chris messina

chris messina

intro’d to Chris here:

Hey, Chris, this involves natural language processing, I think; via AI or people or both? Thanks! /cc @chrismessina

Original Tweet:

@craignewmark all of the above! In the short term, programmatic bots intercept human queries, then route to humans agents.

gradually though, the systems will be trained and more AI agents will be able to handle complex and compound queries.

Original Tweet:

View story at


Before I begin, I want to clarify that conversational commerce (as I see it) largely pertains to utilizing chat, messaging, or other natural language interfaces (i.e. voice) to interact with people, brands, or services and bots that heretofore have had no real place in the bidirectional, asynchronous messaging context. The net result is that you and I will be talking to brands and companies over Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Telegram, Slack, and elsewhere before year’s end, and will find it normal.

oh. i hope not. i hope we move beyond brands.. commerce.. et al


One of the biggest challenges of this paradigm is the discovery of new conversational services.

perhaps one that perpetuates itself.. setting/keeping all of us free..

let’s do this firstfree art-ists. ..for (blank)’s sake

Should messaging incumbents each provide their own conventional app store, where users can browse recommended partners, a la Snapchat Discover or Slack’s App Directory? And should these conversational services rely exclusively on distribution from popular messaging apps?


Or should bots surface organically — i.e. when a friend mentions a bot by name, or invites a bot to join you in a separate thread? This would be more natural, but would require many “patient zeroes” to have original knowledge of the relevant bots in the right moments.

yes that. all of us. io dance ness.

This question of discovery is unsolved, and will remain a looming question for the rest of the Messenger-class apps out there

or should we take this moment in time to leap frog to a global do overrev in reverse style.. via some chip that’s focus (conversational service) is self-talk as data.. then used to help us find our people and to leave a trail.


Conversational apps are therefore organized around the way I organize my life, rather than the way the app maker might dictate.

The lightness of being in this world is profound.

indeed. rev of everyday life ness. a nother way .. as the day.
This consistency is a form of extreme personalizationenabled by conversational interfaces. I guarantee you that if you look through anyone else’s Facebook Messenger threads, Twitter DMs, iMessages, OKCupid messages, or Snapchats that the order, content, and velocity of messages and content will feel extremely foreign, and likely massively uninteresting. Contrast that with a gaming platform where all users go through some kind of elaborate, universal onboarding process, and you’ll begin to grasp how this subtle form of extreme personalization is core to the conversational paradigm.

2 convos ness via whimsy..


2015 interview


  • Chris Messina, who came up with Twitter feature, said traditional models for relationships are obsolete
  • Said he has ‘committed’ relationship – but both of them see other people
  • Claimed easy hook-ups apps and communication will change norms 

One of the men who helped shape Twitter has claimed a technology revolution means that traditional relationships will soon be a thing of the past.

Chris Messina, who coined the now-ubiquitous Twitter hashtag, helping it achieve enormous popularity, has said the world has changed so much people no longer need a single partner.

Messina, who used to work for Google, said that the increasing wealth of the Western world means people no longer need partners to meet their basic needs and care for offspring.

? no longer need..? or getting back to communal/community/neighborhood living ness..

Messina, an early adopter of Twitter, though not an employee, made his contribution to social media history by suggesting users type a # symbol before key terms to organize posts.

(video) why i choose non-monogamy

 on hashtags..2007 – not many on twitter .. and  a lot of convos were about – how to create groups

find your people ness


(audio) interview on story in a bottle..

if anyone embodies… intention of internet.. bringing people together.. it’s Chris

the more centered we each are.. the more we find a sort of tuning fork resonance.

indeed – let’s focus on that.. a and adeep enough

i like a broader sense of things going on in the world..

i have to understand all the diff type of layers going on it work today to be effective..

and too – make sure you get the irrelevant s.. no?

9 min – on words being critical.. rhetoric.. design of language/expression.. translation.. skill that many aren’t thinking about..

i don’t consider myself at being an expert at any particular thing.. but perhaps i can help adapt a rhetoric around them all.. on the need/value of a common way to communicate – that’s the rhetoric

12 min – on not having any one deep skill set.. so can be flexible.. get to a diff vantage point..

14 min – everyone has a valid perspective.. so finding those and connecting them..


the first 1/3 of my life.. fear/trying to adapt to what people want

invited to exist ness –

gabor mate quote

when you’re looking for your tribe/people and you don’t find that.. it’s very isolating…

so imagine we focus on that..shortening the time.. everyday.. between talking to yourself – authenticity – and find your people ness – attachment – a nother way.. through 2 convos..

my grandma had this centeredness inside of her which i didn’t have

eudaimonia ness

on working on web site to bring people together. esp people who didn’t feel like they belonged.. couldn’t find their people..

www ness

20 ish min – this experience changed my entire perception on institutions and the way people behave..

26 min – i found my people at that time.. i feel like there have been many tribes..

29 min – on telling someone the sky is blue and they don’t even know what it is.. that’s the way browsers were.. we didn’t have words/language to describe ie: firefox

similar to – people not knowing how to talk about.. believe in.. a nother way to live. but perhaps.. now we have the means to facilitate unlimited idiosyncratic jargon.. which would free people up more (rather than having to jump through so many hoops in order to converse/connect) and.. would make privacy/security irrelevant..

