Blockchain to Bots: a Look at Use Cases

Gilbane Boston 2016

Join us in Boston in November for this featured session and our other 32 conference sessions.

Blockchain to Bots:
a Look at Use Cases

New technologies need use cases. First in theory to attract commercial investment, and second in practice to prove their worth. This session includes discussions on the potential of Blockchain for digital asset management, and the use of bots in an intranet application.

Wednesday, November, 30: 11:40 – 12:40 pm

Register today to save your seat
Use code F16G for an extra discount

Nicole Dvorak | Gilbane conference

Nicole Dvorak, MBA Candidate, Class of 2018, MIT Sloan School of Management

Rod Collins | Gilbane Conference

Rod Collins, Director of Innovation, Optimity Advisors

Transforming Digital Assets into Digital Agents: New Media Strategies for Hyper-Connected Markets

Mindy Carner | Gilbane Conference

Mindy Carner, Manager, Information Management, Optimity Advisors

Transforming Digital Assets into Digital Agents: New Media Strategies for Hyper-Connected Markets

Henry Amm | Gilbane Conference

Henry Amm, Digital Strategy Consultant, adenin Technologies

Making Intranets Smart: How AI and Bots Allowed Us to Create a Smart Assistant for the Digital Workplace

Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Fairmont Copley Place Hotel, Boston, November 29 – 30, 2016

Bots, Content, and Commerce

Gilbane Boston 2016

Join us in Boston in November for this featured session and our other 32 conference sessions.

Here Come the Bots: How Innovations in Artificial Intelligence Will Shape the Future of Content and Commerce

Today’s online transactions are still largely web-based despite the proliferation of smartphones and mobile apps. And these transactions are often part of a fragmented purchasing experience, where a customer must move from interacting with engaging rich content to completing a series of cumbersome steps for transaction-related information like payment and delivery details.

One solution to this experience breakdown is to enable what is becoming known as conversational commerce, where the transaction part of purchase is integrated seamlessly with the customer’s current online environment. Several tech giants like Facebook and Amazon, as well as a number of start-ups, are investing in enabling chat bots within messaging apps that make it possible for users to make purchases within the platform, rather than having to go to an external web page. This session will explore what the rise of conversational commerce will mean for content management and content and commerce integration.

Wednesday, November, 30: 8:30 – 9:30 am

Register today to save your seat

Jill Finger Gibson Gilbane Conference

Jill Finger Gibson, Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group

Adrien Nussenbaum Gilbane Conference

Adrien Nussenbaum, CEO, Mirakl

Roland Benedetti Gilbane Conference

Roland Benedetti, Chief Product and Marketing Officer, eZ

Sergio Silva Gilbane Conference

Sergio Silva, Director of Partner Success, Kik

Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Fairmont Copley Place Hotel, Boston, November 29 – 30, 2016

Gilbane Advisor 10-13-16 – Hive, WeChat, enterprise social, open images, marketing stacks

The Hive is the New Network

This is a fascinating and thought-provoking read. To oversimplify enough to be obvious: The return on network scale is diminishing; future value will come from more purposeful, naturally emerging ecosystems that go beyond connecting and communicating. WeChat and Uber are examples, but there are also others and the details and subtleties are worth careful thought by those looking ahead.

The hive is a smarter, evolved network that is bigger than the sum of its parts. … While networks like Instagram and Twitter are beginning to wear thin, messaging apps like WeChat are frenetic hives of activity that build economic empowerment. Like honeybee scouts, messaging apps decrease the friction of centralized nodes in the 1:1 communication between individual nodes and allow for emergent behaviors. … WeChat began five years ago as a messaging service. Today, you can use it to pre-order dumplings from a street-vendor, call a taxi, read the news, and even buy a house. Read More

WeChat: China’s Integrated Internet User Experience

Speaking of WeChat, it’s success is not just because of the chatting. Nielsen Norman Group did some research to determine whether the hype around  “conversational user interfaces” was warranted.

Much of this hype stems from angst generated by the success of the Chinese WeChat service, which had 700 million users as of April 2016. WeChat has been touted as the poster child for conversational user interfaces. In this article, we report on user research we did in China with WeChat users. The study aimed to uncover practices in which WeChat users engaged, as well as why and in which cases its users preferred to use WeChat instead of regular mobile websites and apps. … UX research finds that tightly integrated services with a wide-ranging set of convenient features, accessed through a simple and unified design, are the reason Chinese users use WeChat so much. People mainly use traditional GUI interactions, not a “conversational user interface,” despite the hype. Read More

Facebook Workplace for enterprise social networking?

