Chris Messina
This can all be made better. Ready? Begin.


In Chris Messina. More on Medium.

BTW, I’m the guy that coined the term

In January of 2016, I declared that it would be the year of “conversational commerce” — a new paradigm in which automated assistants and bots in voice and messaging channels would radically alter how people use computers! Data from that year that showed a migration to one-to-one messaging from one-to-many, passively consumed social feeds has just been reinforced in the 2018 Digital News Report from the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. With this shift, a new front has opened in the battle to dominate distribution through conventional app stores thanks to conversational interfaces like voice assistants and bots.

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New data for 2018 shows the continued decline of social networks and rise of messaging for news (Source: NiemanLab)

To seize on this moment, most of the biggest tech companies opened up APIs to help businesses and brands connect with their customers over messaging and voice contexts, and a flurry of experimentation ensued — much of which quietly persists today. …

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Overheard in a coffee shop:

“Hey, so did you know that there’s now an App Store for your computer?”


“Yeah, you know, like the one on your iPhone.”

“Oh yeah, uh, sure.”

“Yeah, it’s cool so now you can install games on your laptop just like on your phone!”

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen. The Mac App Store is all about gaming. Let the solitaire begin!

Originally published at on January 10, 2011.

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Let me state the problem plainly: in order to provide better service, it helps to know more about your customer, so that you can more effectively anticipate and meet her needs.

But, pray tell, how do you learn about or solicit such information over the course of your first interaction? Moreover, how do you go about learning as much as you can, as quickly as you can, without making the request itself burdensome and off-putting?

Well, as obvious as it seems, the answer is to let her tell you.

The less obvious thing is how.

And that’s where user-centric (or citizen-centric) technologies offer the most promise. …

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