Friday, November 11, 2005


Personalization--a Holy Grail of Web 2.0?

So, now Google can look at my click through news links (Google News) and serve up ads when the service moves beyond beta. Well at leats, I get to look through the search history and edit if I need to.

I have always wondered about the digital footprints and fingerprints that we leave on the web as we surf the web. Now Google trackes, traces and hopefully gives me some personalized service rather than misuse and abuse the trust that I place on them to 'know me.'

The ultimate holygrail of service is personalization at an affordable price point and the Web has always been a place to offer it. Web 1.0 barely scratched the surface of personalization (remember the early versions of My Yahoo or Pointcast pushing the feeds or Amazon's early recommender system). It's not about personalization at the margin by fine-tuning few categories but personalization as a core philosophy.

Web 2.0 will be markedly different if we achieve trustworthy personalization (where consumers feel that they have got something in return for allowing someone--Google or Yahoo or Microsoft--watch what they do on the network). or will we feel like we are watched by the Big Brother or dark-lord?

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