Hard to imagine enterprises jumping on to this, or Facebook counting on it. For the moment there is no rush to abandon Slack, Yammer, or whatever other social networking tools you are using. But of course you have to pay attention to it in case they’re determined – they are starting out with competitive pricing and, presumably the UI will be familiar. Read More

Introducing the Open Images dataset

Nice of Google, in order to advance “equality of opportunity in machine learning”, to release…

Open Images, a dataset consisting of ~9 million URLs to images that have been annotated with labels spanning over 6000 categories. We tried to make the dataset as practical as possible: the labels cover more real-life entities than the 1000 ImageNet classes, there are enough images to train a deep neural network from scratch and the images are listed as having a Creative Commons Attribution license. Read More

Odds are your marketing stack is way bigger than you think it is

Many of you may already be familiar with Ghostery. Well, in the spirit of Terence Kawaja’s and Scott Brinker’s marketing technology landscapes, we now have “GhostyScape”. Scott describes it…

Ghostery is used by companies to optimize the performance of their sites and identify security holes. After all, those software services being triggered on your web pages have computational overhead that can potentially drag down client-side experiences — or potentially pass along data to an unexpected network of third parties to third parties. (Fourth party data?)… But here, they serve a more modest purpose: to illustrate just how large marketing stacks really are in practice. These Ghostery maps only show a slice of a company’s marketing stack — the slice that’s visible from scanning client-facing web pages. There’s more happening backstage, for sure. I guarantee you, more than you expect. Read More


One can only imagine how much of this is already going on. There’s a growing problem of bots fighting each other online via Technology Review

It’s not just the ads, it’s the tracking… New Ad Coalition Won’t Dent Ad Blockers – And They Know It via Digital Clarity Group

Not ready for prime time but something to keep an eye on… Startups Bet on Workplace Use of VR via The Information

This is remarkable… Google says its new AI-powered translation tool scores nearly identically to human translators via Quartz

“The dynamic between mobile web’s critical role in expanding audience reach and the app’s role in high user engagement” and more in The 2016 U.S. Mobile App Report via Comscore

Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2016 logo

Main conference: November 29 – 30
Workshops: December 1, 2016
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

Gilbane Conference Keynotes Announced

Gilbane Boston 2016

ConferenceNovember 29 – 30 and WorkshopsDecember 1
Boston Fairmont Copley Plaza

Join the digital marketers, technologists, and analysts leading the thinking and doing — making modern digital content and customer experience strategies a reality. Register and save your seat today

Keynote presentations

Wednesday, November 29, 8:30 – 10:00am

Marissa Jarratt, Senior Director, Global Marketing, PepsiCo 

A New Age for Internal Communications: Measure, Manage and Influence The Employee Experience

Tania Yuki, CEO, Shareablee

Measuring What Matters in Social Media

Jon Marks, Co-founder and CTO, Kaldor

Blood in the Streets – Reporting from the Content Technology Trenches

Keynote panel – Industry analysts

Wednesday, November 29, 11:00 – 12:00pm

Melissa Webster - Gilbane Conference
Melissa Webster, Program VP, Content & Digital Media Technologies, IDC

Scott Liewehr - Gilbane Conference
Scott Liewehr, Partner and Principal Analyst, Digital Clarity Group

Deanna Laufer - Gilbane Conference
Deanna Laufer, Senior Analyst, Customer Experience, Forrester Research

Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group

Register today to save your seat!

Gilbane post-conference workshops

Gilbane Boston 2016

ConferenceNovember 29 – 30 and WorkshopsDecember 1
Boston Fairmont Copley Plaza

Join our highly-respected international experts for a deep dive following our two-day conference. Register and save your seat today!

Thursday, December 1: 9:00 – 12:00

Sara Redin | Gilbane Conference

Building a Business Case for a Modern Intranet – learn more

Sara Redin, Founder, Redin Consult

Tim Bourgeois | Gilbane Conference

An Anatomy of a Digital Audit learn more

Tim Bourgeois, Executive Editor, and East Coast Catalyst

Tony Byrne | Gilbane Conference

The Right Way to Select Digital Content Technology – learn more

Tony Byrne, Founder, Real Story Group

Thursday, December, 1: 1:00 – 4:00

Cathy McKnight | Gilbane Conference

Mapping Customer Journeys and Managing Content: How to Align Practices for Great Customer Experience – learn more

Cathy McKnight, Vice President, Consulting, Digital Clarity Group

Heather Hedden | Gilbane Conference

Designing Taxonomies and Metadata for CMS Implementation – learn more

Heather Hedden, Senior Vocabulary Editor, Cengage Learning

Bruno Hermann | Gilbane Conference

Taking the Fast Track of Digital Globalization to Deliver Digital Experiences Globally – learn more

Bruno Herrmann, Director of Globalization and Localization, The Nielsen Company

Register today to save your seat!

