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Can chat bots build community around news updates?

Can a chat bot be an effective way to establish a connection with readers? Nieman Lab examines one attempt by a local news organization.

How can a news organization use (Facebook) Messenger to start a genuine conversation with readers at scale? Can messaging be a viable way to field news tips from readers? And is there a better way to use Messenger to get stories out to people and make people more aware of the work that (Honolulu) Civil Beat does?

Those were the questions for a new chat bot launched by the Honolulu Civil Beat. According to a Nieman Lab article, the experiment with the bot—which had mixed results—offered readers a closer way to connect with the organization, beyond comments, email and phone.