You and I, and all the other humans: not bots.

Humans: You and I Late last year I came across an article, that covered research done after a ROBOT won a writing competition, that surprised many people. In reality bots are everywhere, the study proven that an estimated 60% of all communication on-line are done by robots.

These chatty robots doesn’t resemble anything humanoid, they are created and exist in software. During the last couple of years AI (artificial intelligence) became a hot topic, at this time Google invested into AI heavily, during 2014 they had an AI bot on display. So yes, Artificial Intelligence is no longer something out of Star Trek, IT’S REAL.

Luckily for now, the bots we have to outsmart are not on that level of intelligence, yet.

Why all the robot talk?

I do have a point to make with all this. When you own a website, and only have sales in mind, you wrong. You have to forget all of that and think different now. That said while keeping in mind that the internet is following a clear path away from conventional in-your-face advertising tactics.

Why? The determining factor here is the fact that people do not have to watch your video, read your posts or follow you on-line. Previously you create an annoying but catchy advert and stick it where people have no choice but to see it, and start counting customers. Right now that will be a sure way to shrink your audience.


What’s trending?

Speculation of trends for the following year, has become like new years resolutions and during January you always see the posts. One of these predictions for 2015 that really makes sense, speculates that the humans will become important during 2015.

This is really exciting! You no longer have to talk to your audience like a robot, “Boxing gloves for sale, who wants boxing gloves…Five Rand”.

Being more human and less robot is a natural thing for us humans, we are born with certain social behaviors. Those behaviors are what you, as a sales person must invest in. To be more specific, let’s take look at relationships, because building relationships with your market usually comes first and is the hardest part.

Boy meets Girl

A popular movie story line, but there are so much you can learn simply by looking at what attract people to each other. I tend to think that building relationships face to face is easier than doing it online, you get to see people’s reactions and with that you can better your moves.

In any face to face situation you adapt your behavior, let’s say you want to impress a woman, suddenly you open doors and dish out compliments. Where if you meet up with another male counter part, things change.

The bottom line here is that building any relationship is a unique experience, there are no standard framework for making customers. This applies for building relationships online too.

Think how you will do it in real life and then do it exactly the same way online – BE YOURSELF. Tell stories, share jokes be helpful where you can and tell your audience what you do and how you do it. All of that as a human and not a bot.

That nearly felt like preaching.
With that all said, I would love to introduce myself a little better. I can give you my complete resume in a single word: computer. But that’s not going to work. My name is Renier van den Berg, for those who haven’t worked it out yet.

Apparently I am generation x, was born in the Orange Free State and finished school at Harrismith High. After school my Dad convinced me that getting more technical skills will be a big plus in comparison to only the academic education school. Off to college and at the same time back to N1 the start, even though I could have dropped in at N3, I was doing this from the start.

Bridgeport Mill
Click to see image credit: Accurate Grinder Repair

Attending Springs, technical college was really good, I took a course in automotive machining and after N3 continued mechanical studies. Fluid mechanics was really interesting.

Holidays I worked in an engineering shop as a machinist, operating a lathe, grinders, saws, welders and a Bridgeport Milling machine.

In 1996 my Dad enrolled me at Potchefstroom University, I started with Mechanical but got stuck in the computer lab. I changed my course to computer science, but quit at the end of 1997.

At this time, the world-wide web caught my undivided attention, and the last couple of months at varsity, I spent my time programming Turbo Pascal and Delphi programs. But only the internet made me happy and I had to find another way.

As lucky as one person can be I got employed by Boxmore Plastics International. This was a really good time, the company invested heavily into educating us and I racked up certificates in injection and stretch blow molding, polymers, mold design worked with PLC’s and even got a forklift license. Specializing in Polyethylene terephthalate and working with robots, accumulators and in a super clean environment was a cushy job, I liked it alot…but.

Some clickety clack, 2 bottle at a time, machine that grew on me.

A square pole in a round hole

My heart never left the web, and eventually I was so tied up doing websites it turned going to work, into an unpleasant experience, plus I ran out of clients in Harrismith. So I took a job in Johannesburg for double my pay and took my chances in the city. That did not work…fail

Once again my dad bailed me out, and gave me a job in his restaurant. Within a year I managed to buy a bar (The Sky Lounge) with R 7,50 in my pocket and R 3 000,00 on terms over 3 months. Only the Big Guy Upstairs will know how I managed that one.

Canopy 1

With hard work, my business started growing and soon I opened a supplement shop, which ended up being a restaurant with yet another liquor license. Long hours, late nights…I know about those.

Great here I am, got the ball rolling in totally the wrong direction. I never stopped looking for website design jobs but keeping the shops going, took all my time. Not going into any boring details, but at some time, I did decide, that the highly rewarding hospitality trade, 7 day a week parties and everything that goes along with that ain’t going to cut it.

Everything left or everything right?

Thank you for coming back after the intermission. I turned the dials to start facing in the right direction. The shot resonated and I left the starting line with a bang, yes bang. It took a year to get everything tied up and the stage set.

I can now say…….I am sure it’s not over.

If you stuck all the way through my story, and you are reading this, thank you.

Here’s some interesting links and an eye-opener of a video :

This Bot Has Written More Wikipedia Articles Than Anybody

Google’s Artificial Brain Learns to Find Cat Videos

This is not the article referred to above, can’t find that one… This one is close enough.

Renier van den Berg
Working alone, providing digital services to businesses in different sectors, comes with an advantage. I get to see the similarities in businesses operating in different sectors and will gladly help you to implement the right digital strategies and applications to save money and generate more business leads.