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Chatbots are an emerging media innovation that show promise for increasing two-way engagement between organizations and their audience. It is a tool that will help us live up to the promise of two-way communication that is the blueprint for our EdNC Architecture of Participation.

Initial versions of bots first showed up on social media, allowing Facebook pages to automate their interactions with members. Later, pioneering news sites deployed social bots and even bot apps to engage readers. Readers just like you.

Bots’ biggest challenge has been their limitation to the walled gardens in which they’ve lived – Facebook and proprietary apps.

Unless someone followed an organization or downloaded the app, they could not engage.

Until today as the latest tool of Reach NC Voices project rolls out.

This is the beta launch of our Reach NC Voices chatbot. It can live in articles like this one, inline in news content, or across the web in display advertising units. Our partners at CityZen and Groundsource have worked tirelessly to make this a reality.

The Reach NC Voices chatbot is yet another tool in our project. Ultimately, we want to remind you that our project isn’t about the technology alone. It is about you and your voice. Your voice is what matters to us and to our state.

EdNC will explore how this new tool can engage audiences across North Carolina in the issues that matter to everyday people. All the response data will synchronize with EdNC’s central polling database.

We want your voice to be heard. Share the word.

In the coming days and weeks, the tool will evolve and expand to serve the Reach NC Voices campaign – be sure to check back here for updates!

Nation Hahn

Nation Hahn is the director of growth for EducationNC.