Web Report CardUniversity of British Columbia wisely taps social media

This site benefits from RSS feeds and a chat box.

This site benefits from RSS feeds and a chat box

Grade: A

Type of Site: University Audience(s): Students, potential students, faculty, visitors, media

Content: We’ve been seeing a lot more automated “chat bots” around the Web in the past few months. The idea with this type of technology is that instead of just using a search field, users have a more “personal” experience by phrasing a question, and receiving an answer as if they were having a conversation with a real person. We checked out UBC’s “Ask me at UBC,” a tool that allowed students to ask questions and get answers about the school. We asked a couple of fairly simple questions like, “What is the weather like at UBC?” and “Do you have a football team?” We didn’t get answers to either question. This type of technology is a cool idea, but if it doesn’t work it just frustrates users.

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