Webby for Good is a collaborative program formed by The Webby Awards and WP Engine to showcase Webby-recognized projects built to change the world.
What’s the elevator pitch for your project?
Meet Ida, the world’s first chatbot for good. A friendly, engaging bot on Facebook Messenger, Ida gives people a whole new way to do good, quickly and easily, either by donating, volunteering, or engaging with the cause. By providing simple information like your passions, location, and how you want to help, Ida matches people with charities tailored to their interests. So we created videos and social posts to invite people to say hello to Ida and start the process.
What was the impetus for this project? What real-world challenge were you trying to solve?
Every day, millions of Facebook users are commenting on social issues they care about. We wanted to help people go beyond just making a comment to taking action and tap into an audience that was already engaged in social issues. Then we had to help them connect with Ida, via videos of key social issues like poverty, the refugee crisis, and the protection of endangered species, and direct them to Messenger, for quick and easy ways to help.
Yes: Realizing that a chatbot was the ideal form for IDA and that there was no chatbot for charity at the time. The realization that the technology was the answer on bringing action and intention together in an engaging way.
Once you settled on your idea, what was your first step in moving it forward?
The first step was identifying the right social channels, partners, and technology that could help us bring the plethora of giving options that Idealist had to people in an easy, warm, and engaging way.
Was there a moment during the project where you ran into a hurdle; or faced a problem you didn’t know how to solve? Take us to this moment, what happened and what did you do next?
IDA existed in many iterations before we landed on what felt right. From how she looked to how she "spoke," her persona needed to represent the Idealist brand and be warm and engaging while conveying urgency and the need to help and do good in a simple easy way.
Did the real-world impact meet your expectations? Can you share an example?
With zero paid media support, IDA and the supporting videos greatly exceeded our expectations. Ida's Facebook page was liked by over 96% of followers, with 100% rating her 5 stars.
What technologies/media did you use to develop this project (AI, Social Media, WordPress, etc.)?
We used AI via chatbot on Facebook Messenger.
Was the tech/medium you chose crucial to conveying your message? If so, why?
Facebook Messenger was crucial to getting IDA to people where they already were engaging in discussions and commenting around issues and wanting to find ways to help. We knew we could tap into their existing behavior and provide an avenue to help them go beyond a comment, to real world action and make a difference in a matter of seconds.