Monday, October 19, 2009
Since the new Web will take past behavior like online purchases, browsing behavior, searches, etc. into consideration when building your personal profile, your experience online will be customized to you. There are already concepts like a recommendation engine and a retail recommender that are in use today on some leading web sites.
For example, let’s say I only buy jeans once a year (I admit it… it’s true). And let’s also say that I always buy them around the same time from the same online store – the GAP maybe. Okay, now enter Web 3.0. My interaction with the GAP online and offline will work very differently than it does today. Not a week goes by now where I receive some type of promotion from GAP in my email and even my physical address. And yes, I throw these things out and delete all of the email because I’m don’t buy scarves!
In the future, the GAP is only going to contact me once, maybe two times each year to remind me about my annual jean buying day and the communication, web pages I visit, and checkout experience will all be customized based on my previous activities. In fact, the non-response to emails and post cards should also yield less junk mail. As my behaviors are recorded and fed into the latest artificial intelligence, I’m going to see less of what I don’t want and more of what I do want.
The best part of Web 3.0 from my perspective is that it not only works from a user’s perspective but also from a web site or retailer perspective. You won’t be getting communication in any form that doesn’t work for you and your online experiences will be customized for you and you alone. Trying to sell me on the “best selling products” or “top recommendations” may work today but won’t be necessary in the future. Give me my top recommendations based on my buying behavior and preferences – not what the masses think.
Concerned about privacy? I’ve got news for you. If you knew what web sites are tracking today and the wealth of knowledge out there on the Internet, you’d probably have a heart attack. I do believe that users should still have to give permission for this type of tracking and data aggregation to occur but my feeling is that you’re better off embracing it that throwing the concept to the wind. Besides, Internet security continues to advance as well so one would think that additional protections are going to come with advances in Web technology.