Fixing The Flaws Of The Web ExperienceFixing The Flaws Of The Web Experience
A lot of the conversations I've had lately have revolved around the notion of the user experience, or in vendor speak, the Web experience. I'm not knocking the marketing messages (OK, maybe a little) but we've been talking about the Web experience since the Web 1.0 days, without much movement.
March 13, 2008
A lot of the conversations I've had lately have revolved around the notion of the user experience, or in vendor speak, the Web experience. I'm not knocking the marketing messages (OK, maybe a little) but we've been talking about the Web experience since the Web 1.0 days, without much movement.The thought behind the early days of personalizing content was that companies had to have all this data about you, from your income level to how many kids you have. Once Big Co. had your profile, they could serve up all kinds of relevant content that would magically help you discover and purchase their products.
According to Baynote CEO Jack Jia, that view of personalization is fundamentally flawed. Jia's company focuses on the new world of personalization and search, one that's led by the wisdom of the invisible crowds clicking through your Web site, not a bunch of so-called marketing experts deciding what your customers need. He argues that with intent and context in place, the wisdom of the community always will prevail. "On an individual level, people are not predictable, but people are very predictable under intent and context," said Jia. To better quantify his approach, Jia spent several months working with Stanford's Social Sciences Department to study not only how the human brain works but also how to apply that knowledge to human behavior. Apparently that homework is paying off. Baynote has more than 100 clients, ranging from pure online companies such as US Appliance to big brands like Motorola and Kaiser Permanente. If that wasn't enough, it also recently struck a multimillion dollar deal with Vignette, surviving a selection process Jia says included more than 40 vendors. I asked Jia how Baynote's approach helped it win those types of projects. "The crux of what we offer is providing our clients the ability to let their customers run their sites. That's a tough thing for a lot of companies to grasp," said Jia. "We tell our clients their Web sites must be community-driven and completely real-time."
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