32 min – the power of the web to me is its ability to decentralize.. which allows for emerging communities to coalesce (come together).. in whatever size/shape makes sense.. and grow in their own relevance..

www ness

33 min – like declaration of independence.. on mozilla ness

or interdependence..

36 min – on mozilla being so refreshing.. gave me belief that that way could work..

37 min – barcamp – from foo camp (friends of tim oreilly) – people who showed up set the agenda

41 min – barcamp amsterdam – bbc helped tell the story – done w/o permission.. after this.. people started to ask Chris to come talk.. and he said no.. the nature is for you to do it yourself..

it’s an important idea.. and i don’t know how to communicate it… this trajectory.. remix ness

43 min – there’s a lot of shit going on now.. there’s a lot of ways i can mess w/structures that be.. being white et al.. the web somewhat cares less about what you like.. where you came from… i’ve been trying to figure out ways to spread that further..

45 min – i hope that continuing path of more open access.. does continue to spread…

what if we did bar camp everyday.. and that led to co working..

so what if we did .. no permission.. no supposed to’s.. everyday.

again – let’s do this firstfree art-ists. ..for (blank)’s sake

52 min – in eric schmidt day – 80% saw light of day – incentives aligned w/launching not creating products.. then larry takes over – putting more wood behind fewer arrows.. if we’re going to make diff in world.. we have to get it together.. we can’t keep sending out half-a products..

54 min – 2 google pluses – one for humans (not that successful) one for google (very successful) but dishonest.. ie: trying to use rhetoric suggesting privacy/control better than fb… reality.. google gave people a lot of control.. but almost didn’t matter because it was way too much.. what it did for google.. brought diff parts together under one

56 min – like the marshal plan for google – (i saw so much that i’m not sure of and people believe it – ie: don’t know marshal plan)

59 min – mozilla being the benevolent rebels.. didn’t work out..

before google i interviewd at mozilla. was building identity into browser at mozilla .. but they didn’t see tech as being this ubiquitous assumption built into the environment like google did.. they say that as web browser.. primary means of devilvering balue.. mozilla saw identity as auxiliary..  identity is so critical.. and google saw it.. because they saw fb as threat

like yahoo.. assume world will stay same.. the thing they built really useful as moment in time.. web as platform, internet as platform.. platform as platform is the thing… if you think of world as single screen – mozilla wins the future.. but that’s not it.. ie: there’s iphone, iot, siri..

1:02 – (in past) forced people to change behavior to be more like computers… if you don’t get it right.. keep trying… in mobile area.. making computing to be more like people..

1:03 – conversational commerce – the trend toward messaging apps .. the way you converse with computing platforms…  which is weird to us.. tech’s.. but what we’ve given them, ie: walkie talkie’s to the internet

1:04 – talking to phone – is more inclusive/transparent

1:05 – hashtag story – 1\ part of series of threads i’ve described so far 2\ i was reluctant to own the story…

so the story: 1\ context 2\ community 3\ tech 4\ moment in time..  hashtag as aneconomic – willing something into existence. in early internet culture.. we used internet chat w/channels.. defined by effectively what looked like hashtags.. early twitter.. problem… starting to compliment and take away from people’s blogs.. people were looking for more topical info.. frustrated with seeing so much irrelevant s.. way we’ve taken care of this in past was by forming groups.. twitter was something you’d use on mobile.. could text tweet to 40404 – so whatever we came up with had to be able to be texted.. via mobile..

on aug 23 2007 – i posed a tweet with a hashtag.. then wrote a blog.. i got a lot of pos/neg feedback.. following day.. twitter’s hq.. biz.. was like.. this is a stupid idea.. (like oreilly was)..  i said ok. left. looked back at archive. i had used it sporadically. … so beautiful moment.. i could go out and say.. do this.. w/o permission from twitter. hashtag took off on instagram.. primary driver.. then fb adopted it.. for the nba.. then tumblr/pinterest..

1:14 – slack is bringing internet culture to the mainstream.. behavior we did before.. now norm.. when i see slack.. i love that people think hashtag came from twitter then to slack.. but actually reverse.. irc came first.. et al.. to me.. timing has been a big piece of serendipitous reality..

1:15 – the alt narrative that doesn’t come out of silicon valley.. you can build/create things that don’t have to have a profit motive.. but interested in needle of culture.. but no one talks about that.. because focused on wrong stuff.. if anything.. if you believe in some things.. you can make that stuff happen through internet.. and spreading privilege

problem deep enough.. – [perhaps to hasten systemic change globally/equitably]

irrelvant quote vinay

imagining equitable serendipitous reality via the platform that models/facilitates whimsy – rev of everyday life  ness –  a nother way .


find/follow Chris:

link twitter

I’m Chris Messina, friend to startups, inventor of the hashtag (original proposal), former Googler, and proud participant in the open source/open web communities. I co-founded the BarCamp and coworking communities. I’m a designer, thinker, writer, Twitterer, and product hunter.