Gilbane Advisor 9-14-16 – Next computing platform, FB, Google, and Daily Beast

Dear Readers: 

Hope you had a fantastic summer. We are back from vacation and our new school-year resolution is to publish more bite-sized issues more frequently – tougher curation and quicker delivery to you.

Beyond the iPhone

is the watch, as the next general purpose personal computer that is. I still think that has always been Apple’s plan, with fitness a viable commercial entry point and learning path to the much larger health care market and everything else. In this regard the AirPods were the most interesting of the recent announcements. As Ben Thompson points out…

… one of the devices that pairs with AirPods is the Apple Watch, which received its own update, including GPS. The GPS addition was part of a heavy focus on health-and-fitness, but it is also another step down the road towards a Watch that has its own cellular connection, and when that future arrives the iPhone will quite suddenly shift from indispensable to optional. Simply strap on your Watch, put in your AirPods, and, thanks to Siri, you have everything you need… just as the iPhone makes far more sense as a digital hub than the Mac, the Watch will one day be the best hub yet. Read More

Facebook’s Power Struggle Over App Links

This long slow cold war requires monitoring by marketers, developers, and publishers. The Information’s Cory Weinberg is watching.

Apps are caught in the middle of a power struggle between Apple, Google and Facebook to control mobile browsing habits. The fragmentation benefits Facebook, which keeps people inside its browser instead of supporting apps’ deep links on iPhones. Read More

Google’s AMP Viewer: the Tinder UX for content?

Google is also increasing its reach and control over the browsing experience. All marketers, not just news publishers, will be affected.

AMP links will no longer be limited to the Top Stories area of mobile results; instead, Google will link to the AMP version of a webpage any time a valid AMP is available. This “blue links” expansion will dramatically increase AMP traffic overall and enable discovery of a rapidly growing universe of non-news and long-tail AMP content. … Publishers might not realize that Google won’t just link to AMPs, but will present them in a Google-hosted viewer which is certain to alter user flow and engagement from mobile search. Read More

How The Daily Beast gets 40 percent of readers to visit its homepage

While the Beast gets its fair share of traffic from Google and Facebook, it focuses more on getting those readers back via email (its subscriber base has doubled in the past year) and its app than on maximizing the reach of content it publishes elsewhere. It has eschewed Google AMP and, after a brief dalliance with Facebook Instant Articles, has stopped using those too. Read More


“Basically, we have two problems with CX: complexity and perspective.”… The cash model of “customer experience” via Doc Searls

Handy… Introducing the Bots Landscape: 170+ companies, $4 billion in funding, thousands of bots via Venturebeat

NYT and WaPo just edged out Buzzfeed and Huffpost for the most digital readers… Revenge of the ‘legacy’ sector via Politico

The front-end needs the back-end… Digital Experience and Content Operations Need More Attention via EContent

Why are deep neural networks good at solving complex problems? Is the secret buried in the laws of physics? via Technology Review


Main conference: November 29 – 30
Workshops: December 1, 2016
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

You Have Content. Now What?

You’re running full-speed ahead with your content bucket full and your heart bursting with the need to share it with the world. But, you may need to hit the breaks for a moment and think about the tools needed to help you move forward in a way that will deliver the best digital experience to your customerGilbane conference attendeess.

Register now to join us for the Gilbane Digital Content Conference’s Track T: Technologies for Content, Marketing, and Digital Experience, and make sure you’re on the path to success. This track is designed for technology strategists and executives focused on near-term and future software for creating, managing, and delivering compelling digital experiences across platforms, channels, and form factors.

Technology track sessions include:

Click each session for a detailed description and list of speakers, then, check out our site for even more!

Register with code F16G to save an extra $100 off the Early Bird rate of your conference pass.

Register Today

The Venue

Gilbane conference hotel 2016The Fairmont Copley Plaza is the official conference hotel for the Gilbane Digital Content Conference 2016.
Discounted guest room rates (plus applicable taxes) have been arranged for attendees who book by November 11, 2016.

Find out more…

Gilbane Advisor 7-26-16 – Bots, apps, stickers, video, web, product placement

In this issue we look at moderating perspectives on a few hot topics. First up, we follow up on our earlier coverage of bots and use cases. There are lots of good reasons to be excited about the growth and range of applications for bots, but the hype has been a bit much. We have chosen four short articles to get you current. Next up, Stickers as a serious content type, then thoughts on the utility of video, purposeful merging of web and mobile, and interesting ideas on product placement.

Wrong Narrative. Wrong Mindset. Wrong Solutions.

