I’ve written an article for the May issue of Creative Review about the effects of social media on copywriting – and more broadly about the intersection of writing and technology, where interesting things are happening. You can read it in the magazine, or it’s just been republished on the Creative Review blog.
On a related note, chatbots aren’t a new technology, but are becoming a bigger thing. (See this article about Facebook.) While there are many doom-laden headlines about this being the end of copywriting as we know it, bots are a useful tool for writers – or at least a nice thing to play with.
In a rudimentary experiment, I created a Twitter bot called @botconference, which tweets soundbites from a conference without the need for the actual conference. Occasionally, they border on the insightful.
"Follow your passion. Humanity needs a legacy system. It's not about design. AI is dead."— botconference (@botconference) April 14, 2016
"Have fun. Advertising is already reinventing convergence. It's not about social. Design is dead."— botconference (@botconference) April 14, 2016
"That's old thinking. Humanity needs to step beyond megacities. It's not about web. UX is dead."— botconference (@botconference) April 18, 2016
"Don't kid yourself. The next Facebook empowers smart homes. It's not about content strategy. Roboethics is the new viral."— botconference (@botconference) May 3, 2016
"Look around you. Wearable has zero time for conventional wisdom. It's not about B2B. Scaleable is the new native."— botconference (@botconference) May 3, 2016
I created it using cheapbotsdonequick, which I discovered through Russell Davies and his @taglin3r bot, which creates corporate taglines. This is a half-serious example of bots as a creative tool. A common technique in creating taglines is to disrupt the language by ignoring conventional grammar. This is hard for humans to do as we instinctively follow the rules, but bots are naturals at it. You still need a writer to decide which ones work (and most don’t), but it’s good for generating possibilities.
Some more links mentioned in the Creative Review article:
Bots and humans, by Russell Davies
Why copywriters could fare well in the age of robots, by Russell Davies
Cleartext by Morten Just
Thing Explainer, by Randall Munroe