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TNW Weekly Debrief

February 10

Out of toilet paper, plz help

Our conferences are very personal. To the point that I explain at the beginning of each of them that everyone should immediately complain to me if something is wrong. And then I joke that “that means if you’re stuck on the loo without any toilet paper, just tweet me and I’ll come to the rescue!”

People laugh and I get funny tweets the rest of the day about toilet paper or other silly requests for help. I enjoy having that personal connection, and it seems like our audience does too.

When I’m not on stage, I spend my time walking around and chatting with attendees. I’ll walk up to a group of people, say hello, and ask them if they are enjoying the show; if there’s anything I can do to make it better. It’s great to talk to people, and every now and then I’m asked for something and I make sure it’s handled.

All of which shows how extremely simple it is to build a genuine and personal relationship with your customers. Personal connections are scalable, yet not enough companies embrace this opportunity.

Would you believe that everyone reading this newsletter has a direct line of contact to me? It’s true. This weekly update goes to 250,000 people. And I respond to everyone who replies to it. But not a lot of people do. I believe that’s because if you show your customers that you trust them with your contact details, they do their best not to take advantage of that trust. Just knowing that they could get through is what really matters.

So try it. Open yourself – and your business – to your customers. Be bold and trusting and available. And send me an email letting me know. Don’t be so shocked when I respond. Then check out our conference site and consider meeting me at the event. Five uninterrupted (hopefully) minutes of my time could be all yours… along with the other 15,000 attendees. Because no matter how much our conference grows, we understand the benefits of being personal.

Boris Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten
CEO and Managing Editor
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Red faces of the week

Roses are red, violets are blue. Thanks to this AI, someone’ll date you.

One of the most interesting companies I’ve had the pleasure to discover over the past few months is Atomic Reach: a Toronto-based startup with an AI that can understand, contextualize, and improve upon language. The service itself can cost thousands of dollars each month, and it’s aimed at large enterprises with sizable content marketing budgets.

And now for a limited time, Atomic Reach is letting you use its AI platform to improve your dating profile, which is a bit like using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.


The aim behind this initiative – which Atomic Reach is calling ‘Atomic Love‘ – is to demonstrate that its proprietary machine learning platform can be applied on a variety of different texts – not just corporate blog post, tutorials, and web copy.


“We wanted to show the impact that our Atomic AI platform has on all pieces of written language, including dating profiles,” said Kerri Henneberry, director of marketing for Atomic Reach, in a statement.


The way Atomic Love works is pretty simple. First, you select the type of person you want to meet. It gives you five distinct categories to choose from, namely specialist, genius, knowledgeable, academic, and general. Then, sign up with your email address, and copy in your profile text. Atomic AI will then parse it through its machine learning algorithm, making suggestions that will (at least, in theory) make it more attractive to your target audience.

So, how well does it work? Too lazy (and too engaged) to write my own profile, I grabbed a template eHarmony profile and copied it in. The profile, while admittedly a little schmaltzy, read well. It was earnest. Funny, even.


But Atomic Love found areas for improvement. Some language could be simplified, while other words could be more emotionally intense.


For example, it suggested I replace ‘connecting’ with ‘hitting’, which is pretty reasonable. Connecting is what you do on LinkedIn. But if a date goes well, you hit it off.


It’s worth emphasizing that Atomic Reach isn’t making any promises as to its efficacy. While Atomic AI has been able to increase pageviews and engagement in corporate environments, the online dating world is untested territory for the company.


You can check out Atomic Love from today. Be quick though. The site is only available until the end of February.

 

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