Handmade technology - how the fashion for manual labor affects Internet services

    Information technology was originally aimed at automating processes. Algorithms tell us products, music and content based on the history of orders or activity on social networks. However, personalizing recommendations does not mean that the client will feel special. Anyway, he knows that this soulless machine has calculated his preferences. Recently, Internet services that provide semi-automated (or even non-automated) processes are gaining more and more popularity. Let's look at several options for such services and how they give the client a feeling of warmth and concern for themselves.

    First of all, customer support comes to mind. To replace the FAQ sections and manuals came plugins for chat with a consultant. An excellent example of the further development of an individual approach to feedback is the “call me back” services, when a potential buyer just needs to press a button and wait for a call. Naturally, a conversation with a real person will sell the product with a much greater probability.

    Next, we take a clear and familiar scenario - the search for something. We are used to the fact that you can always go to the search engine or use the form on the site and get a list of results. You may have to play a little with the request - it’s not always possible to immediately get into the correct wording. But what if your request is received by a person who is well versed in search algorithms and knows how best to find what you need? Virtual assistant services like Operator do just that. It would seem that we are replacing a fast, cost-free machine algorithm with a slow and expensive person. But as a result, for the user in many cases this will work much better.

    So, we have gone from a product description page to real-time help via chat or phone, to the possibility of asking general advice from a real person. Let's go further - what if even the actual order will be done by someone else for you? Sounds weird? Nevertheless, we can observe the growing popularity of food delivery services and recipes for them or a box of winedelivered to your door once a month by subscription. Users of these services do not even choose products - and there are several reasons for this. Firstly, trust in the company - most likely they are better than you versed in wine and will pick up really good bottles. Secondly, the element of surprise and the lack of the need to choose. But at the heart of such trust, anyway, is the knowledge that selection is carried out by a knowledgeable person, and not by an algorithm.

    Let's move from the goods of the physical world to virtual content. With the advent of the WEB2.0 era, the number of articles, videos and music began to grow exponentially. Finding useful information has become more difficult, so all kinds of aggregators and recommendation services began to appear. Since full-fledged artificial intelligence has not yet been invented, the quality of the proposed content is determined by indirect quantitative characteristics - views, likes, and so on. Better than nothing, but far from ideal.

    Actually too much information and the resulting difficulty in choosing high-quality content is the problem that Cupcamp helps to solve. Guys well versed in wine can send you a box of great wine. Someone else, for example, in finance, can recommendImportant and useful articles on this topic. The principle is the same as in the services discussed above - a partial replacement of an automated process with the work of a real person. In this case, the person determines the relevance and quality of the content, and for this he does not need to count likes.

    A digest of manually selected information, published at regular intervals, allows the reader to save time searching for important information, and gives the author a much more interested audience. This is a great marketing tool for companies and an opportunity for anyone who understands a certain topic or just a lot of reading people to create their own audience of subscribers. At the Cupcamp there are already newsletters about survival , discounts on Steam , the community “how to do it”other.

    The last 10 years of the development of the Internet have been focused on creating content by users, socialization and ease of use of services. It seems to me that the next round has already begun, and it is aimed not just at personalization, but rather at streamlining knowledge, at narrowly targeted sources of information that provide truly high-quality content. So far, the only way to ensure this is through direct human participation in the service.

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