Making Medium truly Conversational

“It’s sort of a neutral ground. Anyone can post on it. It’s much more of a conversation and an interaction than a stand-alone blog”
- Evan, Founder of Medium.com

It’s a blank canvas, where anyone can post their ideas and share it with the rest of the world. No blogger or writer should have to worry about setting up a website their own, rather they should only focus on writing articles that make sense and adds value to the world. That’s the vision Evan has for Medium.

We support that vision and found out a way to make articles in Medium more conversational and interactive!

What is Conversational?

“Conversational” has been the buzzword for quite some time. Many people have explained it in different ways. In simple terms, it’s all about embracing the human approach of communicating and applying it in the online world.

So this is about chatbots?

Not completely, but almost! Being conversational means you are listening to your audience, getting their feedback and replying back in a personalized way. Chatbots can be the tools that get you there.

When you put out content, it’s vital to know how your readers respond to it. Touching the right cord is important to stay relevant in today’s world. When you are posting content on your Social Media like Facebook or Instagram, you have multiple ways to get this feedback. There, people who love what you do will reach out to you directly on the spot.

When it comes to Medium, it can be a bit different. Yes, we do have the Claps and the Comment section. But that’s it, isn’t it? You can’t add polls or surveys or ask your readers anything other than “Please share this content”. Medium has such a rich and wide content that more people are hopping on to the platform either as consumers or as authors. So, it’s only fair that you get some additional powers.

So we at Collect.chat went to the drawing board and cooked up something really cool!

Let’s have a Quick Demo!

A quick rundown about Collect.chat — We provide a No-Coding platform to make conversational interfaces (also fondly called as chatbots). When we started, you could only make chat widgets for websites. Then we moved on and decided to embed the chatbot. That was followed by the ability to share the chatbot using a unique link. Each of these new advancements was happily greeted by our Bot Maker Community.

Some of them reached out and asked if they could do the same for blogs. That was the initial spark. A few sleepless nights, we found out a way! It’s been in beta for some time. On behalf of the team at Collect.chat, I am proud to introduce to you, a new way to reach out to your medium readers.

Conversations that can be embedded inside your medium story!

How did we make this article Conversational?

So now that you know what this article is about, you want to know the “How” part? Let me cut to the chase. I made a short tutorial to make things easy.

That wasn’t so hard, was it? All you have to do is paste the link of the chatbot, similar to how you would embed a youtube video. Then just wait for the magic to happen.

The real question is …

How to make the best use of this? This is what I really wanted to discuss. In all fairness, I leave it to your imagination. Because I am limited by my own imagination.

But I will share my thoughts!

1.Getting instant article feedback

Let’s say you wrote a piece of creative content, like a story or a poem even. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get a more enriched feedback than the claps? You can also write back to them with a Thank-you note.

2.Growing your subscriber list

Every blogger wants to have a huge subscriber list. The number of subscribers you have is the easiest metric to measure your success as a blogger. With these chatbots, you can do the same with your medium articles. We even have a chatbot template for that.

3.Deliver more content

Do you have more articles that you want your readers to read? Then add their links on the chatbot so that they can find them easily. It is just a matter of copy and paste.

4.Add a Poll/Survey

This is really important. When you write an article on, say, “Brexit was the right choice. or was it?”, you would definitely want to know how many people actually care about this and which part of the world they are from. You can easily make choice based questions and analyse these metrics on Collect.chat’s dashboard.

5.Educate your readers

When you write about something new (like I did here), you can actually use the chatbot to take the reader along a conversational journey and educate them on what it is about. This method of educating has been adopted by many of our customers. Apparently, chatbots are pretty useful in the education space.

A real example

Here is a story I wrote about Medium itself. If you are curious about this platform that you use every day, then it’s definitely worth a read. I have added some bots to this article. To be more precise, there is a bot that shares facts about Medium. There is one that asks for the reader’s permission, before playing a video. I think asking for permission is important, rather than just outright playing it on the side. There is also a survey bot, that just tries to understand who the reader is.

Overall, it should you give you an idea of how to use such a feature inside Medium.

Why conversational? Why now?

The rise of messaging apps has really helped all of us comfortable with the idea of texting and chatting. We have come a long way since the days of the pager and SMS. Messaging has enabled us to express large ideas in shorter texts. Whether it be, emojis, animojis or graphics, it has literally changed the way we communicate. This is the principle idea behind being “Conversational”.

Conversational interfaces have become the ideal way for digitally communicating with any audience. This is exactly what large brands are leveraging on to communicate. It’s taking its rightful place everywhere, whether it be websites or Facebook or Telegram or Slack, chatbots are everywhere as an agent for transferring and collecting data.

It is the best medium to leave an emotional connection with your audience. It’s definitely not a new concept. It’s always been there. Over time, the approach has taken a lot of forms. Each getting better than the other. If you really think about it, it almost feels like an evolution. And like Darwin says,

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.

So are you going to #BeConversational?