Shortlisting the best articles in the chat bot world is getting more and more difficult. Many people and publishers are writing high quality stuff. Good sign.
I want to mention that the Slack directory today is like the old times of the app stores. People are willing to install your bot just to try it out. This week, we published a small bot we created for fun into the Slack directory, and got 50 teams in the first two days, including a few big ones such as Buzzfeed. This will not last forever, so take advantage of it.
A designer perspective about conversational UI. Creating the basic conversation experience is relatively easy. Designing the conversation with the perfect tone, robust and user friendly, is hard. Ben Brown, Botkit creator, thinks the same: “Made what I thought was a pretty simple change to our bot. Started to write out the details. Ended up with a 5 page document.”
An essay from VICE about where the evolution of bots will lead, touching on political issues, policies, and ethics. A side story: Last year, a guy created a Twitter bot that replies with semi-random text. Just by chance, it tweeted something that sounded like a death threat. End of the story: the police goes after the bot creator and forces him to shut it down.
At Smooch, they just made their signup onboarding a conversation with a bot, on desktop. Very interesting experiment. I will keep an eye on these guys to see if they keep this onboarding few months for now.
Tips for teams who are building Slack bots. Everybody is experimenting, and best practices are still to be set, but it is very interesting to see how the best bots behave. My approach is: make your bot do very few things, but very well, and expand from there.
Felix helps you stay focused with a simple action: every day, you tell him your goals for today. Sounds a simple habit, but it actually helps you plan your day. It was started in an internal hackathon, and uses with botkit+wit+heroku.
Get the top posts from every Slack chat you're in. Their landing does not show very well how it works, so check out a screenshot here. Someone willing to solve the problem of Slack saturation. Awesome.