e*media Developing ActiveBuddy Bots

Independent Internet marketing/development firm e*media Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich. said it has inked a strategic IM partnership with New York-based ActiveBuddy Inc., which provides software tools for developing and deploying interactive agents.

E*media says it is one of a select group of developers granted early access to ActiveBuddy’s BuddyScript SDK (software developer kit), which lets developers develop interactive agents in IM. By using the “bot” technology, e*media can offer its clients an early advantage in gaining valuable electronic desktop real estate by matching brands and their content with “buddies” or “bots” that appear as part of a consumer’s IM list.

By using interactive “bots,” consumers can send inquiries or talk to their chosen “buddy” in intelligent plain language when they want information.

E*media has already used IM as an advertising vehicle — it ran a Cheez-It sweepstakes promotion announcement last year through ActiveBuddy’s showcase interactive agent SmarterChild. Company officials said click-through rates were “12 times the rate of the average banner ad.”

One project under development includes “Elliebuddy”, an agent based on a character in a “tween” novel that will joke and wisecrack with kids. The Midwest-based company says it has other bots in development, but it cannot disclose their content until later this year.

Bob Woods is the managing editor of InstantMessagingPlanet.

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