Today’s post comes from Pamela Wright, Chief Innovation Officer.
What do you get when you have an audacious strategic goal to have one million records enhanced by citizen archivists in the National Archives Catalog and an idea to try something new on a social site? You create a Facebook Messenger Chatbot, of course!
This American Archives Month, I’m excited to present an awesome new project from the National Archives, developed by NARAtions’ own Mary King. The Facebook chatbot is a way for users to interact with the National Archives and help us make records more accessible. Let’s take a walk through the chatbot and I’ll show you how you can participate.
From your phone or desktop, navigate to the National Archives Facebook page (Give us a follow! We post about lots of cool finds and interesting events!). To start chatting with the bot, tap on the Send Message button, and type “hi” in the text box.
The chatbot will open, and give you the option to tag a document or ask a question. Let’s tag a document!
When the bot serves you a record, you can tag the document as typed, handwritten, or both. This helps us sort the documents by difficulty, which can then help our citizen archivists transcribe the records in the Catalog.
You can keep tagging and sorting documents, but you can also use the bot to answer your questions about visiting the National Archives and starting your research, learn some archives trivia, or see an interesting photo (like these awesome track workers in 1943!).
The most exciting part of this chatbot is that it makes participating in citizen archivist activities easy and available on a platform most people are familiar with. So stop by our Facebook page, say “hi” and let’s get tagging!