Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

This morning I feel like an IM switchboard operator.

"Hey, ABC is hitting us 30 times a sec and our system is getting DoS'ed"

"OK, let me IM the VP Engineering at ABC"

"Here's his nick, he's waiting for your IM"


"Hey, I can't seem to reach XYZ."

"Hmmm... OK I found him. He says he'll IM you in 10 min so please hang on."

Don't get me wrong. I love being useful and the IM introductions and switch-boarding is a very high return on time for making connections. Much more efficient and useful than email stuff. It just feels funny. I feel like an operator answering calls like, "Hello Operator? Please get me the police!"


Just a random neural firing: How comfortable would you be with your agent making these connections on your behalf?

Hello this is Joi's answering machine. I see that you're a friend of his. Do you need to talk to him or can I help you out?

Yeah. I need to get in touch with Joi's friend Steve Case. It's an emergency.

I'd be happy to pass a message to Steve for you. What do you need?


While getting an IM bot to do the NLP well enough to cope with frustrated humans, this sort of introduction service seems like what Social Software ought to be able to handle.




"Link! get me an exit!"