AI Directories in Zapier

September 8, 2023

Have you seen the 1996 Space Jam website? It’s honestly brilliant. The links hover around the logo like a solar system. Or how about Yahoo in 1994? One of the first website directories.

Directories have come a long way since then. But they are about to take
another giant leap forward.  
Today I’m going to teach you how to build a directory in Zapier enhanced with
an AI chatbot. You’ll have a browseable list with an AI Chatbot to make the
search powerful (and conversational).  
Google’s search results have generative
—why shouldn’t your directory? The AI train is moving.  
And like they said in 1996, you oughta “come on, ride the train, hey, ride
Let’s ride (lol so cheesy c’mon you love it).  


The Value of Directories

If you want a compiled list of every AI tool ever created or all the
restaurants in your area (oh hi Yelp), you’ll love a directory.  
A good directory is a full pantry.  
But an easily searchable directory is dinner on the table.  
Because chances are someone comes to a directory trying to actually find
something. If they can’t find what they need then a directory is like ten
thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.  
Most directories will have categories or tags to help the search. You have to
click, scan, and explore.  
You may not know what you want, though.  
So, you could have some expert ask you questions and try their best to point
you to a resource that you’d like. But hiring expert humans doesn’t scale.  
You know what does? Oh, I bet you do. You better start believing you can fly.  

AI Chatbots in Directories

Slap an AI Chatbot on your directory and literally give that thing wings. Now
you’ve got a directory that is way more lively and personal.  
Let me show you.  
Here’s an AI Newsletter Directory I built to help you decide what AI
newsletter to subscribe to.  
Tell the chatbot something like, “I want a weekly newsletter that gives me a
little bit of everything: tools, prompts, news, etc.” or “I don’t know what I
want, what’s out there?”  

It’s way more fun than looking at a long list and guessing at which one you
might want (although I do include a raw list if you need a good browse).  
My AI Newsletter Directory is trained on each of the newsletters in the list.  
Isn’t that wild?  
I’ll tell you how I did it. It’s pretty simple.  

Building it all in Zapier

I'll tell you what I want, what I really, really want (and it’s not to zigazig
ah). Being honest here, I don’t know how to transition after this opening
Okay, what I did really want (and I was able to get) was the ability to build
a directory and AI Chabot in Zapier with no other tools.  
Turns out you can.  
With Zapier’s Tables you can start listing out
whatever it is you are building a directory for. In my case, it was AI
newsletters. Sure, you still may want to add some custom tagging (I added
things like frequency).  
Then, create yourself a Zapier Interface
that will display the table. It’s in the
Interface that you’ll also create an AI
The AI Chatbot is the Michael Jordan of your directory (almost literally if
you want the AI to pretend to be Michael Jordan). You’ll want to prepare a
Google Doc with information and context about whatever it is you’re listing.  
For my AI Newsletter Directory, I literally took the most recent post from
each newsletter and added it below the newsletter’s name and URL.  
It’s a big ol’ doc that I uploaded into the AI Chatbot as a custom data
source. To keep the AI focused, I crafted a directive. I listed out each
newsletter with some key information along with some other suggestions.  

The result is a total slam dunk.  
You get a conversational way to search the directory. The AI can ask you
questions just like an expert would and suggest a newsletter that best fits
Be the first to build directories like this. Quit playing games (with my
heart) and go build one. You can totally do it!  

To recap:

  • Build a directory enhanced with AI
  • Use Zapier’s Tables, Interfaces, and AI Chatbot to build it all
  • Upload context and add a directive to the Chatbot to make it powerful

That's it for this week!  
Happy Building,  

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