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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Personal universe & the meaning of choices

Once I wrote:

To be human at any level has changed. The Web ecosystem     places the individual's mind directly onto the human stage, so that all individuals can now collaborate, with their private thoughts entering the space of digital humanity. And now we can observe the behavioral madness which has always existed around us.

People want an echo a mirror to their existence by sharing their minds, ideas and their thoughts on the stage of the digital space. This existence created by the power of words and by the power of words only as it has being written in the bible.


People want to share something of themselves and this is only one small reason why they write, blog, talkback, write status updates and tweet. They draw their fingerprints on the dust of the bits and bytes of the virtual humanity, and if they don’t have the mind set into it, they re-use other people minds.

They do the magic of reusing, re-tweeting, re-sharing the same info over and over again. This is the best swamp you can imagine, words and words cover with water. 

I call it the wonderful information swamp, and that’s the internet.

In the modern western society we cherish the value of freedom, Individual’s freedom.
In order to maximize the freedom we have, we need to maximize the choices we have.

When we go to a store, we have more kinds of breads, numerous kinds of milk, juice, pants, shirts, drugs, news… and lots of information.

The freedom of choice leads us to the difficulty of choice. It’s getting harder and harder to know, what we want to do, where we want to go, what speaker do we want to listen to? And what blog we want to read?  (I guess you chose my blog at this moment of time). 

The option to choice gives us better results, because we have more and better products that could suits us as individuals, but it leaves us with a big hole of frustration. It costs us time, but more important we pay for it with our level of happiness.

We could have dig deeper, we could have read more, we could have done better, we could find a better shirt, better price and now... I have all the options available, and I’m the one making the decisions, I’m the only one to blame for only the good and not the perfect choice. The choice is so much better but we feel so much worse.


The freedom of choice, is it good for us? Yes. Is it bad for us? Yes. 

We want an automatic machine, to choice for us, but we want to keep our freedom for possible experiences. People now call the automatic machine of choices “personalization”. A set of algorithms that chose for us based on our past behaviors.


You would think they give us what they think is the best movie, book, music, and information recommendations, but instead of predicting a person's choices they filter choices from us, they hide objective truth on the information that’s really out there.

The world is missing the point; the world is trying to understand what’s relevant for us based on secret mathematical numbers which is hidden from us.

Relevancy shouldn’t mean what you don’t see is invisible for you; relevancy shouldn’t be about what we want to see but rather about what we need to see.


Personalization shouldn’t be the promise to filter our universe. Personalization, or should I say, the filtered web that generate personal universe of information based on relevancy isn't the way to go. It should be a balanced of automatic choices from our private and public life and it must include a reflection of our random thoughts. 
Now, could we really create that?

A combination of different algorithms in order to bring us personalized experience without isolating people in their own islands of information is what Genieo does. This is our secret sauce.

You are welcome to try it out yourself:

Genieo, is a personalized newspaper styled homepage, that generate news page based on each individual. 



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