Now here's a use for instant messaging that may finally get me to use it on my cell phone. (As you can probably tell from my photo, I'm old enough to have plenty of other things to do besides text with my friends, who don't have the time either.) MakeBot is a chat bot designed by Make magazine for mobile use. Instead of texting with a real person, you type in commands and get content back--search results, blog posts, articles, whatever.

John Battelle talks about the implications:

In short, this points the way to what might just be the loophole we content creators (including search and web service companies) have been looking for to make mobile a truly open platform. IM works on nearly every phone, and there's no reason it has to be limited to person-to-person chat. Why can't it be how we ask the web questions, or pull down great web content? And once you open that channel, it can also become a channel for personalized, value added marketing messages, approved and requested by each of us, of course.

Tough to tell at this point if it will evolve from being a neat toy, but the possibilities seem pretty big.

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