Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Taking personalization to new levels

It seemed furturistic when Amazon.com started recommending books to us based on what we'd browsed or bought previously. Quickly, that level of personalization became a standard of service. Now we expect our interactions with technology to consistently offer us more than we ask for; we want it to get actively involved in the process.

One of the latest new tools designed to take the work out of search is Surf Canyon - a free browser add-on for Internet Explorer and Firefox. After serving up a list of search results based on your input, Surf Canyon uses an algorithm that analyzes which results you click on, which you ignore, and how much time you spend looking at a page. It then uses that information to modify the results as you go.

"We have invented real-time personalization," says CEO Mark Cramer.

In her article at TechnologyReview.com, author Kate Green discusses the functionality of Surf Canyon, and reports on the user experience. Read more here.


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