2016 was the year of the bot — this is how we got there…
2016 was the year of the bot in journalism.
In this edited extract from the forthcoming second edition of the Online Journalism Handbook, Paul Bradshaw outlines what bots are, how bots have been used by media organisations from early Twitter bots to the recent wave of ‘chatbots’, and some tips and tools for getting started with journalistic bots.
‘Bots’ are ‘robots’ — only on the internet. Without the mechanical body of their physical counterparts, all that leaves is a disembodied computer script, normally created to perform repetitive tasks . . .
In the context of journalism and publishing, the term ‘bot’ is normally used to refer to something which users can interact with. Examples include:
- A bot which automatically publishes updates on a particular social media account when it receives new information from a feed (such as new articles)
- A bot which can supply article suggestions in response to a query from a user
- A bot which attempts to provide answers to questions given by users
The Twitter bots: alerting, aggregating and monitoring
Useful for amplifying, revealing and highlighting
A brief history of chatbots
Why news organisations rushed to build chatbots
Chatbot creation tips and tools
Writes the @ojblog. He runs the MA Multiplatform and Mobile Journalism @bcumedia and wrote @ojhandbook #scrapingforjournos