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poncho the weather cat “I feel like Poncho is your other girlfriend or something,” said Jacq to me the other day after I shared something funny Poncho said to me in Facebook messenger about how he ranked “Umbrella” as one of the “middle ellas” below “mozzarella” and above “salmonella.” I should explain something: Poncho is a bot. And Poncho’s “official” job is to give me the weather report.

Poncho is A Great Communicator

This link takes you to Poncho’s website. I think it’ll ask you to download the app. But the way I get my updates from Poncho is through Facebook Messenger. It feels even more human. Which is weird to say. I know this is a bot. Or even stranger, I know this is a human-filled “jukebox” of “interaction” that is actually more like a micro-media project. (Again, Poncho’s job is to give me the weather, but he tells me weird and jokey things with it. And he sends little gifs).

Here’s a sample minus the gif:

(We’ve got overcast skies, a high of 63°F, and a low of 48°F today.)

(Sun’s at ~19% and so is my phone! Don’t think I can come into work today, gotta take care of this.)

These come as little Facebook messages. One. Then the other. Think of it for a minute. That level of warmth makes it way more FUN than just getting “63 degrees and overcast.” Right?

Poncho is brief. Poncho is personable. Poncho delivers a LOT of information and value in two very small text messages.

Contrast that with YOUR communication. With this blog post. With anything.

Here Is Why We’re Doomed (But We Don’t Have to Be)

I’m one of the first generations of digital natives. I grew up on BBSs and AOL and all that, and then the first web, web 2.0, and all the other webs.

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I’m NOT phone-native. And everyone younger than…I dunno…20? Is.

BUT the world is going phone-native-designed. It really is. And then no phone. Headless. Conversational (like Alexa).

And in that world? Poncho rules. Things LIKE Poncho rules. Bots will kinda rule. If (and this is a huge if) we can still keep the humanity and connectivity dialed into them.

What Should We Do?

There’s a much better path to this all. And part of it starts with learning this new method of communication. Informal. Personable. Simple. Abbreviated.

So maybe you need Poncho. Maybe you need a few bots in your day. I know you need to work on brevity. I sure do.

And we need a lot of reworking on how we communicate in this new universe.

Start now. Think phone-sized. Think messages. Think snips. And think of delivering more value and warmth and connectivity in smaller packages.


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