For those of you not yet familiar with him, let me introduce Robert Scoble.
He has been one of Microsoft’s evangelists and blog activists for quite a while and now works for PodTech. His blog can be found at http://scobleizer.wordpress.com/ and I would highly recommend you checked it out for it’s worth every second of your time (I mean you are spending time reading this, uh?)
“We’re not ready for the next Web. The world is still catching up to the last Web. The 2001 Web.”
“There’s no reason to bring up OPML or Second Life or AJAX, or Trackbacks or the latest thing that WordPress or Six Apart are showing off. They are still discovering that there’s value in simply encouraging their people to talk with their customers. Until all the big companies get to the place where they understand the power in that then I guess there’s no reason to talk about anything else.”
I have to admit this comes as a surprise to me, especially from someone so versed into these things.
Earlier today I was sitting in a room with partners and people from MSN, discussing the impact botswill have on brands powerhouses. I mean, customers are already lining up to make use of these new technologies (ok, so IRC has been around for a while but we are talking mass market here, not geek land folks!) to enhance the way customers and prospects interact with their brands. Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your buddy list to get an idea of what is coming at you!
I would agree that technology means nothing without usage. Now, imagine for a second what any brand can do with these.
Take Amazon. Need an idea for your mother’s birthday? Just ask your bot buddy and click your way into a hassle-free present.
Take Expedia or LastMinute. Wanna take a break next week-end? You are just one short instant conversation away from buying your week-end half-price.
And the list goes on… I feel we do have a strong case for usage here (and more on bots latter)!