cyrus shepard was excited to hear who the special guest would be, and then back-tracked when he found out it was him. all jokes aside, this moz veteran and seo expert was a great addition to the “above the fold” roster.

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to kick off the show, jeff discussed his first time in an amazon go store, which he described as a “very big brother” experience riddled with unnecessary guilt.

an amazon go store:


sensors everywhere in the roof.

then you walk out and they send you a receipt:

with more on the robots-taking-over-our-jobs front, jeff also talked about a robotic coffee bar, complete with just one employee and a showy robot that was essentially a “giant mr. coffee.”

robotic coffee bar:

ran into this bad boy last friday!

srsly. a robot that makes coffee.

with that, jeff, fran and cyrus were ready to jump into the rest of the episode.

what do people think of chatbots?

jeff recently developed a survey to gauge opinions on chatbots and sent it out to brafton’s newsletter audience.

are chatbots useful or utterly terrible? in cyrus’ opinion, “a good chatbot is invisible like a good toupee” – meaning people shouldn’t recognize right off the bat that they’re interacting with a chatbot.

the survey results highlighted two distinct ends of the spectrum: intelligent chatbots are useful and those that aren’t programmed correctly are generally extremely annoying. one response even compared chatbots to “glorified answering machines.”

what’s the latest on voice search?

voice search is going to continue affecting the content marketing industry – and the guys are here to speculate in what ways and highlight concerns that are top of mind.

francis, jeff and cyrus brought up the sticky moralistic questions surrounding attribution in voice search, as well as its value in featured snippets.

the guys also questioned whether voice search may be a contributing factor to phasing out the need for websites for certain business models. essentially, everything we know to be normal may continue to be upended by voice search …? yikes.

another survey…

the guys conclude the show by discussing the results of a different survey – but this one wasn’t a jeff creation. the survey was aboutbloggingand came from orbit media, covering techniques to timelines to roi to all the data points you can imagine to sum up the writing task us content marketers spend so much doing.

context-free quote of the week:

“it was like a twitter dumpster fire.”

do you agree with the guys? are robots officially going to replace baristas? let us know in the comments below!

stevie snow is a writer at brafton. yes, she is named after stevie nicks. she’s a believer in "to life, to life, l’chaim!" because life is what brings us the obamas, a really smooth vodka tonic and that moment on the dance floor when your favorite banger plays.