Don’t worry, this is about bots not politics, and Sar Haribhakti’s view is balanced.

If you even remotely follow tech news, it is very likely that you have read outlandish claims like “Bots are the new apps”. There are way too many misconceptions around conversational products. Read More

Bots in 2016: Mid-Year Check In

Sam Lessin is a big fan of bots because of the potential for developers in general, and in particular for the personal assistant his company, Fin, is building. His experience and thoughts on the challenges of bringing bot-based products to market will help developers and product managers tune expectations.

The past six months have shown that building compelling bots is very challenging. Completely automated bots aren’t ready for prime time and hybrid services with human involvement cost a lot to develop. How developers can make money from bots also hasn’t been clarified. But I’m still bullish on the shift to bots. Read More

Personal assistant bots like Siri and Cortana have a serious problem

Good general explanation of why Alexa et al struggle to meet user expectations. Read More

The Death of Apps has been Greatly Exaggerated

Analyst Jan Dawson looks at the numbers.

Bots are a fascinating new element of mobile user interfaces and have potential in certain well-defined use cases. However, as a threat to the app model, they’re fundamentally limited for a couple of reasons. First, bots are not a fit at all for the vast majority of apps. Put another way, for the apps that generate the vast majority of revenue. Read More

The Elements of Stickers

Stickers as a serious content type. Connie Chan should convince you there is more to Stickers than you probably thought.

Stickers aren’t just frivolous little punctuation marks to be inserted in text messages. They can be replacements for entire sentences, and help create a new medium for communicating and storytelling… And sometimes stickers can convey what words cannot! This form of visual communication has become so popular … in WeChat and LINE — that it is not uncommon to see a deep thread of multiple messages without a single word. They’re not just for those crazy young kids. More notably, stickers are commonly used in professional, not just personal, chats as well… Read More

Video and Speed

I’m sure you know the feel­ing  —  you see a link to some­thing that looks in­ter­est­ing, fol­low it, and when it turns out to be a video clip, you shake your head and kill the tab. The prob­lem with video is it’s just too slow.

Totally agree. Give me words to skim please. Tim Bray discusses watching (some) video faster and listening to sped-up audio. Read More

Building for a future mobile web

Paul Kinlan makes a case for progressive web apps as a way to combine the best of native mobile and mobile web apps. His discussion is useful beyond Google’s progressive web activity.

A new way of thinking about how we build apps and content experiences for the web is needed. One that is progressive in allowing us to build for the web at large, but takes inspiration from the deeper engagement that can be found in native app platforms. Read More

James Bond, Dunder Mifflin, and the Future of Product Placement

…my children shouted in annoyance. They rousted me from bed, complaining that something was wrong with the TV… Trying to explain that there are advertising breaks so people can sell them things was a deflating experience… Their incomprehension was total… If interruption-based advertising is no longer an option, and if traditional product placement is no longer the answer, how can brands reach consumers while not offending their sense of empowerment and leveraging their desire for immediate gratification?

Laurent Muzellec makes a case for “interactive product placement”, and “reverse product placement”… Read More


Gilbane Digital Content Conference
Main conference: November 29 – 30
Workshops: December 1, 2016
Fairmont Copley Plaza, Boston

Short takes

The topic may be slightly scary but you need to know what’s coming… 2 terrific #MarTech talks on the rise of AI in marketing via

Lots of orgs will need to make a similar choice, but this is big one… Salesforce will only support Nexus and Samsung Galaxy phones to avoid Android fragmentation via recode

Yes, something like this… Why Wearables Will Replace Your Smartphone via ITNews

eBooks down, print up… U.S. Publishing Industry’s Annual Survey Reveals Nearly $28 Billion in Revenue in 2015 via AAP

An optimist’s view of Getting Google and Publishers to Share Love — and Data via Medium

Differences… AI, Apple and Google via Benedict Evans

The UK takes a stab at a Data Science Ethical Framework via

Growing without video dependence… Bustle’s Slower but Steady Growth Path via The Information

Different levels of maturity… Enterprise MarTech Assessment: More Social Than Mobile via Medium

CMS, etc., corner

Should command a serious salary… The 6 skills every content strategist must have via Medium

Some good questions re What does a decoupled WCM architecture really mean? via Real Story Group

Digital Asset Management Round-up, June 2016 via Digital Clarity Group

Bright future or death spiral?…   via EContent


The Gilbane Advisor curates content for our community of content, computing, and digital experience professionals. Subscribe to our newsletter, or our feed.

The Gilbane Digital Content Conference: Content Management, Marketing, and Digital Experience helps marketers, IT, and business managers integrate content strategies and technologies to produce superior digital experiences for customers, employees, and partners.