Welcome to Bot Week

Behind the scenes on journalistic automation of all kinds, all week

Automated news-gathering tools aren’t new, but they’re multiplying like crazy and getting quite a bit of attention. Little bots have also turned into interesting remixing devices and distribution channels, especially on Twitter.

This week on Source, we’re going 100% bot, to talk about how sometimes news bots are surprising and amazing…

bot bike

…and sometimes totally functional…

robo arm

…and occasionally not quite what their makers intended.

robot falling down stairs

And we may or may not talk about the ones that are just plain terrifying.

boston dynamics doom-mule

We’ll have old hands and new botmakers, project walk-throughs, analysis, and tips on making a variety of automated beasts. You can follow along here, via @Source, or on #botweek, and we’d love to hear about your favorite automated/bot projects in journalism, in the comments, on the tweets, or via email.

In the meantime, check out one of the field’s foundational texts, in which Ben Welsh will teach you how to make reporting bots, and also how to dougie:

(Slides here.)

And if you’re still too excited to get back to work I can only offer a song from my own personal favorite robot. The end!



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