Friday 5 — 4.15.2016

By Friday Five

chatbot examples

  1. We’ve all been hearing a lot about bots — but what are they? Facebook Messenger’s new release paves the way for more bot interaction, and Engadget has compiled a list of Facebook Messenger bots in the works. The lag time between interactions is odd — my early interactions showed early bots are rough, if not outright frustrating and useless.
  2. What does it mean to be a minimum viable product manager? Brandon Chu provides a useful overview of where a product manager should focus his or her attention for optimal results, as well as competencies and tasks to leave by the wayside.
  3. Litmus interviews marketing leader Ann Handley for advice on how to write great email copy. I like her use of “pathological empathy” with the recipient — too often email copy is so goal driven that the recipient’s needs, frame of mind, and even preferred device are overlooked.
  4. Email is notorious for miscommunication: recipients often read too much or too little into tone. But smiley faces won’t save us — new research shows that emojis, rendered differently on different platforms, also have potential for miscommunication. Another takeaway: the Apple “grinning” emoji is definitely terrifying.
  5. What is our responsibility to curb bad behavior on social media? This article makes the case for better stewardship of what happens on our own profiles. Last week at Harvard I took part in a Berkman Center panel on cyberbullying, which explored mitigation approaches including the role of the bystander.

Weekend fun: Drone racing is coming to ESPN, and it looks amazing. But sometimes it’s best to turn off all this tech and go to bed.

Next week: Friday 5 will take a break next week for a quick trip to Berlin and a big move to NYC. Whether you’re an actual human or a chatbot, please send me your favorite curry wurst joints or stellar moving hacks. I’ll need them all.

Every Friday, find five, highly subjective pointers to compelling technologies, emerging trends, and interesting ideas that affect how we live and work digitally. Try out the Friday 5 archive, or sign up for a weekly email.

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