ve already run across during the week. But I’m a fan of both of the lists and recommend them. You can sign up to have each list delivered to your email account of choice by going to their website.
It’s great that Omar and the team at Smooch are taking the time to compile these weekly lists to help us all stay in the loop. With so much happening these days in the world of conversational UI, it’s hard to keep up! But we wouldn’t want to miss anything.
On a side note, those of you who have been following my blog may have noticed that I’m not posting here as often as I used to. You can find my posts on the topic of intelligent assistants, conversational UI, bots and so forth on the Opus Research site. Apart from my work as an analyst at Opus, I’m busy with a new technology startup called Hutch.AI. We’re putting finishing touches on a bedtime storytelling skill for the Amazon Echo. I’ll be sure to post about it once it’s launched.
Ben Eidelson published a very interesting article on Medium last week called The Messaging Landscape in 2016. Eidelson provides a great overview of why messaging has become the world’s most popular form of communication. He also offers insights into the expansion of messaging beyond person-to-person communication, as well as a look at the platforms and technologies poised to support this growth.
After reading Eidelson’s observations on what’s so great about messaging, his insights seem obvious. But I’d never connected the dots the way that Eidelson does to really understand why messaging is such a compelling form of communication.
Here’s my summary of Eidelson’s key points on the beauty of messaging:
- Messaging is essentially asynchronous, but it can be synchronous when needed. There so many benefits to reaching out to someone in an asynchronous manner. It takes lots of pressure off, it feels more polite and respectful of the other person’s time and space, and it requires so much less commitment than making a voice call.
- The messaging interactions we have with acquaintances and loved ones linger in our messaging apps as long-lived conversations. You can always refer back to previous conversations, so you have the whole history of your interactions with that person all in one convenient place.
- The conversation list in your messaging app becomes your default interface into the people most important in your life. The messaging app intuitively shows the people you’re currently or recently interacting with at the top. This native ordering makes messaging apps the most natural social platform of all.
Eidelson also looks at the hype around the potential for messaging to expand into business-to-consumer interactions. He’s a believer in the many benefits that messaging-based interactions can have for both businesses and the customers they serve.
The article also provides a good overview of the messaging landscape. Eidelson puts the players in this space into three main categories: end-user messaging apps, platform APIs, and assistants for “X.” His index of companies at the end of the post is a good guide.
If you’re interested in the world of messaging, the supporting vendors, and the potential for market opportunities, Eidelson’s post is definitely worth a read.